Between spring 2021 and summer 2022, Dr Steve Greer undertook an series of interviews with practitioners working in and around the field of Live Art in Scotland over the past thirty years. These interviews form a new collection comprised of transcripts and audio recordings that will be preserved in the University of Glasgow’s Enlighten research repository, and made accessible via this website.
Formal permission for this research was granted by the University of Glasgow’s College of Arts research ethics committee.
On this page you can find:
- discussion of the interview and transcription process
- guidance on making use of the interviews
- a suggested format for citing the interviews
The interview process
Interviewees were initially approached by email, asking whether they would be interested in taking part in the research project. This email described the overall ambitions of the project and the intended, final use of the interviews in a new publicly accessible collection for use by other researchers and artists, as well as future research publications developed by Steve.
Along with a formal consent and information sheet, participants were emailed a short list of introductory questions which identified potential topics for our conversation. These questions reflected the overarching ambitions of the project in exploring the histories and conditions of Live Art in Scotland as well as the more specific details of participants’ work and professional careers.
Participants were also invited to identify anything else they would be interested in exploring – and to indicate if there were any topics that they would prefer not to discuss.
Most of the project’s interviews took place on Zoom and lasted between 40 minutes and an hour.
The audio of the interview was recorded and then transcribed by the project’s transcription assistant with input from Steve (e.g. to identify the names of artists, works or venues that were initially unclear from the recording), and with additional proof-reading support from Dr Bryony White as the project’s Research Assistant.
The standard for this process was ‘intelligent verbatim’ – that is, with the goal of creating an accurate record of what had been said which both captures the informality of spoken conversation and omits some small phrases (such as uhm and ah, or false starts where someone had then rephrased themselves) for clarity and ease of readability.
The draft transcript and accompanying audio recording were then shared with the interviewees for review. This step enabled participants to identify any factual corrections, request redactions or suggest the inclusion of important details that were lost in the flow of conversation (such as the names of collaborators or friends). New material inserted during this process has been marked in [square brackets] in the final version of the transcripts.
This was a light touch process, enabling participants to address moments where they felt they had not been clear but without expecting or demanding that anyone should have perfect recall or be able offer a final, definitive account.
The project’s interviews reflect a particular and perhaps unique set of conditions – specifically, the global Covid-19 pandemic when the live performance sector was suspended or facing significant disruption, and when we were each navigating a range of forced adjustments in our lives.
One of these adjustments involved working from home and with a new set of technologies – and a number of interview recordings carry the trace of that reality through message alerts, drop-out due to unstable wi-fi connections and intercom buzzers announcing deliveries, as well as children or other family members and pets demanding our attention.
This also means that the recordings reflect a range of audio qualities. While an effort has been made to balance volume levels for the sake of audibility, everyone had a slightly different set-up – whether working in a home office, from their bedroom or at the kitchen table. Even if it were possible to fully ‘normalise’ the quality of sound, we were keen to preserve these differences as part of the event of these conversations and the unusual circumstances in which they unfolded. In a small number of cases, though, the quality of the audio – or repeated interruptions to the interview – has meant that we have been unable to include the original recording.
Using the interviews
The recordings and transcripts in the Live Art Scotland collection are governed by informed consent agreements between the University of Glasgow and the participants in the research project. The material is intended for the purposes of teaching, learning and research; it has been digitised for the purposes of making them available for research, study and private enjoyment – and on the basis of appropriate attribution.
Please treat the materials with respect as a failure to do so constitutes a breach of the trust we have built up with the project’s participants. These materials should not be altered or used in ways that might be derogatory to the project’s participants. This might include – but is not limited to – misquotation, misappropriation or decontextualisation.
The prior informed consent of the Live Art in Scotland project / University of Glasgow is required for the republication of part or whole of these materials. For enquiries, contact email@example.com
Suggested citation format
Last Name, First Name. Interview by Stephen Greer. Live Art in Scotland. University of Glasgow, Date of Interview. https://liveartscotland.org/. Date Accessed.