Live Art in Scotland is an ongoing research project exploring the history of Live Art and experimental performance in Scotland, led by Dr Steve Greer at the University of Glasgow. Through a combination of oral history interviews and archival research, the project aims to contribute a missing chapter of Scotland’s cultural history while exploring the forms of curation, support and development that might foster experimental practices in the future.
Live Art in Scotland is supported by the University of Glasgow and an Arts and Humanities Research Council Leadership Fellowship.
Though Scotland has been home to some of Live Art’s most (in)famous events, existing histories of theatre and performance emphasise a literary dramatic tradition of plays and playwrights, and rarely address Live Art as a significant field of practice. At the same time, studies of Live Art tend to focus on practice in England and London – with Scotland either ignored or only included at the margins. This project intends to redress that omission while exploring the structures of curation, programming and funding that might enable experimental performance practices to thrive here in the future.
What will the project do?
This project has created a range of resources and publications for different audiences. These include:
- a new collection of oral history interviews and recordings, made freely available to researchers, students and the general public
- a research symposium on live art histories, methods and archival research
- a resource map to support other researchers of experimental performance
- a short-form ‘zine using archive materials and original commissioned writing
- a podcast series featuring excerpts from the interviews
- a new book on the history of Live Art in Scotland (under contract for publication sometime in 2025)
The final six months of the project also involved a series of forums and other public conversations for practitioners, funders, researchers and other interested folk to engage with the project’s findings, and explore ways to better support and develop the Live Art sector in future.
The Live Art in Scotland project is led by Dr Steve Greer at the University of Glasgow, joined by Dr Bryony White from January-July 2022 as the project’s Research Assistant. You can read more about our work and backgrounds here.