PERFORM-a-TEXT: Becky Cremin writing about and around text performed and performing.

The definition of performance is ‘the action or process of performing’. Performance is an object in a state of being; it involves interaction, it involves the exchange of energy. My explorations aim to deal with examining poetic performance as a plural event which is under constant construction in:



a portrait: voiced

Working through a live and lived performance of my Medusa: speaking.
considerations being made:






Post thoughts: 10 performances

Post thoughts: This is thoughts in an alternate location. This is thoughts on the train. These are thoughts post thought I will transcribe in their exact state. I will not interfere with these post thoughts.

The aesthetic of so much of the work was similar- someone commented that it was “generational” the impact of the machine on the text. The control of performance being passed to the machine. What impact does this have on the ownership of the writing?

I am interested in this being “BEYOND TEXT” when so much of the work concentrated on the PRESENCE of text and showing text. I am not criticising this aesthetic but am interested in why, in most of these performances text was not undergoing any change. Liveness brings with it a risk to expose the materiality of the text and this was not being done. In Robin Deacon’s work at the end of this piece he reads from a variety of scripts – provided by his father- his live reading of these created a new text in performance. It allowed for interaction between text and body which was spontaneous.


(this term DEADNESS was mentioned by an audience member in the discussion following the performances. I will use this term, not as a term which implies a deadness of the performers, but as a term to address the binary of live.) The materiality of the LIVE text was not dealt with in performance- texts were eing typed in front of us BUT they were not being produced. This is what interests me. the text which was performing was not live. All these artists engaged with the materiality of writing and exposed the “act” and “action” of writing, but we did not see this truly as- “generation” of text was not happening.

I suppose this is why I raised the question of all of the mistakes in the typing- I asked why mistakes made in the live typing of text which was being projected to the audience, why were these mistakes corrected? Are these mistakes not a true mark of liveness? Of the body? Of the present? Of the space? It is these mistakes which were glimpses of true liveness for me, which generated a document of the performance, which encouraged a new, live generated text to come into being. These mistakes allowed a translation of the prewritten text to be created through performance. And in performance we are translating; moving from a page to a bodily enactment. This process through body, which all the performances dealt with is of interest. These mistakes act as a trace that this performance occurred. These mistakes show that performance is a translation not a reproduction.

I was interested in how these two words come into play.

TRANSLATION of the text in performance and REPRODUCTION.

I am unsure whether these are the right terms – but I will explain them as I see them in terms of performance.

TRANSLATION: to undertake change from one form to another. From one language to another. To translate is to communicate. To translate a text is to communicate it to another. To change its form – to communicate this “new” form using the tools of this “new” language.

REPRODUCTION: to reproduce is to RE-produce. To produce again to produce again. In a reproduction we expect no faults, we expect the production the reproduction.

So now I have returned from these statements and considered translation to be of more interest, of more relevance to exposing text and its status as object. I want to say I enjoyed this event. That I appreciated all the hard work. That I appreciated the coming together of people and level of audience interest. To see where text is now. To see how text is being treated in performance. To consider where text should be. And why it should be in performance. My words of documentation are written in the dark. These words now are written on the train returning to Waterloo. These words are considerations of the ongoing question. These writings are asking and answering questions. These writings are the effects of a day spent with people. These writings are reactions. These writings will continue. And these writings are writing.


Documentation and response to 10 Performances at Roehampton

I open this with the hope that these words are gestures towards what occurred on Thursday, November 26. These words are a series of thoughts and writings which took place during the event. These are my writings and are live writings. They are scrawled and I have not re-read these writings till now.

I will transcribe these writings as they are written in as honest a transcription I can make of the mark. For speed between performances each one is numbered and so please refer to these to see which document matches performer.

1. Rachel Lois Clapham and Alex Eisenberg: 10 Performances +1
2. Akillas Karizisis: Man, 52 yrs SELF PORTRAIT
3. Johanna Linsley: Like to know
4. Robin Deacon: UNTITLED
5. Tamarin Norwood: What To Do
6. Matthew Goulish: Gratefulness Performed by Lisa Alexander
7. RESPONSIVE SESSION: Lis Austin, Efrosini Protopapa and João Florêncio
8. Cathy Naden: All that I can remember
9. Mark Caffrey: Collective Spill
10. Barbara Campbell: All that I can remember
11. Theron Schmidt: This text bears false witness
12. Danae Theodoridou: A Single Voice 3000 English words in the hands of a T.J.
13. RESPONSIVE SESSION II: Lis Austin, Efrosini Protopapa and João Florêncio

Find further information here.

I begin.


Repetition of a binary of plus
One writing offering thought on
Plural forms of making and deconstructing

Live speech - interruption to form
A new rhythmed construction


typing free typing But non correcting
and then correcting - relationship
between non correct and correct
between instant change and non

- actor female - her relationship to
words on screen – The present
joseph Beuys – mouse trails
screen down. Quiet voice
relationship to the first
text created in front of us and
the ongoing texts which
are pre-loaded – What
is the relationship between
live text and lived text

Sounds vs words vs thoughts

(misspelling vs correction)
It ended with FINITO


Gesturing bodies
Shifting of of a of end a count
bodies in a

place – elevators

Humour - one lines

Hand (left) on hip


Then Body - sequence -narrative

Moved - ruffled.

Conversation – email text __
Step in and

Out of who She is – step in

and out
Biographical info
Is revealed – strokes of seriousness
The Wire vs Bleak house
Contextuality __

of connectivity.

Parallels – narrative __

Tinged always
tinged with

The set up of the presentation


what will happen if he
doesn’t write this down.

2 camera – perspective
mouth on 1 – ear now
mouth – framing to open
black hole of mouth –

Terminally open mouthed

poses – gestures

watching open mouthed.

Displacement of sign and noise
^ (text being
(open mouth) heard)

relation between text and body


now typewriter

The act of making text –
but where has
text come from

> non improvised

(Foucault- Body + machine)


( )
OBJECT – Recordings
inhabits of machine – the machines

we can
them for the Clinic
the ver truth I have to
5, like and shin away doorways
chewing marry lurings
per cardboard known my
sonnel new factory
still one

going But constantly kept some degree

will occoesion said she got

see charity pause
advantage I
have position broken

official lowering history
cab brains clogging manifest
while stay he cut it fine wont
you table fish end

stir up simply and what
position in loyalties spilt out
tell what dilly and
table perplexed jelly

Number One
___________ collectiv but

How engaged after chair struggle
they Jude
cosy we’re all

Call I forget to convey
humblest well probably
in read then

________ end ––––––––


molecules: a liner gesture
teaching - fast - no fluxuation

/ pause]
turn page
specific speech __
speech unable
relate to – und to

non sensity – PAUSE


(turn page)
objects – sorting and arranging

//// constant water stream _________

6. –––––/////////–––––––

Word – consider – this is
an after
moment a shifted def of

attitude vs a
full = vessel
to begin carrying – a found word
he wears a bend – half my age
posing – FLINT
Demolish – shrinking Domnate __adult life
of a word
–– the entrance of
concealed –
planting outline –
a ghost of hidden
concealment of recordings recorded

placement of trace –
recording it
praise the not me

me vs not me
trace an engagement of trace and
a biographical

patterned replacements – –__
grateful and not meeting

7. Response

between – between – between


(i) Before – preparation – rehearsal
Question – NOWNESS
NOWness } contains
LIVEness } pastness

Imagining – Imagined

Nowness – how past (rehearsal
Forms the nowness)

(ii) academic
thought in quotes
contaminate thoughts
text has a verb
text is a doing



(3) Platos thousands – “INDIRECT”
relation to we see

(iii) composed vs thought

composed: relationship to text
Cage/Austin ––
Beyond text –– what of now
What now –– towards
What paradigms/ frames
see in performance
unhinge what text
Structures of silence
Absence vs Presence
audience as


8. labour of projecting –– text on screen

a lot of ellipses
are you really
are you reading reading
text again –– all double spaced

Ryan made a point about perspective
for a third time text. I’m

watching her index finger on mouse
move—BODY vs TEXT

slow scrolling
how fourth time text
5 smaller amount
of text.

6th time only 2 lines now

7th time = um

8 text again

Underlined areas and repeats

9th time =UM

10= 1 line
11 – text

12 closer
13 the same closeness

14 the same closeness
15 the same

16 the same longer line
17 one line

18 separated by
same closeness

same closeness = 2 return

20 UM

21 –written
and lost

tt 3:46 PM it has 94% battery

I remember
25 refers to.
26 white chapel

white space –void _silence
27 ?
What choice suggest
A rhythm

28 = UM
28? Find my way back


the misspellings are highlighted

with red squiggle lines

There are 2 laptops – What is

the relationship



Communal reading – why on screen
What does this do.


waiting – is there a signal

31 @ 3.55

words enforcing a silence

text forcing a silence

noisse creeps in

we are still
on 31?
\ thankyou /

Female Male
((0 \0

For the first time

Story he is writing out
writing over
SAID – saying present saying


\ /
\ /
\\ //
her to him



rolling text and a line

breaks become important

Bad dis being in n[arrolated]l

Body is being textualised
(F would like to
Body is in being

consider a textual script

for the body – a scored

script for the body )

Is this document of BODY?

She her with the laptops
the performer is choreographing
our reading
Is this her reading

Is she reading

We are not bearing

Witness to her experience

She is
in control of

our experience

silent reading BUT

not private reading

I want to read

out loud

time – matching real time

to this pre written time

It’s 4:21 as 11 passes


The Gaze = is interest as

audience member on the

body controlling the

text or i s i t on the

text itself

I now follow the in str
I follow the instructions
to set about my own
performance and bodily
alignment with the

text ___ a physical

_a play of
with/the/on text

I ended blinking


[Note before: Running theme of
projected words projected
Focus not on language
in relation to body
but to machine
Disembodied text]

shifting position of

words on a screen he

he writes this __ is aware

of process /place.

believe what you read?
believe what you hear?

materiality touched on

relationship to

the text we are

seeing & reading

as audience &

to you creating


Is there something

of a translation

a medi ati on

between per fo rmer

and text ,

Also text is

where is this
text coming from?

Is it now a true

trace of performance


NB In the break

With Ryan + Karen we
Talked about text

being produced in

performance – text

in a state of construction
and de construction
- we play with its materiality.
I’m interested in why he

deletes his mistakes

these are what make

it a trace of now

and this

are we programmed

to do this
It says something

about instinctual

instinctual mark

making and body

in relation to text

this is perhaps

removed by


text on screen

do we consider

words as single

objects -Karen

said this

transcript he

is transcribing


I don’t think I
the need to
directly copy text
onto another document

what is interesting?

*ownership of words

relationship to spoken
text & projected text

what is this?

again we read > this
conflicting between
words we
see and hear
* PAGE as STAGE: online

There could be play

But there is linearity

performance and liveness
STATUS of TEXT in performance – here the screen has one

The text as being a
performance like a human
voice has slippages
yet its human instinct
to correct it – is

this allowing text its own

Space to perform.

- question of liveness

- live mark making

- idea of trace of performance

13. Response II

(i) generational
Economies of labour