What’s a performance lecture?

It’s a form of anti-TED talk.

Existing since the 1960s as a subgenre of performance, the lecture-performance or performance-lecture has its roots in the performance and conceptual art of the 1960s, and balances on the boundary between art and academia.

It’s a type of presentation that goes beyond the academic format of the lecture. Artists (not only visual or performance) use the lecture to turn it into a performance space which fuses aspects of drama and of visual and other media disciplines.


It’s hybrid nature then often expresses in borrowed hybrid elements such as storytelling, the mass media, internet, adverts, slogans, images, and technology.

The performance lecture at its best has varied functions and elements operating on multiple levels. These can form a visual rhetoric or performative actions and artistic non-sequiturs  Techniques of advertising and propaganda or more straight forward education lectures and slides are used to explore the relationship between the image and the text or between consensus and the facts, or contrasting ideas or narratives.

In its artistic investigations the relationship of perception and of understanding, the audience and the performer and performance ideas can all come under scrutiny.

In that sense it is nothing like a Ted talk. It’s almost an anti-Ted Talk.

A TED talk gives you an idea and a smooth talker and tells you it’s the truth.

A performance-lecture gives you a part-idea that you have to complete, challenges you to assess its truth, your truth and the performers truth and like all good theatre can leave you activated and different from when you started.


Sorry To Bother You by danhett | a videogame about technology and journalists

Sorry To Bother You by danhett | a videogame about technology and journalists

When Dan Hett’s younger brother Martyn was killed in the Manchester Arena bombing, he embarked on a trilogy of autobiographical experimental video games about the experience and its aftermath”

Play the game:  https://danhett.itch.io/sorry

Read insightful Guardian review:

https://www.theguardian.com/games/2018/apr/26/dan-hett-indie-games-designer-manchester-arena-bombing

Me: I recall making a moving poem in flash to express the grief and loss I felt, when I used my father’s old shaver (he had died in the last year, now almost 20 years ago) and I believe games and game making art both technology enabled or analogue are an important part of human expression and art.

The review around the game and Dan Hett’s work is lovely.

Digital Artwork Competition | £20,000

Sheffield Doc/Fest is delighted to announce a £20,000 opportunity for an artist to create an imaginative digital artwork.


£20,000 for an artist(s) based anywhere in the world to create an imaginative digital project in documentary to be installed and exhibited in the Alternate Realities exhibition programme as part of Sheffield Doc/Fest’s 26th edition later this year: 6th – 11th June 2019. Additionally MUTEK will be inviting the successful commission winner to their 20th edition in Montreal (20-25 August, 2019) to speak about the work and then tour their project to MUTEK Montreal in 2020.  Deadline 26 Feb.

Me: Focus is broadly on non-fiction storytelling but can include on-going projects. Track record is a factor.

https://sheffdocfest.com/articles/675-alternate-realities-commission-now-open