Live Art Scotland Forum: Risk and Resilience

Engagement activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in an external workshop, masterclass, seminar or training course

Laura Gonzalez (Chair), 17 May 2019

Hosted table discussion at Live Art Scotland Forum

I hosted a discussion at the Live Art Scotland Forum, which took place under the auspices of the the third Take Me Somewhere festival of Performance in Glasgow.

This is a description of the event.

This event brings artists, producers and researchers working in Scotland together with practitioners from the UK and around the world to explore ideas of risk and resilience in Live Art. In particular, this event addresses the relationship of Live Art to contemporary demands to innovate and take creative risks while also developing resilient ways of working. If Live Art offers ‘a space in which artists can take formal and conceptual risks’ (LADA), what kinds of support are needed to nurture that space and those working within it? Does risky and challenging work require a particular kind of support, particularly as it enters or influences the mainstream?

In asking these and other questions, this event picks up the trail of more than decade-old report commissioned by the Scottish Arts Council in 2007 concerning the infrastructure and support of Live Art in Scotland*. While many of the major institutions named in this report no longer exist - most notably the Arches and the National Review of Live Art - its assessment of the fragility, resilience and vitality of Scotland’s Live Art ecology remains strikingly prescient.

Twelve years later, we ask:

What do ‘resilience’ and ‘risk’ mean for people working in and around the Live Art sector, in Scotland and beyond? How it appear within or inform the creation of new work?

What might resilience mean for practitioners from culturally diverse, queer and/or working-class backgrounds? How does the idea of resilience intersect with different experiences of disability? What are the implications of ‘resilience thinking’ for artist development?

Scotland’s longstanding institutions most closely associated with Live Art proved to be incredibly fragile, though their collapse has also resulted in a range of new networks and organisations. How do we imagine the longer-term stability and sustainability of the sector? Is stability even desirable?

While a past decade of arts funding policy has emphasised organisational resilience, there is increasing recognition that ‘the arts and culture’s creativity and vibrancy depend on individual artists and creatives, who are as much part of the ecosystem as organisations’**. How can practitioners working across the field of Live Art inform this ongoing shift from organisational to individual resilience?

* Scottish Arts Council. Development of the Infrastructure and Support of Live Art in Scotland (2007).

**2 Arts Council England. What Is Resilience Anyway? (2018).


TitleLive Art Scotland Forum: Risk and Resilience
LocationGilmorehill Centre, University of Glasgow
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Degree of recognitionNational event