What’s powerful about one-on-one performance? Audience participation can illicit feelings of fear as much as curious excitement from even the most adventurous performance-goer. But these small encounters are not as terrifying as you might think. They have the power to transform and ask you to reconsider the big issues – censorship, politics, the body, evolution, and the very essence that sustains human life.

Join us for a day of debate and dialogue from some of the finest minds and most interesting voices making, discussing and programming one-on-one and participatory performance. Prior to the Symposium, the Australia Council will be delivering a briefing on the new system of grants funding beginning in 2015. See below for more information.

KEY NOTE | 1 minute manifestos

Twelve artists, 60 seconds each. Not your traditional keynote, this year the Proximity Festival artists get personal, giving brutally honest insights about performing one-on-one. What’s in it for them and what’s in it for you? A lot can happen when you are alone in a room with a stranger.

SESSION 1 | Is participation a dirty word?
Dread, forced interaction, humiliation. How did participation get such a bad wrap? This session explores the intricacies and ethics of participation, and the delicate balance that needs be established between audience and performer so it doesn’t go horribly wrong.
Facilitator: Kelli Mccluskey  Co-Curator Proximity Festival / Co-Founder pvi collective

  • Lois Keiden, Director – Live Art Development Agency (UK) Video Message
  • Emma Webb, Creative Producer– VITALSTATISTIX (SA)
  • James Berlyn, Artist / Co-founder – Proximity Festival (WA)
  • Cat Jones, Artist – Proximity Festival (NSW)
  • Natalie De Vito, Executive Director – Junction Festival (TAS)

SESSION 2 | What is the future of participation in a global context?
Over the last ten years participatory practice has been quietly revolutionizing. From physically intimate exchanges to digitally distributed encounters and mass participation, where is one-on-one performance heading and what is its relevance to now?
Facilitator: Julie Vulcan, Proximity Provocateur

  • Helen Cole, Director – In Between Time (UK) video
  • Steve Bull, Co-founder / Artist – pvi collective (WA)
  • Sylvia Rimat, Artist – Proximity Festival (UK)
  • Julianne Pierce, Chair – Emerging and Experimental Arts, Australia Council (SA)
  • Jeff Khan, Artistic Director – Performance Space (NSW)

Saturday 25 October 2pm – 5pm
FREE | Fremantle Arts Centre Pavlich Room

EARLY SESSION | Australia Council Funding Briefing (11:30am – 12:30pm)

Australia Council for the Arts has announced big changes to the way it will fund arts projects and organisations from 2015. Andrew Donovan (Director, Grants Implementation) and Julianne Pierce (Chair, Emerging and Experimental Arts) will talk about the Council’s new strategy and grants program, and the opportunities for artists working with emerging artforms and experimental practice. This is a great opportunity to ask questions and share your thoughts.

Photo by Tarryn Gill