Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art set to take over Carriageworks

Liveworks Nicola Gunn Working With ChildrenRunning from 18 October at Carriageworks, Performance Space is counting down the days to opening night of the 2018 Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art – an inspiring program of innovative new work by acclaimed artists from Australia and the Asia Pacific.

“Through Liveworks, Performance Space is excited to support artists who continue to pioneer new ways for art to meet its audience,” said Performance Space CEO & Artistic Director Jeff Khan. “More than ever, this year’s program invites you inside the work: to immerse yourself, to dance, embrace a stranger, play games, contemplate mortality, engage in conversation and wonder at the vastness of the universe. Come with us, and discover the infinite possibilities that performance reveals.”

Leading the week one lineup is xhe – a collaboration between Singapore-born and Berlin-based choreographer Daniel Kok and Japanese visual artist and designer Miho Shimizu. A co-commission between Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay (Singapore), and Performance Space with the Naomi Milgrom Foundation (Australia), this immersive performance promises to engage the audience in a search for the elusive xhe: a figure that is not “he”, not “she”, nor “it”.

Sydney’s own Angela Goh will be presenting the Sydney premiere of her new work Uncanny Valley Girl. Merging live performance, text and a razorsharp soundtrack by Melbourne-based producer CORIN, the work explores our dread of the fembot; a hybrid of the feminine and machine.

Joining the Liveworks line-up in 2018 will be Melbourne based performance artist, writer, director and dramaturg Nicola Gunn in the Sydney premiere of her new piece Working With Children. Filled with Gunn’s distinctive humour and unflinching social commentary, Working With Children explores the moral and ethical minefield of working with children and the moral ambiguities it raises.

In Medium, Indonesian-born and Tokyo-based dancer Rianto will provide a contemporary take on Lengger – the traditional, cross-gender Javanese dance developed over hundreds of years and taught to Rianto by masters of the form. Japanese sound artist Asuna will provide a captivating and site-specific listening experience through the Sydney premiere of his latest work 100 Keyboards.

Brisbane-based artist and proud Aboriginal woman Hannah Brontë will round out week one of Liveworks 2018 with Fempre$$: WISHWITCH. A club night turned immersive installation, Fempre$$: WISHWITCH promises to transport you to an alternate universe where societal structures are challenged and matriarchal futures manifest.

In week two of Liveworks, Performance Space is honoured to present the world premiere of a new work by Sydney-based interdisciplinary artist and kidney-transplant survivor John A Douglas. In Circles Of Fire: The Amphitheatre, John explores the transformative experience of chronic illness, treatment and recovery using video installation, virtual reality, and live performance.

Taiwanese choreographer Su Wen-Chi explores our place as humans in the vast scale of cosmic time and space in her new work Infinity Minus One. Created during her time at CERN (the European Organisation for Nuclear Research), Infinity Minus One is a groundbreaking fusion of science and performance by one of Asia’s most exciting choreographers, and features music from acclaimed Indonesian group, Senyawa.

Performance Space is thrilled to present Return to Escape from Woomera by Applespiel. In this new work, specially commissioned by Performance Space, Applespiel invites their audience to join them in their take on the eSports arena to examine the 2004 controversy surrounding federal funding for the development of the adventure video game, Escape From Woomera.

In the back of a stationary truck, discover an unlikely bedchamber, where you’re invited into a stranger’s embrace. A much-loved signature work originally performed by cross-disciplinary artist & writer SJ Norman, Rest Area enters its second decade re-scored for a cast of bodies. Simple and profound, Rest Area is a one-to-one meditation on longing, comfort, and the melancholy eroticism of loneliness.

In High Performance Packing Tape, celebrated Australian company Branch Nebula employ readymade materials to place performer Lee Wilson in a series of mind-bending planes and predicaments. Co-Presented by Performance Space & Branch Nebula, this world premiere sees safety and wellbeing deprioritised in new and liberating ways.

Day For Night returns to Liveworks on Saturday 27 October, bringing the best of the club together with Australia’s finest queer artists. This edition of Sydney’s hottest and most diverse queer art event promises an eclectic mix of art and music in the day, turning to an extravagant dance party in the night.

In 2018, Day For Night features an incredible list of artists that includes photographer William Yang in collaboration with music and DJ duo Stereogamous, as well as performances by artists such as Glitta Supanova, Rhada La Bia, KoCo Carey. Kiwi voguing collective FAFSWAG and multi-instrumentalist Bree van Reyk with her new work Invisible, As Music flesh out the lineup.

Finally, artistic collective 110% will rezone Carriageworks’ public space through their installation Sweating The Foundations. Come and wander through the wetness as 110% sweat the foundations of minimal sculpture and reimagine the practice of collaborative labour.

The 2018 Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art runs 18 – 28 October. For more information and program, visit: for details.

Image: Nicola Gunn stars in Working With Children (supplied)