Performance Space announces its full program for the Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art 2021

Performance-Space-Liveworks-2021-Sue-Healey-On-View-Panoramic-SuitePerformance Space has announced the full program for its seventh year of the Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art running from 20 – 24 October 2021, with its second release of tickets on sale now.

In 2021, the Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art will be presented in the form of an all-digital program seeking to create surprising, meaningful and transformative encounters between artists and audiences. Far from the formulaic, the Liveworks 2021 program explores new possibilities for liveness and expands our sense of what live performance can mean in the digital realm.

In collaboration with its artists and curators, Performance Space announces that in lieu of in-person events, it will utilise its expansive home at Carriageworks as a filming and broadcast studio for Liveworks 2021.

“We’re thrilled to announce this exceptional group of artists and projects, that complete the Liveworks 2021 program and bring an extraordinary range of experiences directly to our audience’s homes,” said Jeff Khan, Artistic Director and CEO, Performance Space.

“While we were hoping we might be able to gather in person this year, the continuing uncertainty around vaccination timelines in Australia and the process of re-opening means that we have made the leap into presenting our first fully-digital Liveworks Festival.”

“This is another milestone for Performance Space, ensuring that everybody has access to brilliant artistic experiences wherever they are, and whatever our experience of the pandemic. It’s time for the Liveworks artists to inspire us to imagine new futures and explore new possibilities,” said Khan.

“Carriageworks is delighted to be a presenting partner for Liveworks again this year. Performance Space’s annual Asia Pacific festival of experimental arts has become a highlight of the artistic calendar at Carriageworks,” said Blair French, CEO, Carriageworks

“We are impressed with the ways in which the Performance Space team have adapted this year’s festival into a digital format in order to continue bringing cultural experiences to wide audiences across Sydney. We look forward to another Liveworks full of experimentation, joy, provocation, energy and new art,” said French.

Liveworks 2021 will present three program streams with 31 extraordinary events featuring over 72 Australian and international artists. This ambitious program will enliven screens and connect audiences and communities across Sydney and the world:

  • LIVE NOW – the presentation of captivating, bold new experimental art from the Asia-Pacific, expanding our perspective on what’s possible
  • LIVE DREAMS – a dynamic platform for works-in-progress, exploring the art of tomorrow
  • LIVE FUTURES – a new series of artist-led conversations about the future

LIVE NOW centres new performative experimental work with the second release of Liveworks 2021 events led by renowned Australian artists Sue Healey, Amrita Hepi, Cherine Fahd, Ivey Wawn, Julie-Anne Long, Field Theory and the return of the acclaimed Day for Night.

These projects join previously announced artists SJ Norman (Australia) & Joseph M. Pierce (USA), Natasha Tontey (Indonesia), Luke George (Australia) and Daniel Kok (Singapore).

In a unique digital broadcast from Carriageworks, shot by aerial drone and moving cameras, Sue Healey’s On View: Panoramic Suite weaves live performances amongst a 7 screen video installation to create a visionary augmented cinematic experience. On View: Panoramic Suite was created over 8 years across 3 countries: a sweeping panoramic vision of dance across cultures, landscapes and individuals.

Building on the extraordinary Live Action Relay (Liveworks 2020), viewers can experience On View: Panoramic Suite as a captivating digital broadcast crafted by Healey and cinematographer Ken Butti, revealing Carriageworks’ spaces and the remarkable cast of performers in ways not seen before.

The broadcast features celebrated dance artists Nalina Wait and Martin del Amo alongside live percussionist Laurence Pike, intricate thread portraits by Jane Theau and music by Darrin Verhagen. Healey’s work offers breathtaking encounters with these extraordinary artists, in a moving study of the nuances of the dancing body and its cultural landscape.

Sydney artist Cherine Fahd will be in conversation and will share an exclusive first preview of her new video installation Ecdysis. The in-conversation event with project curators Daniel Mudie Cunningham (Carriageworks) and Jeff Khan (Performance Space), Intimacy Through the Camera will discuss Ecdysis’s themes, origin and process.

Performance Space and Carriageworks will present the full video installation of Cherine Fahd’s Ecdysis in late 2021-early 2022.

How do you Cope With Constant Beginnings? A conversation between dance artist Amrita Hepi and experimental performance-maker Mish Grigor, will discuss Hepi’s new work RINSE which expands her fascination with hybridity under empire and contemporary dance’s fixation with the “neutral” body. Hepi will unpack the electric new development of her performance which questions whether being on the brink of extinction – a series of endings of various kinds – has intensified the seduction of the past?

Following a prototype of RINSE winning the People’s Choice Award at the 2020 Keir Choreographic Award, Performance Space has commissioned the full-length premiere of this brilliant new dance performance and will premiere the full-length work in 2022.

Artist Ivey Wawn presents the world premiere screening of her new dance and video work In Perpetuity and will be in conversation to discuss its themes. In Perpetuity features three dancers, using dressage choreography to highlight the pressures of a life subjected to wage labour.

Public Speaking is a unique walking and listening experience with artists Field Theory (Jackson Castiglione, Martyn Coutts, Jason Mailing, Sarah Rodigari, Anna Schoo and Lara Thoms), inviting you to look at your neighbourhood through different eyes.

This inspiring series of audio broadcasts asks you to take a walk through the city whilst listening to conversations between Field Theory and a series of young people from the LGBTIQA+ community of Sydney. This walking-whilst-listening-party serves as a prelude to a new work by Field Theory that will be presented by Performance Space in 2022.

Created by Sydney’s much-loved, maverick dance artist Julie-Anne Long, unentitled brings together a collection of captivating moments performed by Invisiblists Queenie and Bev. The Invisiblists are women of a certain age whose invisibility in the eyes of society-at-large is both a curse and a superpower.

Over the course of the festival you can attend as Queenie gives a digital address, discover a guerrilla online exhibition documenting The Invisiblists’ exploits around Sydney and catch Bev Beasley – lollypop lady – officer on duty at the Carriageworks Farmers Market.

The acclaimed Day for Night returns for 2021. Tune in from anywhere across Sydney or the world! Dress up, bring your A-game, turn your webcams on and dance together across space and time with queer family, via the Liveworks superqueer digital channel.

Reconnect with your body through a special club mix of Betty Grumble’s iconic Grumble Boogie; learn how to limb sync with Weird Nest; and marvel at Sidney McMahon’s stunning Day for Night installation… a little piece of it might even show up at your home.

Special performances by Jamaica Moana and Demon Derriere will light up your house, Garden Reflexx will bring some cinematic wonder to your living room, and Stereogamous will get you on your feet, with an all-night DJ set… and there’s more to be announced.

LIVE DREAMS is a new platform for artists to share works-in-progress and ideas with audiences to continue connecting with each other across borders and geographic space. A remarkable convergence of artists from across cities, cultures and artistic disciplines is made possible by LIVE DREAMS’ unique digital format.

Performance Space has expanded the program as part of Liveworks 2021 inviting four Guest Curators from across the Asia-Pacific; Kyoto Experiment (Japan), Emma Webb (Vitalstatistix, AU), Choy Ka Fai (Singapore/Berlin), Nisha Madhan (Basement Theatre, NZ) to theme each live stream with powerful provocations as we navigate the turbulence of our current moment.

LIVE DREAMS sees an incredibly rich and diverse artist line-up, hailing from across the globe. Their work spans dance, experimental theatre, music, digital media, drag and more, often combining disparate artforms in surprising new ways. Artists include: Roslyn Orlando (Vic) Kate McGuinness (NSW), MindsEye Collective (NSW), Yudai Kamisato (Japan), Yuta Hagiwara Kamome Machine (Japan) and Jarunun “Jaa” Phantachat (Thailand) for MOSHI MOSHI?!; Mrs Tan (Philippines), Jay Gardener, George Wohlfiel and Jeff McCann (NSW), Jenny Brown (NSW), Too Close to the Sun (WA), Sally Craven (SA), Pat Toh (Singapore) and Angus McGrath (NSW) for PORTAL; Rakini Devi (NSW) and Karl Ockelford (Vic), Grace Marlow (SA), Luna Mrozik Gawler (Vic), Chung Nguyen (Vietnam), Joana Chicau (The Netherlands), Maria Judova (Czech Republic) for TRANSCEND; Forest V Kapo (Vic), Marc Conaco (New Zealand), Arjunan Puveendran (NSW), Raina Peterson (Vic), Morgan Hogg (NSW), Amit Noy (New Zealand), Jahra Wasala and Ooschon Masseurs (New Zealand) for ANCESTRY and curated by Performance Space artists Jonny Seymour (NSW), Seini Taumoepeau (NSW), Sela Vai (NSW), Luke John Campbell (Tas) Amy Zhang, Billy Keohavong, Jeremy Santos and Reina Takeuchi (NSW) for ISLAND.

LIVE FUTURES is a curated series of artist-led conversations incorporating digital performances, listening exercises, and audience questions alongside an in-depth discussion. Each LIVE FUTURES event has been curated to bring diverse and urgent perspectives to the issues at hand: from centring First Nations knowledge and methodologies to rediscovering our personal relationships with touch, pleasure and the environment.

LIVE FUTURES continues to evolve after its acclaimed premiere at Liveworks 2020; the conversations for 2021 include: Kin-Ship-Matter curated by Dr Léuli Eshraghi (Aus/Canada) with artists including Tanya Lukin Linklater (USA) and Amrita Hepi (Vic); Reimagining Touch curated by Dr Zahra Stardust (NSW) with artists Bhenji Ra (NSW), Cherine Fahd (NSW) and Queenie Bon Bon (NSW); Remapping Ecologies curated by Holly Williams (Aotearoa/Aus) with artists Ceridwen Dovey (NSW), Luke George (Vic), Daniel Kok (Singapore), Charles Koroneho (Aotearoa), Rowena Potts (USA) and John Seed (Aus), and The Inheritance of the Future curated by Clothilde Bullen (NSW) with artists to be announced.

New Zealand-based, Samoan artist, poet and cultural commentator Rosanna Raymond will deliver the keynote lecture for LIVE FUTURES titled Would The Real Tusk Please Stand Up?

Incorporating performance, spoken word, academic research and other techniques, the in-depth keynote will explore Raymond’s groundbreaking artistic practice which centres the Samoan philosophy of Va – a concept of space that binds people and things together into relational ties – to create radical new possibilities for how we experience the world.

Running from 20 – 24 October 2021Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art 2021 will offer audiences the opportunity to experience art that affirms our capacity for renewal, wonder and transformation. For more information and to book tickets, visit: for details.

Image: Sue Healey, On View: Panoramic Suite – multi-screen video installation and performance will premiere in Australia for Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art 2021 presented by Performance Space