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Workshop 2 took place from 6-10 June 2022 at Siobhan Davies Studios, and was co-facilitated by Jo Fong (commissioned artist for Neurolive Performance 2) together with Neurolive co-directors Guido Orgs and Matthias Sperling.  

Workshop participants at different points in the week included:
Daniel Richardson (Neurolive Co-investigator)
Dulcie Fraser (Artist)
Elina Akhmetova (Artist)
Federico Calderon (Neurolive Research Assistant)
Guido Orgs (Neurolive Principal Investigator & Scientific Director)
Haeeun Lee (Neurolive Research Assistant)
Iris Chan (Artist & Neurolive Artistic Stream Producer)
Jamie Ward (Neurolive Co-investigator)
Jay Yule (Artist)
Jia-Yu Corti (Artist)
Jo Fong (Artist)
Joel Cahen (Artist)
Katerina Vafeiadou (Neurolive PhD Student)
Kim Chi Le (Neurolive Production Assistant)
Laura Rai (Neurolive Postdoctoral Researcher)
Matthias Sperling (Neurolive Co-investigator & Artistic Director)
Merritt Millman (PhD Researcher, Goldsmiths)
Siobhan Davies (Artist & Founder, Siobhan Davies Studios)
Temitope Ajose (Artist)
Thomas Goodwin (Artist)

And 13 guest participants who joined an Open Studio Session led by Jo Fong on Thurs 9 June 2022.

Photographer: Lucas Chih-Peng Kao
Additional Photography by Neurolive Production Assistant: Kim Chi Le


The one-week workshop gathered together a small interdisciplinary group of people in a studio space to investigate liveness from several different artistic perspectives, and to explore how those perspectives could help inform what the Neurolive project does and how it does it. Over the course of the week, different artistic and scientific contributors led sessions sharing their individual interests and current practices with each other, through a combination of discussion and shared movement practice.

Parts of the week focused on allowing the group to get to know more about Jo Fong’s performance-making practice and creating a shared dialogue around the beginning stages of her process of creating her commission for Neurolive Performance 2 (titled How Shall We Begin Again?, performed at Siobhan Davies Studios in November 2022). One afternoon of the week was offered as an Open Studio Session led by Jo Fong, that people not otherwise participating in the workshop week were invited to attend. Thirteen guests joined the existing interdisciplinary group for this session, to take part in an experience of Jo Fong’s approaches to practicing liveness in her work.

Following the week, Matthias Sperling gathered a sampling of thoughts and questions that were voiced by different workshop participants over the course of the week.
A quick poem-portrait of Neurolive Workshop 2 from my notes:

Activism as being in the moment, and being in the moment as activism.
Watching the movement, or watching the person?
Liveness as being with this person.
What does the brain state of ‘being your fullest self’ look like?
The art of becoming committed in performance.
The hum.
Feedback loops between outside-in and inside-out, between action and feeling.
Liveness as protest.
Archival body.
Right now is the past and the past is right now.
Let’s pretend that…
Non-performing performing.
How much of yourself/ your emotions to share with others in performance?
In liveness, we’re out of our minds.
The inseparable relationship between liveness and lifelessness.
Liveness as surrender?
Is liveness about reclaiming humanity?
Liveness and bias.
Highlighting the work that the audience is doing: filling in the gaps.
Liveness: porosity: consent: power: penetration.
Holding multiple possibilities for the definition of success in an encounter/ in liveness.
Caring for the risk of experiencing the unknown.
You are already in contact, even before the physical touch happens.
Asking the audience what liveness is to them.
The questionnaire as an artwork - choreographing/ crafting the experience.
How to stay connected to the caring part of the work, when experiencing the questionnaire?
Is there a non-judgemental vocabulary for the questionnaires?
What is the artistic work actually working on? Tuning the investigation in to that.
What are the dimensions of people’s experience when they are experiencing this work?
The process has to be co-created in order to be done well.
We’re here to appreciate people, humanity.

(Matthias Sperling, 14/6/22)

Click here to see schedule for the week, with details of what each participant contributed

Click here to see ‘The Grief Exercise’ script for sharing of practice by Jia-Yu Corti

A European Research Council funded project