The Efficacy of Awkwardness in Contemporary Participatory Art and Performance: a talk by Daniel Oliver

The Bad Vibes Club, radial pukey-low res

Daniel Oliver delivers the first lecture in a series of six for The Bad Vibes Club, a project by Matthew de Kersaint Giraudeau.

In his talk, awkwardness is celebrated in its position as an ugly cousin of antagonism and a tolerated guest in pursuits of conviviality. Taking a Žižekian approach to participatory performance, Daniel Oliver aligns awkwardness with acts of over-identification and with unstable relationships between artists, participants and big Others. His focus will be on moments of awkwardness that arise in the participatory practices of art group Reactor and performance artist David Hoyle.

Daniel Oliver is a performance artist and PhD candidate in the Drama department at Queen Mary, University of London. He focuses on awkwardness, desire, and otherness in participatory performance. He has worked as a solo performance artist and a collaborator across the UK and overseas since 2003. His performance practice experiments with site specificity, incapability and uneasy modes of interactivity. Along with his long term collaborator, Mr Ferris, he is currently reworking a series of performances based on life-mentoring programmes and labyrinths, and bringing forth the future through binaural audio action art.

The reading for this lecture is Ugly Feelings by Sianne Ngai (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005) (Introduction, pp. 1-37)

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