]performance s p a c e[
“We are bodies, moored briefly in time and space, here, together, now. Performance art offers us fluid ways of understanding our environments and experiences. It is a way of living - a mode of communicating, knowing, remembering, and dreaming. It reminds us that we are always in relationship to that which surrounds us - the human and non-human entities making up our world(s).”
]performance s p a c e[ is the UK’s leading performance art specific organisation. Our mission: to facilitate the prime conditions for performance art(ists) in the UK and abroad. We are committed to supporting challenging and difficult practices that embrace performance art as an ever-evolving medium.
Founded in 2011, ]ps[ remains an artist-led initiative drawing on anti-institutional lineages and DIY working practices. In 2022 ]ps[ became mobile, shedding permanent physical space for the first time in our history.
We imagine ]ps[ as a conceptual space - mirroring the ephemerality and fluidity of our field. The mobile ]ps[ structure is a framework which best holds our programming, producing and network building activities. Our organisation continues to cultivate time-based work that critically pushes the boundaries of body, time and space - while championing artists and practices that make the established genres and methodologies of the field more porous.
We seek to be in community with those with whom we may create new commons, outside of mainstream art education and commercial structures. ]ps[ is committed to internationalism and the mobility of people and practices. We initiate and participate in local, national and international networks, co-created with myriad communities of artists, producers, curators, researchers and audiences.
Our programmes and projects take place in spaces and sites across London and elsewhere. We have close working relationships with organisations including the Live Art Development Agency, Live Art UK, Ugly Duck, and Venice International Performance Art Week. ]performance s p a c e[ is housed at VSSL studio in Deptford, London.
September 2022︎︎︎ about ]performance s p a c e[
In recent years, ]performance s p a c e [ has explored hybrid programming across physical and digital spaces. Folkestone’s Creative Quarter was our hub - and our exhibitions, festivals and events spread to offsite locations in Kent and to partner venues in London. Earlier this year, following the delivery of TIDING; a day of performance art at historic sites in Kent - ]performance s p a c e[ entered a period of development, leaving our physical premises in Folkestone to explore a more mobile model of working. During this time, we have worked from VSSL studio, a project space and artists’ studio in London, which is also managed by ]ps[ directors Benjamin and Joseph.
Our development phase continues and we are fundraising to support this process. In part, these resources will be used to support proper consultation with our current and future artistic communities around what opportunities, contexts and activities the field needs to flourish - now and in the future.
One of the conclusions we have drawn from our development activities so far is that ]ps[ should remain a mobile platform. We imagine ]ps[ as a conceptual space - mirroring the ephemerality and fluidity of our field. A mobile ]ps[ is a framework which can better hold our programming, producing and network building activities. Much of the most exciting work ]ps[ has been engaged in across the last few years has happened offsite, in temporary homes and out on the Land. In committing to this mobile model, ]ps[ can lean into a more nuanced relation to site, seeking out idiosyncratic spaces better suited to the exceptional ephemeral performance works our communities create.
At this moment we are also thinking about how the ]ps[ team works together. Benjamin continues in their role as Director, leading on curatorial and day to day activities. Joseph continues to collaborate with Benjamin, while responding to other commitments, and will take on the role of Associate Director, working on strategic development and partnerships. We continue to work closely with our Project Manager, Ash McNaughton.
]ps[ has continually reshaped its working practices throughout various geographies across the last decade. This current model seems to currently best serve both our organization and communities. Benjamin and Joseph will work from VSSL studio in Deptford, which also houses the ]ps[ archive, and we welcome coffee and face to face encounters. While ]performance s p a c e[ is based at VSSL, our programming will largely happen elsewhere in London and further afield.
Our development activities will continue throughout the winter with a view to continued programming from early Spring 2023. In the meantime, we are developing a number of collaborative relationships in which the ]ps[ team work as creative producers, and we welcome approaches from performance artists who may benefit from producing, production management and support.
Benjamin Sebastian & Joseph Morgan Schofield
︎︎︎ Previous Organisational Development Update: Feburary 2022
A one day seminar exploring pain, excretions, sex, old-age & politics with the legendary performance artist.
Sunday 9th October
Sunday 9th October
Kajoli Ilojak, Salvage Festival, 2019. Photo by Manuel Vason.
finding us...In 2022, ]ps[ has entered a development phase exploring how to best continue to cultivate the prime conditions for performance art and artists in the UK. In this moment we are mobile, though the creation of permanenet physical space remains at the heart of the ]ps[ project.
In the meantime, you will find locations and directions for physical gatherings on the relevant offerings pages, and we can otherwise be reached online:
team︎︎︎ about ]performance s p a c e[
Benjamin Sebastian, director and co-founder
Benjamin Sebastian (AUS/UK 1980) is a visual artist & curator specialising in time-based media & performance art. They are director of ]performance s p a c e [ (Folkestone); the only performance art specific gallery, studio & residency space in the UK - as well as co-director of VSSL Studio in Deptford, London. Their research interests span artificial intelligence, spiritualism, magick, gender, sexuality and decolonial practice(s). Benjamin is a member of the national consortium; Live Art UK.
Benjamin leads on artistic direction, curation and collaborations at ]ps[. They are the lead contact for the organisaiton.
Benjamin Sebastian, 2019. Photo by Manuel Vason.
Joseph Morgan Schofield, 2020. Photo by Fenia Kotspoulou.
Joseph Morgan Schofield, associate director
Joseph Morgan Schofield (UK 1993) is a performance artist. Understanding acts of gathering and communing as central to their practice, Joseph’s work incorporates curating, producing, facilitating, mentoring and teaching. Joseph organises FUTURERITUAL, a performance and research project considering ritual and queer futurity. They co-produce move close and Live Art Club [London], and are a co-founder of The Sunday Skool for Misfits, Exprimenters and Dissenters. They are the co-founder of VSSL studio (London, UK) and work for The Place (London, UK) as Programme Producer.
Between 2020 and 2022 Joseph was co-director of ]performance s p a c e[. They currently work with ]ps[ on strategic, governance and financial matters.
Ash McNaughton, project manager
Ash McNaughton (UK 1990) is a Folkestone-based Scottish artist working primarily in performance art. Ash is a co-initiator of SITE, a site responsive performance art platform. They have worked with ]performance s p a c e[ since 2018.
Ash McNaughton,. Image courtesy of the artist.
Marcin Gawin. Image by Aleksandra Gawin.
Marcin Gawin, company coordinator
Marcin Gawin (PL 1994) is a Bristol based, interdisciplinary artist using participatory performance, and multi-sensory stimuli to explore carnality, occultism, and queerness. Marcin's work is informed by the background in visual arts and growing up in Poland’s Spiritual Capital.