the experience and value of live art

The Experience and Value of Live Art is an innovative research project which addresses the difficult question of what young people ‘get’ from contemporary art. It is a collaboration between Dr Emily Pringle from Tate Learning and Professor Pat Thomson from the School of Education, The University of Nottingham. It is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council Cultural Value programme.

The project operates through two workshops.

Workshop One takes place over 5 days at Tate Modern in October 2013 and involves 15 participants aged between 15 and 25 working with Sara Wookey, an international artist and contemporary dance educator.

Each day Sara will work with participants introducing them to key elements of ‘Trio A’ a seminal piece in the performance/dance canon. She will support them to develop their own dance piece based on the work. Every session will be observed by researchers and filmed by Camilla Robinson, a professional film-maker.  At the end of the 5 days, a public showing of the compositions will be held for an invited audience. The performance and a following discussion will be filmed.


Sara Wookey, photo Guy l’Heureux

The second set of workshops involves the 15 participants working with Camilla in Tate Britain’s new Digital Learning Studio. During these sessions the young people will learn how to edit digital film so that they can collaboratively edit the film footage of the first workshop sessions. They will produce individual films that best represent their experience of participating in the dance sessions and show what they think is the value of the experience.

We hope that the project will produce a richly detailed representation, in both words and images, of the cultural experience of young people involved in live art, in which their voices will be foregrounded. This will be accompanied by an assessment of the value of participatory methods, formative evaluation, and film and social media as research tools.

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