Liveworks 2021 Program Announcement

LIVEWORKS 2021 1920X1080 Landscape

Performance Space announces full artist line-up for the Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art 2021 program returning 20-24 October

Sydney, Australia: Performance Space has today announced the full artist line up of its forthcoming program for the Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art, 20-24 October 2021 with first release tickets on sale from September 2.

Amidst ongoing upheaval for arts events across Australia and internationally, Performance Space remains committed to presenting a platform for high calibre, boundary-pushing work from artists, for its seventh year of Festival programming. Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art 2021 will work within the current climate of possibilities to realise its festival program with a vision to enliven digital screens across the world, and invigorate physical spaces at their home at Carriageworks (pending Covid-19 restrictions and health advice in late September). 

Jeff Khan, Artistic Director and CEO, Performance Space said: ‘This year, we are announcing our ticket releases for the program in two stages, with our final group of artists’ projects going live on September 22. This is so that we can plan the festival according to the most up-to-date health advice and directives, and give artists and audiences alike the surety that what we’re announcing can actually go ahead. Liveworks 2021 features some of the most brilliant, luminous, inventive and resilient artists of our current times, and I am thrilled to be presenting their work as a beacon of hope in this chaotic and unpredictable moment in history.’

Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art 2021 will offer audiences the opportunity to experience art that affirms our capacity for renewal, wonder and transformation with internationally recognised artists announced for this year including Sue Healey (Australia), Luke George (Australia) and Daniel Kok (Singapore), SJ Norman (Australia) and Joseph M. Pierce (USA), Amrita Hepi (Australia), Cherine Fahd (Australia), Ivey Wawn (Australia), Julie-Anne Long (Australia), Field Theory (Australia), and Natasha Tontey (Indonesia). 

Liveworks 2021 emerges in three program streams: Live Futures, a new series of artist-led conversations about the future, Live Dreams, a dynamic platform for works-in-progress, exploring the art of tomorrow and Live Now, the presentation of captivating, bold new experimental art from the Asia-Pacific, expanding our perspective on what’s possible.

From September 2, audiences will be invited to view the impressive full artist line up for the Liveworks 2021 program on the Performance Space website and purchase tickets for the first round of digital events including its industry-leading Live Futures and Live Dreams platforms. 

Khan continues: ‘Performance Space’s digital events, which we initiated last year for Liveworks 2020, seek to create surprising, meaningful and transformative encounters between artists and audiences, in an era where physical gatherings have become virtually impossible. Far from the formulaic live stream of a panel discussion or static camera at the back of a theatre, our digital commissions and programs for Liveworks explore new possibilities for liveness and expand our sense of what live performance can mean in the digital realm.   

We have always conceived Liveworks as an Asia Pacific festival and these digital events enable our audiences to stay connected with art from across the region. They also allow us to nurture international collaboration at a time when Australia’s borders remain resolutely closed. A cross-border, participatory experience—where the performance takes place in multiple locations around the world simultaneously—is impossible to replicate in a traditional theatre or gallery environment, and we are thrilled to support artists’ visionary approaches to these new artistic possibilities.’



LIVE NOW – A program of new experimental art, expanding our perspective on what’s possible.

Germination (23 September - 24 October) and Virtual Nursery (20-24 October) - Hundreds + Thousands (Multi-City)

Hundreds + Thousands (Multi-City): a small art movement and a year-long social choreographic process enlisting the participation of plants as collaborators, mediators and audience.  Through Germination—their online workshop series—you will join artists Luke George (Australia) and Daniel Kok (Singapore) to devise a series of collaborations, performances and happenings with your own chosen plant companions. Joining fellow “plantitas” from Sydney, Perth and Hong Kong, you and your plants will build this movement from the ground up, from the comfort of your own home.

The Germination workshops will culminate in a digital exhibition—Virtual Nursery, a free exhibition of 100 digital artefacts co-created by plant-lovers and their plants from across the world, presenting what happens when hundreds of humans and plants come together to commune and collaborate. Relating with plants from the basis that they know (what do plants know?), Hundreds + Thousands (Multi-City) rearranges the experience of the visual, the sensual and the sensible.  

Hundreds + Thousands (Multi-City): Germination workshops commence in the lead up to the festival from September 23 and a ticket includes access to further public activities in the Hundreds + Thousands series in 2022.

The Order of Autophagia: The supper of terror, the lunch for the uncanny, unapologetic snacks on the apocalyptic moment - Natasha Tontey (Thursday 21- Saturday 22 October, Midnight-1am)

Celebrated Indonesian artist, Natasha Tontey presents her work The Order of Autophagia: The supper of terror, the lunch for the uncanny, unapologetic snacks on the apocalyptic moment, a midnight dinner party, inviting you to consider a perspective on cannibalism that speaks urgently—and with dark humour—to our times. Could the practice of autophagia, where humans self-cycle their energy by eating themselves, challenge our culture of overconsumption and waste?  

In this anarchic digital experience, Tontey challenges colonial assumptions about cannibalism and offers a speculative way of thinking about anthropophagy, posing radical solutions to our ecological problems and our bad habit of consumption. In homage to Grand Guignol—the gruesome Parisian realist theatre of the 1890s—Tontey creates an immersive digital world and invites guests to attend her performative midnight feast. You are invited to dial in (and dine) from your own home, in costume, on faux cannibalistic recipes as you enter The Order of Autophagia

Knowledge of Wounds: S/kin - SJ Norman and Joseph M. Pierce (23 September - 21 December 2021)

Curated by SJ Norman (Koori, Wiradjuri descent) and Joseph M. Pierce (citizen of the Cherokee Nation), the Knowledge of Wounds: S/kin series of digital gatherings and events unpacks notions of S/kin through the knowledge and expertise of First Nations artists and cultural workers from across the world.

Unfolding as a series of digital events over the course of an entire solar year, Knowledge of Wounds continues to evolve as a mercurial presenting platform and trans-hemispheric network of First Nations and diasporic artists and cultural workers. Knowledge of Wounds focuses on the intersections of Indigeneity, gender, sexuality, and the body. 

Knowledge of Wounds: S/kin Keynote with Kim TallBear & Daniel Browning (Thursday 21 October, 10am)

Dr. TallBear will speak with Bundjalung journalist Daniel Browning on her work on critical non-monogamy. TallBear situates her critique of the assumed, settler-imposed norms of dyadic coupledom and marriage within the Indigenous ethics of Right Relationship. 

LIVE DREAMS - A dynamic platform for works-in-progress, exploring the art of tomorrow.

In 2020, global events created enormous instability and uncertainty for experimental practice. In response, Performance Space created LIVE DREAMS, a new platform for artists to share works-in-progress and ideas in development in a dynamic and responsive environment. Taking place both in physical space and online, Live Dreams enables artists and audiences to continue connecting with each other across borders and geographic space. Live Dreams has offered us an exciting glimpse into current developments in experimental art, and has been a crucible for experimentation and conversation.

Performance Space has expanded this program as part of Liveworks 2021, inviting four Guest Curators from across the Asia-Pacific to theme each stream with powerful provocations as we navigate the turbulence of our current moment. All works will be live streamed.

  • MOSHI MOSHI?! curated by Kyoto Experiment (Japan) (Wednesday 20 October) - a Japanese phrase used when answering the phone. A question to an unknown other. Works that deal with intimacy, voice or presence and absence of the body.
  • PORTAL curated by Emma Webb (Vitalstatistix, SA) (Thursday 21 October)  - works that invite us to leave the current world behind, celebrating the liminal drift or the radical leap, the shapeshifter, the departure and liberation, an unbound break away from this time, politic or place.
  • TRANSCEND curated by Choy Ka Fai (Singapore/Berlin) (Friday 22 October) - works that explore the aspiration for self-transcendence, and the psychological phenomena of liminal spaces, expanding boundaries of oneself. 
  • ISLAND curated by Performance Space (Saturday 23 October) - what does it mean to be on (or be) and island? Works that interrogate counter-currents of isolation, paradise, protectionism and sovereignty amidst shifting weather patterns and uncertain futures.
  • ANCESTRY curated by Nisha Madhan (Basement Theatre NZ) (Sunday 24 October)  - works that channel forgotten, stolen or repressed creativity through remembering one’s ancestry.


LIVE FUTURES - A brand-new series of artist-led conversations about the future.

  • Would The Real Tusk Please Stand Up? Keynote lecture by Rosanna Raymond (Saturday 23 October)
  • Remapping Ecologies curated by Holly Williams (Thursday 21 October)
  • Kin-Ship-Matter curated by Dr Léuli Eshrāghi (Wednesday 20 October)
  • Reimagining Touch curated by Zahra Stardust (Friday 22 October)
  • The Inheritance of the Future curated by Clothilde Bullen (Sunday 24 October)

These conversations offer us opportunities to centre First Nations knowledge systems, reset our relationship to the environment, and rediscover pleasure, joy and connection. We feel like this is the critical work we need to do, and we hope Live Futures and the Liveworks Festival will offer us some strength, strategies and ways of getting there.​​

Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art 2021 first release tickets are on sale 2 September 2021 through the Performance Space website with tickets ranging Free - $80.


The second round of Liveworks 2021 projects is led by renowned artists Sue Healey, Amrita Hepi, Cherine Fahd, Ivey Wawn, Julie-Anne Long, Field Theory and the acclaimed Day for Night.  Full program details of the presentation of these works (with the intent for them to be live) will be released alongside second release tickets, announced on September 22. This later release is designed to accommodate up-to-date Covid-19 restrictions and health advice. Planned to take place in-person at Carriageworks, each project has a digital contingency in the event that venues remain closed in Sydney.

For further information and ticket bookings please visit:

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