Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art set to push artistic boundaries and create unexpected experiences

PS Liveworks Samara Hersch, Body of Knowledge, 2019 - photo by Pier CarthewNow in its fifth year, Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art is internationally known as a creative platform for captivating new work. For the next 11 days, Performance Space brings together the most groundbreaking artists of our time to push artistic boundaries and create unexpected experiences. Highlights include:

A continuous self-vibrating region of intensities:
Gail Priest and Thomas Burless present an exquisite installation and world premiere performance where science, sound and sculpture meet in. Inspired by the lesser-known work of pioneering vocalist Margaret Watts Hughes and her 19th century invention, the Eidophone – the artists have created a collection of sculptures and devices that convert the human voice into a mesmerising display of visual patterns and effects. Each night, vocalists Carolyn Connors and Sonya Holowell join Priest to sing these objects to life, enabling us to hear and see sound at the same time.

Body of Knowledge:
This intimate new work by Samara Hersch is performed by teenagers who call into the theatre on mobile phones, is a powerful meditation on age and change: changes to bodies, changes in attitude, and changes to life. Questions of boundaries, sexuality, pleasure, shame, pain, consent, ageing, grief, and death are all on the table as teens from across Australia and around the globe chat with the audience in real time from their bedrooms. Body of Knowledge is a surprising, challenging, and tender experience exploring how we pay attention (or not) to our own and others’ bodies co-existing in time and space.

One of the most electric new figures in Australian dance, Daddy is the latest work from Joel Bray. From the sugarcoated idyll of childhood reminiscence to the glazed excesses of queer adulthood, Joel’s story proves that a sweet tooth is a dangerous thing. An exploration of his insatiable cravings for father figures and the imperial all consuming hunger for Aboriginal Australia, Daddy probes one of the paradoxes of our age: when so much is on offer, why are we left so hungry?

Day for Night:
The sixth edition of Liveworks’ beloved queer performance and party extravaganza is set to take audiences on an epic journey through queer space and time. As day becomes night, a series of newly commissioned performances and exquisite installations see some of Australia’s brightest and best queer artists reinvent and re-figure their work for the glittering unfurling of Sydney’s hottest queer art party.

Double Double:
Celebrated dancers and choreographers Jo Lloyd and Deanne Butterworth are joined by interdisciplinary artists Evelyn Ida Morris and Tina Havelock Stevens – each on drums – in an epic meeting of four performers where spontaneous compositions and formations emerge out of a physical and sonic mania. Motion and noise slap against each other as tension escalates, making for a riveting sensory experience.

Other Tempo:
A dynamic performance installation of modified drum kits and visual scores by artist Lauren Brincat – a group of celebrated women drummers – from emerging experimental musician Alyx Dennison to legendary former Go Betweens drummer Lindy Morrison – collectively present a unique approach to the sonic, physical and sculptural properties of their instruments.

Tricks of the Mouth:
A curated showcase of groundbreaking female Asia Pacific artists, Liquid Architecture will immerse audiences in a series of interconnected performances. This unique program explores tricks of the mouth, chatter, translation, verbalism and linguistic re-coding, and features legendary Japanese musician Phew and Yogyakarta-based speculative coder, designer, and horror-aficionado Natasha Tontey.

Unbearable Darkness:
Choy Ka Fai explores the legacy of the expressive and historic dance form Butoh, questioning its appropriation in Western culture while searching for a new choreographic language for the Asian body in this Australian premiere. Audiences will witness an uncanny cybernetic dance experiment conjuring Butoh master Tatsumi Hijikata from beyond the grave using a spirit medium, live dance, motion capture and a lively digital avatar.

The Unshame Machine:
Iconic Sydney performer and Performance Space alumni Betty Grumble returns with The Unshamed Machine – a pussy printing party and deep-squat disco of experimental bodily becoming, storytelling, sharing and sex. Noting the histories of fellow printmakers, c*nt loving science and defiance, this collaborative performance and installation features some excellent tunes, and says “F*%k the shame machine – power to the pussy.”

The 2019 Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art continues to Sunday 27 October 2019 at Carriageworks. For more information and full program, visit: for details.

Image: Samara Hersch, Body of Knowledge – photo by Pier Carthew