material / rearranged / to / be

Lead Author:

Siobhan Davies


Andrea Buckley, Siobhan Davies, Helka Kaski, Charlie Morrissey, Efrosini Protopapa, and Matthias Sperling, Jeremy Millar, Emma Smith, and design duo Glithero (Tim Simpson and Sarah van Gameren)



Unit of Assessment

33: Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies

Output Category:

I - Performance

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material / rearranged / to / be (performance installation)

Performance Installation Video Documentation

27 minute edit. Performance installation was ongoing 6 hours daily. 20-28 January 2017. Barbican Curve, London.

Interpretation Stands (moveable stands as part of the installation)
  1. Siobhan Davies and Helka Kaski “Figuring” Performance installation in three parts [one-page text]
  2. Charlie Morrissey “Actions from the Encyclopaedia of Experience” Performance installation [one-page text]
  3. Efrosini Protopapa “Disputatio I” One-to-one live performance (Performance: Pano Masti) “Disputatio II” Audio installation “Disputatio III” Video loop [one-page text]
  4. Matthias Sperling “Loop Atlas I” Performance with live-capture video “Loop Atlas II” [one-page text]
  5. Jeremy Millar “Daphne, 2013” HD Video “Melancholy Mobiles” Mixed media [one-page text]
  6. Emma Smith with Efrosini Protopapa “I + I : Variations on Alteroception” Installation: Copper, steel, gauche on paper. Live Experiments: Performed by Emma Smith [one-page text]
  7. Glithero (Tim Simpson and Sarah van Gameren) with Siobhan Davies and Helka Kaski “Datum” Durational performance with bespoke tools [one-page text]
  8. Andrea Buckley “In Tension (Body)” Performance installation with live-capture video “In Tension (Wobble)” Performance installation with video “In Tension (Environment)” Video loop [one-page text]


Summary Statement (300 words)

material / rearranged / to / be (hereafter material) was commissioned by Siobhan Davies Dance as a research into how a collective could create a performance installation that could be presented in multiple venues in an ever-changing arrangement. One aim was to establish the conditions for the commissioned artists to collaboratively make a family of individual works that would be presented together as material. Each separate work was the responsibility of the individual artist and owned by them. The common subject they chose to work with was the Aby Warburg collection. The creation took place over nine months and concluded with six weeks of collective making.

The collaborators comprised six dance and two visual artists and a design duo. Each brought their own skills, questions and materials to the project. Each worked alone, sometimes in couples, but always working together within the whole. This combination of knowledges, interactions and processes simultaneously drove the direction of individual and collective making. It also revealed a key general insight regarding different relations to making time. Those who made their work in physical materials tended to begin with a concept then build the work. Those who learnt by doing and redoing physically undertook a different exercise from which the concept emerged.

Re-arrangeable screens were used to define alternative spaces throughout the duration of the installation. The moving of the screens enabled the emergence of prescribed spaces which framed one work in relationship to another differently. These relationships altered as other iterations of the works were combined in various sequences and spaces. A score was developed for each of four venues which included both the individual works and the movement of the screens. This built on and extended our experience with previous gallery and museum-based works such as Table of Contents (2013-2016).1


  1. Table of Contents (2014), Siobhan Davies Dance, Premiered at ICA Theatre, London, on 8 Jan 2014


Contextual Information

Commissioned Artists
Contributing Fellows
Development Dates
Tour Dates (audience figures)
Related Talks and Workshops
Barbican layout:

This images shows laying out the installation in the Barbican Curve during creation.

Additional Links:
Page Credits & Acknowledgements:

Header Photo: Charlie Morrissey “Actions from the Encyclopaedia of Experience” Performance installation © Pari Nadei

With thanks to generous support from Cockayne — Grants for the Arts and The London Community Foundation.

Supported using public funding by the Arts Council England.