The Festival of Live Art is about theatre and performances that throw out the script. At these shows “live” doesn’t just imply live performance: the work itself is alive, evolving, breathing. It shifts the role of the audience from passive, sit-and-watch observation to participatory, even controlling influence, and it’s never the same twice.

Worktable by Kate McIntosh
Kate McIntosh invites “audiences” to physically build the products of her installation. McIntosh has collected 750 objects of varying types. Participants will be given one – it could be a cuckoo clock or a pair of pants – and asked to disassemble it. Then they’ll be given someone else’s deconstructed object and asked to fix it. Can it be put back together in the same way? Not always. But the end result will be a series of sculptural objects forever transformed by the audience.
Worktable is at North Melbourne Town Hall from March 14–25.
More information here.

The New National Sport by Cigdem Aydemir
Cigdem Aydemir is playing tennis, but her opponent isn’t human. On March 24, Aydemir will spend several hours returning serves from an automatic tennis-ball machine, which is configured to fire every time someone tweets the word “terror” (including retweets). Who knows what form – and what frequency – the global conversation around terrorism will take on that day? Regardless, Aydemir is Muslim. She has no choice but to remain vigilant, hitting back everything thrown at her.
The New National Sport will take place in Argyle Square on March 24.
More information here.

TLSQ X ASMR by The Letter String Quartet
In an increasingly loud world, the YouTube phenomena of ASMR videos (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) is all about quiet. Kind, gentle voices; a surface, touched softly; the sound of someone chewing. For an ASMR enthusiast, these sounds evoke something akin to euphoria. The Letter String Quartet uses these sensation-based sounds to create a musical performance intended to propel audiences into a state of bliss.
TLSQ X ASMR is at North Melbourne Town Hall from March 21–25.
More information here.

Stone Tape Theory by S.J. Norman
Stone Tape theory is an obscure philosophy that proposes inanimate objects and materials, such as wood and stone, can record sound like a tape. It’s a fascinating notion positing that physical spaces have memories. S.J. Norman’s “audio palimpsest” takes place in a dark room across several days. Performers recorded memories will layer on top of each other, creating an ever-changing verbal soundscape with multiple narratives. Will it be hypnotic? Unsettling? It will be different every day.
Stone Tape Theory is at Melbourne Town Hall from March 21–25.
More information here.

Mx.Red Waackin’ Ball by Jonathan Homsey
Jonathan Homsey is mashing dance and augmented reality to bring us Mx.Red (pronounced “misread”), a queer, futurist experimental art project blurring the lines between genders. There are a few elements to Homsey’s project: firstly, an installation uses motion capture to blur the digital realm and live choreography. Then, there’s the Mx.Red Waackin’ Ball, a dance experience based around waacking, a disco dance style that emerged in LA’s LGBTQI clubs in the ’70s, and was popularised on Soul Train. Bring your earphones.
Mx.Red Waackin Ball is at Footscray Community Arts Centre on March 23.
More information here.

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