Approved: 22.06.2017

Thomas John Bacon

Artist, Curator, Lecturer / academic

Archived
Approved: 22.06.2017

My main focus is upon novel applications of phenomenology to the study of performance art, specifically body art, a form which has undergone limited phenomenological analysis in existing scholarship. Analysing the Being of the performance artist in the process of performative action, where the material is their own, “lived body” (Merleau-Ponty 2002), focusing on how their presence is perceived, produced and experienced through spectator, space, and artist. This is underpinned by key phenomenological theories from Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1968, 2002), considering embodied performing and spectating experientially. With additional insight from Martin Heidegger’s theories (2009a, 2009b), I propose that a multiplicity of Self/s are perceived through an investment in physical, psychological or aesthetic risk. 

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Artist Statement

My main focus is upon novel applications of phenomenology to the study of performance art, specifically body art, a form which has undergone limited phenomenological analysis in existing scholarship. Analysing the Being of the performance artist in the process of performative action, where the material is their own, “lived body” (Merleau-Ponty 2002), focusing on how their presence is perceived, produced and experienced through spectator, space, and artist. This is underpinned by key phenomenological theories from Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1968, 2002), considering embodied performing and spectating experientially. With additional insight from Martin Heidegger’s theories (2009a, 2009b), I propose that a multiplicity of Self/s are perceived through an investment in physical, psychological or aesthetic risk. 

Going forwards, I am interested in the queering of normative curatorial agendas, such as by foregrounding the risk of failure as evidenced at TF, and examination of the affect of/ for documentation upon the phenomenological embodiment and/or disembodiment of the live artist. I also wish to explore psychogenesis and queerness through phenomenology, particularly the body in extremis as it pertains to my own practice. 

CV & Education

PRACTICE AS RESEARCH:

Lines in the Landscape Residency - Sidney Nolan Trust, Apr 2017
Tempting Failure: TF2016 (Artistic Director) - Multiple Venues; London, Feb-Jul 2016 PRESENCE/s (with Joke Lanz) - Ausland; Berlin, Dec 2015
2 > 4: AIR (with FK Alexander) - Forest Fringe; Edinburgh, Aug 2015
Tempting Failure: SN2015 (Artistic Director) - Latitude Festival, Jul 2015 PASSION/Flower (with Ernst Fischer) - Latitude Festival, Jul 2015
PERCEPTON:Lab - Mobius Gallery; Boston MA, USA, Jun 2015
SELF/s PORTRAIT - Panoply Performance Lab; Brooklyn NYC, USA, Jun 2015
1 > 4: FIRE (with FK Alexander) - Pearce Institute; Buzzcut, Glasgow, Mar 2015 Tempting Failure: TF2014 (Artistic Director) - Multiple Venues; Bristol, Nov 2014
The Lived Body: REDUX - The Island; Tempting Failure, Bristol, Nov 2014 PASSION/Flower (with Ernst Fischer) - Das Theater der Zukunft; MPA Berlin, Germany, May 2014
SELF/s PORTRAIT - Birmingham Cathedral; HFWAS, Oct 2013
SELF/s PORTRAIT - ACUD Gallery; MPA Berlin, Germany, May 2013
Tempting Failure: TF2013 (Artistic Director) - The Island; Bristol, Apr 2013
The Lived Body - Old Shop; Buzzcut, Glasgow, Mar 2013
Tempting Failure: TF2012 (Artistic Director) - ]performance space[ London, Mar 2012 [RE]authoring through Sacrifice - The Glue Factory; Buzzcut, Glasgow, Mar 2012 Traces of Being IDENTITY EXISTENCE OBJECT - Seven Arts; Leeds, Mar 2011
Traces of Being i - Act Art 8; Metalworks, London, Jun 2010
Psychosis - Camden People’s Theatre; London, Nov 2009
Purification [Psicosi Residency] - Rifrazioni Festival; Italy, 2009
Tintarella Di Luna (Dir. Ernst Fischer) - Rifrazioni Festival; Italy, 2009
Psychosis - Camden People’s Theatre; London, Feb 2009
Erosion - Chelsea Theatre; Sacred Festival, London, 2008
Book of Blood by Leibniz - Chelsea Theatre; Sacred Festival, London, 2008 

CONFERENCES & SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS:

2017 - Turf Projects Gallery, London Speaker: Artist Crit.
Feat. Thomas John Bacon

2016 - Live Art Development Agency, London
Speaker: In-Utero Roundtable
Feat. Thomas John Bacon, Anne Bean, Esther Neff, Lois Keidan, Chelsea Coon, Adam York Gregory & Gillian Jane Lees.

2015 - Association for Performance Art Berlin (APAB) - GlogaAir, Berlin Speaker: Evolving a Curatorial Practice
Thomas John Bacon speaking as FK Alexander.

2014 - Tempting Failure 2014 - The Island, Bristol
Speaker: Paying Artists: programming performance platforms - the challenges and successes - Chaired by Kerry Irvine (ScenePool / Bath Spa University)
Feat. Thomas John Bacon - Tempting Failure , Hannah Clark - Bristol Biennial, Simon Day - Theatre Bristol, BE Festival, & Plasticine Men, Tania Harrison - Latitude Festival, Adam Young - LAB, Joseph Young - a-n Artist's Information Company.

2014 - Tempting Failure 2014 - The Island, Bristol
Speaker: Bodily boundaries: duration & limits of Self
Chaired by Dr. Paul Clarke (University of Bristol / Uninvited Guests) Feat. Thomas John Bacon, Hellen Burrough, Chelsea Coon & Kali Rose.

2013 - Tempting Failure 2013 - The Island, Bristol
Panel Chair: Perceiving a Lived Body through Transgression, Play, Failure & Duration (Space) Feat. Tom Bresolin, Dani Abulhawa, Vera Chok, Ernst Fischer.

2012 - Extreme Rituals - Arnolfini, Bristol
Panel Chair: Sound/Music/Noise in Performance Art
Feat. Ron Athey, Leif Elggren, Vicky Langan and Holly Ingleton. 

MEDIA CONTRIBUTIONS:

2016 - ‘Top Pick by Thomas John Bacon, Artistic Director Tempting Failure 2016,’ This is Unbound, Live Art Development Agency
2016 - ‘Richard Herring on Tempting Failure,’ The Metro
2016 - ‘Tempting us to the Edge of Art,’ Angela Martin, Croydonist

2016 - ‘Tempting Failure: London’s performance art festival where something is bound to go wrong,’ Bridget Galton, Islington Gazette
2016 - ‘Challenging Spaces: Access and Performance Art – A roundtable discussion at Tempting Failure festival,’ Nina Muehlemann, Disability Arts Online

2016 - Interviewed for Croydon Radio Art Show
2016 - ‘Coverage of TF2016’, Incident Magazine, New York
2014 - ‘Interview with Thomas John Bacon’ Don’t Panic Online
2014 - ‘Theatre of Risk,’ FK Alexander, Exeunt Magazine
2014 - ‘Diana Damian Martin in conversation with Thomas John Bacon,’ Exeunt Magazine
2014 - ‘My Bristol favourites: Thomas John Bacon,’ B24/7
2014 - Interviewed for BCFM Art Show
2014 - Interviewed for BBC Radio Bristol
2014 - ‘What makes a great theatre festival?,’ Lyn Gardner, The Guardian
2011-2014 - Total Theatre Review, University of Winchester
2012 - ‘Why aren’t people writing about theatre in the south west?,’ Nom De Strip, Plymouth University
2005-2008 - Neo Magazine, Uncooked Media Ltd
2005 - Little White Lies, TCO London Publishing
2004 - The Face, EMAP
2003 - Empire Magazine, Bauer Media
2003-2004 - Front Magazine, Pocket Media
2001-2003 - Virgin Student Film Channel, Virgin (sub-editor) 

OTHER INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE:

What if a plane falls out of the sky? (Consultant Artist) by Idiot Child; UK Tour, 2017 Thomas John Bacon Masterclass - LSBU, London, 2016
Artist Mentor to Alethea Raban, UK, 2014
Requiem (Director) - Olympus Theatre, Bristol, 2013

5 Day Failure Workshop (Leader) - The Island, Bristol, 2013
The Failed Method (Director) - Olympus Theatre, Bristol, 2012
Mountain Language & New World Order (Director) by Harold Pinter - Taylor Theatre, Gloucestershire, 2012
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Director) by William Shakespeare - Llanthony Priory, 2012
Polar Bears (Director) by Mark Haddon - in aid of the charity Mind, 2011
Phaedra’s Love (Director) by Sarah Kane - Taylor Theatre, Gloucestershire, 2010
100 (Director) by Christopher Heimann - Taylor Theatre, Gloucestershire, 2009 

Celebration (Director) by Harold Pinter - Taylor Theatre, Gloucestershire, 2008 Products of Conception II (SilverSmith Dance), Nightingale Theatre, Brighton, 2008 [meditation] - Wired Up Festival, London, 2007
the abject scream - Whitechapel Gallery; London, 2007
avarice + envy - Fuck the Back Row Festival; Camden, London 2007
Products of Conception II (Dir. Lorraine Smith), Laban, London, 2008
pi (version 3) - Battersea Arts Centre; London, 2006
Frightened Ones (Dresden Dolls Tour) - Cambridge Junction; Cambridge, 2006 The Keeper (Dresden Dolls Tour) - The Astoria; London, 2006
Club Class (FrenchMottershead) - Tate Modern, London, 2006
where did all the colour go? - Goldsmiths, London, 2005
Forest of Shadows - Chisenhale Dance Space, London, 2005
Deep End (Dir. Geraldine Pilgrim for Corridor) - Marshall Street Baths; London, 2005 what AKTION - site specific: Islington, London, 2003
wounDED, East End Collaborations Platform; QMUL, London, 2002
Abjection Monologues & WOTSpring - site specific: Tower Hamlets, London, 2001