Documentation Action Research Collective (DARC) 

come together to be concerned with the interrogation of performance, documentation and archive. We are interesting in displacing the traditional singular authority of what is remembered by pluralising responses and working always as a collective of multiple and differing perspectives. DARC is Holly Revell, Ernst Fischer, Tara Fatehi Irani, Manuel Vason and Jemima Yong.

DIY: 15 

supported by Live Art Development Agency and Dance4 

Our DIY group was made up of eleven interdisciplinary artists, this was an important condition to our coming together. We were made up of writers, performance makers, photographers, dance practitioners, visual artists and musicians. Over the three days, we did a lot of thinking together, questioning together interspersed with activities that allowed us to meditate on the discourses being had. We went on walks, imitated each other’s gestures, abstracted and created movement shivers, developed photograms, created scores, remembered together, drew together, shared a googledocument, were violent with each other in a digital space, there was a large sheet in the middle of the room which we added questions to everyday. Here is a summation of our inquiries: 

  • Who are the documenters? 
  • What is the role of the documenter? 
  • What lives in the document?
  • How do the tools of documentation affect the document / performance and the perception of the performance?
  • Is a camera more intrusive than a sound recorder?
  • Can documentation become a new work?
  • How do aesthetics and technology influence the way that a performance is perceived and experienced through documentation?
  • How do you document gently, with care and with generosity?
  • What if the performance lacks gentleness, care and generosity? 
  • How can documentation embrace disappearance? 
  • How does memory look?
  • Is the point to archive as much as possible? 
  • Why do we call it ‘documentation’ when it isn’t?
  • Will doing this workshop make me a better documenter? 
  • How can I frame without control?
  • Who owns the document and who does it serve? 
  • Does documentation have a gender? 
  • When is the document redundant? 
  • Can one document supersede another? When we want to forget? When it’s wrong?  
  • What are the ethics of documentation? 
  • Why do we document? 
  • What is worthy of being documented?
  • What is worthy of NOT being documented? 
  • What is the ‘investment’ of the document?
  • Who is the document for? What is it for? 
  • What is the relationship between value, collection and preservation? 
  • What are the differences between a collective documentation and a collage of independent points of view?
  • When does documentation start?
  • What lives between the anxiety to document for preservation and the loss of the original?
  • How can documentation also be a process rather than a fixed object, product or residue? And if so, why should it be presented as a process?
  • Can the act of documentation be ephemeral (i.e not for future reference?) 
  • Who is inside the work? Who is outside the work? 
  • Documentation or evaluation? 
  • How does documentation relate to time? 
  • What emerges from chaos? How does one document the chaos of making? 
  • When do we decide not the document? How do we present the undocumented work? 
  • Does the document need to know if the work itself doesn’t? 
  • What does the document know? Understand? Clarify? Fix? 
  • How do you document the invisible?
  • What is a failed document? 
  • Can and do we need to trust the document? 
  • How do we trust documents? 
  • What lives between improvisation of documentation and the pressure or expectation to document? 
  • Do you need to believe in the work to document it? Do you need to love the work? 
  • What do we mean when we say body as archive?
  • How does the act of documentation change the action? 
  • What senses are employed by documentation? 
  • Does the archive intend to contain all the information? What is the intention of the archive? 
  • Is documentation a stimulus that comes from inside or outside?
  • How does documentation relate to time? 
  • When do we decide not to document? How do we present this undocumented work? 
  • How do we deal with the overflow of documentation?
  • How does one contextualise one’s point of view or vantage point or perspective when creating a document? 
  • How do you then include that context in the document itself? 
  • How does a document change in different socio political contexts?
  • How does the travelling document translate itself?
  • How open or permeable is the documentation to the person encountering it? 
  • What happens when the document invites misinterpretation? 
  • When does a document fail? And who decides? 
  • Can documentation be changed in response to new knowledge?
  • How can we subvert its fixity? 
  • Can the document be provisional?
  • Can the document be uncertain?


Transformance is a methodology in how live performance can be experienced, transformed and translated, employing a range of disciplines in an act of imaginative exchange between artist, witness/documenter, and a wider audience. This project aims to foster a dynamic collaboration between diverse practices in performance and documentation, to blur the lines between the act of performance and the act of documentation. Transformance aims to generate a hybridised live practice by creating and responding through a variety of disciplines evocative of both traditional and alternative documentation methods. This project rejects the notion of the singular perspective in an archive by creating objects and performance responses that belong together in a collection.

Transformance is based around a passion and an interest in exploring what remains (and does not remain) of a performance, and in questioning the seeming contradictions between the ephemeral and the fixed. Through this project, the collective examines modes of subverting conventional expectations of performance documentation. They exercise a connection with other artists’ practice through a participation that produces fluid experimental responses and partial interpretations. Transformance is made from the love of two words ‘Transformation’ and ‘Performance’. It is the name for an active process of exchange and creation catalysed by live performance.

We have worked with Farida Yesmin, Margarita Zafrilla, Something Human and Tempting Failure 2018 artists: Moa Johansson, Hollie Miller and Peter Eason Daniels.

Transformance at Tempting Failure 2018 was supported by Arts Council England. 

Using Format