Gifts of the Spirit: Automatic Writing
Ron Athey (US)
A performance installation conceived, scored and directed by Ron Athey with automatic composition and music performance by Othon Mataragas. Ron Athey will read extracts from his memoir, Gifts of the Spirit, accompanied by 16 automatic writers, a piano, 6 typists, 4 editors, 1 reader, and a glossolalia chorus – all in a hypnotic trance. The performance focuses upon notions of channelling through automatic writing. This performance is sited in Trove, Birmingham’s former science museum and the setting of Dominic Johnson’s Departure in Fierce 2011.
Ron Athey has a rich association with Fierce Festival notably through his curation of the multi-artform platform Visions of Excess which featured scores of invited artists in Fierce 2003. Athey has been a crucial figure in the development of performance art, body art, club performance; the intersections between punk, queer and alternative cultures; sexual politics, specifically in relation to queer practices and the politics of HIV/AIDS; and the representation of religion and ritual.