Dr Stuart Andrews
Senior Lecturer in Theatre and Performance
Qualifications: BA PhD
Phone: Work: 01483 68 9639
Room no: 06 NC 01
In my research and teaching, I investigate ways in which artists make sense of a place, and of their situation within that place. In so doing, I consider the practices by which artists point to new understandings of the arts and the ways they reconceive of place in the present. I focus, primarily, on contemporary performance and installation art, but I am also interested in the ways in which theories and practices of performance can contribute to discussions on, and experiences of, architecture and environment.
Through this work, I am particularly concerned with the ways in which artists attend to changing practices and experiences of place, and to challenges to a place, particularly environmental change and economic conditions. Through this work, I contribute to emerging debates in performance, particularly on mobility in everyday life, experiences of architecture, and practices of site-specific performance. Beyond performance, I consider how ideas and practices of art and performance can contribute productively to allied fields, specifically architecture, cultural geography, material culture and psychology.
- Performances of home
- Elements of architecture
- Experiences and practices of urban and rural environments
- Conditions, changes and challenges:
- environmental change,
- economic decline, deindustrialization, de-population,
- placemaking and regeneration.
Place and Practice at Points of Intersection
- Mobility, mobile cultures, restrictions to mobility
- Moorings, and points/acts of intersection between places
- Contemporary performance and installation practice
- Durational and iterative arts practice
- Experience and experience design (see publications with Spence and Frohlich)
I am currently working with Dr Matthew Wagner (Surrey) on a joint author monograph on the door in theatre and performance. This builds on a BA/LEverhulme-funded research project on the door in theatre and performance, which resulted in a symposium and two practical workshop ‘laboratories’.
- 'Placemaking demystified'. International Arts Manager, 12 (2), pp. 12-13. . (2016)
- 'Surge, Sway and Yaw: Mooring Performances in The Boat Project and A Room for London'.
Contemporary Theatre Review,
[ Status: In preparation ]
This article examines performances at moorings in The Boat Project and A Room for London, two projects which both involved performances on and around a boat. In so doing, it advocates ‘mooring performance’ as a critical contribution to discussions on mobility and performance. In their editorial for the first issue of the Mobilities journal (2006), Hannam, Sheller and Urry argue that mobility needs to be understood in combination with moorings, although this perspective has not been fully explored elsewhere. Where Hannam et al. propose that moorings sustain mobility and the flow of capital, this article understands moorings as acts and places of performance, which temporarily bring together people and places. It discusses songs written for The Boat Project and recorded essays in A Room for London that reflect on actual, remembered and imagined experiences of journeys. It considers the significance of location in these mooring performances: The Boat Project at coastal harbours and A Room for London on London’s South Bank. The article concludes that, faced with climate change and economic crisis, mooring performance offers a creative, generative and adaptive engagement with intersections of land and water, people and place that is a negotiation with, as much as a prop for, mobility.
- 'Performative experience design: where autobiographical performance and human-computer interaction meet'.
This contribution identifies theories and practices specific to performance art for the purpose of describing a potentially fruitful area of exchange between non-representational performance and human-computer interaction (HCI). We identify three strands of current HCI research that are already working in this area of overlap, which we have termed 'performative experience design'. We then single out one of these strands, digitally augmented autobiographical performance, for further examination. Digitally augmented autobiographical performance draws on both autobiographical performance, which we see as rooted in performance and performance art, and media sharing, a field of research within HCI. Drawing on our experiences of designing a digital system for autobiographical performance, we offer a series of proposals for HCI research and applications of performative experience design. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
- 'Now, where was I? Negotiating time in digitally augmented autobiographical performance'.
Journal of Media Practice, 13 Article number 3 , pp. 269-284.Repository URL: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/762980/
- 'Performance and the City'.
Theatre Research International, 35 (3), pp. 312-313.Repository URL: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/209772/
- 'A Performance Cosmology: Testimony from the future, evidence of the past'. Studies in Theatre and Performance, Great Britain: 27 (3), pp. 307-308. . (2007)
- 'Surge, Sway and Yaw: Performative moorings in The Boat Project and A Room for London'.
FIRT/IFTR International Federation for Theatre Research. Annual Conference 2013, Barcelona, Spain: RE-ROUTING PERFORMANCE / RE-CAMINANT L’ESCENA (FIRT/IFTR)
[ Status: Unpublished ]
As part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, two quite separate arts projects were created that each included events on and around a boat. In 'The Boat Project', Lone Twin created Collective Spirit, a ‘day sailor’ yacht, which sailed the South East coast of England on its maiden voyage, stopping for performances at harbours and marinas en route. In 'A Room for London', a model of Joseph Conrad’s riverboat Roi des Belges was perched on the roof of the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London and provided ‘London’s most intimate venue’, a pop-up hotel and a space for creative development. The boats provided foci for performances that ranged from momentary ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ sightings from afar to public viewings and events, a day’s sailing or a night on board and longer experiences of supporting or crewing the projects. Between them, the boats were (and this is far from an exhaustive list) seen, touched, sailed, storied, sung, roamed, lived, loved and imagined in ways that were resolutely open. In this paper, I consider the ways in which these performances and the boats themselves were temporarily moored to place. While Collective Spirit made planned stops along a clear route, the recreated Roi des Belges had been cast off course and grounded for a time. To begin to understand performance at temporary stops on and off a route, I develop a theory of performative mooring, to contribute to existing work on mobilities in performance. The paper identifies key features of this theory and applies these to the two projects. In so doing, it discovers languages of the sea that help reconsider site-specific performance.
- 'Return to Isla Blanca: Embodied thinking in family ciné film'.
Performance Studies international conference #17. Technology, Memory, Experience, Utrecht: Performance Studies international conference #17. Camillo 2.0: Technology, Memory, Experience
[ Status: Unpublished ]
From the late 1950s until the early 1980s, my grandparents and parents made a series of ciné films, from the fragmentary to more formed documentary and fiction. In these flickering images, it is family holidays to Spain that stand out. Whether on the mainland or on Ibiza, these films provide a particular thread through the collection. They are often complete films and were produced primarily for the family although in the context of community film culture and competitions. Key films from this area of the collection include A Classic View of Spain, Winter Flight to Ibiza, Passport to Spain, Return to Isla Blanca and España (all undated). The paper details the absence of theoretical writing on ciné film (Nicholson, 2006; Shand, 2008) and proposes performance theory as a mode of engagement with the staging of self, family and culture in these films. In this paper, I draw together theories of performance and sociology to reflect on the formations of ‘technology, memory[, culture] and experience in this family ‘archive’, both as they are evident in the films and in looking back and digitizing, re-playing and questioning their traces in the present. The analysis uses theories of performance as participatory experience, encounter, re-encounter and repertoire (Kester, 2004; Rendell, 2008; Taylor, 2007) to reveal layers of family ‘embodiment of culturally specific symbolic systems’, particularly, the staging of Spain as tourist destination and the location of the family within this frame. I argue that the films sit within wider emerging formations and representations of Spain as tourist destination. These contributions to a ‘tourist Spain’ comprise both formal and informal moments that reveal individuals adapting to their role in a tourist family and film. Through this analysis, I demonstrate that the instances of unfamiliarity and adaptation present particularly intimate, unguarded versions of family performance, revealing embodied thinking, improvisation and rehearsal, as if in preparation for future performances. Critically, I argue that performance analysis of ciné films can reveal particularly rich records of family thinking/actions in (and in response to) unfamiliar surrounds.
- 'Building Brockhole (again): (Re-)Living Landscape in the Lakes'.
Living Landscapes Conference 2009. Abstracts Book., Aberystwyth: Living Landscapes
[ Status: Unpublished ]
The Lake District Visitor Centre at Brockhole provides a focus for tourism in the Lake District National Park. The house and gardens were created in the 1890s and the thirty acres of gardens were designed by the landscape architect, Thomas Mawson. Brockhole was built as a result of the railway, which opened up the Lake District to tourists and wealthy industrialists who commuted weekly into Manchester. Brockhole has been a family home, convalescent home and most recently a visitor centre. It’s view (and over-view) of the Lakeland fells and its multiple incarnations means that Brockhole is a site fundamentally connected to past and present tourist performances in and of ‘Lakeland’. Brockhole is to be developed as ‘a world class visitor attraction’, a process which may involve the demolition of the house and will necessarily reform its tourist framing of the Lakes. This is occurring in the context of the 2006-2030 strategy document, A Vision for the Lake District National Park in 2030. And how to realise it, which addresses the management of the Lakes as a living landscape. In this paper I reflect on my own visits to the lakes and to Brockhole in this climate of change. I consider the view from Brockhole, the perspective that is (and that will be) offered on the Lakeland landscape. I argue that Brockhole provides a critical point from which to consider multiple viewpoints on the staging and re-staging of ‘living landscapes’ in the Lakes. I reflect on Victorian versions of travelling ‘up’ to and of living in the lakes (experience, imaginings, writings, ownership, travel). I consider Brockhole as a point in and on space, one that in 1890 was introduced and which, shortly, will be re-introduced, with the potential of reinscribing myths of place, distance and the past in and on the landscape.
- 'Walking between: Through place and practice'. in Cecchetto D, Cuthbert N, Lassonde J, Robinson D (eds.) Collision: Interarts practice and research
Newcastle upon Tyne : Cambridge Scholars Press
Article number 11 , pp. 163-178.Repository URL: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/741312/
This chapter reports on processes of walking as performance research, both in the discipline of performance but also beyond that discipline, reflecting on the walking that can occur beyond both places and disciplines. The chapter proposes a mode of ‘living enquiry’ that brings together theories in and beyond performance. The research proposes a mode of engaging with intended (tourist) and actual (our individual) performances of place and theories of performing place. It speaks to interdisciplinary research, conducted through individual, experiential enquiry and to research on connections in and between performance, art, experience and place. In Collision: Interarts practice and research. Editors: Cecchetto D, Cuthbert N, Lassonde J, Robinson D. 163-178. Cambridge Scholars Press, Newcastle upon Tyne Dec 2008
- Particles in Space.
Ion Beam Centre, British Science Festival, University of Surrey:
[ Status: Unpublished ]Repository URL: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/741308/
Particles in Space is a model of tourist performance for revealing ideas in a scientific laboratory, in which technology can appear more dominant than the practices and ideas being applied. As scientists examine the back-scattering of particles fromthe use of an ion beam, this performance intervention creates a similar back-scattering of multiple, fragmentary and divergent artistic practices, to be considered by participants. The tourist performance walk engages in scattered practices, which are themselves responses to laboratory practices. The research reframes the movement of tourist practice, using performance to reveal ideas, practices and effects of intervention.
- Please wait with me.
Sightsonic: York International Festival of Digital Arts: Repository URL: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/766663/
In please wait with me, Stuart Andrews collaborates with scientists Ian Gibson and Chris Newell on an installation based around a retro-telephone connected to a simulated international call centre. The voices and sounds experienced by participants are generated in real time using a mixture of speech synthesizers and midi sensors within the telephone. The project responds to Mashiro Mori’s notion of the ‘uncanny valley’ in which participant satisfaction of anthropomorphic beings collapses when the anthropomorphism is excessively literal. By unsettling the drive to anthropomorphism and to realism, the project reveals new opportunities for meaning and experience. Two versions of the ‘conversation’ alternate, which tests participant reactions to specific treatments of a synthetic voice. Data is gathered, both the duration of participant’s engagement with these treatments but also the participant’s spoken responses: thoughts and ideas that are told only to a synthetic voice. The project creates an environment in which to question perceptions of technology, the assumptions of call centre culture and the (de)stabilisation of place and individual identity.
- Call Centre. Leeds Metropolitan University: . (2007)
- TIDE (IDE Art). Queen Mary's University: . (2006)
The Art and Performance of Place
Acting: Performing the Self
Stuart is Admissions Officer for the BA Theatre Studies programme. If you are interested in the programme, please see our programme page, or email with any queries.
Stuart is a member of the International Federation of Theatre Research (FIRT/IFTR) and the Walking Artists' Network (WAN). Theatre Studies is a member of the Standing Conference of Theatre Studies Departments (SCUDD).
Doctoral Research Students
Stuart supervises doctoral research students in performance, with particular focus on place and experience. He would be very interested to hear from potential PhD applicants.