Claire MacDonald, Lenora Champagne and Claire Hind commissioned the writing artists for the 5 minute performance texts. They were interested in generating new short works from writing artists some of whom practice within the field of performance. York / NEW YORK is a significant title in the fact it brings writing together from across the Atlantic and also because the commissioners are working artists based in the two cities. The aim of this project is to be able to map a creative and experimental relationship between York and New York and phase two of this project will look at the relationship between Laurence Sterne and Gertrude Stein and the writing possibilities around this idea.

Curator’s Statement
When thinking about the possibilities of the commissions I decided to ask the artists to consider writing a text for a dictaphone, microphone, and computer, cassette recorder or a telephone. I imagined a space where the participant would have an intimate relationship with the material through such technologies. The ‘old school’ and current technologies enable the reader to record a/their/several versions of the text as an audio recording experience. I was particularly interested in how an artist might choose to write the page in response to their chosen technology and how the participant may encounter that writing by responding to their page and the recording medium. Each commissioned text was housed in a booth for collective participatory installation, and each booth represented the individuality and originality of each writing artist while simultaneously operating together as an eclectic yet connected experience.
Claire Hind

Biographies of Commissioners & Curator

Claire Hind is a Senior Lecturer in Performance at York St John University UK. She has collaborated with Claire MacDonald and Simon Zimmerman on several performance writing projects including 'in bed' which was housed at George Mason University, USA. Claire has directed projects in Russia at the TJUZ Theatre St Petersburg and in Europe - for the Sibiu International Theatre festival and has recently performed her latest work Hotel Two Rooms for the conference - Cultures of Translation: Adaptation in Film and Performance, Cardiff. Claire's practice led research investigates deep and dark play in performance making, with particular attention upon the attitudes and encounters of rehearsing death in live performance. She is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Leeds and is guest editing the Journal of Writing in Creative Practice with Professor Susan Orr. Most recently, Claire collaborated with Claire Macdonald from the UK to curate the international writing for performance symposium Writing Encounters and is currently working towards a Writing Encounters 2 event for 2011 which will include phase 2 of the York / NEW YORK project in collaboration with Lenora Champagne.

Our visit to New York September 2009 to present the online recordings of York / NEW YORK is supported by UK artist Nathan Walker and York St John University Theatre students Hannah Cutting and Hayley Hetherington.

Claire MacDonald Has worked in performance and visual art for the past thirty years as a performer, maker and now as a writer and editor. She is Director of the International Centre for Fine Art Research at the University of the Arts London, a founding editor of Performance Research, and a Contributing Editor to Performing Arts Journal. She is currently developing a long-term project on performance history called Sounding Performance, and is writing about performance collaboration. She co-curates performance writing projects, including a recent set of commissions for writing artists in the UK and USA called York / NEW YORK. She lived in Washington DC from 98 – 2005, and now divides her time between the UK and Greece, where she also writes about contemporary Greek art and performance and is currently developing a film project with Leda Papaconstandinou. Her recent play, Correspondence, was directed by Patrick Morris for Menagerie Theatre. She has a PhD in Critical and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, recently completed her first novel.

Lenora Champagne (writer/director) was awarded a NYSCA commission and a Yaddo residency to support TRACES/fades, her play about Alzheimer's and the American inability to remember history that premiered in July 2008. Her plays and performance works have been produced and presented in New York City, around the U.S., and in Europe and Australia. Her performance writing is published by Smith and Kraus and in Performing Arts Journal, Women and Performance Journal, Performance Research, Chain, The Iowa Review and in Out From Under: Texts by Women Performance Artists. Champagne received a fellowship from New York Foundation of the Arts in performance art in 2003 and a NYFA fellowship in playwriting in 1998. She and com poser Daniel Levy received a 1999 Richard Rodgers Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for THE SINGING: A CYBERSPACE OPERA. She was in residence with Voice and Vision at Bard this summer, working on her new play, Staying Afloat, and has been in residence at the MacDowell Colony many times. Champagne is an alumna of New Dramatists, a former HARP artist at HERE Arts Center, a New York Theatre Workshop Usual Suspect, an affiliated artist with New Georges, and Kempner Distinguished Professor at Purchase College, SUNY.