M.O.U.S.E. at Hatch, Nottingham

small grey remote control mouse on a black floor
M.O.U.S.E stands for the small, the hidden and the unnoticed. It stands for the intruder, the interruption and the parasite. M.O.U.S.E is what is here and what is there. It is also the legend that inhabits every theatre house, the uninvited ‘guest’ who silently scurries across the boards, as the theatre machine rolls out its rather more grand spectacle. Now the time has come to make M.O.U.S.E the star of the show.

We are presenting a performance of M.O.U.S.E as part of Hatch at the New Art Exchange in Nottingham on 21st September 2012.

More info about Hatch here: www.hatchnottingham.co.uk


M.O.U.S.E. #

john standing in warehouse


Since April we have been working on a new piece as part of our work on M.O.U.S.E.. We will present an early work in development at SHOW TiME which forms the beginning of a studio performance which we hope to develop over the next year.

Here we go again! Following on from a series of successful events in 2011, SHOW TiME now comes to Rich Mix in East London. Join us for a weekend full of extraordinary work by a group of remarkable artists from the UK and Europe.

Curated by us, the weekend blends work in development and rarely seen pieces by artists we love in a series of dynamic sessions. Creating playful, critical and engaging encounters between artists and audiences SHOW TiME provides a collaborative and safe space for presenting cross disciplinary performance work in London. We invite you to come and experience the work over the whole weekend, spend time with the artists and share your responses with us.

For more info and to see the line up go to:

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Construction Gallery

Archive with man pulling out roll from shelves

Construction Gallery – 18 – 29 Jan 2012

Keeping the Park: Archive is a sound installation based on a re-working of Keeping the Park, an audio guide originally made for Wandle Park, Colliers Wood in 2010. Amidst a wild track of birdsong and traffic, you hear the voices of the local residents of the area. An ‘instructional voice’, which playfully guides users around the park in the original version, has been extracted, leaving space between the moments of anecdote, conversation and thought.

The original audio guide explores how different park users relate to, care for and think about the park. Bending and borrowing the conventional form of a tourist’s audio guide, Present Attempt created this bespoke experience in collaboration with local residents and park users, through conversation, walking and workshops.

The project was originally commissioned for Away Day, a festival organised by POST, which took place in the borough of Merton in May 2010. The original twenty minute audio guide is available to borrow from Donald Hope Library or available to download from Merton Council’s website.

Construction Gallery and Cafe
74 – 80 Upper Tooting Road
London SW17 7PB


Tracing Mobility, Berlin

Man walking under water

Image Credit: Tracing Mobility

We are very pleased to be presenting a talk about our project Walking Smiles as part of the Tracing Mobility Open Platform on Saturday 26th November at the HAUS DER KULTUREN DER WELT in Berlin.

Tracing Mobility: Cartography and Migration in Networked Space, is the final event that completes the Tracing Mobility project; a project which spanned two years and four European countries. The overall project included residencies, workshops, exhibitions, symposiums, and other satellite events that took place along the Croatian coast (north of Split); in Nottingham, UK; Warsaw, Poland; and Berlin, Germany. More information at www.tracingmobility.org

The Open Platform events is intended to break down the limits and barriers caused by conventional exhibition formats, and challenge the discursive spaces used for art. Tracing Mobility want to open up the HKW, an established international arts venue, to the fringes of production, exploring movement, communication and aesthetics in culture, becoming that space that Boris Groys claims to be the distinct space of contemporary art, “in which multitudes can view themselves” and which “assists [us] in reflecting upon [our] own condition”. More info on the Open Platform here.


Being Seen, Being Heard

We are presenting some new work called MOUSE at Being Seen, Being Heard: A One-Day Symposium which is part of the SACRED season of performance at the Chelsea Theatre, London on Sunday, 27 November 2011 from 10.30-18.00.

The event takes as its staring point the quote from Jacques Rancière that, ‘Politics revolves around what is seen and what can be said about it, around who has the ability to see and the talent to speak.’

This one-day symposium brings together artists, scholars, and curators to explore the ways in which all three are active in shaping the contexts in which artistic work is produced and experienced: that is, how it is seen and how it is heard.  We will consider artistic events as only one manifestation of ongoing processes by which groups and individuals attempt to intervene within the politics of visibility itself.  How do we decide who gets a voice?  How can we influence what is perceived as political?  How do new networks and communities take a form, and how might artistic processes suggest radical ways in which these forms might be conceived?

Featuring keynote addresses from:

Also featuring lecture-performances from Alison Grace, The Everyday Cosmonaut (Johanna Linsley and Sophie Robison), and Present Attempt, as well as scholarly papers and sharings of practice from Charlotte Bell, Simon Bowes, Lee Campbell, Nicola Conibere, Ella Finer, Lynne McCarthy, Tom Richards, Roberto Sanchez-Camus, and Conohar Scott.   We are also very happy to be joined by Brazilian artists Thelma Bonavita, creator of the Tropicalia-inspired I am a Gogoia Fruit (free for all symposium delegates), and Gustavo Ciriaco, creator of Aqui enquanto caminhamos (Here whilst we walk, 2006) and artistic director of Teatro Cacilda Becker (Rio de Janeiro).

More info at: www.chelseatheatre.org.uk



show time logo


21/22 October at Riverside Studios

SHOW TiME returns to Riverside Studios to present a line up of extraordinary artists making contemporary performance work. Opening a new space in London for artists and audiences to come together to experiment, we have combined works in development and completed performances to give you two diverse days of theatrical experiments. We hope you can join us on the river and support the event and all the artists involved.

More info here: www.show-time.org.uk


Hymn for Hope Square

Hymn for Hope Square was created as part of  SLICE, an international project that presents twenty new artworks created following a dialogue between UK and Pakistani artists. It is a response to Hope Square near Liverpool Street Station in London.

SLICE maps an imaginary line that cuts through buildings and across streets from Lahore to London, establishing a new dialogue with the social and physical fabric of two iconic, complex and historically linked cities. Focusing on the first mile at each end of the line, which runs from Lahore Central Station to Liverpool Street Station in London, a group of Lahore and London based artists were invited to make a work each, inspired by a location on the slice.

Hymn for Hope Square was created through a series of chance encounters. Over a number of months we visited and used the square. We stood, we sat and we waited – sometimes impatiently, sometimes fascinated, other times frustrated. We noticed a gap between the name of the square and the atmosphere of it. And we found ourselves writing a hymn in praise of Hope Square, in an attempt to redress this imbalance through words and song.

SLICE was a project produced by Other Asias and Scale. It was funded by Arts Council England, Apples and Snakes and the VASL Artists Collective. 



A Prototype of Walking (S)miles

This is an ‘incomplete textual sample’ made in collaboration with Rachel Lois Clapham, that comes out of Walking (S)miles by Present Attempt. Rachel was commissioned by Hazard Festival and Critical Writing Collective to respond to some of the work in Hazard 2010 (Manchester’s micro-festival of incidental intervention and sited performance). The text emerged from transcripts of audio recordings that Rachel made as she wandered through Manchester on Saturday afternoon and too part in Walking Smiles – an event that builds a unique ‘map’ of a city as people wander through it, collecting smiles from passers by. Below is the text.

Optional Instructions for Self-Assembly

1. Print the document

2. Cut each of the pages down the centre with the exception of the last page

3. Affix the cut pages to the last page

4. (W)read the document


Slice Project- process

Statue of kindertransport children in hope square london

Present Attempt are making a piece of work as part of SLICE,  an international project commissioning twenty new artworks created in collaboration with UK and Pakistani artists. SLICE maps an imaginary line that cuts through buildings and across streets from Lahore to London. Focusing on the first mile at each end of the line, which runs from Lahore Central Station to Liverpool Street Station in London, Lahore and London based artists have been invited to make a work that responds to a location on the slice.

Back in May all the artists in London walked the section of the Slice which started in Hope Square just outside Liverpool Street Station and ended beyond the Brady Centre in the East End. Early on from a suggestion James made, we decided to response to Hope Square. Initially what struck James was the contrast between the busy place of passage and the immobility and stillness of the bronze statue of  the Kinder transport found in the square, a memorial to Jewish refugees of the second world war. Since the walk we have found that the site resonates with the context of the project in multiple ways. It made us think about to the state of emergency of contemporary cities, travels between London and Lahore, perception of everyday places or spaces and the possibility of looking at a place anew, with a naïve eye, as if you were seeing it for the first time.

We have now spent a couple of days working in Hope Square. After repeated visits we can ironically say that it is hopeless and a terrible place! There is something definitely tragic about the square. 6 giant ugly white pillars dominate it, with a McDonalds covering one of it’s facades and franchises setting up their pop up stalls and marquis to sell commercial products of various kinds right in the middle. The square, more a place of passage for commuters than a place where people hang out is littered with fast food waste. And then the statue of the Kindertransport in the middle of all this, erected in memory of the refugee children who came to Britain in search of a safe haven. The whole thing is rather paradoxical. This paradox, the gap between the name ‘Hope Square’ and the actual place which is devoid of anything really positive is guiding our thinking.

Yesterday we went back to Hope Square to further our investigations through in situ writing and filming. We have come back to our earlier intuition about building a picture of ‘Hope Square’, settling on writing to reveal and approach the paradox of Hope Square. A textual depiction of Hope Square is what has emerged out of the work yesterday, it remains to be seen how this text will manifest in its final visual form. Looking forward to sharing the final piece which will form part of an exhibition in Ideas Store Whitechapel, Rich Mix in Bethnal Green and the National College of Arts in Lahore. To be continued…

  • Present Attempt is a collective of artists making experimental theatre, performance and live art. We like now...