Sunday 1 October 2017

Checklist of care

Last year, as an outcome of my October residency at ARC in Switzerland (nearly a year ago! WOW!). I wrote myself a checklist of care - building on my own long-term artistic interest in care and prompted, no doubt, in a sideways way by the work of other artists such as Julie Vulcan speaking here and Clod Ensemble's Circle of Care developed for Health Professionals (NB - Also check out ALL of the excellent sounding talks/discussions/events on the area of care that took place at Buzzcut's Sideburns last year recounted to me by my Producer Sally Rose, and the work by Ria Hartley and Alice Tatton-Brown which I was alerted to recently by Jo Hellier.

I wanted to think about my practice in a more holistic/well-rounded way... I'm posting it here in case it's useful for others​​. I wouldn't say it's finished, or even right for everyone (it's something I wrote for me, with me and my own flaws in mind) but it's definitely making me stop and pause before I take on / make anything new nowadays - even if still so often I don't end up getting it right... There's nothing surprising in it - some might even read it and say 'but this is just common sense!' - and yet...  I so easily find myself in a less than ideal situation when making / facilitating, that for me there's something in it... Obviously, sometimes this is for reasons beyond mine and others control, but not always...  Sometimes I just haven't thought it through from the perspective of care.

I'm going to get it framed and hung up on my studio wall...
I'm going to keep adding to and amending it.

If anyone has any reflections or comments on it after having a read I'd be really interested to hear them...

An audio recording of the Checklist can be found HERE.


Will engaging in this activity / event / performance / ‘act’ be nourishing and full of care towards:


Will I be looked after?

Will I get paid? 

If travelling where will I sleep? What will I eat? When will I eat?

Will I be fed or is it self-catering? Will I get per diems?

Will I feel safe?

Who will I be hanging out with? 

Can I bring someone with me?

If something goes wrong who do I contact and what is my exit strategy? 

Do I have any special health needs at the moment and will they be catered for?

Have I informed anyone connected to the activity about these needs?

Will there be any language barriers? How can these be overcome?

Am I insured - health, belongings, public liability

Have I got a contract?

What press / PR will I be expected to do and does this feel ok?

How does this activity / event / performance / ‘act’ align with my politics & beliefs?

Where is the funding coming from?

What’s the overall environmental cost?

What do I know about the location / area in terms of human rights / politics?

What do I know about the organisation?

After the event:

Has this activity had an impact on my politics & beliefs?

Do I feel ok about the parts of myself I've revealed during the course of the activity? And if not, what do I need to do to make this ok again?

Have I learnt anything new about the common themes of my practice (e.g. Visibility/Invisibility)


'Hybridity, Whiteness, Trade and Empire, Filthy lucre, The precarity of a world that’s tipped in favour of a few, Shaking hands / holding, Screens, Care, Plants and animals, Foliage, Certain landscapes, Thistledown, Glass, Kitschy Hearts, Time, Buried histories, Classification and Anatomies, Families, Movement, The choreography of objects, Cheap Theatrics / Magic, Intuitions, gifts and chemistry, Hosting audiences. You, And words carefully arranged in patterns and shapes. Listing. Looping. Over and over. Playfully.'

How does this align with my overall life?

Where am I 'at' at the moment?

Will this activity be helpful in terms of my overall life aims (whatever these happen to be at any given moment and if such 'aims' are actually achievable in the first place)?

Or will this be a distraction?


Who will my audience be?

Is what I’m doing accessible (in terms of language, non-arts audiences, for those who are visually impaired, are wheelchair users / have limited mobility, are D/deaf or hard of hearing)?  

If not, why not? And how can I overcome this.

How can I be a good guest (reciprocity)?

What will I be leaving behind afterwards, both literally and in terms of legacy?

Are those I’m working with being looked after too (pay, accommodation, per diems, well being).

Do they have any special needs?

Could I employ local people instead of bringing others with me?

Who should I try to make contact with whilst I am in the area and what’s the mutual benefit?

Flora & Fauna:

Are the materials I’m using good for the environment? 

What about after I’ve left? What will I be leaving behind?

What about the travel? Is the environmental cost worth it?

Society in General:

What is the long-term message of what I’m conveying?

Have I checked all of my language and actions to ensure I’m being inclusive?

Am I reaching outside of my everyday circle of peers/friends? If not, why not?

If conflict/debate is impossible to avoid, what is the best way to deal with this?

Am I self-censoring my own practice to fit in? And if so, why? Is this the right thing to do in the particular context I'm working in? If not, what should I do?

1 comment:

  1. Everyone needs one of these and should feel valued/respected/strong enough to impliment it. Thank you for this. It gives me the incentive, courage and insight to do one for myself.