On Sunday 1 September, I travelled to Bristol to take part in a discussion event on ‘tools in the city’ as part of the In The City series of events run by The Parlour Showrooms. That particular weekend was dedicated to tools and labour, titled ‘A Lexicon of Labour Movements‘. I went down on the Saturday to see artists Clare Thornton and Paul Hurley’s Performance Shift, a fascinating piece of work developed from interviewing manual workers and ex-manual workers about how they use their tools, whether this is in the ways intended by the tools’ makers or in unintended ways that accomplish different tasks. Explanations by me won’t do it justice so you can look at photos here.
The event I took part in saw Sang-gye of Tibetan Therapies and I talk about the relationship between tools and bodies from our own perspectives. As usual, the attempt to draw on seemingly disparate viewpoints revealed a huge amount of overlap and between the two of us and an audience of about 20, we had a really interesting, open discussion on the intersections between people, things and systems of use that went from Japanese macaques to bicycle couriering, via yoga and trowel-tip archaeological interpretation of the past.
Participant Natalie Parsley wrote a blog post about the event that you can read here and I have a recording of my own contribution which I will post a link to as soon as I find a place to put it.