Re-activating Elements of Performance Art by The Ting: The Theatre of Mistakes, with founder Anthony Howell.

In the days immediately preceding the PARSE Conference, founder of The Theatre of Mistakes, Anthony Howell has conducted a workshop re-activating exercises from his and Fiona Templeton’s 1976 publication Elements of Performance Art.

This session provides a unique opportunity to watch the consequences of a workshop that derives from that publication, The Ting: The Theatre of Mistakes’ ethos and methods of production are outlined in Elements of Performance Art against six convergent elements: conditions, body, aural, time/space, equipment and manifestation with a total of 42 exercises to be structured via chance allowing for multiple formations.

Instigated by Anthony Howell, a poet and dancer, The Ting: The Theatre of Mistakes was an interdisciplinary UK-based collective formed in 1974, which disbanded in 1981. Their foundational work was generated through a series of openly advertised events and happenings at which, from 1974-1976, attendees co-developed a series of game-based exercises via instructional rules, which were collectively recorded as The Gymnasium. By 1976 these exercises had been refined and published by Anthony Howell and Fiona Templeton as Elements of Performance. It’s highly limited edition remains out of print despite its potential to be considered as the first manifesto-manual for Performance Art to have been generated in the UK.

In July 2017, Valand Academy’s MFA: Fine Art Programme Leader, Jason E. Bowman will curate the first career survey of the work of the Theatre of Mistakes at London’s Raven Row Gallery. This workshop forms part of the curatorial research process for that initiative, considering the question of how one may one may curate a survey exhibition of the work of a now disbanded performance collective.




Jason E. Bowman is an artist with a curatorial practice. He is MFA: Fine Art Programme Leader at the Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg and a member of the PARSE working group. He was a co-researcher on the Swedish Research Council funded project, Trust and the Unfolding Dialogue (Principle Investigator, Esther Shalev-Gerz), for which he edited the volume, Esther Shalev-Gerz: The Contemporary Art of Trusting Uncertainty and Unfolding Dialogues (Art and Theory. Stockholm, 2013). He curated the inaugural European career survey of the practice of Yvonne Rainer in live dance, film, teach-ins and public readings (Tramway, 2010) and in 2017 will curate a career survey of the work of the Theatre of Mistakes in live performance, artefact and document. He is currently Principle Researcher (co-researchers Mick Wilson and Julie Crawshaw) on Stretched, a three-year long inquiry via the curatorial into artist-led cultures, also funded by the Swedish Research Council. Jason E. Bowman will curate a career survey of The Theatre of Mistakes in July 2017 at London’s Raven Row Gallery.

Anthony Howell. A former dancer with the Royal Ballet, Anthony Howell was an editor of Wallpaper Magazine and founder of The Theatre of Mistakes, which performed at the Paris Biennale, the Theater for the New City and the Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. He is editor of Grey Suit: Video for Art and Literature. His solo performances have been seen at the Hayward Gallery and at the Sydney Biennale. He teaches Tango for Balance – for people with Parkinson’s Disease. His seminal work The Analysis of Performance Art is published by Routledge. He is also a poet whose first collection, Inside the Castle was published in 1969. His novel In the Company of Others was published by Marion Boyars in 1986. His articles on visual art, dance, performance and poetry have appeared in many publications. He is a contributing editor of the Fortnightly Review.