Simon Holton

Research title: Artist Collectives and Collective Art Practices in UK Live Art in the Years of Austerity Politics (2010-2018)

Research Summary

My research explores performance collectives and cooperative arts practice, largely in the field of UK based Live Art, in the context of austerity politics and neoliberal capitalism. Collective and cooperative work in the arts is made more difficult by the precarious working conditions and competition for resources ushered in by neoliberalism and intensified by austerity politics. At the same time, collective work can help spread risk, share opportunities, and allow artists to become more supported and resilient. I am interested in radical practices and organisational structures which resist market logic and processes, and prefigure alternative models for performing, working and being together.

My research will begin by considering the history of performance collectives in the UK, before going on to consider the more recent histories and practices of key contemporary collectives, radical organisations and festivals. My research will end with an in-depth study of the impacts of these collectives, and suggestions for their future support.

Research Interests
Live Art, collectives, collaboration, queer theory & performance, socially engaged practices, austerity politics and economics, labour, artistic production, networks, autonomous organisation and pedagogy, performance festivals, neoliberalism, cultural policy, and democracy.


  • AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership Scotland Studentship
  • Producer Development Bursary: Chisenhale Dance Space