The Time Is Now- A Course on Live Art

River Lin, ‘Sleeping in between Tehching Hsieh and On Kawara’. This act, themed as Performance Beyond The Body was part of Out of Turn, a project curated by Meenakshi Thirukode and Asia Art Archive for Serendipity Arts Festival 2018.

Key information

Dates: May 31 – July 08, 2022 (Tuesday and Friday)
Venue: Online (3hrs. on course days)
Application deadline:  Applications closed 
30 seats/ Selection process is based on application and interview
Course Leader: Amitesh Grover
Fees: INR 6000
There is a fee waiver for limited seats. Please email [email protected] for further assistance.


“Performance art was the one place where there were so few definitions”
– Laurie Carlos

 In the post-pandemic world, there is a need to rethink and bring close all that which has been ‘distant’ from us. The universal suspicion of breath and the body, induced by the plague-stricken times, urges us to return to the body as the primary vehicle of meaning and expression. This course explores forms of Body art, Performance art, and Live art that activate a body or bodies temporally for an audience present at the time. It will highlight artistic practices in body art, performance art, or live art that focus on the need for immediacy and interactivity. It will make space for experimental processes, for bodies and identities that might otherwise be excluded from traditional contexts. From intimate encounters to civic spectacles, from attendance at shows and installations to mass participation in virtual events, this course will look closely at practices that are concerned with all kinds of art that unfold in front of an audience. Rather than a description of an art-form or discipline, this course will posit ways of thinking about what Live Art is, what it can do, and where and how it can be experienced.

“If you want to know what the mainstream will be up to in ten years’ time, just look at what Live Art is doing now.”- The Guardian

 The course will highlight a range of practitioners, from those working at the edges of theatre, dance, film and video, to performance writing, socio-political activism and the new languages of the digital age. It will cover the work of artists whose performances do not comply with the strictures of traditional designations, but instead shock us, destroy pretence, create sensory immersion, break apart traditions of representation, and open different kinds of engagement or interaction. In the end, it will discuss how Live Art resists co-option, how it stays radical, and how a new world is made where life and art are inseparable and shape one another.

“Live Art is an orchid in the land of technology”

The course is designed and led by the award-winning interdisciplinary artist Amitesh Grover. His work moves beyond theatre into visual art, film, installation, digital art, and text-based art. His practice strongly focuses on creating art that is interactive and participatory in nature. To build this 6-weeks long course, he has invited the practices and voices of other artists, thinkers, and writers who reveal the contemporary contours of Live Art and share their knowledge and experience. Participants will be introduced to the aesthetics and politics of Live Art in a dynamic, interdisciplinary, ideas-driven journey. This course is meant not only for young researchers, writers, curators, and practitioners but also for viewers and art enthusiasts with a keen interest in the field. The course will include lectures, talks, presentations, and the showing of archival material. Attendees are expected to be present online for all sessions, to participate in discussions, and to complete weekly assignments. On the successful completion of the course, a certificate will be awarded.

Why would you make live work in an age of mass communications? Why work in more or less the only field which still insists on presence? For artists interested in “the contemporary” this area of live performance seems like a bit of a backwater. Do you have something against mass-reproduction? Do you work from some quaint notion about immediacy and real presence?

 I don’t know. Answer the question.
(Forced Entertainment 1996:87)


Amitesh Grover is an award-winning interdisciplinary artist, whose work moves beyond theatre into visual art, film, installation, digital and text-based art. His practice strongly focuses on creating art that is interactive and participatory in nature.