Life 2.0, an exploration or words and technology. 6-8pm, Friday 17 October 2008, Access Space, Unit 1, 3-7 Sidney Street, Sheffield S1 4RG. Improvised soundscape, skype readings, viral text poetry, Lost Voices (a group poetry performance), + performances from Richard Bolam, Brian Lewis, Matt Clegg..., Linda Lee Welch/The Only Michael, Matt Black, Jake Harries, Robin Vaughan-Williams


Spoken Word Antics
Access Space
Off the Shelf

i n s i d e - a n d - o u t

Technology is often taken to refer to computers, IT, electronics, short, hi-tech, the stuff that is conspicuous, new, dazzling. But what about lowtech? Writing, fire, textiles, is in fact everywhere in our lives, and without it it is doubtful whether we could call ourselves human.

Philosophically, technology might be defined as something external to ourselves that enables us to act on the world; it is an object that has become a means, as it allows us to act on other objects. Or perhaps we should say that is a definition of 'tools', and technology is the knowledge of tools.

But technology is not always purely external; it often crosses the space between inside and out. It is something we acquire from outside, but make our own. Language, for example, is a form of technology. The Russian psychologist Lev Vygotskii developed the concept of 'psychological tools'. Logic is a kind of technology - it has to be learned, and historically it is not common to all cultures. So technology is not just intrumental, it also determines who we are.

Even the body can be described as a form of technology. Watch a small child trying to perform a simple manual task. Often they seem clumsy, as if they have not yet learnt how to use their bodies, as if they confront their bodies as something new and external to themselves. This external aspect of the body is highlighted by advancements in modern medicine, where there is an increasing array of artefacts - manmade objects - that are interchangeable with parts of the body.

Life 2.0 offers a space for writers to explore technology through words, but also the technology of words. Some do this in the content of their work, others through multimedia performance, where lowtech words appear in the context of more conspicuous visual and audio technologies.


Richard Bolam: World X, a presentation
Richard Bolam presents a new historiography of technology and civilisation, taking us all the way from World Zero, 'a beautiful and frightening wilderness', to the present-day World 4.0, and discovers, in the words of Marie Antoinette, that 'there is nothing new except that which has been forgotten'.
Brian Lewis: Edgelands
A multi-channel sound collage for tape and CD based on Matt Clegg's Edgelands sequence, which explores the colonised space between city and countryside. Accompanied by a film-in-the-corner.
Lost Voices
Lost in the machine, disembodied, five voices discover a new form of corporeality, where they can make friends, design their own avatars, and take off for their dream island. A collective poetry performance, devised by Robin Vaughan-Williams, with Harriet Lowe, Adele Geraghty, Tina McKevitt, Jo Mills, and Damian Robin.
Linda Lee Welch and The Only Michael: FYI
FYI is a recorded piece which uses words, voices and found sounds to explore the impact of technology and information on our 21st century experience, looking to find poetry in the everyday and music in the sound of domestic appliances and radio static.
Improvised Poetry Soundscape
The sponaneity of a live improvisation, fixed in WAV format for your convenience. Voices from the desktop, courtesy of Oliver Mantell, Philip Howarth, Tina McKevitt, and Robin Vaughan-Williams.
Skype Readings
Live Skype readings from around the world, featuring Li Yan (London), Margot Douaihy (Montana), and Andraya (Iceland)
Jake Harries: Spam Unplugged
Jake Harries will be reclaiming his email inbox by performing 'spongs' (spam songs), which re-use verbatim spam emails as source material, thus transforming the daily chore of deleting junk email into, er, hem, an exciting quest for narratives.


Linda Lee Welch
Linda Lee Welch is American, but has lived most of her adult life in England. She is a prize-winning poet, novelist and musician and a lecturer in Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam University.
As well as the novels 'The Leader of the Swans' (2003) and 'The Artist of Eikando' (2005), published by Virago, she has contributed to a number of poetry and short story collections and will be performing her latest poetry sequence 'Flossie Paper Doll' with The Only Michael at Off the Shelf on 31st October.
The Only Michael
The Only Michael has been recording and releasing his own electronic music under various names since the mid 1990s. He is half of Animat who have recently released their debut album 'Earplay' on Big Chill Recordings.
As well as 'Flossie Paper Doll', other spoken word collaborations have included music to accompany readings by Chris Jones ('At the End of the Road, A River' - 2006) and Matt Black ('The Cooling Towers Farewell' - 2008).