make-shift 2010-12 2017-09-26T14:52:18+00:00

Project Description

make-shift  (2010-12)

A house party… a chat room… and an international conversation on the everyday habits of global pollution.

Context: the global scenography of plastic, DIY culture, open source software, remote collaboration, house parties, the work of conversation


make-shift is an intimate networked performance and discussion event, that re-imagines the private actions of our domestic lives as multiple, interconnected and with global consequences.  Each event takes place simultaneously in two ordinary houses connected through an online interface, accessible through the Live Stage link on the project website to anyone around the world with internet access. Not only telematically connecting artists in two different spaces nor working in a purely online chat/graphic format: make-shift combines the two, creating real-time dialogue between houses and people across the globe.



Commissioned by: Beaford Arts, Devon & developed through a residency at Furtherfield’s HTTP Gallery, London.
Funded by:Arts Council England and supported by UpStage open source cyberformance platform and Audiovideo Web.


  • Script devising, sound making and camera skills workshops. December 2011 at Broadhempston Community Woodland.
  • 28th June 2012 Performance Exeter/Munich/Online 8pm (UK), 9pm (Germany) as part of Exeter IgniteFestival, UK with live interactive screenings at The Bikeshed Theatre Bar, Exeter Phoenix, Speakeasy (Oddfellows) in Exeter.24th June 2012 Performance Barnstaple/Providence/Online 4pm (UK), 10am (USA) as part of North Devon Fringe Festival, UK with a live interactive screening at Venue X, Barnstaple20th June 2012 Performance Dartington/Providence, R.I. USA/Online 3pm (UK), 11am (USA) hosted by The Home and the World Summit and BIARI11,12,13th May 2012 Performance Brighton/Berlin/Online hosted by Live Art Salon @ Queens Park, Brighton and homes in Berlin with a live interactive screening at Room G4 in Grand Parade, University of Brighton as part of Brighton Fringe Festival
  • 11.5: 7.15pm (house) 8pm (online) UK, +1hr Germany
  • 11.5: 8pm (UK) Live interactive screening at University of Brighton
  • 12.5: 4.15pm (house) 5pm (online) UK, +1hr Germany
  • 12.5: 6pm (CET) Live interactive screening at Noymann Miller Friedenau, Berlin.
  • 13.5: 11.15am (house) 12 noon (online) UK, +1hr Germany
  • 5th May 2012 Performance Bristol/Vienna/Online 4.30pm (UK), 5.30pm (CET) with a live interactive screening as part of PW12 Festival Arnolfini, Bristol.
  • 4th May 2012 Presentation as part of ELMCIP Seminar E-Literature with/in performance 9am (UK) Arnolfini, Bristol
  • 15th March 2012 Performance University College Falmouth, Cornwall/Tantidhatri Festival, India/online 2pm (UK), 7.30pm (India)
  • 22nd February 2012 Performance University of Plymouth, Devon/Platforme Intermedial, Nantes/online 8pm (UK), 9pm (CET) Live Screening at Jill Craigie Cinema, Plymouth University
  • 4th February 2012 Performance Kingsteignton, Devon hosted by Transition Town Newton Abbot/Brisbane, Australia/online 11am (UK), 9pm (AU)
  • 28th January 2012 Performance Torquay, Devon/Wellington, NZ/online 10am (UK), 11pm (NZ)
  • 6th & 7th January 2012 Workshops and performance Pescara, Italy/Dunedin, NZ/online 10.30pm (CET), 10.30am (NZ) as part of Magdalena Pescara festival ‘Corpo, Parola, Potere’
  • 10th December 2011 Performance Exeter, Devon, UK/Auckland, NZ/online 10am (UK time) 11pm (NZ time)
  • 1st December 2011 Performance Gallery 36, Exeter, UK/Munich/online 9pm (UK time) Live Screening as part of 2 Short Nights
  • .27th November 2011 Performance Magfest Turin/Devon/online 6.30pm (Italian time) with live Screening as part of Tracing Mobility, Berlin
  • 11th November Performance extracts ‘An Audience With Dave‘ as part of 111111 Upstage cyberformance festival, online at 12.30pm (UK time)
  • 5th October 2011 Performance Novi Sad/London/online 7.30pm (UK time)
  • 20th September 2011 performance Istanbul/Exeter/online 7.30pm (UK time)
  • 18th September 2011 Presentation for Media Art Ecologies panel ISEA 9am (Istanbul time)
  • 20th August 2011 Performance at Magdelena Festival, Cardiff/online 10am (local time)
  • 20th May 2011 Project Demonstration – LPM Rome 2.30pm (local time)
  • 5th December 2010 Performance at Greenwarren House – Beaford, North Devon/Magfest – Turin, Italy/Online 3.30/4.30pm (local time)
  • 29th December 2010 Preview – Greenwarren House – Beaford, North Devon/Online 7pm (local time)
  • 10th October 2010 Work-in-progress showing @Upstage 101010 Cyberformance Festival 10pm (UK time)
  • 17th July 2010 Work-in-progress showing at HTTP Gallery, London/Online 7pm (local time)
  • 3rd-17th July 2010 Residency at Furtherfield’s HTTP Gallery, London


Project website:
Liminalities 10/1:  a presentation and essay on make-shift by Paula Crutchlow
Meaningful connections: exploring the uses of telematic technology in performance: Elena Pérez’ conducts a comparative analysis of make-shift and Annie Abrahams’ performance ON LOVE.
Home & The World: a framing statement for the 2012 conference event by Paula Crutchlow and Helen Varley Jamieson
Dramaturgies for the digital age: Ilinca Todoruț uses make-shift as an example in the Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy
Beaford Arts blogpost: Paula and Helen talk about their experience of devising make-shift



“It was a great night and a very beautiful, thought-provoking and fun event!”

House participant, North Devon

“The work, deeply compassionate and radically international, was welcomed by the group in the room and by participants in the remote locations as well. We are delighted to have been part of Helen and Paula’s vast, ongoing and inspiring project.”

Erik Ehn, Organiser of BIARI - Theater and Civil Society Institute, Brown University, Providence

“make-shift performances are as much about with things and stuff as they are interaction between people… de-stabilising the real and unreal, the performance opens up tension-filled topics for debate, setting up the audience as the provocateur, the actioneer”

Helen Pritchard, Digital artist and researcher

“I really liked the collage nature of the piece, moving from fake avatars to audience participation to personal revery to historical/biological data. I found a lot of poetry in the spaces between those things. This piece really stuck with me. I liked the implicit feminism… setting it in a house, looking through womens’ perspective. It seems like the beginning of a very rich vein that I hope you will continue.”

Anonymous online feedback

“the overriding feel is low-tech, cluttered and home-made. And so the technology of the 21st century – those beautiful laptops, those webcams, that high speed internet connection – comes

make-shift house participant, Brighton

“Helen and Paula arranged the magical elements of telematic performance in a montage of stuff, poetry, sound, images, dialogue, polemic and actions. It was utterly engrossing and left us all with a thrilling sense of the unexplored potential of theatre and performance in the networked age.”

Ruth Catlow, Co-founder and co-director, Furtherfield

“beautifully written and conceived. It dealt with the complex and disturbing issues surrounding our use of plastics without being didactic or sentimental. And much of it has stayed with me – our individual investment in the piece makes it easier to engage within the the moment and much less easy to dismiss after the event.”

House participant

“I really like the genuine involvement of the audience members at the host house, and it was exciting to see people fulfilling their roles with commitment. You sense the new connections that are made both between people and in understanding of make-shift’s themes.”

make-shift house host

““a fantastic real-time experience that combined lots of elements”

Online participant, Bournemouth

“I’ve never experienced such a degree of liveness on the internet”

Online participant


Devised and performed by Paula Crutchlow and Helen Varley Jamieson. Sound by John Levack Drever, graphs by Heiko Fisher and video documentation by Volkhardt Müller.





crowd sourcing creative writings for D-Tour on the D bus in Exeter until 9th March…

starting R&D on a new large scale land art project. More details to follow…

developing Ghost Train with Thelma Hulbert Gallery and East Devon District Council. Please Get In Touch if you have memories or thoughts on the former Avocet line between Exmouth and Sidmouth.







crowd sourcing creative writings for D-Tour on the D bus in Exeter until 9th March…

starting R&D on a new large scale land art project. More details to follow…

developing Ghost Train with Thelma Hulbert Gallery and East Devon District Council. Please Get In Touch if you have memories or thoughts on the former Avocet line between Exmouth and Sidmouth.