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'site specific performances are conceived for, and conditioned by, the particulars of found spaces, (former) sites of work, play and worship. They make manifest, celebrate, confound or criticise location, history, function, architecture, micro-climate... They are an interpenetration of the found and the fabricated. They are inseparable from their sites, the only context within which they are readable' (Pearson in Kaye, 1996: 211)

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who are you looking at? – Cardiff, Wales February 2004, a Pearson/Brooks
collaboration with writer and director Ed Thomas.

Mike Pearson is Professor of Performance Studies, University of Wales Aberystwyth. Originally trained as an archaeologist, between 1972 and 1997 Mike was a key member of a series of companies including RAT Theatre, Cardiff Laboratory Theatre and Brith Gof, through which pioneered new and innovative approaches to the form, function and placement of performance in Wales and further afield — South America, Hong Kong, Eastern Europe. This included spectacular and epic site specific productions such as Brith Gof's Gododdin and Haearn as well as intimate solo performances (with Mike Brookes). Mike Pearson joined Aberystwyth in 1997 and launched the Performance Studies degree scheme in 1999. He has written the hybrid work Theatre/Archaeology (Routledge 2001) with Michael Shanks available on Michael's site at [link], and has just completed a work of chorography on the landscape and folk traditions of his native Lincolnshire. Mike's latest book, In Come I, has been published by Exeter University Press in 2007.

Since 1997, Mike Pearson has created work with Mike Brookes under the company name, Pearson/Brookes

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Polis, September 2001.

Mike Brookes is an artist and designer, working primarily as a painter and performance maker. His design work has engaged both graphic and time-based media; and his collaborations with performance companies such as Brith Gof, The Magdalena Project, Earthfall, and Quarantine, have resulted in a wide spread reputation for his activities as a lighting and production designer.

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Polis, September 2001

Mike Brookes' website and documentation of Pearson/Brookes' work is at [link]. Mike has also contributed an essay on performance and documentation to the Collaboratory:

WHO ARE YOU LOOKING AT?: A Presence Workshop

Mike Pearson and Mike Brookes conducted a workshop in Exeter for the Presence Project on 8 March 2006. From the links below you can access the evolving documentation of their workshop and our discussion following the event:

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Carrying Lynn, Aberystwyth, Wales 2001.

'Under scrutiny, I can ensure a continuum of presence, the result of a personal strategy which holds me in the here-and-now and which allows my expressive functioning to be diverse and discontinuous. This is best revealed at thresholds – in the micro-second of engagement, of assembling resources, of the adoption of decorums and demeanours of concentration and application, in ´A deep breath and here I go´- or in moments of accident and injury when, of course, it disappears.´(Pearson in Pearson and Shanks, 2001: 16)

Follow this link for Mike Brookes, ‘10 thoughts (notes on the construction of a document)’. Further discussion of Mike Pearson and Mike Brookes' engagement with the Presence Project is also available from our Presence blog at [link].

Photos by Mike Brookes. Reproduced with permission.


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