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The photograph is a 'new form of hallucination: false on the level of perception, true on the level of time: a temporal hallucination' (Barthes, 2000: 115)

'hallucination does not feign presence but (...) presence is hallucinatory' (Deleuze, 1993: 125)

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courtesy of Tim Etchells

Tim Etchells is best known for his work as artistic director and writer of Forced Entertainment, one of the UK's leading and influential performance and media ensembles who have been working together since 1984. Tim also creates diverse projects of his own in a variety of media, including SMS, video and installation.

Tim has collaborated with other artists in many disciplines, including the photographer Hugo Glendinning, the choreographer Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods and visual artists Vlatka Horvat, Franko B and Asta Groting. Under Etchells's direction, Forced Entertainment have toured widely in mainland Europe and beyond and have made projects that span theatre, durational performance, and other media. Recent Forced Entertainment projects include Bloody Mess a darkly comical rocktacular collage, First Night, a disastrous vaudeville and Who Can Sing A Song To Unfrighten Me?, a performance of 24 hours duration.

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Forced Entertainment, Bloody Mess (2005).
Photo: Hugo Glendinning.

Etchells has written widely about performance and contemporary culture, and has published three books: The Dream Dictionary (Duckworth 2001); Endland Stories (Pulp Books 1999); and Certain Fragments - a collection of theoretical writing and performance texts (Routledge 1999).

For more information on Tim Etchells on the Collaboratory, please go to Gabriella Giannachi and Nick Kaye introduce Tim Etchells and follow this link for Tim Etchells's CV

Forced Entertainment's extensive website is at [link]

Presence and Absence Intertwined: A Presence Workshop

Tim conducted a workshop for the Presence Project on 15 February 2006. From this page you can access the evolving documentation of this workshop and our discussion with Tim foillowing the event. Please go to:

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Forced Entertainment, Bloody Mess (2005).
Photo: Hugo Glendinning.

Tim writes:

'Theatre then must always (?) be: the summoning of presence in the context of absence. A bringing in of the world.' (Etchells, 2004)

'the theatre must take account of how technology (…) has rewritten and is rewriting bodies, changing our understanding of narratives and places, changing our relationships to culture, changing our understandings of presence.' (Etchells 1999a: 97)

'presence now is always complicated and layered, a thing of degrees, and in these strange times one can feel closer to a person, sometimes, when they are further away than when they are fully and simply before us.' (Etchells 1999a: 97)

Follow this link for an exploration of a book Tim gave to us at the workshop, Robert Bresson, Notes on the Cinematographer.