Atelier Cardew / Nature Study Notes

ENSA, Limoges
23/10/2018 - 26/10/2018
A week long workshop with a group of final year BA and MA Fine Art student at L’école nationale superieure d’art de Limoges


Part of a year-long research elective on text base scores and Fluxus publications curated by Didier Mathieu from Le Centre Des Livres d’Artistes

This workshop took place nearly 10 years after Sebastian Lexer and I worked with the music school and local choir of a nearby town to perform Paragraph 3 of Cardew’s The great Learning. This was part of a wider project Jeux de Bouches (a commission from JPF cultural centre, CDLA (from Le Centre Des Livres d’Artistes) and the city council of St Yrieix la perche) for which I tried to bring together the various cultural, social and educational structures of a small city to work together with invited international artists around a common theme – the mouth organ.



I conducted the workshop according to the scratch constitution and some of the principles of Robert Filliou from his seminal Teaching and Learning as Performing Art. Each participant had a scratch book, a research project, and made a scratch instrument.

A lot of time was spent discussing and translating the rites from Nature Study Notes before trying them out. New rites were written. Some wonderful scratch instruments were created and played. Each day was documented in writing and in images by a designated witness.

Stefan Szczelkun donated a few copies of Cornelius Cardew Nature study Notes scores remaining from the Chisenhale and Café Oto events of 2014 and 2015 and Carole Chant/Finner let me photograph her wonderful Scratchbook from 50 years ago.


The week concluded with a performance of Nature Study Notes in Limoges (70 mins), 10 performers performing 5 NSN rites (75, 146,119,34,13) and 5 new ones.

With Jonathan Bass, Veronique Framery, Louis Lanne, Didier Mathieu, Luna Mouries, Park Nayeon, Marie Pic, Jiang Pengyu, Hu Rui, Emmanuelle Waeckerlé.