project image
Nick Burnett

first performed on September 5, 2012
RADA Studios, London, UK
performed once in 2012


London, UK


The “oh-zones” performance was given in response to a collection of ecopoetics (oh-zones, knivesforksandspoons, 2012). There is a progression through the poems from the position of an observer of transitions between rural and urban spaces, through to a sense of selves acting out in the world. The poems aim to create a space where activism might be possible, and, to this end, “oh-zones,” the performance, featured a range of activities intended to create a temporary community responsive to the environmental concerns presented, where everyone had the opportunity and means to take part. Audience members participated in reading and singing a text presented as an event score (“breath-chords”), an excerpt from which is provided here:

courageous transitory

structures fingertips

attentive intricate

throbbing quivering

lungfill volatile

attempts branches

outside bothing

sensory breaths

Participants were encouraged to work in pairs, each taking one of the words from the couplet and repeating it to form a sonic landscape. In this way “breath-chords” present, both on paper and in live performance, examples of “whords”—words experienced as chords. Another poem, “refuse wear,” was performed while each audience member selected an item of refuse to wear. In the image provided, the performer is wearing a plastic bag around her neck, tackling the issues of how we choose to “dress” (cover/pollute) our ecosystem, as expressed in the poem “sharks, in their absence.”

in an ocean / healthy coral is first / borne out by presence /

of sharks, in their absence, / scientists determine the entire /

ecosystem is under(dressed