COUNTER PRODUCT(I’VE) (an) OFFICE: A reflection on setting up a space and place (an office) with no boundaries.

The title above is the of the paper I was asked to write for the Postgraduate Symposium at The University of Chester (03/11/2015). The paper is a reflection on the first week of my month long performance residency in association with The University of Chester into what an office is to me, the occupancy of space, and contemporary performance modes such as Live Art, performance of everyday tasks and improvisation.
Below is the abstract of my paper.
Abstract:
Dear Sir / Madam / To Whom It May Concern.
This paper comments and reflects on the first week that we (Matthew Harrison-Lord & Kyle Hill) set up a performative office on an academic corridor of lecturers and paid professionals. I found myself, as did Hill, having meetings and tutorials with lecturers and raising the question of ‘How do I start a career in higher education?’. What formed was the notion that each lecturer had earned their space and place (their office) within the University. In this paper we will reflect on evidence found during the process of setting up the space without any boundaries, and how this created a place with actions and performances of tasks that differed to our initial expectations. Using Marc Augé’s distinction between space and place we discuss the negotiations, exchanges and improvisations that happened from within our office. The paper highlights the journey from starting as assistants to the corridor to changing our focus and informing people that we would provide productive and counterproductive advice through one-on-one-on-one tutorials as our performance. We will discuss boundaries between staff and students and the geographical boundaries when positioned within a community that we are not part of (paid professionals).
Best Wishes
Harrison-Lord & Hill, Performative Duo.
Abstract written by Matthew Harrison-Lord