Is the performance only what is made public to the audience? What part of that performance is visible and what is purposefully/un purposefully occluded?
Does the body have to be present?
Perform convincingly. Convince your audience. Convince your co-performers.

Cicely Farrer (CF), December 2021

6th december
Performance art is something that involves a body or bodies at some point, and that can be measured (judged) on a scale of good to bad. Good performance art is strong, intentional, makes sense, powerful, affecting, life-changing, myth-generating, and complicated. Bad performance art is unthought-through, accidentally offensive, shameful, guilty, unaccommodating, nasty, meaningless, apolitical, wishy washy, and samey-samey.
Gordon Douglas (GD), word document

7th august
Performance is LIGHTNING, Documentation is thunder
GD, Notes app

8th august
Performance art is okay, it’s difficult to guarantee you’re going to see good performance art, and often you’ll come across performance art that isn’t so convincing or the space is too busy so that you can’t really see it, or the seat you’ve found on the floor so you don’t get in the way of other people’s sightlines is uncomfortable, or maybe you had a bit of a shit day before and aren’t really in the zone to receive their offering, or maybe it’s bad lighting or the acoustic quality is at odds with what they’re doing, or maybe you can tell they wanted to rehearse, but there wasn’t enough time or budget, and maybe sometimes it’s quite confrontational and you’ve taken a friend along who isn’t into that kind of thing so you’re worried about them, or maybe it’s not been framed right and sits beside other artworks or performance artworks that just make it seem like an afterthought, or maybe you’re worried because you’ve seen someone across the room you don’t want to speak to afterwards
GD, Notes app


Gordon Douglas is a performance artist in Glasgow. Cicely Farrer is a curator on the north-east coast of Scotland. Together they initiated Good on Paper.

Throughout Summer 2021, they set themselves the daily task of writing definitions for the fluid subject of Performance Art. A selection of these are hosted in Appendices 1-4.

Good on Paper: Workshop #1 tickets 27 March, 11am-1pm

Click on the links below for more articles related to Gordon & Cicely’s first invitation.


Good on Paper is supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland