26th august
Performance art is sneaking in and breaking out; playing by the rules and flipping the board; investing and divesting. It’s an association game, and possibly beyond the immediate ‘content’ of every performance artwork is a performance network of alignment and opposition. In this way, performance is at peace with questionable *collaboration*, ~complicity~ and !challenge!
Gordon Douglas (GD), Notes app

Performance might mean putting things inside your body that you wouldn’t otherwise. It might mean being ‘well’ if you don’t feel it. How does your body perform for you? How does this connect to your mental health?
Cicely Farrer (CF), August 2021

Performance is pepping yourself to be someone you might not feel like that day. A characteristic that came easily yesterday but not today. It depends on atmosphere, feedback, mindset, interaction. Unlearning habits to create. Repeating that unlearning. For our behaviour to define how we are seen, do we need to ensure we want to be the person we perform?
CF, August 2021

I fell out of the routine.
How does training become part of performance? Not just the rehearsal but the repetition of a movement, a sound, a wink, a shape or a set of emotions. Repeat a flex, repeat a tap tap tap, repeat a routine.
A regular strength training routine or a daily swim.
But what if regularity does not come easily to us, me, you. Please can I be an inconsistent performer?
My understanding of the Algerian-French Philosopher Jacques Derrida writings on repetition is that it is only an appearance, when each act is seen in sequence or seriality. So all re-enactments of my habits do not require a repetitive routine. Great! Thanks Derrida. (Sorry if I got that wrong).
CF, October 2021

Tuesday 30 Nov
[Definitions of performance on this day was just a list of achieved tasks.]
CF, December 2021


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