Script credits

Alongside my work as a novelist, I have written scripts and worked as a script editor or consultant on a number of critically acclaimed and sometimes prize-winning projects by renowned artists.

We try to work with Tony as much as possible, he expands what we think we can do.

Blast Theory, winner Nam June Paik Art Center Prize, 2016

A new page on my website now lists my script credits, with testimonials received from artists I’ve worked with, as well as links to further information about each. These projects include film, interactive digital, and sound works.

I strongly recommend Tony as a script consultant.

Oreet Ashery, Turner Bursary recipient, 2020

Visit Tony White’s NEW: SCRIPT WRITER / EDITOR page…

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This work has been supported by an award from Arts Council England through the Arts Council Emergency Response Fund: for individuals.

A Leap in the Dark 26

A special Zoom event for Seen from Here: Writing in the Lockdown, was at 8pm, Saturday 27th June 2020

Seen from Here: Writing in the Lockdown is a collection of stories, flash fiction, poems, autofiction and conceptual writing gathered during the April and May Covid-19 lockdown, bringing together UK-based writers, poets, performance makers and artists. Published in a PDF format by Unstable Object, an imprint launched by Tim Etchells and Vlatka Horvat, the book is available to buy on a pay-what-you-choose basis, with 100% of proceeds to be donated to the Trussell Trust, a UK food bank charity. Here’s the link:

www.thisisunbound.co.uk/products/seen-from-here

The writing in Seen from Here is extremely diverse – spanning enigmatic fiction, poetry, powerful autofiction, prescient language artworks and compelling performance texts. While some of the work reflects directly or indirectly on the lockdown experience and the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, other pieces offer glimpses of past events, other realities and fictional landscapes. All but one of the texts included in the collection are previously unpublished and most are newly written, emerging from the isolating state of the lockdown to form a hallucinatory portrait of the concerns, intimate realities and fragile fantasies of the UK in the pandemic zone of 2020.

There’s no charge for taking part in A Leap in the Dark, but please make a donation, no matter how large, to The Trussell Trust.

The Programme

Introduction by Tim Etchells and Vlatka Horvat | 1  WHAT STUCK   Season Butler | 2  YOU KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING OUT THERE   Tony White | 3  SMILE, CLAP, DANCE, SING   Andrea Mason | 4  WE ARE THE KING OF VENTILATORS   Chris Thorpe | 5  MARKET   Rachel Genn | 6  AND THEY SHALL CLAP   Fernando Sdrigotti | Interval | 7  IDEAS FOR PANDEMIC SHORT STORIES   Jacob Wren | 8  BECAUSE EVERYTHING IN THIS DAMNED WORLD   Lara Pawson | 9  SABIO   Marvin Thompson | 10 LAND LOCKED   M. John Harrison | 11 TOGETHER (PART 1)  Caroline Bergvall | 12 The Pale Usher signs off 

Fernando Sdrigotti reading for A Leap in the Dark 26

The Company

Caroline Bergvall is a writer, artist and performer who works across art forms, media and languages. The recipient of many international commissions, she is a noted exponent of writing and performance methods adapted to contemporary audiovisual and contextual situations, as well as multilingual identities and translocal exchange. Voice composition ‘TOGETHER (part 1)’ was commissioned by MAMCO, Geneva & Espace 2 Swiss National Radio in 2014. 

Season Butler is a writer, artist, dramaturg and lecturer in Performance Studies and Creative Writing. Her writing, research and art practice centre around intersectionality and narratives of otherness, isolation and negotiations with hope. Her debut novel, Cygnet, was published in spring 2019 and won the Writer’s Guild 2020 Award for Best First Novel. 

Tim Etchells is an artist and writer whose work shifts between performance, visual art and fiction. He has worked in a wide variety of contexts, notably as the leader of the world-renowned Sheffield-based performance group Forced Entertainment, and has exhibited and presented work in significant institutions all over the world. He is currently Professor of Performance & Writing at Lancaster University. His collection of short fiction, Endland, was published by And Other Stories in 2019.

Rachel Genn works at Manchester Writing School/School of Digital Arts. Formerly a neuroscientist, she has written two novels: The Cure (Constable, 2011) and What You Could Have Won (And Other Stories, 2020). As Leverhulme Artist- in-Residence (2016) she created The National Facility for the Regulation of Regret, spanning installation art, VR and film (ASFF, 2016; SXSW, 2017). She is currently working on Hurtling, a collection of investigations into immersion and the creative act; a binaural experience exploring paranoia with Human Studio; an ACE-funded collection about fighting and addiction to regret; and Blessed, an oral history of her family’s injuries. @RachelGenn

M. John Harrison tweets @mjohnharrison, blogs at ambientehotel.wordpress.com & lives in the West Midlands. Two new books are due in July 2020: a novel, The Sunken Land Begins To Rise Again, from Gollanz; and from Comma Press, Settling the World, selected short stories introduced by Jennifer Hodgson.

Vlatka Horvat is an artist working across sculpture, installation, drawing, performance, photography and writing. She is a former Yugoslav, a former Chicagoan, a former New Yorker (always a New Yorker) and a current Londoner. Her work is presented internationally in different contexts – in museums and galleries, in theatre and dance festivals and in public space. She’s a lecturer in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. 

Andrea Mason has published short stories in a number of art and literary journals including The Happy Hypocrite and New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing. Her debut novel, The Cremation Project, is forthcoming with Inside the Castle, USA, in 2021. 

Lara Pawson lives in London. She is the author of a fragmentary memoir, This Is the Place to Be (CB editions, 2016), and an indignant historical investigation, In the Name of the People: Angola’s Forgotten Massacre (IB Tauris, 2014). ‘Because Everything in This Damned World’ is an extract from a book in progress.

Fernando Sdrigotti is a London-based Argentine writer and cultural critic. He is the founding editor of the journal Minor Literature[s]. His latest book is Jolts, a collection of short stories published by Influx Press. minorliteratures.com and influxpress.com/jolts

Marvin Thompson was born in London to Jamaican parents and now lives in south Wales. His debut collection, Road Trip (Peepal Tree Press), is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. In 2019 he was shortlisted for the Manchester Poetry Prize. Reviewers have described his work as ‘moving’ and ‘a virtuoso performance.’

Chris Thorpe is a writer and performer from Manchester. He works as a playwright, most recently with the Royal Exchange, Unicorn and Royal Court, for whom he’s currently writing the Methuen Climate Commission. Collaborations include ongoing work with Rachel Chavkin, mala voadora, Third Angel, Yusra Warsama, Hannah Jane Walker, Rachel Bagshaw and Javaad Alipoor.

Tony White’s latest novel The Fountain in the Forest is published by Faber and Faber. White is the author of five previous novels including Foxy-T and Shackleton’s Man Goes South, the non-fiction title Another Fool in the Balkans and numerous short stories. He is editor and publisher of the artists’ book series Piece of Paper Press, founded in 1994. Tony White would like to acknowledge the support of Arts Council England through the Arts Council Emergency Response Fund: for individuals.

Jacob Wren makes literature, collaborative performances and exhibitions. His books include: Polyamorous Love Song, Rich and Poor and Authenticity Is a Feeling. With the interdisciplinary group PME-ART he’s co-created performances such as: Individualism Was A Mistake, The DJ Who Gave Too Much Information and Every Song I’ve Ever Written.

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Published by Unstable Object, June 2020 | ISBN: 978-1-8380422-0-2 | 382 pages | Seen from Here: Writing in the Lockdown is available to buy from the online bookshop Unbound, a Live Art Development Agency initiative.

Sign up to receive news and invites to Tony White’s book launches and events

In aid of the Trussell Trust: Seen From Here

Published in aid of the UK foodbank charity the Trussell Trust, Seen from Here: Writing in the Lockdown is a collection of stories, flash fiction, poems, autofiction and conceptual writing gathered during the April and May Covid-19 lockdown, bringing together UK-based writers, poets, performance makers and artists.

I’m really proud to join the diverse line-up of contributors to this unique book featuring some of my favourite contemporary writers and artists.

Published in a PDF format by Unstable Object, an imprint launched by Etchells and Horvat for this occasion, the book is available to buy on a pay-what-you-choose basis, with 100% of proceeds to be donated to the Trussell Trust, a UK food bank charity.

Seen from Here: Writing in the Lockdown
ON SALE now at: https://www.thisisunbound.co.uk/products/seen-from-here

The writing in Seen from Here is extremely diverse – spanning enigmatic fiction, poetry, powerful autofiction, prescient language artworks and compelling performance texts. While some of the work reflects directly or indirectly on the lockdown experience and the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, other pieces offer glimpses of past events, other realities and fictional landscapes. All but one of the texts included in the collection are previously unpublished and most are newly written, emerging from the isolating state of the lockdown to form a hallucinatory portrait of the concerns, intimate realities and fragile fantasies of the UK in the pandemic zone of 2020.

The book is edited by Tim Etchells and Vlatka Horvat and designed by David Caines.

Tim Etchells and Vlatka Horvat at Strong Language, Site Gallery, Sheffield, 2018. Photo: Chris Saunders

Contributors: Fiona Banner aka The Vanity Press, Caroline Bergvall, Aisha Mango Borja, Season Butler, Hester Chillingworth, Augusto Corrieri, Will Eaves, Tim Etchells, Rachel Genn, Chris Goode, M. John Harrison, Vlatka Horvat, Wendy Houstoun, Sophie Jung, Andrea Mason, Harun Morrison, Courttia Newland, Katharine Norbury, Lara Pawson, Deborah Pearson, Fernando Sdrigotti, Maria Sledmere, Marvin Thompson, Selina Thompson, Rupert Thomson, Chris Thorpe, Tony White, Eley Williams, Aaron Williamson, Jacob Wren.

Published by Unstable Object, June 2020 | ISBN: 978-1-8380422-0-2 | 382 pages | Seen from Here: Writing in the Lockdown is available to buy from the online bookshop Unbound, a Live Art Development Agency initiative.

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Tony White would like to acknowledge the support of Arts Council England through the Arts Council Emergency Response Fund: for individuals.

Jill Coughman RIP

This portrait (oil on canvas, 60x90cm) was painted in Leeds, early in the autumn of 1984, by a very good friend of mine at the time, the painter Jill Coughman, who was then studying Fine Art at Leeds Polytechnic. It was painted in my basement room in the Hyde Park area of Leeds. Sitting for Jill was a great privilege, but it was also a really enjoyable two or three days. She was a great laugh, loved a gossip, and was very good and generous company.

I remember that Jill made several such portraits of contemporaries that year, as part of her studies. And once it was no longer needed, she kindly gave me the painting. It followed me around for a year or two, and then hung on the wall at my mother’s house for many years, but has recently returned to me. I thought that friends here might like to see it.

I was very sad to learn that Jill passed away at home in Plymouth on 8 April 2020.

RIP Jill.

Do you have a favourite pencil?

I found this old friend – thought lost – yesterday evening, while looking for something else. It’s my favourite pencil! Well, I’m a writer; what can I say? Actually, maybe it’s my second-favourite.

How about you? Is it just me, or do other people have favourite pens or pencils?

This is a beauty. It’s a vintage Conté Criterium, cast aluminium mechanical pencil, loaded with a 2mm 4B Staedtler lead. This itself was a replacement for a vintage Bic Criterium (found in the deepest recesses of an old stationery shop in Vence, France, ca. 2000) of near-identical design, with cast body, milled grip, etc. although the Bic version – should you be lucky enough to find one – comes unpolished, with a brass cone and unrounded corners (and is thus, to my eye at least, marginally more beautiful).

Both the Bic and latterly the Conté have accompanied me on numerous research trips to the British Library (where, as you probably know, the reading rooms have a ‘pencils only’ policy) and to other archives and collections, and have been used to annotate and correct the manuscripts and proofs of every book I’ve written, from Foxy-T onwards.

This Conté Criterium came from a stationery shop in Ukraine, via eBay!

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Always steadily increasing in meaning

“It is very interesting, often very exciting, mostly very confusing, always steadily increasing in meaning.” (Gertrude Stein, The Making of Americans, p335)

Thanks to instigators Anna Barham and Irene Revell, and all fellow readers, for last night’s instalment in the continuing yearlong live reading of Gertrude Stein’s The Making of Americans. This project started in January as a low-key gathering in Anna Barham’s London living room, for a live audience comprised only of the dozen or so fellow participants, and broadcast online at annabarham.net. Since March it has continued online as a strictly cameras off, audio-only group reading, broadcast for a few hours every two weeks to anyone and no-one.

They are all of them themselves and they repeat it and I hear it: a yearlong reading of Gertrude Stein’s The Making of Americans (1925). Organised by Irene Revell and Anna Barham. Next instalment: 8:00pm, Tuesday 19 May 2020.

Listen to the archive and the live-stream here.

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Listen again: Resonance 104.4fm’s 18th birthday special programmes

Happy birthday to Resonance FM, which on 1 May 2020 celebrated 18 years of continuous broadcasting on 104.4fm. It is such an achievement after 18 years still to be both an indispensable community radio station and a unique experiment in sound art and arts broadcasting. Congratulations to everyone involved!

There was a day of special broadcasts to mark 18 years on 104.4FM, 1 May 2020, midnight-to-midnight, featuring loads of really great shows, special archive recordings and one-offs. Here’s the schedule.

I was really pleased to be part of this day of celebration, with two pieces neither of which had been broadcast on the radio before.

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05:30 — a never-broadcast radio edit of my short story from A Puppet Show by Steven Hull for Glow: Santa Monica 2013. Steven Hull is a wonderful artist based in LA whose work often includes huge collaborative projects. My story ‘Apocryphal Fragment from the Lives of the Conquistadors’ was commissioned by Steven to be performed as a huge psychedelic puppet show on Santa Monica Beach for the Glow Festival, with accompanying music commissioned from the legendary Gibby Haynes. Gibby and I never spoke or corresponded in advance or compared notes in any way, and we didn’t share anything with Steven, there wasn’t time. Yet when our files crossed over, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing: somehow the words and music seemed to illustrate each other. Interviewed on the record sleeve, Gibby Haynes said that he ‘intentionally did not read the story then was shocked to find out how much the writing inspired the sounds.’ This radio edit brings the two tracks together.

Listen to ‘A Puppet Show (radio edit)’ again – starts 16:30 approx. (Segment also includes John Gleaves, Jude Cowan Montague, Catherine Pestano, Amy Neilson Smith, Lepke B, Arianne Churchman & Benedict Drew, Samuel Robinson, Bronac Ferran, Tina Pearson, The Curtain Up Show, Sandra Cross, Emma Roper-Evans.)
Steven Hull, A Puppet Show (detail). Glow: Santa Monica 2013

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20:00 — my short story ‘High-Lands’ performed live at the Mechanics’ Institute, Galway for TULCA Festival of Visual Arts 2016. ‘High-Lands’ is performed here with live musical accompaniment from New Pope, joined by Colm Bohan on percussion and Stephen Connolly on organ and guitar. Recorded live at the Galway Mechanics’ Institute, November 11 2016. Sound engineer: John Burke.

Listen again to ‘High-Lands’
Tony White and New Pope, live at the TULCA Festival of Visual Arts 2016 (detail)

‘High-Lands’ was written for radio, and was originally commissioned by London Fieldworks and Resonance 104.4fm as part of Remote Performances, with an original version broadcast live from Outlandia, a unique artists’ field-station in Glen Nevis, Lochaber, Scotland with an improvised live soundscape accompaniment by Johny Brown. Find out more about ‘High-Lands’ here…

Resonance broadcasts on 104.4 FM to central London, DAB to Greater London, nationally on Radioplayer and live streamed to the rest of the world.

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Help to support Resonance 104.4fm

The Resonance archive on Mixcloud

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The Fountain in the Forest was a Guardian ‘Book of the Day’ – read Sukhdev Sandhu’s review

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Essay: A Teenage Takeover of Libraries

A couple of years ago the arts director and producer Claire Doherty invited me to contribute to a new British Council essay collection, Where Strangers Meet: An international collection of essays on arts in the public realm. Specifically, Doherty asked me to write about A Place Free Of Judgement, my 2016 libraries live-streaming collaboration with Blast Theory.

The resulting essay, ‘A Teenage Takeover of Libraries’, is available here:

Read ‘A TEENAGE TAKEOVER OF LIBRARIES’ by Tony White (opens as PDF).

Claire Doherty really has done a great job with this collection. Where Strangers Meet includes contributions from Tania Bruguera, Nina Edge, Lynn Frogget, Gabriella Gomez-Mont, Dave Haslam, Paul Heritage, Shriya Malhotra, Omar Nagati, David Olusoga, Papa Omotayo, Jay Pather, Diba Salam, Jennifer Stein, Karolin Tampere, Kate Tyndall, and me.

Subject matter across the collection includes the making of Jeremy Deller’s We’re Here Because We’re Here, how music venues enrich city life, and decolonising public monuments and statuary, as well as public art in Cairo, Lagos and Rio de Janeiro, and much more.

Where Strangers Meet has been soft-launched with events in Bristol and Liverpool, and copies of a (very) limited edition box set of all the essays are available to read in public libraries in Liverpool. (I wish they were available more widely.) I understand that there is a plan to make the essays available as an online anthology. As soon as I hear that this is available I’ll post a link and share on social media.

In the meantime, I am making the PDF of my own essay available here.

ICYMI, here’s the blurb about A Place Free Of Judgement:

During 2016 Blast Theory and acclaimed author Tony White worked with young people in libraries in Telford and Wrekin, Worcestershire, and Staffordshire to reimagine libraries, storytelling and their place in the world. On 29 October 2016, over the course of nine hours from 3pm to midnight, the young people took control of their local libraries, and performed live to a worldwide audience via an interactive live stream.

Blast Theory and I also collaborated on a book about the project that includes my exclusive YA novella ‘Zombies Ate My Library’, which follows the lives of four young people in the West Midlands—Alice, Gareth, Tommy and Rukhsana—as they plot a sleepover in a haunted library. What could possibly go wrong?

A Place Free Of Judgement by Blast Theory and Tony White, was developed with ASCEL West Midlands and Arts Connect. It was made in collaboration with young people and librarians in Telford and Wrekin, Worcestershire, and Staffordshire and created in partnership with young people and librarians in Solihull, Shropshire, Dudley and the University of Worcester. The project was made with support from Arts Council England Lottery Funding, Arts Connect the Bridge organisation for the West Midlands and the University of Worcester.

Watch a video about the project here:

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Read ‘A Teenage Takeover of Libraries’ by Tony White

Order Blast Theory and Tony White’s book A Place Free Of Judgement direct from the Blast Theory shop – includes White’s exclusive YA novella ZOMBIES ATE MY LIBRARY

Buy Tony’s latest novel The Fountain in the Forest in paperback from Book Hive

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