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:


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 All but one of the texts included in the collection are previously unpublished and most are newly written, emerging from the isolating state of the lockdown to form a hallucinatory portrait of the concerns, intimate realities and fragile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.


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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