You and Your Work – Anita Sullivan

Q. Who are you and what form does your artistic practice take?

I am Anita Sullivan and my work takes place in found sites, on Radio 4, online and in theatres. I am a storyteller, using whatever means serve the story.

Q. Why and how did you start this sort of work?

I started as a theatre stage-manager, I became an investigative journalist, I have a degree in multimedia technology and I write for radio because I am going deaf. I try to work in a way that combines as many of these different skills and means of expression as possible.

Q. What contexts do you tend to work in and with whom?

I work in isolation as a writer. I work in collaboration with theatre directors, installation artists, radio producers, global corporations and multimedia

Q. What’s your most significant moment of learning as an artist?

Inviting an audience of Big Issue sellers to my play about prostitution. I learned that an audience can and should be a protagonist, in a profound way.

Q. Why is your artistic practice important in the bigger picture? Or how do you feel your artistic practice fits within the bigger picture?

My artistic practice is no more important than anyone else’s. It doesn’t fit within the bigger picture, it responds to it and explores the inherent constraints.

Q. Can you give us a quotation, individual or piece of artistic work that you find inspiring, and why?

“Ever tried? Ever failed? No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” Samuel Beckett. The journey is everything, the journey is the thing.

Q. Who are you working with on Future Tourist and what do they each bring?

Rachel Aspinwall brings vision, flexibility, fearlessness and rigour to the creation of non-theatre performance. Tim Kindberg brings a knowledge both of data technology and the social-political dimensions of its application.

Q. What do you think you’ll be doing over the given time and how might you be working together?

I will be identifying the story, Tim will be exploring the HOW, Rachel will be asking WHY and MAKING IT happen. Although these roles will shift around.

Q. Where do you hope the process might take you individually and collectively?

Somewhere we haven’t been before.

Q. Why does it feel important to make this work now?

We give ourselves away with every virtual interaction we make, sometimes in pieces of data, sometimes in streams of consciousness. (I’m doing it right now, as I write). We can’t take that back. We don’t stop to the think about the value of what we give, the price of it. Or where those pieces of ourselves could end up, how they could be reassembled. It’s happening to all of us so quickly, so insidiously, we haven’t had time to question it. And I think it’s important to stop and do just that.