Photo of Professor Nick Kaye

Professor Nick Kaye

Professor of Performance Studies


Extension: 3307

Telephone: 01392 72 3307

Nick's research focuses on the history of post-war experimental performance, with emphasis on the relationship between theatre and the development of ideas and practices through distinct but related disciplines, including sculpture, architectural theory, conceptual and performance art, aspects of experimental music, installation, video art and video installation. His books include: Postmodernism and Performance (1994), Art into Theatre: Performance Interviews and Documents (1996), Site-Specific Art: Performance, Place and Documentation (2000), Staging the Post-Avant-Garde: Italian Performance After 1970' (co-authored with Gabriella Giannachi  2002), Multi-media: video - installation -  performance (2007), Performing Presence: Between the Live and the Simulated (co authored with Gabriella Giannachi, MUP: 2011), Archaeologies of Presence (co-edited with Gabriella Giannachi and Michael Shanks, Routledge, 2012), Dennis Oppenheim: Body to Performance (with Amy van Winkle Oppenheim, Skira-Rizzoli 2016), and Artists in the Archive (with Paul Clarke, Johanna Linsley and Simon Jones, Routledge, 2018).

From 2005 - 2010 he was a principal investigator for Performing Presence: from the live to the simulated, a large-scale collaborative research project funded by an award of £275,000 from the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, and which he led in collaboration with colleagues at Exeter English, Stanford Archaeology and UCL Computer Science. From 2011 - 2014, he collaborated with University of Bristol Drama and Arnolfini Bristol on Performing Documents: modeling creative and curatorial engagements with live art and performance archives, which is supported by an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) award of £453,000. Amongst other events, the project included a large-scale exhibition at Arnoilfini Bristol in 2013 co-curated with Tom Trevor and a major book publication, Artists in the Archive: Creative and Curatorial Engagments with Documents of Art and Performance, edited by Paul Clarke, Simon Jones, Nick Kaye and Johanna Linsley and published by Routledge in June 2018.

From January 2012 - 2016 he was Co-Director of "Research and Enterprise in Arts and Creative Technologies Hub" (REACT), one of four knowledge exchange hubs awarded nationally as part of a £16 million investment by the Arts and Humanities Research Council to create collaborative projects between research academics and creative industry partners. REACT is supported by an award from the AHRC of £3.9million, with a total project value of £5million. Over its four year duration, REACT will invest in up to 70 knowledge exchange projects in the South West and nationally.  REACT is a partnership between the universities of Exeter and Bristol, University of West of England, Cardiff and Bath. Contributing partners include BBC, Tate, English Heritage, Hewlett Packard, National Trust, SlingShot and Welsh National Opera. 

Research papers have included presentations at Brown University, MoMA New York, Stanford University Drama, the National Institute of Advanced Studies Bangalore, Fudan University Shanghai, Shanghai Theatre Academy, and Tsingua School of Art and Design in Beijing.

Current projects include an authored book for Routledge, Conceptual Performance: conceptual art as theatrical practice, supported by a British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant unti 2021. Nick is Investigator in a new large grant award, Popular performance for new urban audiences: reconnecting M50 creative cluster with Shanghai All-Female Yue Opera, a three-year collaboration with Leeds University and the Shanghai Theatre Academy. The project is in receipt of £433K from the Arts and Humanities Research Council and STA, in conjunction with substantial investment from creative industry partners and will result in a series of media-based performance installations in Shanghai as well as symposia and publications. From 2020, Nick was appointed as honorary Associate Archivist to the San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, California, in support of projects that will digitize and make pubic SFAI's unique archival holdings.  

Office: Office B, Ground Floor, Queen's Building.