Michael Burditt Norton


Current Projects


My current research focuses on selection practices in major arts institutions in the UK, Germany and the USA.  This project considers and identifies the values and methods employed in choosing work presented in theatre dance and performance venues, be it curation, programming or producing. Using the term selection to re-frame curation, programming  and producing, the research approaches selecting as practice which produces an active aesthetic. In the research, I aim to identify a selector's reflexivity, positionality and tacit knowledge to reveal the inexplicit work of selectors.

Practice as Research

The Corporate warrior is an ongoing research project that questions the making of meaning and belief in patriarchal conditions. Addressing the structure of governmentality that Foucault lies out, the research is an inquiry into 'Technologies of the Self', or one's ability to dissent from institutional conditioning. Through an active aesthetic of channeling and speaking, The Corporate Warrior represents layers of metaphor. It addresses the autobiographical narratives of family, the American structure of achievement, and the theoretical perspective of 'Bio-politics'. 

The Research examines these bio-political structures auto-ethnographically, where the researcher becomes the subject. The evidence of the performance identifies the ontological position of the subject's own queer resistance to the patriarchal structure of human sciences and other structures of control and sense-making. In the practice, a technology of externalization has developed, placing meaning on objects, locations, and words that did not previously exist. 

An iteration of the practice presented at The Brink Festival
a selection of research notations developed from Automated listening, autoethnograpic exercises, and "warrior training."
Documents of research produced in the practice on flipchart, used to simutaneously produce and dismantle a Corporate Warrior.

Conference Presentations


Productivity, disobedience and Co-play: Rethinking Collaboration (again)

On The Moors PEP Conference, University of Plymouth 

This practice based research uses co-play, or creating along side without engagement, as a collaborative strategy. The work engages with Roland Barthes’ idea of “text” emerging from “work,” and the claim to the death of authorship. The research engages a methodology of productivity, where the evaluative data comes from what is generated in studio. Evaluation of the research is based on our relationship to it as authors, even as the work is passed between each other.

Co-presented with Clara Nizard and Eastman Presser


I Wish My Boyfriend were as Dirty as Your Policies: An Analysis of Modern Day Humorous Placards in Protest. 

Performing Research Conference, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama 

Looking at the current trend of meaningless humorous placards in protest, the research considered  the performative action of protesting with a placard. Through case study analysis, the research considered the intended and unintended implacts of this humour, and how it changes the way we engage with politics, social media and the actual policy within governments and institutions.