Advisory Network

The advisory network engages with the ‘how-to’ of a range of experts in the performing arts and related fields. Set up in the first instance to act as a sounding board for advising METIS on its operations, our ambition for the network is that it pools ideas in a way that it is of mutual benefit for its participants. Most participants are local to Cambridge, allowing a cross-fertilisation of ideas among professionals who are geographically proximate, but rarely have the opportunity to meet.

The network holds a meeting once every few months. Inspired by the dinners held at METAL in Southend, the meetings are held over lunch or high tea. Each meeting explores a particular topic, with a speaker to kickstart discussion.

International Collaboration

The first advisory network meeting took place on the 28th June, over high tea at Metis Finance Director Hilary Seaward’s house. After a brief introduction to Metis, the topic of discussion was international collaboration. Present were: Rachel Parslew, Zhao Chuan, Jonathan Goodacre, Aileen Muir, David Russell, Hilary Seaward, Zoë Svendsen, Simon Daw, and Phoebe Monk.

The speakers were:

Rachel Parslew, producer/facilitator of a wide range of arts projects in China

Zhao Chuan, alternative theatre director and cultural theorist from Shanghai

Zhao Chuan is visiting the UK on a British Council Connections Through Culture grant to discuss a new collaboration with METIS: World Factory

Here is your content
Here is your content

Molly Zero

Molly Zero is a multi-media performance that combines live real-time digital and manual artistic creation to create a unique ‘comic-book’ form of story-telling. It is loosely based on Keith Richard’s dystopian sci fi novel, first published in 1980.

This project was initiated through an R&D process with Company of Angels, with Mira Voigt and Carolyn Downing. It is currently being developed for 2013.



The Competition (Previously ‘The Fencing Project’)

THE COMPETITION  explores the relationship between live action and remote interaction, via the digital mediation of an invented sport. The heart of the project will be a new interdisciplinary performance work. Inspired by the intense, balletic feints of fencing, we explore the idea of choreography as tactics, and sport as aesthetic.

Visit the Competition website here, to find out more.

On 16th-19th August 2012 we inhabited an empty shop in Cambridge’s shopping centre, The Grafton Centre, in association with Changing Spaces.

We were testing the technology for the potential installation/performance; the format is a ‘rehearsal in public’. As part of the work we are gathering thoughts on tactics for winning and losing – click here to submit yours.

The pop-up event will took place during ordinary shop opening hours. We collaborated with Cambridge Contemporary Dance who supplied dancers to perform within the installation.


Developed with support from the National Theatre Studio and The Junction (Sampled).

Click here for more information on The Competition

We are inspired by how contemporary sport takes excellent advantage of the vast array of possibilities for digital mediation. Even at live events, close-ups and replays are displayed on large screens, whilst spectators capture highlights on mobile phones and cameras for personal archives. We want to apply these kinds of mediation to an artistic event that encodes a similar framework of winning and losing, exploring the extent to which the body is straitjacketed by the ‘performance’ parameters of sport.

In competitive sports, you don’t move more than you have to
and everything is goal-directed. That’s useful because the 
best acting is economical, it’s not extraneous. 
People in life don’t show extra emotions, unless they are 
trying to get something out of it. It’s all about winning.
Greta Gerwig, actress and former fencing champion,
The Guardian April 2012

3rd Ring Out China

We don’t inherit the world from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.

In July 2011 Zoe Svendsen and Simon Daw visited China to meet with artists, climate specialists, journalists and art producers to discuss how the issues explored in 3rd Ring Out relate to contemporary Chinese climate change questions, art and performance. We did a presentation at Xindanwei in Shanghai, to artists, cultural producers and media people all concerned by climate change. This was followed by an open space discussion, where the topics ranged from questions of the relationship between art and education, to the decisive split between city and rural areas in terms of climate impacts (for those living in the resource-hungry cities, climate decimation feels remote, even when encroaching, as is the case with the desertification outside Beijing).

In Beijing, we held two round-table discussions at the British Council, using 3rd Ring Out as a catalyst to explore climate change issues. The first was with climate journalists from a variety of organisations, including CCTV, Global Times, the China Information Centre, 21st century Business Herald and China Dialogue. The second was with climate scientists, teachers and British Council climate champions.

In Guiyang, Zoe gave a presentation at the annual international Ecoforum, participating in the education panel.

Articles on Climate Change in China
Other relevant artistic/cultural projects
This project was conceived of and produced by Rachel Parslew, inspired by 3rd Ring Out.

It was supported by a British Council Connections through Culture grant and the Sino-British Fellowship Trust.

Many thanks to aaajiao, Zhou Liping, Xindanwei, Rebecca Nadin and the arts and climate change teams at British Council China for making the trip possible.

Other artistic/cultural projects engaging with sustainability:


Goethe Institute exhibition: Updating China


Please get in touch to let us know about other projects engaging with climate change in China or the UK. 



china map climate change
Copyright © Metis Arts 2013