Kath Bicknell

On 1-2 October, a diverse collection of academics, industry, government, athletes and recreational riders will get together in Cambridge, New Zealand to talk about cycling. The Future of Cycling: Challenges and Possibilities symposium, hosted by the University of Waikato, will be held at the Avantidrome, New Zealand’s Home of Cycling. I describe this place to people on the Western Island as like the Australian Institute of Sport, but just for cyclists. Read More

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At a time when funding is increasingly competitive and people have more choice than ever about how and where to invest their energy, how do the arts to compete? It’s no longer enough to create exceptional work and know that people will line up to witness it. We’ve entered an emotion- and experience-based economy where consumers have more options than ever before, and are more critical about what they get from participation in return. So how do we harness the energy of these audiences and keep the arts running high on the list of things that people choose to attend? The Audience Experience addresses this by examining multiple factors that lead to audience enjoyment, growth and participation. While each chapter offers key insights into this area of scholarship, the strength of the book is in bringing these elements together. In doing so, the authors offer an account of audience participation as active, localised, varied and complex.

(Bicknell, Kath, review of The Audience Experience: A critical analysis of audiences in the performing arts, ed. by Jennifer Radbourne, Hilary Glow and Katya Johanson, Austalasian Drama Studies 65, (2014): 326-330.) Read More

Three weeks, three conferences and one interdisciplinary research day. Each gathering brought together academic thinkers from a diverse range of disciplinary backgrounds. Conversation was rich, ideas were shared generously, new working relationships were developed and momentum was built for a busy period of writing ahead. Read More

A lot of the work you see on this website comes from the world of cycling. What many people don’t realise is that the background to my professional work in the cycling and media industries comes from spending most of my life studying theatre and performance.

Earlier this year I joined Dr Robin Dixon and Dr Chris Hay in the Department of Performance Practices at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA). This department does the ‘theory stuff’: Performance history and analysis, unpacking scripts against their original cultural and historical moment, looking at how big ideas from those time periods come through in the art that was being created alongside them, critical thinking and theoretical tools for describing work that’s happening right now. Read More

Working in cycling media offers the chance to get stuck in to many different types of writing. Feature articles and interviews, opinion pieces, how-tos, news, product tests…

One thing I really enjoy about testing equipment is the opportunity to weave together experience and critique. You don’t write about a product by sitting in a chair and thinking about it. You get out there, play with it, push its limits and discover how it transforms the experience of an activity you love. These processes sit side-by-side with my academic work as well: investigating the ties between equipment, performance, embodied action and cognition. Read More