The Happy Jug [forthcoming]

Entr’acte (Antwerp) are publishing an illustrated libretto and audio CD release of my “posthuman play” The Happy Jug, with musician Kepla.

“I brought the happy jug home the day I found out about a grant, which would eventually lead me to write this play.  The grant is a Paul Auster style narrative device, in that it makes me unanswerable to material demands, and projects my life into a boundedlessness vertigo … the happy jug a concrete marker of my vulnerable but precise re-emergence into the world of matteringlessness: theory.”

At this time, my wife Nina has migraines. She goes for an MRI scan but we hear nothing, her exhaustion apparently just an example of the general pressure of living under austerity. This austerity is due to be relieved when a left-leaning coalition gain control of government.

A year later, I smash the jug.  The MRI scan is transformed.  Nina now has a brain tumour which has been growing for more than fifteen years.  The result of the general election is also rewritten.

The play follows the narrative of Nina’s consultations and brain surgery in the emotional aftermath of the 2015 general election, by speculating on the role of the jug.

The chapters are presented alongside slices from an MRI scan on opposite pages.  The ‘cuts’ of the novel’s various voices, from medical diagnosis to speculative philosophy to love letter, replicated and echoed in the ‘cuts’ between MRI scans as the reader is encouraged to reconstruct the story for themselves.

by Nathan Jones
additional imagery by Chris Boyd
Design by Nathan Jones and Entr’acte

Script by Nathan Jones
Sound by Kepla
Including voice by Nina Jones, Imogen Stidworthy, Nathan Jones

Letter to the Workers

Text animation on monitor, in collaboration with Andre Guedes.

First shown in English and Portugese at “Prospectus IV” Gallerie Municipas Lisboa 2017
(Accompanying catalogue publication due 2018)


Dear Colleague,

Rather than struggle to sustain or envision a factory from the traces left behind in the wake of
the textiles we produce, we look towards our own deployment as the texture of the workplace

The texture of the factory, of what is not required, almost precisely echoes the apparatus of
aesthetics and gestures required to maintain it. The hollowness at the centre of this factory –
a hollowness we might work to fill but must first provide hunger adequate to it in ourselves – is
the core from which the aura of its greatness will resound. The activity within that gives
meaning to the most insignificant moment without….

The Rereader

an interactive installation by Nathan Jones, Sam Skinner and Tom Schofield

A book scanner which transforms the physical book in to a series of algorithmic, semantic and aesthetic text performances. Every book scanned contributes to the training of a neural net, producing new texts.

Installed at the Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool as part of “Torque: Re-Learning to Read”, April/May 2017


Unicode Class Vernacular [current]

A Liverpool Biennial commission. Published in LUNE literary journal.

Unicode Class Vernacular is a project exploring the character database Unicode, and its potential as a writing tool via post digital methods. The vastly extended character array of unicode transforms the potential relation between written and spoken language.

A Fine Art Appendix

Edited book of work by Fine Art BA students attending my Media Art Writing seminar series at Liverpool John Moores School of Art and Design, 2017

Designed by Mark Simmonds

Traumatic Time

A cover feature article/poem for Poetry Wales, edited by Nia Davies.

l a n g u a g e is compressing,
cracking under the weight of the anthropocene
& post truth politics is the white male body
cracking under the pressure of its own l i e s, (Rosi Braidotti, speaking at Liverpool University,11th October 2016.)

What are these linguistic cracks, and what leaks out from them? poems



























With imagery generated using the OCR software Texture by Nicolas Malevé


A Crack in the Voice

performances at FACT and the Bluecoat, Liverpool 2017

No bodies survive intact in this equation, wherein time itself is accorded the status of a fold of silk, which can just as simply open, wind, knot or ripple, thickening, as spread in any singular direction.

In this story, I discuss a crack in one such symbolic body, as it was revealed to me during the making of The Happy Jug. The play, as with this story, concerns the simultaneity of the break and the leak in the information age – and the radical proposal of time this requires…. Rather than following this outward trajectory of the spreading leakage as it blurred through medical records into democratic procedure (paths which continue to spread to this day) the story here follows the crack itself, inward through the recording and circumstances of the play, carving Nina’s voice open to the dreaming mind.



Nodes is an ongoing theatre/performance writing project by myself and Mark Greenwood.

We recently appeared on the Verb with
‘two minutes of lang-bliss’

And we have also shown at Rich Mix LDN, and 24 Kitchen Street and The Cornerstone Theatre in Liverpool.

Social‐science fiction for the North West of England. Written and devised by Mark Greenwood and Nathan Jones with a cohort of actors, the play revisits iconic Liverpool 1980s culture through a radically dystopian vision of speech.

Electric Blanket

FACT project, with Liverpool Mutual Homes, to create a special digital literacy programme of work for their residents.

I met with residents in their schemes to learn about their lives and show them interesting uses of digital technology.  This film show 30 of the 50 residents engaged with the talking about an object that is important to them.  The residents used iPad to create their videos and a watermarking app to place the object within the shot.

The workshops were designed by Nathan to help residents utilise the skill they are developing in tablet computing for a creative end. This project is supported by Liverpool Mutual Homes.

The Electric Blanket – Nathan Jones mini commission from FACT on Vimeo.

New Death

Surround sound audio, installed in ceiling grid.

Story by China Meilville
Concept and performance by Nathan Jones
Recording and production by Carl Brown

Taking its title from a newly commissioned piece of writing by China Mieville, New Death is an audio interpretation of Mieville’s thoughts of what the future of death might be; his imaginings of how our bodies may die differently.

The work looks to draw out the uncanny implications for time, physics and digitality in the qualities of this New Death. Working with sound designer Carl Brown, to carefully rearticulate Mievelle’s narrative, I presented an ambiguous, complex and contradictory interpretation of the original story.

The audio work is an extension of my practice exploring the notion of error in writing and language, and how this relates to technology.  With New Death, I introduced a variety of linguistic and para-linguistic quirks to the computer voice – for example adding ‘accent’ and ‘breath’, at the expense of clarity.

This has an effect of degenerating the normally slick communication of the computer voice into something which is more human and affecting.  The dialogue is situated even more ambiguously by the addition of filters and performative gestures which make the artist’s own voice less recognisably human.

Listen to some excerpts here:

Many thanks to Kazimir for installing the work in flattering surroundings.


This was a new commission for FACT, and the world premiere of the piece.


Future City: unpacking the library

I made this performance for Liverpool Biennial’s Future City symposium.

The brief was to work with a newly gathered ‘Future Library’ consisting of 122 texts,
and create a 15 minute performance.

My approach was to appropriate selections from the library, using the word “NOW” to cut through the vast amount of texts and create a script of constant immanence.

I worked with actors Nicholas Burke, Maisie Newman and Lydia-Grace Searle to realise the script as a performance.



Live Writing

Some images of the Live Writing software I developed at Mercy with Mark Greenwood and Sam Meech.  The interface is made by Sam Meech using Isadora.  We’re really keen that people take advantage of this software and help us explore its potentials.

The Live Writing interface essentially allows for writing-as-peformance – not only at the level of textual production, but by allowing a live animation, degredation, affecting, throbbing and sensory involvement of text.  It flashes, pulses, falls apart, merges and fogs live poetry.

So far, performances using the software have taken us to a DIY gig in Leeds, a rave in Park Hill Flats in Sheffield, and the Liverpool Biennial Launch Party in 2012.

You can download this software patch for Isadora here:

You will need to download Isadora, and Pete Warden’s Freeframe Plugins also:

Get in touch with enquiries.

Nuance, Nuisance, Jouissance _ TALK

A performance paper I delivered at Brunel University.

The complete title is “Nuance, Nuisance, Jouissance: notes towards a noise poetic”

There is a lot of, hopefully productive, wordplay and mixing-up
of terminologies, texts and disciplines in this talk, so bear with me!




Notes Towards a Noise Poetic by Nathan Jones



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Paulson, W. The Noise of Culture: Literary Texts in a World of Information, (New York: Cornell University Press, 1988)

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Sade, M. de, 120 Days of Sodom, trans Havoc, James, (London: Solar Books, 2008)

Serres, Michel. The Parasite, (University of Minnesota Press, 2007)

Sutherland, K. Hot White Andy (Brighton: Barque Press, 2009)

Trecartin, R., Trill-ogy Comp. (2009) < HYPERLINK “”> [accessed 17 May 2012]

Voegelin, S. Towards a Philosophy of Sound, (New York: Continuum, 2010)

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