High Performance

high performance

‘With the commencement of High Performance, publisher, founder, and editor Linda Frye Burnham invented a standard format for the documentation and dissemination of live and ephemeral artworks, creating single- or double-paged spreads that paired a photograph with an artist-supplied text chronicling the live event. Operating on an open submission policy from its founding in 1978 until 1982, Burnham published any artist who could provide black-and-white photographic documentation, dates, and a description of the performance.’

– Jenni Sorkin, ‘Envisioning High Performance’, Art Journal, 62.2 (2003)

High Performance was part-magazine, part artist-publication, based in Los Angeles. It worked to both shift some US cultural weight from the New York City centre, and to create a critical space for thinking about the nascent performance art genre in the US. The ‘Artist Chronicle’ section was particularly notable for its open submission policy, and for foregrounding artists’ accounts of their own practices. A 2003 exhibition ‘High Performance: the First Five Years, 1978-1982’ was organised by Jenni Sorkin at LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions)

Interview by Jenni Sorkin with Linda Frye Burnham and Steven Durland, co-founders, High Performance magazine


Harriet Curtis, ‘Performance Legacies in Print and Practice: High Performance Magazine, 1978-1983’, Platform 8.1 (2014)



history written by Johanna Linsley

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