Dr Thomas John Bacon, preferably known as TJB, is a non-binary artist whose work focuses upon the conception of the body, Being and the idea of a multiplicity of Self/s in performance. This work can be located within the framework of performance art and philosophical/phenomenological investigations that look to de/construct and challenge perception, alongside the assumed liminal barriers of body-based art.
Xe is known for creating artworks that capture an altered space, environment, or period of time that regardless of scale, will often make intense, sometimes visceral, beautiful pieces that place the body in extremis.
Living and working in the UK, TJB has been exhibiting work since 2001 and internationally since 2009 particularly through Europe and East coast USA.
TJB's main focus is upon novel applications of phenomenology in the study of performance art, specifically body art, a form which has undergone limited phenomenological analysis in existing scholarship. Analysing the Being of the performance artist in the process of performative action, where the material is their own Lived Body (Merleau-Ponty 2002), focusing on how their presence is perceived, produced and experienced through spectator, space, and artist. This is underpinned by key phenomenological theories from Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1968, 2002), considering embodied performing and spectating experientially. With additional insight from Martin Heidegger’s theories (2009a, 2009b), Thomas John Bacon proposes that a multiplicity of Self/s are perceived through an investment in physical, psychological or aesthetic risk.
Xe holds a BA (London Met) in Theatre and English, an MA (Goldsmiths) in Performance, a PGCE (Greenwich), and a PhD (Bristol) in phenomenology and performance art with the thesis: Experiencing a Multiplicity of Self/s.
TJB is the artistic director of Tempting Failure London's Biennial of International Performance Art, which curates a wide range of sonic/noise art alongside transgressive performance art practices. Founded in 2011 and producing from 2012 onwards, it is supported by Arts Council England.
In 2014 The British Library selected TJB's website for their permanent archive. In 2016, Tempting Failure became a core member of Live Art UK.
- 2003 – BA English and Theatre Studies, 2:1 Hons, London Metropolitan University
- 2005 – MA Performance, Goldsmiths College, University of London
- 2007 – PGCE Post Compulsory Education and Training, University of Greenwich
- 2017 – PhD ‘Experiencing a Multiplicity of Self/s.’ Performance Art and Phenomenology, University of Bristol. Supervised by Dr Paul Clarke. Examined by Prof. Simon Jones and Dr Dominic Johnson.