About

5’9 / 1981 / B Rh+ / Instagram: @veryspecificvideotapes / Twitter: @tessanorton

Like Descartes, only with a job! A contemporary art Steve Martin that literally nobody asked for!

Art writer. I do text-based projects and events, essays and sometimes criticism, although on the latter point, I am always mindful of Prince’s words: “Critics are going to say, “Ah, Miles done went off.” Why say that? Why even tell Miles he went off? You know, if you don’t like it, don’t talk about it. Go buy another record”. This is from an excellent 80s Rolling Stone interview in which Prince also says that, like me, his favourite Joni Mitchell album is The Hissing of Summer Lawns*.

Throughout 2018 I was in residence at Wysing Arts Centre, working on a project about having a kid, space-time, ghosts, pop music, anxiety and art: the resulting publication is The Fields Here Are Full of Ghosts, which you can see in Wysing’s 30th Anniversary show this summer, or buy as an edition on Wysing Polyphonic here. I am also co-editing, with Bob Stanley, a big old book about The Fall, which will be published by Faber Social in 2021.

As a freelance writer, I contribute regularly to The Wire and various other publications. I also work as Development Director at Cecil Sharp House and I’m on the board at LUX, the artists’ film organisation. I live in West Yorkshire, and work between there and north London, so let’s be friends.

Writing commissions and enquiries:

1-800-SORRY-I-RUINED-YOUR-EXHIBITION-CATALOGUE or tessanorton at gmail dot com

I am available for paid commissions writing exhibition texts, essays, biogs, magazine features, or content and copywriting for interesting and ethically sound arts projects. (But I probably do not want to review your band’s album, sorry!)

* wltm anyone who likes The Hissing of Summer Lawns as much as me and Prince

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