My new article ‘The Artful Agile Atypical Octopussy‘ is live in the peer-reviewed Performance Research: A Journal of the Performing ArtsVolume 26, 2021 – Issue 4: On (Un)Knowns, Pages 128-129, 03 March 2022. This was one of 30 selected articles out of 160 proposals, and one of two that are in full colour. It’s a not very good freeze-frame of ideas centring around leadership through artful, atypical and agile means that I have been exploring particularly since the outbreak of the Covid pandemic circa 03/2020. There are several more versions created around October 2020, and many are more tentacular, more OTT, and more reader-unfriendly.


Tan, Kai Syng. 2021. ‘The Artful, Agile and Atypical Octopussy: An Embodied Interdisciplinary Mode of Knowledge Exchange and Creation for Our Atypical Times.’ Performance Research, On (Un)Knowns, Volume 26 (2). DOI:


This themed issue was conceived alongside the University of Malta’s School of Performing Arts annual conference titled Performance Knowledges, which was organized in cooperation with the Centre for Dance Research, Coventry University. According to the editors, their call had emphasised ‘alternative and diverse conceptualizations of the (un)known in the context of practice-generating knowledges or knowledge-generating practices’.  They add: ‘Experiential here and gone may not account for the depth of belief and feeling thinking in the context of spiritual traditions or ancestral memory. Neurodiversity and disability might offer potent tools for destabilizing the persistence of norms that shape the sometimes violent habits of understanding. Performance offers access to ideas and concepts emerging through the body, as a source. Abnormalities and adaptation at the cellular level bring us back to the pandemic: does this make it a crisis or an opportunity for expanding knowledge?’