Fall of the Derwent (2016)
  • A Published Event | Tasmania, Australia

  • FOTD book, 1 FOTD book, 2 FOTD book, 3 FOTD performance, 1 FOTD performance, 2
  • Fall of the Derwent (2016)
  • A Published Event | Tasmania, Australia
  • We are two artists, writers, publishers working under the name, A Published Event. Acutely aware of each other’s prospects, we move around these bodies that inhabit us. Evasive. Pleasing. Taunting. Chasing. This is how we write. Not always together but more often than not, in the company of each other. In tow, the wriggling off-white body and glossy plume of our relations.

    Fall of the Derwent (2016), is a public artwork by artists Justy Phillips and Margaret Woodward. Commissioned and presented by Glenorchy Art & Sculpture Park, Tasmania. Fall of the Derwent is an invitation to experience the River(s) Derwent as a living organism that re-composes with every reading – a marking, cutting, flooding deluge in the making. 

    Through a year-long process of research-creation that included in-depth archival research walking, writing, making, recording and publishing, the artists entered into relation-with the river(s) Derwent as living events. Over two summers, the artists walked from the sea to the source of two Rivers Derwent. First, they walked from the seaport of Workington to the valley of Borrowdale in the Lake District National Park (UK) and then from Blackmans Bay to leeawuleena (Tasmania).

    Fall of the Derwent is an experiment in hydrographic publishing installed at Wilkinson’s Point, Elwick Bay, Tasmania. Accessible 24/7, where visitors to Glenorchy Art & Sculpture Park are invited to experience Fall of the Derwent – a 96 page written text-artwork – by scanning the artwork’s permanently installed QR code on the banks of the River Derwent.

    A single scan of the QR code will download a hydrographic score onto a smartphone or tablet using an algorithm that ‘reads’ the River Derwent’s current Energy in Storage Levels published weekly by Hydro Tasmania. Each download releases a completely unique hydrographic score – reflecting the exact percentage of energy stored that day in the River Derwent system.

    The score is always incomplete, responsive to the river’s fluctuating data, and therefore ‘written’ in a partnership between the river and the artists, generated in a dynamic exchange of water, words and flow. The score is also available to download from the project website: 


    Artists, writers and publishers, Justy Phillips and Margaret Woodward, (working collaboratively as A Published Event) make long-term relational artworks through shared acts of public telling. Exploring chance encounter, constructed situations and the shared authorship of lived experience, they work with artists and writers, materials and ideas, writing, prose, book-works, video, installation and performance. Their hybrid works—a kind of fusing-distilling-slagging-attuning to the local(e)—explore the metaphysical language and speculative publishing of lived experience. Through publishing-as-art-practice, A Published Event is an offering to participate. Together they co-compose complex fields of social, cultural and political relations by testing the proposition of a telling event. Propelled by a desire to connect with the more-than-human elements of everyday life, they seek a kind of solidarity built on affective attunement. Regularly undertaking local and international fieldwork and residencies, they participate in exhibitions, arts festivals and artist’s book fairs and are invited as scholars and speakers to share their work internationally. In 2017, A Published Event launched the slow publishing artwork Lost Rocks (2017-21) and they were selected as collaborating artists in the Banff International Curatorial Institute’s Residency Geologic Time by Max Andrews and Mariana Capena Luna. In 2018 they published 113 books by 150 authors as the performance library artwork, The Peoples’ Library, (2018). In 2019 A published Event were Ruth Stephan Research Fellows at The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, and artists in residence at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation in Connecticut, U.S.A. Their published works, Crocoite by Margaret Woodward, Conglomerate by Ben Walter and Fall of the Derwent by Phillips and Woodward were finalists in the 2017 and 2019 Premier’s Literary Awards. Their work is held in international public and private collections. 


    We write from our home on stolen land in lutruwita/ Tasmania and from all the other places we find ourselves compelled to go. We have a name for this process of conscious roaming. We call it fictiōneering. From fictiō to make-with (rather than its contemporary iteration, to make-up). In this process of speculative eventing, we use language and experience to construct new events – encounters with assemblages of real people and places; theoretical and conceptual ideas; objects, images and words. We fictiōneer – bringing to an eventful resolution the creative potential of these assemblages through writing. 

    fictiōnella, fictiōneering, speculative eventing, erratic ecologies, writing-with, collaboration


    Jen Bervin, (2017), Silk Poems, Nightboat Books: New York.

    Erica Van Horn, (2014) Living Locally, Uniform Books: Axminster

    Robert MacFarlane (2013) The Old Ways, Penguin: London

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