Viewers of contemporary art are often invited to involve themselves actively in artworks, by entering installations, touching objects, performing instructions or clicking on interactive websites. Why have artists sought to engage spectators in these new forms of participation? In what ways does active participation affect the viewer's experience and the status of the artwork? Spanning a range of practices including kinetic art, happenings, environments, performance, installations, relational and new media art from the 1950s to the present, this critical anthology sheds light on the history and specificity of artworks that only come to life when you - the viewer - are invited to 'do it yourself.' Rather than a specialist topic in the history of twentieth- and twenty-first century art, the 'do-it-yourself' artwork raises broader issues concerning the role of the viewer in art, the status of the artwork and the socio-political relations between art and its contexts.
You may think of it not as a book, but as a library, an elevator, an amateur performance in a nearby theatre.
Open it to the table of contents.
Turn to the page that sounds the most interesting to you.
Read a sentence or two.
Repeat the process.
Read this book as a creative act, and feel encouraged.'
39 Microlectures: In Proximity of Performance is a collection of miniature stories, parables, musings and thinkpieces on the nature of reading, writing, art, collaboration, performance, life, death, the universe and everything. It is a unique and moving document for our times, full of curiosity and wonder, thoughtfulness and pain.
Matthew Goulish, founder member of performance group Goat Island, meditates on these and other diverse themes, proving, along the way, that the boundaries between poetry and criticism, and between creativity and theory, are a lot less fixed than they may seem. The book is revelatory, solemn yet at times hilarious, and genuinely written to inspire - or perhaps provoke - creativity and thought.
This comprehensive international bibliography is the first to attempt documentation of this diverse field, covering the history of Artist's Performance. It focuses on its early twentieth-century antecedents in such movements as Futurism, Dada, Russian Constructivism, and the Bauhaus as well as its peak period in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s with such developments as Gutai, Fluxus, Viennese Actionism, Situationism, and Guerrilla Art Action. Major emphasis is also given to sources on 115 individual performance artists and groups. More than 3700 entries document print and media materials dating from 1914 to 1992. Organized for maximum accessibility, the sources are also extensively cross-referenced and are indexed by artist, subject, title, and author. Three appendices identify reference works, libraries, and archives, and addenda material not found in the book text, and two others list artists by country and by group or collective.
Acts of Voicing focuses on the aesthetic, performative, and political significance of the voice, viewed from the perspective of visual art, dance, performance, and theory. The book, which also documents the exhibition of the same title that showed at the W rttembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart and the Total Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul in 2012, explores the diegetic and performative characteristics of the voice. This relates equally to voices that resist and to voices that are disciplined and seek to discipline, to those that are heard and to those that go unheard. The book also examines the struggle to find one's voice and the act of getting voices to speak or be silent.
This monograph explores the world of German multimedia artist Alexis Dworsky (born 1976). Trained as a landscape architect, Dworsky specializes in performances and sculptures that meld scientific and artistic concepts, touching upon such themes as dinosaurs and space travel.
Russian poet, author, artist and art theorist Andrei Monastyrski (born 1949) is, along with Ilya Kabakov, one of the founders of conceptualism in Russia, and a protagonist of Collective Actions, a group of artists who have organized participatory actions on the outskirts of Moscow since 1976. Though his poetry is less well known, poetry is where he began. After writing in the manner of the Russian modernists (who were newly available to Soviet readers during Khrushchev's thaw), Monastyrski's interest in John Cage and ideas about consciousness from Western and Eastern philosophical traditions led him to conduct experiments with sound, form and the creation of artistic situations involving constructed objects that required viewer engagement to complete. Elementary Poetry collects poems, books and action objects from the '70s and '80s, tracing a genealogy of the art action in poetry.
Since the 1990s, critics and curators have broadly accepted the notion that participatory art is the ultimate political art: that by encouraging an audience to take part an artist can promote new emancipatory social relations. Around the world, the champions of this form of expression are numerous, ranging from art historians such as Grant Kester, curators such as Nicolas Bourriaud and Nato Thompson, to performance theorists such as Shannon Jackson.Artificial Hells is the first historical and theoretical overview of socially engaged participatory art, known in the US as "social practice." Claire Bishop follows the trajectory of twentieth-century art and examines key moments in the development of a participatory aesthetic. This itinerary takes in Futurism and Dada; the Situationist International; Happenings in Eastern Europe, Argentina and Paris; the 1970s Community Arts Movement; and the Artists Placement Group. It concludes with a discussion of long-term educational projects by contemporary artists such as Thomas Hirschhorn, Tania Bruguera, Pawe? Althamer and Paul Chan. Since her controversial essay in Artforum in 2006, Claire Bishop has been one of the few to challenge the political and aesthetic ambitions of participatory art. In Artificial Hells, she not only scrutinizes the emancipatory claims made for these projects, but also provides an alternative to the ethical (rather than artistic) criteria invited by such artworks. Artificial Hells calls for a less prescriptive approach to art and politics, and for more compelling, troubling and bolder forms of participatory art and criticism.