The impossible participant

Andrew Hewitt, Dave Beech, Mel Jordan, Kathryn Brown (Editor)

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    Abstract

    The chapter critiques the rise of participation in art since the 1990s – a development that sees artists and curators searching continually for new and increased levels of audience inclusion. While there has been much discussion about what might be gained by participating in an artwork, we ask what might be lost by this act. We also question the extent to which participation is a useful social or aesthetic strategy in circumstances where it remains bound by the institutional structures of the artworld. For this reason, our work is an attempt to transform the broader ‘apparatus of art’ and to create works in which the roles assigned to individuals and groups remain fluid and subject to continuous negotiation. As a means of an attempt at resisting absorption into the institutional structures of the artworld, we privilege a form of participation that remains immanent in the work, but that never crystallizes into a single or definable role.
    Kathryn Brown , art historian and editor of Interactive Contemporary Art, says,
    ‘It is, perhaps, a fitting end to the discussions of the present volume that the most interesting and valuable form of participation envisaged by Freee is one that must remain impossible.’
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationInteractive Contemporary Art: Participation in Practice
    EditorsKathryn Brown
    Place of PublicationLondon
    PublisherI.B.Tauris
    Pages255-269
    Number of pages297
    ISBN (Print)9781780765518
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2014

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    Participation
    Art
    Artworld
    Artist
    1990s
    Artwork
    Rise
    Privilege
    Aesthetics
    Art Historians
    Inclusion

    Cite this

    Hewitt, A., Beech, D., Jordan, M., & Brown, K. (Ed.) (2014). The impossible participant. In K. Brown (Ed.), Interactive Contemporary Art: Participation in Practice (pp. 255-269). London: I.B.Tauris.
    Hewitt, Andrew ; Beech, Dave ; Jordan, Mel ; Brown, Kathryn (Editor). / The impossible participant. Interactive Contemporary Art: Participation in Practice. editor / Kathryn Brown. London : I.B.Tauris, 2014. pp. 255-269
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    Hewitt, A, Beech, D, Jordan, M & Brown, K (ed.) 2014, The impossible participant. in K Brown (ed.), Interactive Contemporary Art: Participation in Practice. I.B.Tauris, London, pp. 255-269.

    The impossible participant. / Hewitt, Andrew; Beech, Dave; Jordan, Mel; Brown, Kathryn (Editor).

    Interactive Contemporary Art: Participation in Practice. ed. / Kathryn Brown. London : I.B.Tauris, 2014. p. 255-269.

    Research output: Contribution to Book/Report typesChapterResearchpeer-review

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    AB - The chapter critiques the rise of participation in art since the 1990s – a development that sees artists and curators searching continually for new and increased levels of audience inclusion. While there has been much discussion about what might be gained by participating in an artwork, we ask what might be lost by this act. We also question the extent to which participation is a useful social or aesthetic strategy in circumstances where it remains bound by the institutional structures of the artworld. For this reason, our work is an attempt to transform the broader ‘apparatus of art’ and to create works in which the roles assigned to individuals and groups remain fluid and subject to continuous negotiation. As a means of an attempt at resisting absorption into the institutional structures of the artworld, we privilege a form of participation that remains immanent in the work, but that never crystallizes into a single or definable role. Kathryn Brown , art historian and editor of Interactive Contemporary Art, says,‘It is, perhaps, a fitting end to the discussions of the present volume that the most interesting and valuable form of participation envisaged by Freee is one that must remain impossible.’

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    Hewitt A, Beech D, Jordan M, Brown K, (ed.). The impossible participant. In Brown K, editor, Interactive Contemporary Art: Participation in Practice. London: I.B.Tauris. 2014. p. 255-269