Participation, Experience, Public Art, Radio

…what I’ve been up to lately…

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Together with Eve Vincent, presenting at this conference at COFA:

our abstract:

Participation and Experience: Redfern Waterloo Tour of Beauty

The desire for an active spectator-participant was a key goal of avant-garde art during the twentieth century. Rhetoric surrounding such art practice often connected “aesthetic interactivity” with the ideal of a wider participatory democracy. During the 1960s, in an attempt to overcome the separation between “art and life” which characterised the museum-based practice of much modernist art, artists like Allan Kaprow developed “Happenings” which occurred in the everyday places and rhythms of city life. Utilising the tools bequeathed by Kaprow’s Happenings, artist group SquatSpace now runs the Redfern Waterloo Tour of Beauty — wherein the “work of art” is to facilitate discussion about neighborhood life and community organising in inner-urbanSydney. This paper moves through the perennial question “but is it art?” in order to examine the Tour of Beauty as a case study of “Art as Experience” (John Dewey). This co-presentation engages two perspectives — SquatSpace collective member Lucas Ihlein talks about the making of “the tour as art”, and Eve Vincent speaks from the perspective of a participant-audience member.

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This week, I’m participating in this master class in Adelaide:

Not – there: The ethics and politics of non-monumental art and design practices for/as public space.

Public space is vital for any society. For an ecologically responsible, sustainable, and democratic society the significance of public space is even greater. This significance extends to questions of the design of public space, what ‘design’ means in public space, and what the attendant art practices are that constitute a belonging or relation to public space. Whereas state citizenship is bestowed upon individuals in a top-down fashion, the democratic citizenship of public space is actively produced between individuals in their relations and encounters with each other and their environment. Democratic citizenship in public places is not forged on consensus, but a ‘shared activity’ of divergent and perhaps discordant attentions: it is an ecology. Public spaces provide a means for this ecological production.

[ speaking of public art, an interesting piece about Richard Serra’s Tilted Arc here: ]

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I’ve been recording interviews with uncollectable artists including Claire Conroy, Astra Howard, Unreasonable Adults , Gabrielle de Vietri, and Spat n Loogie .


2 thoughts on “Participation, Experience, Public Art, Radio

  1. Skanky Jane Post author

    Hey Lucazoid,

    Just wanted to wave and say what a thrill it was to meet you in Adelaide and take part in your bit of the “Not There” Masterclass. I only wish there had’ve been more time to spend with you during the Masterclass – (a whole day would have been great!) as I would have loved to hear/see more of your own work.

    Being somewhat less energetic than yourself I haven’t managed to blog on the Masterclass yet (although I did mention it briefly) but it is on top of my blogging “to do” list. As I mentioned in the aforementioned mention, the Masterclass arrived with perfect timing for me as I plan a series of workshops about walking and art in the neighbourhood of my residency and studio at the Parks Arts and Functions complex. Looking forward to that no end. I will take quite a lot from the workshop with me as I write up and facilitate the workshops – not least of all some of the “daggy bits” you introduced – they were excellent value!

    Anyway, I blather, so here’s wishing you a Merry Xmas & Happy New Year from Skanky Jane xx

  2. karen

    hi Lucas
    can’t believe its been a year since the unisa masterclass. participating encouraged me to finally create a blog project about a large ccd project (maybe you remember our chats about the parks helix project?), partly as a practical assignment for my grad dip in ccd with CANSA, but mostly because a blog seemed an ideal form to document, reflect and share all the good stuff about working with art in communities. would love to hear any thoughts…


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