Participation: A User’s Guide
What does it mean to take part in culture? Beyond the roles that culture assigns to us; beyond the roles of viewers and voters, listeners and demonstrators, visitors and protestors? Can we find new modes of engagement within the spaces of contemporary art, perhaps even by galvanising the attention that these spaces demand, for some other form of inhabitation?
Over the past few years of thinking and writing about ‘participation’, I have been struck by just how much our terminology of 'art', 'exhibition', 'audience' etc. fails to capture the emergent dynamics within the expanded field of art. This seminar explores the different models of participation which we forge through affective regimes, sites of knowledge production and circulation, conversation and unexpected exchange, as well as the possible new vocabulary we need in order to work critically with it.
Afterall and The Showroom are collaborating on an ongoing series of seminars and events that take place at The Showroom alongside the publication of each issue of Afterall journal. These aim to create a forum to collaboratively flesh out parts of the editorial content of the journal with a small group of participants, and to broaden its remit by bringing it into contact with other ideas, practices and debates, which may build towards future issues of Afterall.