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Re: <nettime> Claire Bishop’s Game: Sub
Flick Harrison on Thu, 25 Jun 2015 10:50:26 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Claire Bishop’s Game: Sub

   Participatory digital art is a tricky beast. I think it definitely
   stands together with the other forms in some ways, but in other
   ways it's very different.

   I struggle to bring a kind of Boalist aesthetic into my
   community-engaged media arts projects. With so many technical
   and logistical barriers to creating media art, especially among
   marginalized populations who are on the wrong side of the digital
   divide, it really becomes an artistic challenge to remain engaged
   with the material and the audience as deeply as you could be in a
   theatre work. Raging at iMovie or scratching your head around a
   Zoom recorder is just so distracting. I would definitely qualify
   most of these projects as "research, transmedia and intervention."
   Excluding them from the discussion of a social turn in art seems
   like an assault by redefining. Why would you exclude new modalities
   if you are describing a change within art, as if stepping out of
   the old modalities makes it not art anymore? I recently did a
   participatory video storytelling project with the City of Burnaby's
   Library, we had a storyteller lead a verbal / oral project and
   then I took the participants through video production of the same
   story. Many digital projects I've worked on have integrated or
   engaged with other art forms this way; there was definitely a
   silo structure within the project leadership but the participants
   usually experienced the whole thing as a single piece. That said,
   60-70% of my leadership time is spent solving tech problems or
   providing instruction on hardware or software, if not just doing it
   myself to keep the creative flow going. That kind of thing tends
   to drag media art into it's own silo at the conceptual stage and
   really makes it feel different from visual art, theatre, dance
   etc. I'm also working on large SHRC-funded research project with
   Judith Marcuse (et al) on Art and Social Change (ASC). Also been
   doing Community-engaged or ASC video production work for decades.
   We often struggle against the mainstream idea that participatory /
   community-engaged art is "bad" art, and this is fed back from our
   side by skepticism of professional art-world thinking. I agree that
   the concerns of the "mainstream art world" are often trivial and
   reactionary - but I think it's easy to define an art criticism that
   becomes more relevant to political art.

   That is, in the case of for instance Boal-based Theatre of
   the Oppressed work, that the art criticism not look at the
   acting skills of the participants or the narrative's traditional
   properties as these all relate to the manipulation of the audience,
   but that they look at the whole piece, maybe from conception
   through partnerships through to post-show outcomes - AS ART. And
   contrary to Bishop - people are the entirety of these works.

   There's an opposite temptation to measure political art's outcomes
   in terms of policy or political change but there's value in looking
   at the artistic results as well. I think Boal's work is still
   revolutionary aesthetically, as the act of engaging an audience in
   real-world problems in real time is fantastic and still beats any
   video game interactive experience or performance-art happening in
   terms of audience impact.

   WORLD? [1]http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Flick_Harrison

   [3]Zero for Conduct

   [4]^| Grab this Headline Animator


   1. http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Flick_Harrison
   2. http://www.flickharrison.com/
   3. http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/ZeroForConduct/~6/2
   4. http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/headlineanimator/install?id=90rffbei3nr88m9ci3u0qr9d14&w=2

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