…what I’ve been up to lately…
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Together with Eve Vincent, presenting at this conference at COFA:
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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