Book review by Michaële Cutaya
Art-Led Participative Processes
Dialogue and subjectivity within Performances in the Everyday
by Jay Koh
University of the Arts, Helsinki, 226 pp. 2015, 978 952 7131 03 9
Born in Singapore, Jay Koh is an artist and curator who has conducted participatory public art projects throughout Europe and Asia since the 1990s. Informed by his previous work as a social and health activist in Cologne, his art activities are led by a search for social justice. He has been working over several projects in Ireland since 2007 and has developed strong ties with many artists and organisations in the country. Art-Led Participative Processes, Dialogue and subjectivity within Performances in the Everyday is the book form of his PhD thesis for the University of Arts in Helsinki. The PhD thesis included interviews, recordings and videos in addition to the main text. Building upon a series of case studies of participatory projects conducted in Myanmar, Finland and Ireland, the text develops a methodology for participatory practices focusing on the collaborative processes involved. Acknowledging the multiplicity of disciplines that contributes to our understanding of social interactions and interpersonal relationships, Koh draws theoretical insights from anthropology, cultural theory, philosophy of language, sociology and psychoanalysis. In keeping with the modernist avant-garde lineage, Koh aims for his art to be resolutely transformative, but he questions the shock tactics and provocations the avant-garde is routinely associated with. He also finds the lack of an ethical framework for participatory practices problematic. The research for the book sets out to find a framework and methodology for socially engaged art practices and an ethics of engagement to deal with such issues as the authorship of the work and the sustainability of the outcome.
Create is delighted to be involved in an exciting new initiative ‘Your Place and Mine: A national survey to explore public awareness of architecture and the built environment in Ireland.'
It is a UCD research project initiated by Emmett Scanlon (School of Architecture) and Dr Suzanne Guerin (School of Psychology) of University College Dublin, in collaboration with Create.
The research team comprises of Principal Investigator Emmett Scanlon, Co-Investigator Dr Suzanne Guerin and Research Assistant Ekaterina Tikhoniouk.
This project has been part-funded, following an open-call process, under the Government Policy on Architecture 2009-2015 Implementation Programme by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Additional support is provided by the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland.
Create will also be distributing the survey via its Ebulletin and social media.
For more project and survey information or to take the survey, see: www.yourplaceandmine.ie.
Read the press release here.
Create asked a number of artists with personal/ artistic experience of working in culturally diverse contexts to respond to Gabriel Gbadamosi’s essay I Was Born by A River, and the questions it raises for arts and cultural diversity in civil society.
Artists Kunle Animashaun, Laragh Pittman, Vukasin Nedeljkovic, Dylan Tighe, and Rosaleen McDonagh responded.
Whose Cost Is It Anyway?
Opinion Piece by Patrick Fox on recessionary times and the 21st century conference
A conference is a meeting of people who "confer" about a topic. There are many types of conference, from large-scale conventions to more focused seminars. Philosophies around conference formats have developed in recent years, ‘unconferencing’, barcamps and world café formats have become increasingly popular, a nod perhaps to an acknowledgement of a diversity of experience, with less reliance on the expert / spectator dynamic.