Unsolicited gestures of participation
in The gestures of participatory art
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This chapter suggests that the concept of the 'gesture' is more accurate than the 'act', as the concerned moments are not legible in terms of intentional, full-fledged signifying acts, but as minor, small movements in the larger frame of theatrical action. Sherry Arnstein argues that purely tokenistic forms of citizen participation can at worst lead to non-participation. The gestures of unsolicited participation in the workshop seek to remain illegible to the established discursive procedures of participatory theatre, they resist formalization without necessarily opposing it, and can thus often not even be recognized as resistant. The chapter includes various domains of the arts, wherein participation has become a debated topic, such as community-based or applied theatre and performance, immersive performance and the visual arts. The gestures of participation in the workshop can be regarded as both internal and external to the rules of spoken language.

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