Marcos P. Dias
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Participation in the machinic city
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Chapter 5 opens with a discussion of the process of researching performance art in urban space and recording patterns of participation and the challenges faced by the researcher. Three modes of participation identified in A Machine To See With are discussed: play (game-like and immersive participation), exploration (reflective and emotional engagement) and critique (the desire to understand the mechanics of the narrative). These are illustrated by case studies on participants. Participatory failure and participant reconfiguration of the artistic narrative are discussed by referring to performance art projects from Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. This is followed by a critique of the concept of the emancipated spectator and the acknowledgement (based on Rancière’s argument) of the process of artistic narration and participant translation, where the latter might diverge significantly from the stated aims of the artist. This in turn highlights the importance of dissensus as a desirable outcome of both performance art projects (through multiple modes of machinic subjectivity) and everyday life in the contemporary city. This chapter concludes with a participatory account of Ciudades Paralelas, a series of performances that intervene in the functional spaces of the city and that demand active participation and reflection from participants.

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The machinic city

Media, performance and participation


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