Working-class writing and publishing in the late twentieth century
7 Alternative publishing and audienceparticipation
Writers and publishers in the Fed responded to known communities. Previously
working-class writers had been absorbed into traditional patterns of consumption and readership that reinforced hierarchies. Fed groups were aware that
accounts of working-class life had not been read in significant numbers. For
example, the growth of labour studies had not necessarily led to a more historically conscious labour movement.1 Mainstream cultural
This book presents a study that undertakes an examination of participatory practices in contemporary theatre, performance and the visual arts, setting these against the broader social and political horizons of civic participation. It reconsiders the status of participation, with particular emphasis on participatory art both beyond a judgement of its social qualities as well as the confines of format and devising. The book attempts a cross-disciplinary discussion of participation, bringing together examples from the field of applied and community theatre, performance art and participatory visual arts. Gestures of participation in performance indicate possibilities for reconfiguring civic participation in public spaces in unexpected ways. Thus, less emphasis is laid on direct opposition and instead seeking a variety of modes of resisting co-optation, through unsolicited, vicarious or delicate gestures of participation. The book examines the question of institutional critique in relation to participatory art. It moves on to address the relationship between participatory art and the concept of 'impact'. A close examination of one workshop setting using the methodological framework of the 'theatre of the oppressed' in the context of a political party-led initiative follows. The book follows two conceptually inspired performance projects Where We Are Not? and If I Could Take Your Place? Finally, it emphasizes on how common-sense assumptions around audience participation in theatre and performance theory are called into question by the artwork's foregrounding of sleep as a mode of participation.
the gestures of participatory art
various everyday or representative urban locations, in public squares,
in skyscrapers, in shopping malls and in school rooms. Upon arrival,
they checked in by filling in a form, in which they were asked three
questions about their relationship to the particular site.1 They were
then provided with a tent, an air mattress, towels and a torch. Audienceparticipation consists of the deceptively simple act of around twenty
people pitching tents on the site, spending the
Memories of cinema-going in the ‘Golden Age’ of Hollywood
ceiling’. 29 The organist was both a spectacle (his appearing
through the floor with its resonance of a magical apparition and the
splendour of the organ itself) and a symbol of audienceparticipation,
giving everybody the opportunity to sing together. Indeed, a letter in the
Nottinghamshire Archives states that Helyer’s ‘forte was
singalong medleys’ which ‘created the special atmosphere
that is unique
Reconfigurations of twenty-first-century audiences
1970s and the resurgence of such experiments in the 1990s
and 2000s, this narrative of empowerment has remained intact. So, too,
has its flip side, which implicitly, or at times explicitly, proposes that an
absence of audienceparticipation, that is a seated and silent audience,
reflects a passivity which is politically disempowering by comparison.
Bishop writes that the conviction of the earlier artists and theorists
that ‘physical involvement is considered an essential precursor to social
change’ is ‘no less persistent’ today, although she does add, and more on
life of the artist into which another artist figuratively and physically
steps, whereas in If I Could Take Your Place it is the artist who steps
into other people’s lives and homes.
The theatricality of participation
Issa’s ‘replacement’ projects might seem somewhat odd and unlikely
choices for a discussion about participatory art. In the public presentation of Where We Are Not, the thrust of the performance installation was neither on activating spectators and transforming them into
performers, nor was it devised as an immersive experience. Audience
An examination of Godder’s socially engaged art and participatory dance for Parkinson’s work
processes Godder has used in dance making and performance: these works, being made with the dancers as leaders during the performance, unusually involved audienceparticipation. Common Emotions could be considered as the ‘mother’ work to Stabat Mater , in that one movement motif – the one described above – was taken from the former work and implemented as the main and only motif in the latter. In 2017, Godder renamed Stabat Mater , calling it Simple Action and toured the work internationally, allowing for a variety of different spaces to be used for the event. In
In this chapter, we turn our attention to the central element of the SC experience design and business model – the audience. We track the changing nature of this audience, from an early-adopter, cinephiliac, hipster elite, via a broader and more mainstream fan community, to the emergence of a group of super-fans. We identify the playful and performative nature of the audience participation within these events, establishing a typology of engagements and an aesthetics of engagement including elements of ‘cosplay’ and social media identity display. We consider the ways in which audiences form experiencing communities around their participation in SC events. We also trace the emergence of a community of elite fans of SC who have dubbed themselves the Positive People of Secret Cinema (PPSC) – a group formed from a shared love of the SC experiences – who have evolved their own mores, values, rules, tastes and shared cultural practices. We conclude this chapter with a consideration of how the complex audience participation can be understood as forms of labour that contribute to the commercialisation and industrialisation of SC as an organisation.
Screening the Hollywood Rebels in 1950s Britain explores the relationship between classic American films about juvenile delinquency and British popular youth culture in the mid-twentieth century. The book examines the censorship, publicity and fandom surrounding such Hollywood films as The Wild One, Blackboard Jungle, Rebel Without a Cause, Rock Around the Clock and Jailhouse Rock alongside such British films as The Blue Lamp, Spare the Rod and Serious Charge. Intersecting with star studies and social and cultural history, this is the first book to re-vision the stardom surrounding three extraordinarily influential Hollywood stars: Marlon Brando, James Dean and Elvis Presley. By looking specifically at the meanings of these American stars to British fans, this analysis provides a logical and sustained narrative that explains how and why these Hollywood images fed into, and disrupted, British cultural life. Screening the Hollywood Rebels in 1950s Britain is based upon a wide range of sources including censorship records, both mainstream and trade newspapers and periodicals, archival accounts and memoirs, as well as the films themselves. The book is a timely intervention of film culture and focuses on key questions about screen violence and censorship, masculinity and transnational stardom, method acting and performance, Americanisation and popular post-war British culture. The book is essential reading for researchers, academics and students of film and social and cultural history, alongside general readers interested in the links between the media and popular youth culture in the 1950s.
There is no soundtrack is a specific yet expansive study of sound tactics deployed in experimental media art today. It analyses how audio and visual elements interact and produce meaning, drawing from works by contemporary media artists ranging from Chantal Akerman, to Nam June Paik, to Tanya Tagaq. It then links these analyses to discussions on silence, voice, noise, listening, the soundscape, and other key ideas in sound studies. In making these connections, the book argues that experimental media art – avant-garde film, video art, performance, installation, and hybrid forms – produces radical and new audio-visual relationships that challenge and destabilize the visually-dominated fields of art history, contemporary art criticism, cinema and media studies, and cultural studies as well as the larger area of the human sciences. This book directly addresses what sound studies scholar Jonathan Sterne calls ‘visual hegemony’. It joins a growing body of interdisciplinary scholarship that is collectively sonifying the study of culture while defying the lack of diversity within the field by focusing on practitioners from transnational and diverse backgrounds. Therefore, the media artists discussed in this book are of interest to scholars and students who are exploring aurality in related disciplines including gender and feminist studies, queer studies, ethnic studies, postcolonial studies, urban studies, environmental analysis, and architecture. As such, There Is No Soundtrack makes meaningful connections between previously disconnected bodies of scholarship to build new, more complex and reverberating frameworks for the study of art, media, and sound.