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Author: Sruti Bala

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.

Rethinking art, media, and the audio-visual contract
Author: Ming-Yuen S. Ma

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.

The Manchester School, colonial and postcolonial transformations
Author: Richard Werbner

Anthropology after Gluckman places the intimate circle around Max Gluckman, his Manchester School, in the vanguard of modern social anthropology. The book discloses the School’s intense, argument-rich collaborations, developing beyond an original focus in south and central Africa. Where outsiders have seen dominating leadership by Gluckman, a common stock of problems, and much about conflict, Richard Werbner highlights how insiders were drawn to explore many new frontiers in fieldwork and in-depth, reflexive ethnography, because they themselves, in class and gender, ethnicity and national origins, were remarkably inclusive. Characteristically different anthropologists, their careers met the challenges of being a public intellectual, an international celebrity, an institutional good citizen, a social and political activist, an advocate of legal justice. Their living legacies are shown, for the first time, through interlinked social biography and intellectual history to reach broadly across politics, law, ritual, semiotics, development studies, comparative urbanism, social network analysis and mathematical sociology. Innovation – in research methods and techniques, in documenting people’s changing praxis and social relations, in comparative analysis and a destabilizing strategy of re-analysis within ethnography – became the School’s hallmark. Much of this exploration confronted troubling times in Africa, colonial and postcolonial, which put the anthropologists and their anthropological knowledge at risk. The resurgence of debate about decolonization makes the accounts of fierce, End of Empire argument and recent postcolonial anthropology all the more topical. The lessons, even in activism, for social scientists, teachers as well as graduate and undergraduate students are compelling for our own troubled times.

Sruti Bala

imagining and transforming selfhood. In listening to the account of how Issa slept in someone else’s bed or performed an intimate ritual of familiarity on someone else’s behalf, or of how Cordero visited the village where Issa was born together with her father, one is invited to reflect on how ideas of selfhood are both socially imagined as well as emergent from the struggle against social norms and regimes (Butler and Athanasiou, 2013, p.  67). At the same time, the point of the artistic effort at vicarious participation is not to unveil some hidden core or arrive at an

in The gestures of participatory art
Abstract only
Sruti Bala

, with audiences witnessing and imagining this process and participating by proxy. By analysing how this vicarious participation unfolds, I foreground the spectatorial parameters of participation, which refer not only to the modes of activating participation, but also deem it the task of participation to make a given situation worthy and deserving of spectators. Here again, the critical theorization of participation calls for an interweaving of the aesthetic with the social or political. Issa’s playful performances of standing in for others point to larger questions of

in The gestures of participatory art
Kathryn Reeves

activity.’ 9 Public demonstrations of printmaking technique and the act of printing satisfy the curiosity about the reproductive act and allow a vicarious participation in it. Otherwise the absent matrix causes anxiety for the viewer who experiences a kind of frustration and in some cases an inability to see the image. In print exhibitions, didactic information and displays of matrices and tools often are

in Perspectives on contemporary printmaking
Ian Cooper

loyalty than for an apprentice to be molly shagging only minutes after I have left off. He grasps your flesh, he shares your monarchy’ (OP1, 21). However, unlike the politically redundant Charles, the Duke is still able to maintain a synthesis between the state and capital, incarnated in a single, tangible, body. Indeed, the Duke’s flaunted sexual and financial profligacy elicits not disgust but envy and a sense of vicarious participation from the populace. Thus he is able to contain and control the populist impulse, rather than sharing pleasure, and so enforce his

in Howard Barker’s Art of Theatre
From revolution to reform
David S. Bell

elsewhere in Western Europe) and the PCF has been dependent on this sense of party as no other. It could also be noted that class voting has also declined (although in France it has always been below the mean) to the lowest in Europe (Gallagher et al., 2001: 250–61). This, for what was the self-defined ‘workers’ party’, is a factor in its diminishing cohesiveness. New parties, or previously marginal ones, have entered the arena and rival the Communist Party for its own traditional electorate. For the Communist Party, which knew where it stood and which had a vicarious

in The French party system
Abstract only
1870 – the civilising moment?
Rosalind Crone

behaviour of those who devoured them often in the comfort of their drawing rooms. Media scandals about the dark and violent East End, from James Greenwood’s ‘Night in a workhouse’ (1866) and W. T. Stead’s ‘Maiden tribute of modern Babylon’ (1885) to the daily reports on the pursuit of Jack the Ripper, were consumed by record numbers of people in London. There is no doubt that they enjoyed the stories in large part because these publications offered a means of vicarious participation. In other words, they were a powerful and appealing form of entertainment for both high

in Violent Victorians
Urban perspectives
Richard Werbner

become so much a part and parcel of life in the urban areas that the Europeans themselves have faded from the foreground. Kalela dancers do not seek vicarious participation in European society but vicarious participation in the upper levels of African society, from which, by their lack of qualification, they are 107 108 Anthropology after Gluckman excluded. The prestige system in urban areas thus uses ‘civilization’ or ‘the European way-of-life as a standard or scale of prestige’. (Mitchell 1956a: 15) It is worth noting that before Mitchell published The Kalela

in Anthropology after Gluckman