Dec 12
In this video interview Fred McVittie talks about relation and participation.  

"I hate participating in anything really....I don't like participatory theatre ... if somebody asks me to do something I look away and make sure I don't get involved. I don't enjoy doing that. I like to maintain the boundaries that an audience kind of has a right to ... At the same time I enjoy the idea of a participatory practice - following Ranciere - which allows for a different kind of reflection."

Ranciere's Emancipated Spectator provides a way of thinking about participation as something that doesn't necessarily require the spectator to be immersed physically within the action. Spectators are cognitively active regardless, and attempts to get spectators to participate can have outcomes that contradict the artist's participatory intentions. Along with Nicolas Bourriaud's Relational Aesthetics, Grant Kester's Conversation Pieces and Claire Bishop's Participations and The Social Turn: Collaboration and its Discontents, Ranciere's essay is one of the key texts in discussions about participatory art practices. 

This interview is interesting because in it Fred describes his own dialogic/participatory arts practice entitled The Conference Report. His video based practice takes the social network Youtube as the primary site of it enquiry. Some of his comments provide interesting ways of thinking about Hydrocitizens. "Ephemerality is safe...."

Feb 07
In this video Jacob Gough talks about working as a production manager and technician with 'Freedom Theatre' in Jenin refugee camp on the northern West Bank.


This video was first broadcast as part of the 'Relation and Participation' symposium held at Aberystwyth Arts Centre May 2011
Mar 23
Yesterday was World Water Day 2015 and the four Hydrocitizenship teams (Lee Valley, Bristol, Shipley, mid Wales) staged water themed activities in their case study areas.

The Cymerau team put on a day long event at the Centre for Alternative Technology, where we met with artists connected to Borth and Tal-y-bont.

The aim of the event was to provide local artists with an insight into the Hydrocitizenship project and to give them a broad understanding of our proposed year of water related activity, our Water Map (Sept 2015 - August 2016). We are inviting artists to submit proposals for work that might take place during the year and this event hopefully gave them an idea of some of the things that might be possible.

The day was broken into four parts:

1) Introductions: A confluence of artists
2) Hydrocitizenship themes: Water, Participation, Citizenship
3) Cymerau: Creating a Water Map in Borth and Tal-y-bont
4) Group Work: Imagining creative responses

By the end of the day the gathered artists had generated some really interesting ideas and hopefully made connections with one another that they will follow up later. As a team, we made a lot of discoveries about the different ways that artists work with and approach 'participation'. I think it would be good to follow up this event with some one to one conversations with the artists involved in order to get a better sense of what they think about this term within the context of their work. It would be interesting to develop a shared local language.

Two questions occur to me:

1) In what ways are local artists working with 'participation'?
2) How are local artists working with water?

Later I will put up further posts about some of the conversations that we had during the day.

But for now, here are some pictures - taken by Sara Penrhyn Jones. 

Enjoying the Spring sunshine!

Artists reflecting.

Developing proposals

Chatting over lunch

More on this to follow!!


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