Pollinator or Parasite? Notes from some adventures in intervention, participation & place-based performance

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


    Over the past few years my research has focused on documenting, supporting, analysing and sometimes producing a number of experimental, artist-led initiatives in a diverse range of places, many associated with aspects of the AHRC's Connected Communities programme. All of this work claims to foreground knowledge that is 'co-produced' as part of university-community partnerships, drawing on different traditions & histories of participatory and public art-making practice. It makes use of 'live methods' which aim to encourage participation and engagement in the research process. All of these projects depend, crucially, on sustaining collaborations with a diverse roster of artists, activists, designers, researchers and citizens. This approach raises important questions of responsibility, authorship and agency, as well as academic practice. To what extent has my role in these projects been fundamentally to act as a 'parasite'? And might this, paradoxically, be a useful role to play? The interfaces between art, design, performance and the city are a rich source of material for speculative and opportunistic projects which might point to alternative futures for people and places - but in whose interests are they being carried out? I will share some dilemmas and emerging thinking around these issues.
    Period6 Oct 2016
    Held atUniversity of Glasgow, United Kingdom
    Degree of RecognitionNational


    • participatory arts
    • participatory action research
    • community development
    • urbanism
    • public art
    • performance
    • research methods
    • ethics
    • cultural studies