This exhibition presents work from artists whose practice requires active participation from the audience in order for their works to be realised. By doing so, these artists collapse the creation and the consumption of an artwork into the same, single act.
In the last decade, a democracy of creative expression has gathered momentum, not only in the arts but in places as diverse as social networking sites and reality TV. People have grown comfortable with the appearance of their own creative expression in public spaces and have meanwhile grown increasingly circumspect of the notion of artists as select individuals with higher creative authority. For those many individuals who have ever left a gallery feeling disappointed enough with what they have seen to say: "I could have made that", this exhibition invites them to do so.
But audience input alone is not what makes the works in this exhibition compelling, although it is what allows the works to exist at all. While the artists have provided guidelines, instructions, suggestions or prompts, it is for the audience operating as individuals, or as a community, to themselves effect and interpret the works. This ‘crowd sourcing’ aspect of the creative production makes for a fascinating range of interpretations and results. While each of these works as ideas are repeatable, the outcomes are always unique as each new audience of participants exerts different possibilities of meaning and form. Some of these works can compared to the online experiences and applications from which they are seemingly inspired, however their social physicality makes them quite different. Conversations are woven both through the works as well as verbally around them, with each works’ ‘touchabilty’ allowing for intimate exchanges well beyond transactions of an online nature. The results often appear like message boards where conversations are played out in a public forum. While these dialogues can sometimes be negative reactions to the work, they also immediately become the part of the work itself. Such self-reflexivity is not only unavoidable, it’s intentional. This blurring of the line between creator and viewer does not just reposition the audiences as artists, but also sets up the artists as audience. Ultimately the works in Pro-Tribute present possibilities of connection between artists, audience and works that few exhibition experiences offer.
NEOCONFESSIONAL is a participatory installation that takes a peak at our risk-averse culture. It explores notions of conservatism and the widespread cultural practice of resisting change. NEOCONFESSIONAL combines the tradition of covertly writing secrets on toilet walls, with contemporary online 'confession' culture enable by sites such as YouTube. The work collates the confessions and presents them as a collective outing of conservative tendencies. Done something recently that has left your inner progressive feeling compromised? Better out than in.
Artist: Pip Shea is a media artist and designer. Her creative practice is influenced by social media and networked culture. Her work explores hybrid art practices, the participatory media space and peer production models.
Gift/Back is a participatory live art and multi-media project that gives people an opportunity to provoke the artists by giving them the raw materials to create art. The hybrid performance/live art ensemble Unreasonable Adults calls for submissions and generous offers from a wide range of people everywhere in the form of ‘gifts’. The artists are then charged with the responsibility of using and responding to everything they receive. All gifts will be listed and archived on the company website for the whole world to see.
Unreasonable Adults intend to create work and generate ideas for new and varied spaces. The work is driven by a dedicated collective of artists with a strong sense of the solidarity in ensemble: working within an international cultural landscape and lineage of makers, thinkers and artists who are drawn to each other from various disciplines and backgrounds.
(OR NOTES TO SELF FOR NEXT TIME)
Audience members (one at a time) joined Lynn in a small dark and intimate room in the gallery. They were asked to think about a relationship of theirs that crashed and burned while holding their breath as long as they could. When they exhaled, a flash photograph illuminated glow-in-the-dark sentences on the wall - the artist's own' heartbreak revelations' - which faded after a few moments of clarity.
Artist: Lynn Lu is an installation / performance artist from Singapore. Lynn has exhibited and performed extensivly and is currently completing her Doctoral thesis at the University of Newcastle in Australia (2009-).
Artists: Stranger of the Month was created by Kerrie-Dee Johns and produced by Jon Tjhia, and first presented at the 2008 Next Wave Festival. It is realised by the artists and contributors who take part. Jon Tjhia is a producer, musician and writer based in Melbourne. Kerrie-Dee was a Melbourne based curator and arts writer.
Artist: Analogue Art Map employs non digital media to address issues of digital technologies within the realm of creativity. Through architectural interaction, mapping social networks and psycho cartography, the group seeks to both record and generate connections between individuals and the spaces in which they live. Analogue Art Map strives to continue its ground breaking work using only obsolete technology.
There are more images from the Pro-Tribute exhibition here