A Methodology for Participation: The Artwork and the Audience

By Richard Kearns.

Published by The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: September 1, 2017 $US5.00

The introduction of globally networked technology is providing individuals with a sense of agency comparable to that offered by Gutenberg’s printing press nearly 600 years ago. Whether that agency is free, both in an economic sense and that of liberty, audiences are gaining position within hierarchies governing processes that are becoming increasingly participatory. Among these processes are the circulation, consumption, and even production of art. This has operational and functional connotations for venues that host engagements between artworks and the public. With this in mind, this article will focus on methods borrowed from a variety of disciplines and used to develop an interactive art installation, titled “Soundweb.” It was produced for interactive audiences under the age of twelve in Singapore. The work identifies catalysts for participation and how they manifested. This was in view of how audiences as homogenous groups responded to the motivations offered by the installation. Individuals interacting with the artifacts in the installation environment were observed in the context of a participatory audience group. Although observation is subjective, clear patterns highlighted relationship issues between the development and public display of the installation with wide-reaching connotations for interactive and participatory experiences in general.

Keywords: Audience Engagement, Gallery, Interactive, Museum, Playspace

The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp.49-55. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: September 1, 2017 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 387.445KB)).

Richard Kearns

Interactive Media Researcher, Department of Film, Theatre and Television, University of York, North Yorkshire, UK


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