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Participation in Contemporary Art

Organizing Committee:


Each meeting will be broken up into two or three presentations by class participants based on different notions of "participation" in contemporary art. Each presentation will structure itself around a question or series of questions that is relevant to understanding what participation means for the producer, audience and larger cultural field/context. The form of each presentation is open and could be focused on an individual work, a particular type of practice, a theory, or some combination of all those things. The presenter will send around texts, images or other material in advance of the presentation for class members to look at to help frame the discussion.
Please volunteer in the comments below for slots!


Hi All,

It was great to meet some of you at the meeting yesterday and looking forward to meeting the rest of you soon. I would be very happy if our meetings and discussions could continue to happen at the Public School and if we could propose another extension to the class with a few more sessions in May. I know that next week is the last meeting of this section
so we will see how it goes.

But in any case, I would also like to propose to form a continuation of our meetings or simultaneous group that will meet at ZKU/Center for Art and Urbanistics where I'm currently a fellow.
We have a big event and concert this coming Friday, April 19th so perhaps you come check out the space.
But space-wise there are a lot of possibilities- there is a big inside space 'Gemeinraum', a cellar and also an access to the surrounding park.
Ths idea is to (re)initiate a group called 'Performative Instability' (which involves a lot of the issues connected to the Politics of Participation that we are currently discussing).
I already started this group at my last residency in Skowhegan, Maine so this is an attempt to do it again but differently or continue it as a new initiative in Berlin.
Of course, I'm open to proposals and stuff you would be interested in doing/discussinh/reading.

My goal is to create a platform where we could also do stuff and try out things without necessarily framing them yet in addition to reading and discussing issues of participation.
This could again involve some of the current formats with presentations etc but also could be a space for semi-rehearsals and a bit of a time lapse where we could test situations, texts, instructions for pieces, tasks, set of parameters etc and also help each other
with projects that we are currently involved with. Most of us work with people and participation as medium so it could be very open..
Anyway, just wanted to start the conversation and see if you would be interested in joining.
I could also show/present something of my work next week if there is time so you can understand sort of what I'm at in my projects and interventions.
Thanks Diego for reposting the text and looking forward to seeing you all next week!
All the best,

Miryana Todorova
ZKU – Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik
Siemensstrasse 27
10551 Berlin


Hey everyone,

I really enjoyed our meeting Saturday - thanks for all the thoughtful feedback on my project, as well as for sharing your own work.

Here are links to some selected texts from the bibliography of the essay "Performance and Document" that Diego posted. I suggest taking a look as they delve a bit deeper into the conundrum...

Martha Buskirk's The Contingent Object of Contemporary Art, of which I'm particularly interested in the last chapter, Chapter 5, "Contingent Objects":

Philip Auslander's The Performativity of Performance Documentation:,d.bmk

See you on Saturday!



Hi everyone,

thanks for your warm welcome, the inspiring discussion and the texts!

I will send my framing questions and some additional information on the
documentation of my current project "My own private Germany" during the

Have a nice lecture tonight - I wont make it there today.

See you next saturday!

Best, Frauke

Diego, thanks for the posting!

here is a link to a selection of texts on learning play

the ultra red text on art, cllectivity and pedagogy seems intresting, addressing some referring to previous texts we read in the class.

am planning on the hkw thing -  see you there!



i post again the article about Performance and Document for the ones who asked for it today:

but Liz, it'd be great if you can choose and post some of the texts of the bibliografy that you mentioned.

and Miryana, your proposal for continuation sounded great, please post details!

tomorrow sunday 14.4 at 19hs i'm going here: — maybe interesting for some of you.


Hey all,

I would be interested in presenting at the next class, if there's extra time. Perhaps to follow up on some of the helpful frames of question from last Saturday's discussion, what comes up again and again in my own practice is how the performance action can exist to the second audience, after it's over (okay, maybe it's a broad and obvious question, but it's a hard one indeed!). I often go the route of photo + text archive, in addition to post-performance drawing series. This continued discussion would also really help me because I'm teaching a workshop this May at an art college in Denmark about the place of documentation, the map vs. the territory, and expanding the field of witness - although I'm far from having expert wisdom for the students... Any sagacity from you would be tremendously appreciated!

Here's my website, but if we don't get to it this weekend, that's okay too.



fiona geuss's picture

hi andrea and simon,
yes that sounds good, please send further material and your question(s) to the class!
we have three presentations so far but we could do one more, so if there is anyone else?!
see you saturday

hi everyone,

having some flu and wasn't able to make it yesterday - hope you had a good class!

recently i was participating in an art project with the group 'chto delat' and together with some of the other participants we are thinking to bring this project to discuss in the class.

would it be possible to do it next week (on the 13th), or the  week after fits better?

to me the main interest is to discuss issues (and politics)  of participation through the experiences of participants versus producers (which is more often highlighted): what kind of experiences and limitations come up from this perspective? this was especially interesting in this project, which put communism (with the notion of emancipation, affect, discipline, etc) onto the horizon.

we would come up with a more detailed description and texts too, but first the question of timing (some of us can only make it next week).

here is the info on the project itself:



Hello all,

Apologies for not being able to make it today I am not feeling so well.
I will be there next week as well.



Unfortunately at the last minute some I have some urgent family business to attend to and I won't make it today. I will be there next week. Thank you and have a good meeting,




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