September 2011 / Folkestone
including international artist Jochen Gerz, keynote speaker and Director of NVA, Angus Farquar, curator of the Folkestone Triennial Dr. Andrea Schlieker, artists Frenchmottershead, and the Austrian collective, Assocreation. Strange Cargo Artistic Director Brigitte Orasinski presented a case study of the company, drawing from their extensive portfolio of participatory art projects and exploring the relationship between celebratory and visual arts practice in the public realm.
The presentations were followed by an opportunity for the packed house of international delegates to discuss the diverse models of best practise with a panel of experts; the line up included Brigitte Orasinski, digital artists boredomresearch, who are also Research Fellows at Southampton University, People United’s Director Tom Andrews and international urbanist, researcher and curator Mirjam Struppek. The discussion reflected the distinctive nature of the various speakers with a compelling question and answer session, in which speakers and delegates agreed that in order to effectively examine Participation in Visual Arts, it was essential to abandon the predictable Q&A format. The floor was subsequently opened up to encourage participation and interaction amongst everyone present.
Following the symposium, Andrea Schlieker and her team escorted delegates on a tour of the Triennial, which concluded at Georges House Gallery with a participatory drinks reception and a chance for delegates to continue their conversations.
The event was an inspiring and thought-provoking insight into the potential of collaborative and participatory art in its many manifestations. It also provided a valuable exploration of the possibilities for the future of this evolving, cultural sector.