MA Art & the Public Sphere - final exhibition2013
‘Critical thinking and language skills, [Jonathan] Swift believed, were crucial for cultivating a healthy public sphere.’ (Suarez n/d:114 in McLeod 2011:98)
My researched questioned: how can beguiling mischief facilitate polyphonic counter-public spheres? To investigate this, I devised a series of pranks, which took place in the public sphere. Titled Shrinkles of Dissent and Bankers on Active Community Service, both projects thematically addressed the banking crisis and were positioned in relation to publics, participation, performance, publishing, politics and democracy: art and the public sphere.
Beguiling mischief was a critical component in developing and delivering the work. Mischief, as a position and attitude enabled a mode of encountering publics and instigating dissenting social dialogue. Strategies of beguiling discomfort, embodied critique and irrational-critical dialogue situated an alternative, and participatory public imaginary, one capable of garnering and engaging critical citizens. I used a methodological framework of argumentation, practice and publishing. The argumentation included performative discourse: reflecting back on historical arguments and contributing to contemporary debates and opinion formation.