SourcesThe idea of participation we want to explore is connected with the construction of citizenship. We must not forget that the logic of consumerism incites us to a passive form of ‘participation’ which simply means going with the flow of what is already established. Although direct involvement in all the spheres of organization and production and all the social processes around us is probably unviable, nevertheless a participatory dynamic not only capitalises on the efforts initiated by others, but also energizes democratic public life, bringing the community’s collective interests into the political arena.
Genealogies of practice
- Une minute pour une image. (Francia / France) Agnes Varda, 1982
A 170 episode TV series broadcast by French channel FR3. After exploring reality and imagination through still images in her film Ulysse, Agnes Varda conceived Une minute pour une image, where an unidentified photograph is projected on the screen and lay observers of different nationalities and professions offer 60 seconds of commentary on that image. Following the principle of an “Imaginary Album”, the photographs might be from anonymous photographers, of from well known artists such as Doisneau, Caujolle, Cartier-Bresson, Delpire or Varda herself. Varda’s work consisted simply in finding the right commentators, and filming the commentaries, choosing the camera angles and the right close-ups of the photographs.
- Video-Nou (España / Spain) 1977-1983
The Video-Nou Collective was formed after a conference on video art organised by the Buenos Aires CAIC centre at the Joan Miró Foundation in Barcelona in 1977. Their art practice focused on horizontal, two-way participative communication in the field of what was then known in Spain as “promoting socio-cultural activities”, which in their case consisted in videos they made with the collaboration of groups from the same contexts in which said videos were then distributed.
- Paper Tiger Television (EUA)
Paper Tiger Television, founded in New York City in 1981, is an open media collective dedicated to raising media literacy and challenging corporate control over mainstream media. From the perspective of grassroots community activism, PTTV expose corporate manipulation, provide critical analysis of media, educate about the communications industry and highlight issues that are absent from mainstream information sources.