24 June 2009

Charles Leadbeater essay: The Art of With

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The Art of With
Charles Leadbeater explores what the advent of the web, collaborative practice and open source ways of working mean for the arts and art organisations in this excellent 20-page essay commissioned by Cornerhouse.

“The 20 century avant garde was built on the principle: separate and shock. The avant garde of the century to come will have as its principle: combine and connect. The web will encourage a culture in which art creates relationships and promotes interaction, encourages people to be a part of the work, if only in a small way.

This “participatory” avant-garde will not emerged from thin air. It will be fed by the way the web gives new energy to participatory approaches to art, a digital version of a folk culture in which authorship is shared and cumulative rather than individualistic. […]

For the participatory avant-garde a work of art becomes more valuable the more it encourages people to join a conversation around it and to do something creative themselves. Participatory art is based on constant feedback and interaction, people talking, arguing, debating around the art and their views having some impact. “

Highly recommended reading, as its implications go far beyond the arts world.

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