Recently on WACTAC we have been talking quite a bit about social interaction and engagement. More specifically, we have been thinking about how these connections can occur in various settings: in person, on the internet, in institutions with audiences like museums and galleries, etc. We looked at the work of Miranda July, Harell Fletcher, Oliver Herring, and all few others, all of who are all artists whose work seeks to engage the audience.
I recently went to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and they had a show there all about social connections in art. The show is called “Without you i’m nothing” and the museum describes it as a series of “works that broaden the interaction between the artist, visitor, and object, often creating an opportunity for social discourse in a public space.” In addition to showcasing work that seeks to bring audiences together, a lot of the work also needed to be “activated” – meaning, that without the audience’s participation, the work is nothing (without you, i’m nothing.) For example the audience might move or touch something, begin a discussion, crawl inside it, etc.
I think this exhibit was my favorite one in the museum not only because it is so relevant to what we have been talking about at WACTAC, but also because it invited the audience to have a more personal and tactile experience with the work. I noticed that the audience was interested in this participatory work more than the type of work that hangs on the wall that you are only allowed to look at but not touch. I think that this is what we will keep in mind at WACTAC as we prepare for our upcoming events. So yes just though i’d share !