Rhiannon Armstrong ( is a performance artist, who recently facilitated public self-care experiences for participants at the Dublin Live Art Festival, 2017.

“After three years of being invisibly disabled with chronic migraine – a condition that forced Rhiannon to wear sunglasses indoors, or lie down in the street, Public Selfcare System is a work in which Rhiannon self-identifies as an expert at the durational performance of thriving in a world that is geared against her survival. Public Selfcare System is a one-to-one performance, part direct action, part masterclass in the radical act of stopping.” (Dublin Live Art Festival 2017, Public Selfcare System Information Flyer)

“I am an expert in resting in public thanks to a neurological condition that forces me to lie down wherever I happen to be, and stay there until I am well enough to get up again. In order to carry on living we may all have to learn to stop in the middle of the street, in the middle of the day, and rest. Get ahead of the curve, get your training in now.” (Rhiannon Armstrong)



Taking time to stop and lie down on the stone pavement of a public thoroughfare, an interlude of rejuvenation for myself and participants in the performance of Public Selfcare. Each person is held with reassuring words and the touch of Rhiannon’s hand. The public element is forgotten within the space of two people being together on the ground, equals taking a breather from activity. This is a performance of empathy, solidarity and companionship. The simplicity of a time-out amidst the activeness of daily life. The art of just being there, together and then alone within the occupation of space and self. A performance of responsibility, a gift to passersby who see what’s not happening, who are perhaps reminded to approach the stillness within themselves. What I take lying down is confirmation of my right to be inattentive.

“Come with me to a place you may have seen, walked past, but never been to. We are going to lie down and have a rest: I will look out for you and look after you. You have right to be here, you have a right to do this. We can do it together.” (Rhiannon Armstrong)



dublin live art festival


Photo Credit: Sandra Noeth

Sandra Noeth is a dramaturge, cultural scholar and curator based in Berlin.

Her research interests include “integrity and protest in relation to the human body,” the connection between aesthetics and politics, and “bodies in bordering situations” (CREATE Ireland + Dublin Dance Festival).


Photo Credit: Siobhan Davies Dance and Dublin Dance Festival

As part of her residency with Dance Limerick and Dublin Dance Festival Sandra Noeth showcased her ideas involving movement and environments. She asked these questions: “How might physical and choreographic strategies represent, implement, legitimise and rehearse social and political action?” and “How do empathy, presence, improvisation or compositions inform the experience of borders?” (Dublin Dance Festival Programme)

walking with graffiti boards 2.jpg

Photo Credit: The World Atlas of Street Art by Rafael Schacter. Artists: David Renault and Mathieu Tremblin

Movement is integral to art production, the making of place and composing identity in relation to social and political environments. Art therapy involves the art of movement, and can contribute to an understanding of aesthetics and politics. An examination of borders is part of art therapy – making lines demarcating personal distinctions and demonstrating the crossing-over into new areas of discernment. Art therapy can also inform protests that are both personal and socially informed.

Art therapy marks out routes of passage within a designated space, it can design sequences of movement and denote a body in motion. Compositions on the move, explorations of environment, and art influenced by context that simultaneously re-imagines space according to somatic knowledge.

The art therapy studio can also include the world-at-large.

Art therapy contributes to civic dialogue – art therapy asking complicated questions about expression and representation in civil society.


“I am currently working both as a curator as well as an academic researcher on understanding the role, status and agency of the body in bordering processes. I am looking at different experiences of borders and boundaries – national and geopolitical, architectural, material and built borders, as well as more symbolic, imagined, social, gender-related ones. They are very often negotiated through the body, through movement, physicality and performativity. And I question how the body, how movement-based strategies can inform us about these processes. How for example practical and theoretical knowledge from dance and choreography, how composition and improvisation, embodiment or somatic modes of attention, rhythm and affects might help us understand the experience of bordering but also how borders are staged, aestheticized, rehearsed, represented, and ultimately legitimised maintained or challenged”

(Sandra Noeth Quotations, from CREATE (National Development Agency for Collaborative Arts, Ireland), News/May 2017, Sandra Noeth on “Bodies, Borders and Movement” an interview with Deirdre Mulrooney)


Earth Celebrations, Programs include pageants and processions engaging communities to effect ecological and social change through the arts, Photo Credit: William Bourassa Jr.

Social practices, rituals and festive events are habitual activities that structure the lives of communities and groups and that are shared by and relevant to many of their members. They are significant because they reaffirm the identity of those who practise them as a group or a society and, whether performed in public or private, are closely linked to important events. Social, ritual and festive practices may help to mark the passing of the seasons, events in the agricultural calendar or the stages of a person’s life. They are closely linked to a community’s worldview and perception of its own history and memory. They vary from small gatherings to large-scale social celebrations and commemorations. (Source: Social Practices, Rituals and Festive Events, UNESCO)


Artists: Ukrainian artists Yuriy Kruchak and Yulia Kostereva in Geneva 2009, The Calvert Journal,, Photo Credit: William Res

[Ukrainian artists Yuriy Kruchak and Yulia Kostereva] invited 20 people to carry 80 plaid plastic raffia bags (commonly associated with refugees and migrants) across the city, on public transportation, and through popular tourist sites. The bags blocked the beautiful vistas and caused cramped conditions on buses. By bringing these bags, and the issues they referenced, out into public view, they not only attracted the attention of passers-by, but put the individuals carrying them in the position of the migrant, with all (angry) eyes upon them. The action turned public space into a space for dialogue, rather than simply a place of tourism and entertainment. (Source: The Calvert Journal,  Street Appeal: A Decade of Socially Engaged Performance Art from the former East – Croatia, Estonia, Moldova, Ukraine , February 15, 2016)

Age and Opportunity: The Bealtaine Festival/Celebrating Creativity as we Age,


The Bealtaine festival was established in Ireland in 1996.

An estimated 120,000 people now take part in the Bealtaine festival, making it one of Ireland’s biggest arts festivals. From dance to cinema, painting to theatre, Bealtaine showcases the talents and creativity of both first-time and professional older artists.

It is a chance for people to make new and challenging work, a chance to communicate traditions between the generations. It is a chance for the novice to discover a talent until then unseen and a chance for a long-dormant skill to find a new outlet. (Source:


Photo: CoisCeim Dance Theatre, Love Song and Dance. Photo_Ros-Kavanagh



Photo: Welfare State International, 2006, Longline – The Carnival Opera

Philosophy and Values

Welfare State International (WSI) is a company of artists who pioneer new approaches to the arts of celebration and ceremony in the U.K. and internationally.

We are seeking a culture which may well be less materially based but where more people will actively participate and gain power to celebrate moments that are wonderful and significant in their lives.

We advocate a role for art that weaves it more fully into the fabric of our lives; that allows us to be collaborators rather than spectators:

Building our own houses, naming our children, burying our dead, announcing partnerships, marking anniversaries, creating new sacred spaces and producing whatever drama, stories, songs, ceremonies, pageants and jokes that are relevant to these new values and iconography.

We design and construct performances that are specific to place, people and occasion.

Special festivals of celebration that reach a wide audience, collaborative exhibitions and installations, original songs and soundscapes, and ceremonies for important occasions in people’s lives.

WSI’s artists are deeply concerned for the survival of the imagination and the individual within a media-dominated consumer society, in which art too has become a commodity. All our work – especially our generation of primary artwork – takes a holistic and educational perspective.

Our long-term aim is to establish creative communities on our doorstep: to work in partnerships to develop a creative society where the full potential of each individual may be realised in a supportive environment, through active participation and imaginative play.

We offer full access and opportunities for the dispossessed and seek a multi-generational and multi-ethnic congregation.

Art has a central and radical role in our lives. In the everyday, it’s about what we value, how and why we celebrate. (Source: Philosophy and Values,


Photo: Winter Solstice Lantern Festival in Vancouver, Secret Lantern Society, Vancouver The Secret Lantern Society’s motto ‘One Festival, Many Neighbourhoods’ is a celebration of art, culture and light within four Vancouver neighbourhoods. Community workshops in advance of the winter solstice facilitate the making of lanterns. These lanterns are carried as part of neighbourhood processions that lead to unique celebrations combining entertainment and spaces for reflection.


Night for All Souls

Night for All Souls is an annual cultural event curated by artists Paula Jardine and Marina Szijarto at the Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver. “It offers the public the opportunity to remember their dead…in a gentle atmosphere of contemplative beauty.”

In many cultures around the world, the days at the end of October and beginning of November are considered an important time for honouring the dead in our lives. In our modern, urban, and relatively transient culture, traditional “village” customs have been left behind, though not the human impulses that led to these traditions. All Souls at the Mountain View Cemetery is a non-denominational sacred event, and an opportunity for people to share their own customs and experiences. (Source: Night for All Souls,


Photo: Cyrcle Mural, Hong Kong,

Artist Phil Collins, They Shoot Horses, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Uploaded by Noor Ali-Hasan

they shoot horses 2004 is a two channel colour video shown on two adjacent screens in a darkened room, featuring young people from Ramallah in Palestine dancing to a succession of pop songs. Each video was shot with a static camera in a single take lasting seven hours, and shows a small group of participants (three men and one woman in one video, and three women and two men in the other) dancing in a community centre, often with great energy and enthusiasm, against a deep pink wall with two orange horizontal stripes running across it…[Collins] filmed two separate groups of young people, each of whom were paid to dance constantly over the course of one day. (Source

From our experience…[i]t’s surely much more exciting not to know who you are, and instead to understand your life through encounters. Few interesting artworks have ever been made by general consensus; friction and agitation are crucial. This is a difficult proposal to reconcile with the hierarchical structures of civic life and its social frameworks, but we still believe that it’s a challenge worth pursuing. (Source: Michelle Horrigan and Sean Lynch, ‘Finding Chinks in the Armour: An Overview of Recent Activities at Askeaton Contemporary Arts in Visual Artists’ News Sheet, November-December 2016)



Photo: “Artist David Bestue cast local publican Patricia Ranahan’s hand, mounting it on her front door for [an] annual open day before joyously presenting it to her in what was coined by the local drinking fraternity as The Handover.” Source Askeaton Contemporary Arts

Some social art practices emphasize shared, real-time presence as a necessary condition; others initiate their work through remote and digital means. Some call their objects craft; others call their objects sculpture; others call their objects props. Some create “characters”; others shun the idea. Some work addresses solo interlocutors in private rooms; others address the multitude. At the same time, it is often the case that these experimental artists find themselves treading on the expert territory of other art fields. Performers find themselves becoming fabricators; body artist are learning the language of new media; introverted studio inhabitants have become extroverted site performers. In these contexts, the language of cross-arts collaboration means different things as projects integrate some art forms, revise other art forms, and often break from the traditions of their own art practice by resuscitating the art traditions of others. (Source: Shannon Jackson from her book Social Works: Performing Art, Supporting Publics, p. 13)


Oda Projesi, Picnic Galata, Community Art Based Projects in Istanbul

Oda Projesi is an artist collaborative based in Istanbul, Turkey, and initiated by three women artists: Özge Acıkkol, Günes Savas and Secil Yersel. Oda Projesi means “Room Project” and employs thinking of the different usages of the “room” in order to find new ways to combine the daily life and art practices with the purpose of bridging relations between artists, non-artists, artist-run-groups, institutions and the communities in the local neighborhood. The group turned their collaboration into an art project in 2000 after a three years period of renting an apartment as a studio in the neighbourhood of Galata, a historical urban district in Istanbul with considerable mixture of social classes and an ongoing process of gentrification…Characteristic of the work of Oda Projesi is their direct contact with the local community surrounding them…[T]he group has extended invitations for the neighbours in Galata and other artists and artist groups to meet and collaborate in different ways. (Source:



Photo: Brazilian Artist, Ernesto Neto Guggenheim Bilbao : Ernesto Neto: The Body That Carries Me

What Is Interactive Art
In interactive art, it is presumed that the viewers will no longer be passive onlookers, and that they will be the ones to complete the purpose of an artwork or to participate in its realization. On some occasions, this can be taken literally, and the audience might be expected to get involved in the actual physical creation of an artwork. Otherwise all interactive art invites the audience to take part in a sort of “non-scripted play” by implementing the missing piece, derived from the sphere of social interaction, into the predesigned context. In practice, this means that an artwork is deliberately left open-ended to a certain extent, so that the anticipated range of events and actions may happen and finalize the piece. (Source:


Photo: Temporary Services, Booklet Cloud,


roof04.jpg “The Roof Is On Fire featured 220 public high school students in unscripted and unedited conversations on family, sexuality, drugs, culture, education, and the future as they sat in 100 cars parked on a rooftop garage with over 1000 Oakland residents listening in.” “No Blood/No Foul was a performance that pitted youth against police officers and engaged the public in the initiative. The performance, with its live action video interrupts, pre-recorded interviews of players, half-time dance presentation, original soundtrack, and sports commentators, mixed up the rules of the game. Youth referees replaced adult referees in the second quarter, and in the third quarter there were no referees— it was street ball, where the rule is, If there is no blood then there is no foul.”



Photos: Traffic Object 2015 by Brad Downey and architect Diego Sologuren sculpture, Public Work in Moscow, “bridge, kinetic object, form of transportation, exercise machine, stage”



Photos: Wedging 2011 by Brad Downey, Public Work Grottaglie, Italy



A useful book if you are interested in researching this topic for your essay.

Place suggests a physical space that is activated through making, conversation, events, hospitality, imagination, actions and the installation of art works. It could be the creation or transformation of a particular location. It could also involve interactions with others to generate a new kind of natural or social environment. A place may only exist for a period of time. It could be a spontaneous happening or involve a long-term investment of energy that constructs or grows a new state of affairs. Atmosphere also contributes to place. Place is existence, a particular kind of context that offers potential meaning and identity.




Photos: Park Fiction,

Park Fiction is a project that began in 1994, evolving out of a campaign by a resident’s association against the development of a site in the harbour area of Hamburg, Germany…The project is based in the St Pauli neighbourhood of Hamburg, an area which has a history of dissent, with the squatter movement of the 1980s being especially prominent. In the context of the prolonged neglect of the area by the city authorities and the relative wealth of much of West Germany, this local activism developed into a demand for a public amenity rather than private development… One of the most successful strategies was to not only protest for a public space but to act as if one already existed. To this end, the group organised a series of public events in the site, including talks, exhibitions, open-air screenings and concerts…

The initial phase of the project, financed by funds from the ‘art in public space’ programme of the city’s culture department, developed the idea of a ‘collective production of desires’. Throughout the process, Park Fiction developed special tools and techniques to make the planning process more accessible. This included the temporary events organised in the park, as well as the installation of a ‘planning container’ on site which could be moved around the neighbourhood to collect residents’ wishes. A film by Margit Czenki, Desire will Leave the House and Take to the Streets, was produced and a game about the planning process was developed to make transparent the opaque workings of bureaucracy.. Such exposure ensured that Park Fiction was widely known and made it difficult for the authorities to block the proposals. The park was finally realised in 2005.

Reference:  Park Fiction Website:


Artist: SpY,, Barriers 2015, Santiago, Chile (Circle of Pedestrian Barriers). SpY is a Spanish urban artist ‘who attempts to impress multiple readings onto to a space and re-present it as a ‘frame of endless possibilities.’He…[reminds] us that the world is still one in the making, forever in a multiple, heterogeneous, incomplete state’ (Reference, The World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti by Rafael Schacter)


Artist: SpY, Rotation, Madrid (2011), “New court lines with different orientation and rotation were drawn originating new possibilities for the conventional rules of [basketball]”(SpY,




Photos: David Renault and Mathieu Tremblin, Les Frèrers Ripoulain, Human Hall of Fame, 2010, Nantes France, Walking Graffiti – Sandwich Boards for Collective Art Making

David Renault and Mathieu Tremblin work together as Les Frères Ripoulain and their partnership seeks to address issues that they describe as ‘vandalism and anonymity, space and solitude, silence and invisibility, strangeness and secrecy’…Adopting and modifying the celebrated maxim of the French Fluxus artist Robert Filliou – ‘art is what makes life more interesting than art’ – they argue ‘graffiti is what makes the city more interesting than graffiti’..[In the Human Hall of Fame] acting as ‘sandwich-board men’ Renault and Tremblin became walking advertising hoarding with the advertisements replaced by [the tags of passersby].

[What interests the artists is the classical graffiti tag]…not the tag’s status as ornament or decoration, but its relationship with territory-its role in the acquisition and stealing of space. Tags can be seen as the diametric opposite of commercial advertising whereby people buy space to publicise the product they want to sell.

Reference: The World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti by Rafael Schacter


Reference: Ad Busters: Journal of the Mental Environment, Culture Jams/Buy Nothing Day

As the year-end approaches keep in mind that an object will never make you happy. It might for a few minutes, maybe even days, but in the end your experiences are all you’ve got. So this year why not get your family together and do something wildly different. Ignore Black Friday. Try buying almost nothing for Christmas and you might experience the most joyous holiday season you’ve ever had. Buy nothing and experience everything.

Since the early 1990s, Buy Nothing Day has inspired worldwide personal and collective action against consumerism. Buy Nothing Day isn’t just about changing your habits for one day it is about rediscovering what it means to live freely…[A]s we enter the holiday season, consider what it might mean to celebrate a holiday that isn’t driven by commercial forces. If you are going to buy, make a choice and go local, independent, or make something. Let’s take back our lives and stop buying into the consumerist machine.

Reference: Ad Busters, Culture Jamming, Buy Nothing Day,


Reference: EnvironMENTAL, Ad Busters Campaign Poster, 51u2c+jTN0L._SX422_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Another useful book for essay research on the topic of place.


Womb Room 1995 (Crocheted Environment) by Artist Faith Wilding for the exhibition “Division of Labour: Women’s Work in Contemporary Art” at the Bronx Museum.

An article highlighting peacemaking projects: Creative Communities and Arts Based Placemaking Website: Project for Public Spaces



House Poem was created by Huang Xiang, the first exiled writer in the City of Asylum/Pittsburgh residency program. Mr. Huang lived in the house for almost three years, and the house is now used by other writers in City of Asylum/Pittsburgh programs.

Mr. Huang’s work had been totally repressed and banned in China. This very public “house publication” was created by him as a way to celebrate his arrival in Pittsburgh and his freedom to publish without persecution. The calligraphy on the façade was created by Mr. Huang in the expressionistic “grass style” that is his trademark. It includes selections from his poems. (Reference City of Asylum


Photo: Seedhead Arts in Belfast 

Seedhead Arts is an organisation based in Belfast providing arts consultancy, event management and training services. With twenty years of experience in running events, we established Seedhead to use these skills to build connections and communities; to plant seeds in people’s heads. Our specialties include festival based programming, Street Art, magic, children’s workshops and creative industries training, but our experience in and knowledge of the whole of the arts is extensive. Regardless of genre or method our ideology remains the same – help people grow. (Reference:


Artist: Paul Ramírez Jonas, Public Trust, 2016,

For 21 consecutive days, in three Greater Boston neighbourhoods…Public Trust asked participants to examine the value of their word. Participants declared a promise that was recorded in a drawing they could keep. They were also asked to give their word in a way that is consistent with their beliefs such as swearing [an oath] on a sacred text. That promise was then published on a…marquee board. (Reference: Public Trust,

Building Public Trust Through Individual Promises by Leah Triplett Harrington,


Photo: Oliver Kellhammer, Rübezahl Community Garden, Berlin “This is de-territorialized, interstitial space, where almost anything goes – anything that isn’t capitalism that is – and it is here that alternatives to capitalism’s ubiquitous aesthetic can mutate and evolve, as if in some primordial tide pool of marginalized subjectivities, sheltered from the intense glare of commerciality that so dominates the world outside. This aesthetic of this zone is funky, emergent, salvaged and the tendentious.” Source: Unplanning by Oliver Kellhammer,

Resource for Essays Focussed on the Environment and Natural Materials ,

Green Museum is a comprehensive website listing international artists working in the area of environmental art. It includes interviews with environmental and land artists, articles, and toolbox resources (skills for collaborative practices in Environmental Art).

Reference for Essays on the Topic of Collaboration and Environmental Art: Collaborative Practices in Environmental Art by Grant Kester

Stepping Stones: A Guide for Planning Community Projects by Alex W. Hopkins

How do we get started? (Use Steps for Project Development, Adapted from Stepping Stones by Alex W.Hopkins) Source:

• Identify an issue and use your instincts to take the first step; choose the one that feels right to you.
• Brainstorm the big picture, and then focus first on what is actually achievable.
• Identify good projects with potential to inspire and remind people what’s worth putting time into.
• Establish a consistent presence: [i.e. an online presence with contact details]
• Create a slogan or title that best captures your cause. 
• Determine what makes your project unique and figure out a way to highlight or differentiate it from other causes.
• Accommodate and feature the emotional, aesthetic, philosophical and economic aspects of your project to capture a broader audience.
• Look at other successful initiatives, locally or on Take and adapt them to your own ideas, even if the project focus is not similar to yours. Notice how successes engage supporters.
• Observe related trends occurring around you – locally, regionally and nationally.
Encourage early support from “decision makers.” Keep them informed of your progress.
• Create an organizational framework that works best.


Photo: Sharon Kallis, Children’s Pollinator Project, Vancouver


“[Vancouver based artist] Sharon Kallis collects natural materials from a one mile radius. She works to discover the inherent material potential in a local landscape. Involving community in connecting traditional hand techniques with invasive species and garden waste she creates site-specific installations that become ecological interventions…Sharon’s personal mandate is to leave as soft an environmental imprint as possible, while engaging with others through the practice of common work – participatory installations and shared art related experiences. Often addressing the connectedness between the natural world and the human being” (Artist Statement, Sharon Kallis).

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Photo: Lynne Hull, Desert Hydroglyphs capturing water for desert wildlife.

Lynne Hull’s Website

Trans Species Cultural Exchanges Through Art:”Hull’s “client list” includes “hawks, eagles, pine marten, osprey, owls, spider monkeys, salmon, butterflies, bees, frogs, toads, newts, bats, beaver, songbirds, otter, rock hyrax, small desert species, waterfowl, and occasional humans,” according to her artist statement”

Lynne Hull Artist Statement: “I believe that the creativity of artists can be applied to real world problems and can have an effect on urgent social and environmental issues. My sculpture and installations provide shelter, food, water or space for wildlife, as eco-atonement for their loss of habitat to human encroachment” (Lynne Hull Artist Statement)


Artist: Lynn Hull, Action on the Plains, Last Chance, Colorado

“Lynne Hull describes her sculptures and installations as providing shelter, food, water or space for wildlife, as eco-atonement for their loss of habitat to human encroachment” (Reference:


Fritz Haeg campaigns for the cultivation of front lawns as edible gardens, replacing unproductive lawns with vegetables, herbs, soft fruit, and fruit trees. The curbside appeal of the edible estate garden is its location as both a domestic and community food source. The visibility of the garden replaces the uniformity of square lawns, inviting neighbours and pedestrians to engage with private gardens as interactive community landscapes that can develop social networks of local gardening enthusiasts. The potential of the front lawn to be transformed into edible growing, can make the idea of urban agriculture a reality.

For Haeg this is an artistic project, the installation of edible plants as materials to create truly cultured horticulture, that has at its core idiosyncratic aesthetics reflecting the character of domestic plots of land. Daring to break the rules of conformity, deciding to ‘go wild’, to garden beyond rows, and to choose nature as your guide, is a courageous decision. Fundamentally you are asserting your independence. You have become a free spirit generating a gesture of hospitality as you share your creativity, knowledge, plot and edible crops with others.




Estate Owners: Catherine and John Schoenherr, Woodbury Minnesota, Commissioned by Walker Art Centre For ‘Fritz Haeg at Home in the City’ 2013

Today’s towns and cities are engineered for isolation, and growing food in your front yard becomes a way to subvert this tendency. The front lawn, a highly visible slice of private property, has the capacity to also be public…. An Edible Estate can serve to stitch communities back together, taking a space that was previously isolating and turn it into a welcoming forum that re-engages people with one another…. Food grown in our front yards will connect us to the seasons, the organic cycles of the earth, and our neighbors. The banal lifeless space of uniform grass in front of the house will be replaced with the chaotic abundance of biodiversity… Edible Estates takes on our relationship with our neighbors, the source of our food, and our connection to the natural environment….We grow a lawn the same way anywhere in the world, but when we grow our own food we have to start paying attention to where we are… In becoming gardeners we will reconsider our connection to the land, what we take from it and what we put in our bodies (Fritz Haeg, Edible Estates).



Seoidín O’Sullivan, Revolving School, Irish Museum of Modern Art, 2016 (Wheelbarrows for Carrying Soil, People, Vegetation and Art on the grounds of IMMA during A Fair Land). Website:

Revolving School is an an outdoor classroom or pedagogical infrastructure. A wheel barrow school, a space of common-ing, an outdoor making, workshop and learning space. A place for collaboration and possible dissent. The wheelbarrow is a tool that is both a symbol of work and is used for labouring…The essential elements in the design and project are that they are mobile and can be used by everyone. They will create various anomalies of usage encouraging play, ownership and collectivism (Source, Revolving School, Seoidín O’Sullivan).






Collaborative Learning for Physical Prowess (on the dance floor): How to Dance Like a Boss & The People’s (dance) Party Jens Hauge & Renee Sills with guest presenters Leif J. Lee, Tonisha Toler, and Padraic O’Meara (Source:

This was a two part project.

The first. Have you ever wanted to learn to do a specific type of dance but were to afraid to go take a dance class because of the possibility of failing or looking like a goof? In Renee Sills & Jens Hauge “Collaborative Learning for Physical Prowness (on the dance floor): How to Dance Like a Boss” three non-professional dancers were asked to research and present their favourite “How to Dance” YouTube videos and teach the group of participants the steps. Everyone started off like wall-flowers glued to their chairs. No one wanted to be at the front of the dance class. But after some great engagement and hosting skills by Jens Hauge the room was full of people watching YouTube videos and mimicking everyone from country line dances to house, lyrical ballet to MC Hammer. It was ridiculous and mesmerizing to see so many people doing the same choreography and also looking as ridiculous and memorized by YouTube videos as I was.

The second. What makes a great party? Renee Sills spent months investigating and asking people this question. For this culminating event she brought all the elements necessary to have the best party of the world! And it sure was! A good sound system, good music, good lighting, a disco ball, a good dance floor, fun people, costumes, free water, free snacks, and even free booze. It was the perfect recipe to let loose and see how far everyone could go in shaking their booty. If I remember one thing from this entire festival, it is that parties make the best social art practice events if done right. Thanks to all those who danced and danced and danced that evening. (Source:

Interview with Rick Lowe, Oregon Humanities Centre – SOCIAL SCULPTURE AND JOSEPH BEUYS in relation to PROJECT ROW HOUSES


“Rick Lowe’s Project Row Houses, which has transformed a group of neglected shotgun houses in Houston into an African American cultural hub. Photo Credit: ERIC HESTER” Source:


The book is a useful resource for your essay Miwon Kwon, One Place After Another: Site Specific Art and Locational Identity

Check out this link by the arts organisation Situations: NEW RULES OF PUBLIC ART 

Terms of Reference/Useful definitions that can provide a foundation for your own ideas and perspectives and analysis of participatory art for your essay. 

Participation = The act of taking part and being related to a larger whole. Participation can involve teamwork, sharing and collective decision making. 

Participatory Art = Participatory art directly engages the audience in the creative process so that they become involved in an event or activity  (

Community Arts = Art is part of a community of relationships within a specific context or locality. Art reaches out to participants who engage and impact its purpose and manifestation. Community art is based in a specific setting, characterised by interaction or dialogue with a community and often involving a professional artist collaborating with people who may not otherwise engage in the arts (

Art Intervention = An artist’s interaction with an audience or venue/site or space, where the artwork created is often temporary and sometimes is realised as a performative event or communication platform. It often carries an implication of subversion, operating counter to authority, challenging or provoking comment in relation to the context and the expectations of a particular public (

Socially Engaged Art = Socially engaged practice describes art that is collaborative, often participatory, involving people as the medium or material of the work. Socially engaged practice can be associated with activism because it often deals with political issues. Artists who work within this field will often spend much time integrating into the specific community which they wish to help, educate or simply share with (

Social Practice = Social practice [also called socially engaged art] can include any artform which involves people and communities in debate, collaboration or social interaction. This can often be organised as the result of an outreach or education program, but many independent artists also use it within their work (

Public Relations = Actions promoting the creation of goodwill and communication between people.

Public Art = Presenting an artwork to a community, or within a public space where other people play a role in the art’s production or participate in relationships that produce art as an object, environment, conversation/interaction, service, etc.

Enactment = acting out, active expression and communication, making a message or experience come alive.

Collaboration = Working together to achieve a common purpose through partnership or team effort.

Situation = a set of conditions, locations, people, moments in time and circumstances as a context for participatory art.

Meaning = The purpose and significance of what is intended to be communicated.

Catharsis = A emotional or physical release that alleviates the symptoms of a condition.

Therapeutic = Producing beneficial effects on body or mind. Enhancing the expressive potential of different locations, spaces and environments.



Arts in Education,

What does Arts in Education practice look like? Read about the processes and partnerships behind current education projects happening around Ireland on Click under Projects and Partnerships to view case studies and collaborations. Click under the heading Reading Room for online resources that can be useful for essay research. Click under the heading Watch/Listen and Read to view Arts in Education Charter, Guidelines for Working in Schools, Guidelines for Taking and Using Images of Children and Young People, and Child Protection information.


Arts and Health,

Arts and Health Case Studies is a national website providing a focal point and resource for the field of arts and health in Ireland via resource documents, project case studies, a directory of contacts, perspectives on a range of issues and current news. A useful website for case studies and articles that can contribute to your essay, if you are interested in this area of practice. Click on the heading Resources for Research and Evaluations, Articles and Guidelines. Also click on Case Studies for examples of practice.  

Video: Helium Arts, Artists and the Significance of Creativity for Teenagers in Hospital


Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) was a German sculptor, performance artist, educator and activist who promoted the idea of art as a transformational force that could reshape society through creative projects undertaken by an active citizenship. He believed that each person could express an artistic desire to change the world and make it a better place. Beuys considered everyone to be an artist. Each person had the potential to create not just objets of art, but experiences and situations that unleashed their artistry within society at large (or the transformation of everyday environments).

“Social sculpture” is a term promoted by the German artist Joseph Beuys through a series of very public lecture tours beginning in the early 1970s. It named a kind of artwork that takes place in the social realm, an art that requires social engagement, the participation of its audience, for its completion. For Beuys, the concept was infused with both political intention and spiritual values. As spectators became participants he believed…social sculpture would lead to a transformation of society through the release of popular creativity. (Reference Alan W. Moore, ‘A Brief Genealogy of Social Sculpture,’ Journal of Aesthetics and Protest,

An example of a social sculpture initiated by Beuys was 7 000 Oaks This was a five year project completed after the the death of Beuys, which involved the planting of 7 000 trees throughout the German city of Kassel. The trees were individually and collectively a sculpture that influenced city spaces and the city environment. The trees were planted by volunteers who also developed conversations about social planning.


Photo: Joseph Beuys Launch of the 7,000 oak trees project, 1982-1987, Kassel Photo Credit: Artsper Magazine  10 Things You Should Know About… Joseph Beuys 

Only art is capable of dismantling the repressive effects of a senile social system that continues to totter along the deathline: to dismantle in order to build A SOCIAL ORGANISM AS A WORK OF ART. This most modern art discipline – Social Sculpture/Social Architecture – will only reach fruition when every living person becomes a creator, a sculptor, or architect of the social organism. (Joseph Beuys, TATE,

“I no longer see in pictures. I see movement and interrelation, exchange and communication between bodies and ideas.” 

“Choreography  – An act of framing relations between bodies; a way of seeing the world.”

Quotations by Michael Klien, Steve Valk, Jeffrey Gormly authors of Book of Recommendations: Choreography as an Aesthetics of Change Book of Recommendations: Choreography as an Aesthetics of Change 


Photo: Dylan Kirwin, Scarecrow, Heed FM

Radio as Art Project Makes for Uncynical Fascinating Listening by Gemma Tipton, The Irish Times, Saturday, October 29th, 2016.

Heed FM

Heed FM 94.3 (Greater Dublin Area Only)

“Heed FM [broadcasting until November 18th] is a radio station that is also an artwork, the substance of which is a series of conversations between the artist Garrett Phelan and various individuals and group of young people -aged between 18 and 25…Phelan is an artist with an international reputation for sound works, radio projects, drawings and sculptures, and was commissioned o create Heed FM by The Arts Council as part of their ART:2016 series. “Radio,” he says, “is sculpture that can travel through you”; and if you think about ….art as being something…that can fundamentally change how you feel about yourself, the world, and your place in it, and which can also surprise and delight, his description is perfect” (Gemma Tipton, Radio as Art Project Makes for Uncynical, Fascinating Listening).

“A core intention of this work of art is to enhance an understanding of radio as a sculptural form that can travel, communicate, and transmit through most obstacles. Radio can remove the psychological, social and physical boundaries that surround contemporary art, redefining the functionality of the art object and the potential of art in public spaces” (Garrett Phelan, Artist Statement,




Affinity Space, by Artist Seoidin O’Sullivan and  Architect Karol O’Mahony, Trinity College Dublin



  1. Agree on a name for your Group.
  2. Use this name to create a free blog or website (designate a group member to upload information to the blog or website, this person will be called the blog or website administrator).
  3. Develop an artists’ statement for your collective. This is your manifesto, your way of working, your collective identity, and your unique description. You might also include (in conjunction with the artists’ statement) tag words, that act as keywords describing your collective’s practice. You might even have a motto.
  4. Discuss materials and methods of participatory art that your group will explore and share.
  5. Share emails amongst group members so that collective members can share ideas together. Forward emails with content for the website or blog to the administrator for posting. A group discussion can be developed through group emails and other forms of social media.

Each group member will send emails to their administrator with information for the group’s online platform. The emails can be copied and pasted and include photographs. Each group member’s emails (for posting online) will explore theoretical ideas, examples of inspiring participatory art projects, and their own explorations into participatory art.  The website or blog will have both collective and individual postings from group members. The individual postings are the foundation for essay development. IT IS NEVER TOO EARLY TO BEGIN YOUR ESSAY – RESEARCH, ANALYSE AND COMMUNICATE OFTEN.


Photo: Carsten Höller, South Bank’s Hayward Gallery, ‘Sculptures through which you can travel’ Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters, Article by Laura Cumming in the The Guardian. 



Scroll through the Visual Artists Ireland Listing: Internships, Placements, Volunteering to discover potential gallery spaces or events that might accommodate participatory arts practice.


The European Academy of Participation (EAP) brings together ten higher education and arts & culture organisations from all over Europe. EAP sets out to make a contribution to a more inclusive Europe, in which people live together in mutual respect of their differences. Participatory practice in art and culture is a central tool to involve communities in a positive process of constructing a shared cultural space.


Photo: Firebird, Community Dance Performance in Romania, “One hundred and ten young people between 11 and 22 years with no dancing background whatsoever nor specific physical abilities came together in a spectacular contemporary dance performance to put on stage Igor Stravinsky’s Firebird. The participants came from very different backgrounds: orphans as well as children from prosperous families, children with special needs as well as high achievers…The only selection criteria was their motivation and desire to take part in the project” (Academy of Participation, Case Study)

Check Out European Academy of Participation’s (EAP) Website, 


Participatory Art Practice has been used to denote a range of artistic practices of co-production, collaboration, community practice and public engagement.

European Academy of Participation identifies Participatory Art Practice as the creative practice and dialogic interactions of artists and communities working towards social change

Participatory Art Practice enables

  • community empowerment through collaboration and engagement in the creative process
  • convergence of, and interaction between community and creative practices
  • transformation through developing insights that challenge perspectives and assumptions, with the aim to
  • question the status quo
  • bring together diverse knowledges
  • co-creates through innovative forms of practice.

Participatory Art Practice Adopts the Following Approaches

  • creative and critical enquiry
  • mutual exchange and reciprocity
  • responsiveness to complex social environmental and political issues.

Gaining skills in creative processes and [participatory arts] strategies…enables artists/creative producers to work in diverse contexts for example:

  • Arts projects/programmes in communities of place and/or interest
  • Cultural leadership roles
  • Cultural institutions offer employment in outreach
  • Audience development in art centres, galleries, theatres and museums
  • Culture/arts departments of municipalities have cultural leadership roles, programming roles, education and social inclusion roles
  • Consultancy role in the design and consultation process for town/city planning in urban and rural environments
  • Independent citizen initiatives
  • Social enterprises and creative hubs
  • Through public services there is employment in a range of settings such as community support agencies and planning departments
  • Arts and health care settings (where applicable) with specialised training
  • Arts and disability contexts (where applicable) with specialised training
  • In educational settings
  • The business and commercial sector offer work place opportunities in areas like cultural leadership, innovative methods of communication and design
  • NGO’s such as environmental agencies often work with artists around campaign issues, innovation methods of research, communication and consultation


Photo: ‘Why I Walked Blindfolded for Two Hours Through the Streets of Vancouver’ by Marsha Lederman, The Globe and Mail 

Last Friday, I toured the streets of Vancouver blindfolded, guided by a woman I’d never met before – and had never seen. Do You See What I Mean? is a work of one-on-one theatre created by Lyon, France-based choreographers/artists Martin Chaput and Martial Chazallon, whose company Projet in situ describes the work as “the choreography of participation.” They’ve mounted the piece – tailored for each place – in several cities, including Montreal; it’s now in Vancouver, as part of the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival.

This was a rare moment: when my thoughts drifted beyond what was directly in front of me. During the tour, you are totally focused on your experience and its implications. You’re not checking your phone, you’re not casing the room, you’re not thinking about anything other than the steps you’re climbing, the lavender pastry you’re tasting, the exchange you are having with your guide. Your mind does not wander at all. At least mine didn’t – and that is a feat for me. I didn’t – couldn’t – take a single note. But I remember everything.

Do You See What I Mean? is set firmly in the world we’re already in, but have long forgotten to notice. We become intrigued again with the streets we walk every day. (Extracts by Marsha Lederman, ‘Why I Walked Blindfolded in Vancouver for Two Hours’)


Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, ALTER BAHNHOF VIDEO WALK | 2012

CARDIFF & MILLER, Video walk, 26 minute walk, Produced for dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany.

The Alter Bahnhof Video Walk was designed for the old train station in Kassel, Germany as part of dOCUMENTA (13). Participants are able to borrow an iPod and headphones from a check-out booth. They are then directed by Cardiff and Miller through the station. An alternate world opens up where reality and fiction meld in a disturbing and uncanny way that has been referred to as “physical cinema”. The participants watch things unfold on the small screen but feel the presence of those events deeply because of being situated in the exact location where the footage was shot. As they follow the moving images (and try to frame them as if they were the camera operator) a strange confusion of realities occurs. In this confusion, the past and present conflate and Cardiff and Miller guide us through a meditation on memory and reveal the poignant moments of being alive and present.


Artist Roman Ondak, Measuring the Universe at MoMA, 2009

Slovakian artist Roman Ondak’s interactive installation titled Measuring the Universe started as a blank white room and evolved into a room with a strip of celestial black marks all around the gallery space at TATE ST IVES. Through the participation of over 90,000 visitors measuring themselves and marking it on the walls, spectators get a visual sense of the space each of us takes up in this vast universe. It’s a reflection of physical occupied space as well as interconnectivity. Each person serves as a star in a network of celestial bodies or constellations. It’s also interesting the way this project has organically evolved into a sparse series of black marks on white walls that resemble a galaxy whose monochromatic scheme has been reversed. (Source: Tate Collectives,

Source: Arts and Health, Connections is a dance project facilitated by choreographer Inma Pavon, and interactive artist Trevor Furlong, in collaboration with Headway Cork. Headway is the national support organisation for people affected by an acquired brain injury.

The Connections project aims to use movement and bodywork alongside sound and visual technology to explore ideas of identity, self and perception.

For adults who suffer a brain injury, the adjustment to changes in the self can present challenges beyond the comprehension of the outside world. Often hidden, this process can be difficult to communicate verbally, leading to a lack of awareness and understanding from people around them.

The changes within a person who has a brain injury can also bring about feelings of disconnection as they fail to recognise their body and mind in the same way as they used to.

This project aims to give the participants the opportunity not only to express their story and journey to others, but to use dance to challenge their own perceptions of their changed selves in the world around them.

Dancer and choreographer Inma Pavon:

Through weekly devised and facilitated dance/movement improvisation sessions, we began collaboratively to research the original concept/idea emerging from participants’ personal life experiences of living with acquired brain injuries and what it is like for them to go through their everyday life encounters.

We explored the above concept through a range of activities, such as a series of dance/movement workshops based on improvised dance technique, as a way for the participants to engage and to become familiar with their own physical being; thus, breaking down their idea of what dance is – which was based on the traditional idea of dancers being trained from an early age to learn dance steps choreographed to music. Through these chosen activities, we explored their own individual ways of dancing to their own inner rhythms, and made them aware of these other ways to dance which would be original and would translate their personal messages/stories as part of a final performance to an invited audience.

Examples of activities included participants spelling their names using different parts of their bodies to recreate the letters; this was one of German choreographer Pina Bausch’s exercises which she used with her company dance members when devising new dance theatre pieces.

The spelling activities formed the basic foundation from where the performers would begin to create their own dance sequences. These sequences would then be arranged in a more complex choreographic scale, such as making duets and ensemble pieces. All of the participants would then contribute to the creation of the final performance’s choreography – CONNECTIONS.

crop2015-03-17 15.16.54.jpg

Artist Tara Brandel, Lime Green Improv 2015, Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre

Tara Brandel is Artistic Director Croí Glan Integrated Dance Company, a professional dance company performing inclusive choreography by dancers living with disabilities.

It’s very empowering to dance, whether you have a disability or not, as everyone gets to have a bigger movement range than normal and, also, on a physical level it helps to build up strength and stamina,” explains one of the co-founders and artistic director of Croí Glan, Tara Brandel.

Integrated dance has the ability to create this incredibly inclusive environment for everyone taking part, so much so that it almost becomes irrelevant whether you have a disability or not. (Quote by Tara Brandel, ‘Making Moves Together,’ Irish Times, November 11, 2008).

Drawn to the Beat was a participatory music drawing event using Silent Disco technology. The event was a chance for people to experience ‘music drawing’ by drawing alongside artist Naomi Kendrick in Band on The Wall’s club space, which became a silent disco and enormous drawing surface for the night.

The fascinating method of drawing music Naomi Kendrick has developed has the act of listening and physical response is at it’s core. Through drawing in this way she attempts to bring an immediate connection between mind and body that results in a drawing.

This process often involves working with her eyes closed and using both hands, moving in response to the layers and speed of the sound heard, and building up an energetic drawing of layered marks.

The event (open to all ages) encouraged other people to draw and respond to the music in their own unique way. The silent disco technology silently delivered an eclectic mix of music, selected in collaboration with musicians, onto headphones worn by Kendrick and the participants as they drew. Two different channels of music could be chosen via the headphones – some people drew to classical music whilst their neighbour sketched to reggae.

Every now and again the music was played through the club’s speaker system to be heard by everyone, connecting people’s movements and drawings with the music. This created a playful space where the idea of a solitary, internal perception and a shared act of creativity could be explored (Source: Drawn to the Beat, Curated Place,



Theaster Gates, How to Revive a Neighbourhood with Imagination, Beauty and Art

Artist Theaster Gates on Brilliant Ideas, Bloomberg

Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates has developed an expanded practice that includes space development, object making, performance and critical engagement with many publics. Founder of the non-profit Rebuild Foundation, Gates is currently a Professor in the Department of Visual Art and Director of Arts and Public Life at the University of Chicago. (Artist Statement, Theaster Gates,


Huddlewear, Rhona Byrne,

Rhona Byrne – Huddle Tests Click this link to read the article. Reference Le Cool Dublin.

Huddlewear is a series of wearable artworks/social clothing created by [Irish] artist Rhona Byrne. The interconnected designs of the garments can be worn by pairs and groups and aim to explore the wearer’s sense of self and vulnerability during moments of interaction and gathering…Huddlewear is a tool for activating exchanges in relationships between individuals, groups and communities…Huddlewear is for building relations; trust, connections, empathy; for fixing relations that are broken, for speeding up or slowing down a relationship process. Artist: Rhona Byrne

In the late 1990s participatory concepts have been expanded upon by a new generation of artists identified under the heading of RELATIONAL ART or Relational Aesthetics. This is a term coined by the French curator Nicolas Bourriaud to describe a range of open-ended art practices, concerned with the network of human relations and the social context in which such relations arise. Relational Art also stresses the notion of artworks as gifts, taking multiple forms, such as meals, meetings, parties, posters, casting sessions, games, discussion platforms and other types of social events and cooperations. In this context, emphasis is placed on the use of the artwork. Art is regarded as information exchanged between the artist and the viewer which relies on the responses of others to make it relational.

Participatory and Relational Art raise important questions about the meaning and purpose of art in society, about the role of the artist and the experience of the audience as participant. (What is Participatory and Relational Art? IMMA)

Relational art involves human relations and society. The imagery is active and acting out.

“Art is an activity consisting in producing relationships with the world with the help of signs, forms, actions and objects” (Nicolas Bourriaud, Relational Aesthetics)



Photo: Samantha Hill, The Great Migration, The Kinship Project Archive contains over 3000 candid & professional family pictures (vintage photos, scrapbooks, tintypes & digital images), mostly of African Americans from across the country.  The project was installed in Faheem Majeed’s ‘How to Build a Shack’ project

By assuming the role of artist/archivist/anthropologist, I engage various communities to collaborate with me in developing new work by collecting personal stories and/or family photographs donations through interview sessions. I then utilize the oral narratives and photographs as source material to develop multimedia installations and performances. The goal of these artworks is to create a memorial to a historic moment, which reflects a significant component of a region’s culture. My art facilitation projects can take many forms, including oral narrative/slide show projection installations, pop-up vintage photograph interventions, and social dance performances within landmark buildings. I also invite the public to become an active participant in my exhibitions by contributing notes and artifacts to the installation.

Samantha Hill, The Kinship Project,


Sophie Calle:  Talking To Strangers, Whitechapel Gallery

Sophie Calle: He Loves Me Not, The Guardian, 16 June 2007

When a boyfriend dumped her by email, French artist Sophie Calle asked 100 women to read it – and became the star of the Venice Biennale, reports Angelique Chrisafis

Picture this. You’re one of France’s best-known living conceptual artists. You’re 51 and visiting Berlin. Your mobile beeps, it’s an email from your boyfriend. In a hideously self-absorbed message about human emotion, he dumps you electronically, saying it hurts him more than you. He signs off: “Take care of yourself.” You’re heartbroken. Then you think of its potential as art.

Sophie Calle has filled the French pavilion of the Venice Biennale with a praised exhibition about her emailed dumping letter. Over two years later, she distributed the missive to 107 women professionals, photographed them reading it and invited them to analyse it, according to their job. The ex’s grammar and syntax have been torn apart by a copy editor, his manners rubbished by an etiquette consultant and his lines pored over by Talmudic scholars. He has been re-ordered by a crossword-setter, evaluated by a judge, shot up by a markswoman, second-guessed by a chess player and performed by actress Jeanne Moreau. A forensic psychiatrist decided he was a “twisted manipulator”. The temple to a woman scorned is entitled “Take care of yourself” (Prenez soin de vois), immortalising lines that Calle, if she hadn’t had recourse to the international art world, might have read again and again in tears.

“The idea came to me very quickly, two days after he sent it,” she said. “I showed the email to a close friend asking her how to reply, and she said she’d do this or that. The idea came to me to develop an investigation through various women’s professional vocabulary.” (He Loves Me Not, A Guardian Article by Angelique Chrisafis)

Mierle Laderman Ukeles The Department of Sanitation’s Artist in Residence is a Real Survivor


Touch Sanitation 1979-1980, artist Mierle Laderman Ukeles shakes hands with 8500 sanitation workers in New York thanking them for their services. (Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York). “[Ukeles] documented her activities on a map, meticulously recording her conversations with the workers. Ukeles documented the workers’ private stories, fears, castigations, and public humiliations in an attempt to change some of the negative vernacular words used in the public sphere of society. In this way, Ukeles used her art as an agent of change to challenge conventional language stereotypes [of sanitation workers]” (Source: Ecological Restoration by Don Krug,

Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Washing, Tracks, Maintenance: Outside, 1973


Photo: X-PO, Deirdre O’Mahony,

X-PO started life as a public art project that sought to actively engage individuals and communities in Kilnaboy in County Clare, by giving time and space to re-viewing and re-imagining the social and cultural priorities in what is a rapidly changing rural landscape and an area of outstanding natural beauty, the Burren. Kilnaboy is a scattered parish of a few hundred households. A national school and a church are all that it possesses in the way of civic amenities. Once there were a couple of shops, a blacksmith, and a Post Office. But, like much in rural Ireland today, that was once upon a time. The changing face of farming and the necessity for many of a long daily commute to and from work in nearby towns and cities have presented a challenge to rural communities like Kilnaboy.

In order to openly reflect upon these challenges Deirdre O’Mahony re-opened the former post office in order to activate a public discussion on space, place and ideas of ‘community’ in the locality. The building is a familiar, non-institutional space, the former home of post master Mattie Rynne for the best part of seventy years. Re-opening it enabled different ‘publics’ and individuals to come together and give time and space to re-viewing, recalling and reimagining social and cultural priorities and possibilities. The creation of archives related to the personal and collective history of the site was fundamental to the activation process.

X-PO lays no claim to be representative. It is, rather, the act of participation that is at the core of the project. Written in to the organisational structure is a requirement that different members step up and take on the role of running it every two years, a model of open, democratic decision making that has been a challenged for some. To participate at X-PO means accepting difference – it performs a kind of coming together that is based on the here and now, not on a priori relations or inherited standing in the community.

Jennie Moran uses a subtle, tactical approach to respond to situations. She thinks about generosity and timing. Her work is an attempt to dismantle places into their basic the components and reassemble them so that they might function more poetically. It is usually light-hearted and energetic. Recently, however she has been considering the split second of despondency in this process, between the action of recognising unfortunate barren gaps in places, and filling them courageously. These gaps might be defined as absence of hospitality or ‘places in which one can no longer believe in anything’1 ; where stories are not allowed to accumulate. Before the sharp intake of breath that means we are ready to be strong, there is a poignant moment of sadness. Her practice is an illumination of this human frailty/vulnerability alongside a brave unyielding will to make better. 1 Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, University Press, 1988, ppxi

Jennie Moran Luncheonette at NCAD an interview on


What is the story behind Luncheonette and how did you become part of it?

Luncheonette is long term art project of mine using food to reactivate/treat spaces.

I’ve been doing a lot of public art projects which looked into ways of making places or situations feel more hospitable; adding something that I felt was missing using light, shelter, warm concrete furniture. Then I got interested in food as a lovely delay tactic; a tool for assembling people and letting them loiter unselfconsciously, sharing ideas, hatching plans.


Jennie Moran
Artwork title Personal Effects


Over a number of weeks Jennie Moran visited Unit 4 of Merlin Park Hospital. This ward accommodates men and women who have recently experienced a stroke. For the most part these hospital guests have been referred from a nearby acute hospital for rehabilitation. During this time some patients and their families will make preparations for new living arrangements as a result of their stroke, thus rendering it a poignant time for patients and families.

The hospital institution also presents challenges for the patient; an abrupt loss of autonomy; cohabiting with strangers; an imposed schedule; lack of personal space. For the purpose of recovery, the focus of this facility must be the ailments that its users have in common. Individuals are distinguished by their medical requirements. Moran’s role was to quietly observe and provide a medium for the details of lives housed in this hospital ward to emerge and become visible.

Personal Effects is a project which aims to uninstitutionalise the hospital through the illumination of its inhabitants’ stories. This is done by slowly gathering fragments of lives from individuals passing through the institution and allowing these details and narratives to reappear on hospital items, such as pillowcases, thereby altering the hospital landscape. These pieces of re-appropriated bed linen will also serve as a record of a very particular time for the men and women who will have contributed towards them. Certain ideas/memories can come to the fore durings period of rehabilitation, and with a degree of fragility.

It seemed appropriate also to keep these thoughts physically close to the patients. Sleep becomes an extremely important function during neurological rehabilitation. It provides a respite from the conscious effort of relearning and a release for the imagination.





Photo: S.T.I.T.C.H.E.D, Climbing Poe Tree, Artists Alixa Garcia and Naima Penniman,

Since 2005, we’ve given our audience participants the opportunity to write a part of their story on a six-inches piece of fabric. At every show we distribute cloth of many colors and sharpie markers, and people find some corner of the room to channel their deepest, darkest secrets and highest, brightest dreams. These are headlines from people who don’t own a newspaper, manifestos from people without armies, testimonies from people without tribunals, expressions from people with histories and visions.

People write about fleeing war in their countries, spending time in prison, being raped by their fathers, learning to kill their own people, about foster care, police brutality, and suicide. And they write about being the first in their family to graduate, about how they are falling in love with themselves for the first time in their lives, about surviving sexual violence and starting a women’s support group in their town, about giving birth and changing laws, starting schools and building movements. They draw pictures, and make promises; they write commitments about the things they would die for, and what they are willing to live for.

We sew the squares together as we go, and the tapestry grows bigger and bigger the farther we journey. Every show we unfurl the strips of fabric and ink, and drape them like prayer flags over stages, and prison bars, over blackboards and between trees. It is powerful to carry the stories with us—to have everyone’s strengths and struggles, tragedies and triumphs pulsating around us while we perform. It is powerful for folks to read them, recognize themselves in them, and leave a piece of their story to be stitched together with thousands of others (Alixa Garcia and Naima Penniman, Artist Statement, S.T.I.T.C.H.E.D.,



Photo: Dear Diary Series by Jessica Vellenga

Dear Diary is a community collaboarative art project which shares and celebrates the tradition of the diary, retelling diary entries in a public platform with a thread and needle. This exhibit celebrates the banal, pivotal, silly, sad and serious personal archives we keep. The series began during my residency at the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture in Dawson, Yukon Territory in October 2012. For the project I asked the public to anonymously send me diary entries on my blog, social media and by email. I have received diary entries from across North America. The diary entries were then embroidered onto vintage and antique textiles. The hankies, table linens, and assorted textiles are found in second hand stores as well as heirloom textiles given to me by friends and family. I consider working with the gifted and found textiles as a collaboration with the original creators, a way of continuing the creative process and preserving and keeping the work alive by transforming it into a work of art. (Jessica Vellenga,


Header Photo: Don’t Be Afraid, by Maser, South Richmond St., Dublin 2


Photo: String Art Graffiti, Artist Unknown

Guerrilla Art:  A creative and unexpected interruption within everyday life by an anonymous artist or artist collective. The art can be an object, experience or situation confronting taken for granted reality. It can invite participation or a new way of looking at one’s surroundings.




Photo: Agustina Woodgate, Poetry Bombing, Clothing labels with poems printed on them are sewn clandestinely in local thrift stores, 2011

Places and Objects are alive, we make them alive, they tell our stories and tales. Sewing poems in clothes in a way is giving the garments a voice. We are in relation — with others, with things, with the world. This being-in-relation, is a way of perceiving, a mode of moving, a narrative of global truths designed by cultural fictions. Sewing poems in clothes is a way of bringing poetry to everyday life just by displacing it, by removing it from a paper to integrate it and fuse it with our lives. Sometimes little details are stronger when they are separated from where they are expected to be. (Agustina Woodgate,

Photo: Bodies in Urban Spaces, Choreographer Willi Dorner, Dublin Dance Festival, 2014

The intention of “bodies in urban spaces” is to point out the urban functional structure and to uncover the restricted movement possibilities and behaviour as well as rules and limitations. Bodies in Urban Spaces invites the residents to walk their own city thus establishing a stronger relationship to their neighbourhood, district and town. The interventions are temporarily without leaving any traces behind, but imprints in the eye-witnesses’ memory.

Bodies in Urban Spaces is a moving trail, choreographed for a group of dancers. The performers lead the audience through selected parts of public and semi-public spaces. A chain of physical interventions set up very quickly and only existing temporarily, allows the viewer to perceive the same space or place in a new and different way – on the run. The special quality of each place at various times of the day creates unique presentations. (Will Dorner, Artist Statement)


Photo: Art in Odd PlacesKatya Grokhovsky, Slow Dance

Katya Grokhovsky, Slow Dance The audience and passersby are invited to slow dance with the artist and numerous performers to music from diverse cultures and time periods. Taking place in various locations, the project seeks to investigate urban alienation and human desire to connect. Based around the idea of a couple dance or an old-fashioned mating ritual, Slow Dance is an exploration of intimacy, loneliness, and the ultimate distance between us.

Art in Odd Places (AiOP) presents visual and performance art in unexpected public spaces. It Art aims to stretch the boundaries of communication in the public realm by presenting artworks in all disciplines outside the confines of traditional public space regulations. AiOP reminds us that public spaces function as the epicenter for diverse social interactions and the unfettered exchange of ideas.



Photos: Richard Reynolds

Guerilla art is a fun and insidious way of sharing your vision with the world. It is a method of art making which entails leaving anonymous art pieces in public places. It can be done for a variety of reasons, to make a statement, to share your ideas, to send out good karma, or just for fun. My current fascination with it stems from a belief in the importance of making art without attachment to the outcome. To do something that has nothing to do with making money, or listening to the ego.

Experiment with your own ideas.
Possible Formats
1. Sidewalk chalk
2. Sticker art
3. Flyers/posters (see “make a flyer of your day” at learningtoloveyoumore. Here is mine, page 1, page 2, page 3.
4. Journals (pass it on)
5. Zines
6. Object leave behinds (money, gifts, junk)
7. Notes (slogans)
8. Graffiti
9. Book inserts (library)
10. Book leave behinds (bookcrossing)
11. Letters (possibly love letters to strangers)
12. The age old ‘message in a bottle’, or a balloon. Or if you are really adventurous you might be drawn to carrier pigeons.
Potential Ideas for subject matter
-any form of artwork (drawings, collage, doodles, paintings)
-good luck charms
-variations on a theme
-many guerilla artist are politically motivated and find that being anonymous allows them to be more controversial or extreme with their message. Popular with activists.

Video: Bricolage by Keri Smith, “How can we care about something if we don’t notice it?”



Photos: Guerrilla Girls,

We’re feminist masked avengers in the tradition of anonymous do-gooders like Robin Hood, Wonder Woman and Batman. How do we expose sexism, racism and corruption in politics, art, film and pop culture? With facts, humor and outrageous visuals. We reveal the understory, the subtext, the overlooked, and the downright unfair… GUERRILLA GIRLS: NOT READY TO MAKE NICE, 30 YEARS AND STILL COUNTING,

In May 1985 we put our first posters up on the streets of New York and everyone went bananas. May 2015 marked three decades of fighting discrimination and corruption in the world of art, film, politics and pop culture.



Photos: Harmen de Hoop, 1. For Free! Rotterdam, 2005 2. MINERAL WATER – LANDSMEER -1994 A rack with mineral water bottles added to an information sign in a recreational

I have always worked anonymously, and [have] never told anyone where my artworks are…All my artworks transmit political, social and philosophical ideas..I am interested in the authentic moment – my artworks are an unpretentious personal dialogue with passersby. (Harmen de Hoop quoted in Art and Agenda: Political Art and Activism Edited by Robert Klanten, Matthias Hübner, Alain Bieber, Pedro Alonzo and Gregor Jansen

The Situationists 1957-1972

A group of European artists and theorists. Manifestos: Let’s Reinvent Daily Life Now, Disrupt the Normal, Change Perception, Go Somewhere Different, Make a New Encounter, Total Participation, Direct Organisation of the Lived Moment, Anonymous Production, Construct Your Own Life, Revolution in Acts of Disobedience, Art in Everyday Experiences


Photo: Giusepe Pinto-Gallizio + Guy  Debord

Extract from the Situationist Manifesto, May 17, 1960

Against preserved art, it is the organization of the directly lived moment.

Against particularized art, it will be a global practice with a bearing, each moment, on all the usable elements. Naturally this would tend to collective production which would be without doubt anonymous (at least to the extent where the works are no longer stocked as commodities, this culture will not be dominated by the need to leave traces.) The minimum proposals of these experiences will be a revolution in behavior and a dynamic unitary urbanism capable of extension to the entire planet, and of being further extensible to all habitable planets.

Against unilateral art, situationist culture will be an art of dialogue, an art of interaction. Today artists — with all culture visible — have been completely separated from society, just as they are separated from each other by competition. But faced with this impasse of capitalism, art has remained essentially unilateral in response. This enclosed era of primitivism must be superseded by complete communication.

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Fluxus 1959-present (meaning Fluid), Interdisciplinary Artists, Musicians, Composers, Poets. Manifestos: Creation is Important not the Product, Experimentation, Chance, Anti-Commercial Art Interventions, Social Experiments, Happenings

…Fluxus artists rejected traditional principles of craftsmanship, permanency of the art object and the notion of the artist as specialist. Fluxus artists viewed art not as a finite object but as a time-based experience, employing performance and theatrical experiments. Fluxus artists were interested in the transformative potential of art through collaboration. Spectators were encouraged to interact with the performer, while plotless staged events left artworks open to artistic chance and interpretation. Artworks were realised in a range of media, including musical scores, performances, events, publications, MULTIPLES and assembled environments constructed to envelop the observer. These initiatives were often conceived with workshop characteristics, whereby the artist operated as facilitator, engaging the audience in philosophical discussions about the meaning of art. Artworks often took the form of meetings and public demonstrations, HAPPENINGS or SOCIAL SCULPTURE, whereby the meaning of the work was derived from the collective engagement of the participants. A common goal of Fluxus, Happenings and Situationist events was to develop a new synthesis between politics and art, where political activism was mirrored in streetbased arts practice as a radical means to eliminate distinctions between art and life (What is Participatory and Relational Art? IMMA,


Photo: Fluxus Street Events, May 1964, George Maciunas (Photo Credit)

Gutai 1954-1972

“As a group, however, we impose no rules. Ours is a free site of creation wherein we have actively pursued diverse experimentations…” Extract Gutai Art Manifesto by YOSHIHARA JIRŌ



Akira Kanayama: Ashiato, 1956

The word ‘gutai’ translates as ‘concreteness’, and it articulates one of the Gutai group’s most distinctive traits – their desire to physically engage with an extraordinary range of materials. The name also anticipated their investigations into the reciprocal connection between matter (paint, chemicals, tar, mud, water) and physical action (breaking, exploding, tearing, dripping). They wanted to create a new kind of art that explored the relationship between the human spirit and material…

Gutai firmly believed in concept over form, thoroughly rejecting representative art. They wanted to move away from the art object towards the invisible world of ideas, and to leave plenty of room for viewers to come up with potential meanings on their own.

Gutai Group, The Art Story,

Guggenheim New York, Gutai: Splendid Playground