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‘The Open Work’: Ecologies of participation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 March 2013

Guy Harries*
School of Arts and Digital Industries, University of East London, Docklands Campus, University Way, London E16 2RD, UK


Audience engagement with a sound work can extend beyond fixed conventions in which roles of creation and reception are separate. In an ‘open work’ these roles are blurred, and the audience takes on an active part of co-creation. Participatory sound works can be considered as ecologies of engagement rather than fixed compositions. Technologies of dissemination and interactivity have become part of the design of such ecologies, and sound artists have integrated them in highly diverse works. Two main aspects of participatory ecologies will be considered: the continuum of ‘active interpretation’ to ‘co-authorship’ and the creation of a community of intersubjectivity. These two aspects will be discussed in the context of a range of sound works, including the author's work Shadowgraphs (2009/11) and its interconnected manifestations: an installation, a live performance and a blog.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013

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