The Art of Participation

1950 to Now



ISBN: 9780500238585 Category:

Rudolf Frieling, Boris Groys, Robert Atkins, Lev Manovich


This survey covers the rich and varied history of participatory art, from early happenings and performances to current practices that demand audience interaction.

As the hallmarks of the internet mindset – browsing, sharing, collecting, producing – increasingly permeate every aspect of society, this timely project reveals the ways in which artists and viewers have approached the creation of open works of art.

The featured artists include Abramovic/Ulay, Vito Acconci, Joseph Beuys, John Cage, Janet Cardiff, Lygia Clark, Kit Galloway and Sherri Rabinowitz, Dan Graham, Hans Haacke, Allan Kaprow, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Antoni Muntadas, Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik and Erwin Wurm.

Original essays by Rudolf Frieling, Boris Groys, Robert Atkins and Lev Manovich identify seminal moments in participatory practice from the 1950s to the present day. Hundreds of colour illustrations introduce work by all the artists in the accompanying exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, with reproductions of significant projects by other major figures – from Hélio Oiticica, Joan Jonas and Gordon Matta-Clark to Komar & Melamid and Gabriel Orozco – rounding out the survey.

Additional information

Weight 1080 g
Dimensions 20.5 x 26 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 4 December 2008
Number of pages 212
Format Hardback
Dimensions 20.5 x 26 cm
Weight 1080 g


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Boris Groys is a German philosopher, curator, art critic and expert on late-Soviet postmodern literature and art, as well as the Russian avant-garde.

Rudolf Frieling is San Francisco MoMA's curator of media arts.