a project by Sarah Kanouse, with the advice, assistance, and participation of many others
April 24-May 16, 2004

“However much the democratic public sphere promises openness and accessibility, it can never be a fully inclusive or fully constituted political community. … Conflict, division, and instability, then, do not ruin the democratic public sphere; they are the conditions of its existence. The threat arises with efforts to supercede for the public sphere remains democratic only insofar as its exclusions are taken into account and open to contestation.”

Rosalyn Deutsche, Evictions

While microphones record museum murmurings in a square claimed as public, people gather to make public what before was merely space.

For the three-week duration of the MFA exhibition at the Krannert Art Museum, in Champaign, IL, participatory events occur daily in roaming public spaces around the city. Museum viewers become speakers by using microphones to rupture the spectatorship, privilege, and permanence of the public museum, and spectators become discussants by joining or questioning the gatherings. The sounds from each location are relayed to the other space to contrast the implicit or explicit limits on engagement established by those who monitor, manage, and control.

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