Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts


Visual Arts


Sarah Bassnett


This thesis examines the growing trend of participatory art practices employed in the installation works of contemporary artists Roman Ondák, Ann Hamilton, Caitlind r.c. Brown and Wayne Garrett. It focuses on how three art installations use interactive and collaborative methods, each within a different exhibition setting, in order to include and communicate with the public audience. The first chapter discusses how Ondák’s Measuring the Universe draws on shared experience to encourage viewers to interact with the installation within a large art gallery. The second chapter considers how Hamilton’s the event of a thread creates a social event between participants and performers using an alternative gallery space. The final chapter explores how Brown and Garrett’s CLOUD uses public contributors and participants throughout its development to include the public audience and to reconsider the urban space. Overall, the thesis illustrates how contemporary artists are using fun and relatable everyday elements to engage with the public, establish their audience as a community, and comment on larger social situations.