PhD Thesis defence of Varvara Guljajeva

Põhja pst 7, A101

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The Estonian Academy of Arts, Curriculum of Art and Design’s PhD student Varvara Guljajeva will defend her thesis “From interaction to post-participation: the disappearing role of the active participant”(“Interaktsioonist osalusjärgsuseni: aktiivse osaleja kaduv roll”) on the 21st of December 2018 at 12.00 at Põhja pst 7 building, room A101.


Supervisors:dr Raivo Kelomees (Estonian Academy of Arts) and dr Pau Waelder (The Open University of Catalonia)


Pre-reviewers:prof dr Christa Sommerer (Interface Cultures, The University of Art and Design Linz) and prof dr Moises Mañas Carbonell (Faculty of Fine Arts, Polytechnic University of Valencia)


Opponent: prof dr Christa Sommerer (Interface Cultures, The University of Art and Design Linz)



The practice-based dissertation analyses and contextualises passive audience interaction through the lens of post-participation. Research explores the shift from active to passive participation in interactive art. By exploring interactive art history and the discourse of identity within the field, this dissertation investigates how artworks that demonstrate no audience involvement, but still incorporate an internal system interaction with a data source, are addressed. In other words, the research tracks down the interest shift from human-machine to system-to-system interaction, and explores the reasons behind this.

In this thesis, a differentiation is made between direct and indirect post-participation. Hence, the selected artworks are analysed from the perspective of concept, direct or indirect post-participation components, and realisation. In addition, related artworks by other artists are introduced and discussed under each subcategory of post-participation.

In the end, the dissertation contributes to the evolution of interactive art, by analysing and contextualising passive audience participation in the form of post-participation. Author argues that the concept of post-participation helps to address the shift from an active to a passive spectator in the complex age of dataveillance, an age in which humans are continuously tracked, traced, monitored and surveilled without our consent.


Please find the PhD thesis here.


The defense will be in English.


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Posted by Elika Kiilo

Academic Affairs OfficeDoctoral SchoolFaculty of Art and Culture