Cultural Capital and the Contract

was presented as part of Melbourne's Inaugural Biennale Lab at Queen Victoria Market as part of the Mechanics' Institute socially-engaged initiative and funded by the City of Melbourne. It was a 2 hour workshop exploring participatory agreements within socially engaged arts projects and the management of cultural capital and earning thereafter.

Research Ethics

Exploring the ethics of Cultural Capital imagery, (for example imagery recorded as evidence of socially engaged art projects) I pose: How do images of people working as part of a cultural project affect the works’ cultural capital; What is the internal ecology of ethics within a work?; How has this changed over ages (say from the 60’s); Who is the author of these images, the initiator of the project (the artist), the participant (the subject) or the documenter (photographer)?

This 1.5 hour workshop seeks to build upon the participatory project ‘GOODWILL: Memoirs of Yard Play’ in a public forum, as part of Melbourne Biennial lab. The main questions that have previously been explored in this research (established in 2013 http://kymmaxwell.com/goodwillresearch) are: How does yard play experiences contribute to our overly surveilled world and educational environment? – What qualities may unsupervised play bring to aesthetics, our understanding of ourselves, and our values toward resilience. Is recording people’s reactions to environment and materials considered cultural capital, how so? Is this ethical?

Bringing the metaphor of Alan Kaprow’s project Yard (1961) installed in the Hauser and Wirth Gallery. I utilised the concept of ‘Yard’ and the Goodwill toolkit to explore the ethics of documentation of socially engaged art practices. Throughout the ‘Research Ethics’ event, the public display of jumbled car tyres, planks, costumes and ropes, the public will be provided the opportunity to enter the space, utilise the loose equipment and be documented doing so.

Non of these invitations need be to be accepted for the participant to participate. The permissions entrance to the space will house a series of images from Allan Kaprow, Roger Faigan and David Cashman’s Islington School Environmental Project works from the 50’s to the 70’s. A drawing sheet is used to raise questions regarding issue of ethics in public art research, authorship, agency and how documentation becomes cultural capital – the participant will exploring the examples of the documented artists on the wall.