The disinterested pleasures of public participation: evaluating unstructured time in Sci-art

Winners of the Rupert Social Impact Art Prize 2022 will be exhibiting their projects at the Rupert Museum in early December 2022. To that end, I am recording and analysing the process and production of three art projects whose work engages specific South African environments bearing layered legacies of structural violence through devastation and pollution. While these projects are being prepared within the scope of science and environmental art, all three hinge on particularly creative and sensitive processes of social interaction and/or public participation for the works’ value and content to be realised.

There is a wide range of literature on psychological processes involved in social participation and creativity for mental health. There is also much contemporary literature being published on science communication and public engagement. In light of these theories and data, I detail the particular processes and context-specific activities of the Rupert artists and their participants, and reflect on this field of practice as a form of science communication.

Principal Investigator: Dr Jessica Webster