Sophia Karwowski – Musical Participation: A Historical Contextualization of Music and Sound Art-Based Participatory Projects
Sophia Karwowski is an arts administrator and flutist from New York City. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
This thesis explores music and sound art projects that use strategies of participation, active engagement, collectivity, and mediation that move beyond traditional performance conventions, and contextualizes them within the larger participatory art discourse. Using a representative chronology of project examples and theoretical literature spanning the past century, an analysis of the changes in the concept of participation over time is developed. Three contemporary projects are analyzed with recourse to this research, including Echolocation, an original psychogeographic and participatory sound art project in the New York City subway. Attributes under examination in these projects include their larger social context, the negotiation of roles between spectator and artist, the production of meaning, and changes in performance contexts. The ramifications of innovative participatory strategies in the music world are discussed in relation to audience engagement and in a larger context of equality and exchange.
Elke Zobl/Florian Bettel