Practising Democracy through performance
The book draws on the performance project. The Practice of Democracy/An Analogue Campaign, which ran from 2019-2021 in different European cities. It is written in two parts, interspersed with fragments from the project’s performance score. The introduction sets the theoretical and critical ground for the book, discussing the current crises of politics, democracy, and social imagination across Europe and the Western world, and the way performance relates to these cities. Part I introduces the newly proposed neologism publicing as a term and practice inflecting a new understanding of the relation of art to politics, marking a shift from “relational aesthetics” and “participatory art” to speculative artistic processes that construct public space in ways distinct from the dominant neoliberal ones. Part I further proposes some working principles through which performance might construct more affective experiences of publicness. Part II hosts the voices of people who took part in The Practice of Democracy/An Analogue Campaign, and of other art workers exploring the relation between arts, politics, and democracy. Every contribution makes a concrete suggestion about the way artistic processes might assist the reactivation of democratic practices and the emergence of different social imaginaries.