The Arts Festival Revolution -David Binder

The Arts Festival Revolution evokes awareness about ways to physically involve the audience in a performance piece. David Binder explores art festivals and companies such as Royal Deluxe, and Back to Back with unique approaches, locations, and inclusion methods that weave the observer/audience into the base of the performance. Binder explains the importance of a united audience and how art festivals can be a space to strengthen and build communities. “Festivals are capturing the complexity and excitement of the way we all live today” says Binder, inviting the audience to be a “participant, player and protagonist” within these spaces. It is my personal opinion that artistic process and product is an intense emotional experience, connecting the audience to this should be encouraged as a creative expansion within the storytelling event and experience.


Megan Howard

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3 Responses to The Arts Festival Revolution -David Binder

  1. Ian L-S says:

    I think that art is never created in isolation and many of the performances presented here demonstrate that. Not only that, but they also draw attention to their community construction, making the presence of the community an inseparable element of the final product. One would be hard pressed to find a better device for eliciting audience engagement than allowing those who are supposed to be the audience to represent themselves within a piece. Of the projects described here, I found the 100% city project to be the most compelling because of the ingenious way it sought to give an accurate representation of a much larger community through the personal presence of a smaller sample.

  2. Megan Saks says:

    When I have seen an especially engaging theater performance or captivating art display, I know that all I really want to do is be a part of it, to feel totally immersed in the experience. The festivals that David Binder is describing have managed do wake up their audiences in a way that makes us question what an audience is. Probably every individual sitting in the seat of a play has some sort of artistic skill and of course, a playful imagination, yet they rarely have a chance to interact with it, or fellow “audience” members, or the cast. I think it is incredibly important to validate the “audience,” to let them know that they are important, engaging individuals, to invite them into an artistic display and say “hey we’re artists, but so are you!”

  3. Lena Jo Beckenstein says:

    Thinking about arts festivals made me think about issues of access. Most, but not all, of the festivals that David Binder talks about are in cities. Now, this is understandable in a lot of ways. Cities, of course, have high concentrations of possible patrons; performing in cities is a great way to get as many people as possible to see something. This means that folks who live in cities have ample opportunities to be part of interactive audiences, to experience the variety of things that can mean (keeping in mind that access is also limited by funds and time). But folks who are from suburban areas with limited access to cities or are from rural areas don’t have access to the same audience communities and interactions. Is it possible for art that interacts with its audience to expand those audiences to include folks who have maybe never experienced interactive performance before? Is it financially possible? Artistically interesting for the folks making the art?

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