Public Participatory Installation
Public Program Proposal:
Public Participatory Installation by Gretchen Andrew
Community vision board that engages the public with social issues relating to artificial intelligence
Finding tactile and nonintimidating ways to involve the public with artificial intelligence and other confusing technologies can be difficult. Gretchen Andrew’s participatory Vision Boards engage those from young girls to retired museum goers with the technical politics of power through glitter and flowers.
As we are increasingly able to gather together, public programs become an attractive participatory project to draw diverse audiences to the museum and build community.
I wish to share with you a participatory installation and public program that I first enacted at the LA Center for Digital Art in 2019 followed by The Francisco Carolinum Museum of Modern and Contemporary in 2021.
About the artist:
Gretchen Andrew (born in Los Angeles, 1988) hacks systems of power with art, code and glitter. She trained in London with the artist Billy Childish from 2012-2017. In 2018 the V&A Museum released her book Search Engine Art. Starting in 2019 she became known for her vision boards and associated performative internet manipulations of art world institutions of Frieze Los Angeles, The Whitney Biennial, The Turner Prize, and The Cover of Artforum. She is currently the artist in residence at the National Gallery X London.
Working Title: Community Vision Board: Participatory Installation
Project Type: Public participatory installation
Exhibition Concept: PARTICIPATE IN ART | PARTICIPATE IN ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE | PARTICIPATE IN MAKING THE FUTURE YOU WANT
Gretchen Andrew presents a participatory installation that invest the public to reimagine reality with art and desire.
With this exhibition, the visualisation board becomes an installation in which the audience can participate with glue, glittery, magazines, crafts and non-ironic desire to debate and reflect upon contemporary topics and ideas: where art and society meet. Gretchen invites audiences to imagine their own desires using her materials and affixing them to a community vision board.
By using Vision Boards to playfully hypnotize Google search results, Gretchen exposes the inherent and structural limitations of 1s and 0s binary technology while simultaneously using these limitations to reclaim the internet as a forward-thinking tool of possibility. The feminine and trivialized materials of her vision boards purposefully clash with the male-dominated worlds of artificial intelligence, programming, and political control they also operate within.
The internet can be seen as a global subconscious, and, much like our own subconscious, it cannot tell the difference between a hoped-for future intensely imagined through art and what has, in fact, already occurred.
This is because the internet cannot parse desire. To parse is to divide into parts and identify the parts’ relations with each other. When humans read, “Gretchen is really hoping that someday her work achieves a new contemporary art auction record” it is understood that the relationship between Gretchen and the object of her desire to be one of separation. By contrast, the internet essentially understands only that Gretchen is “relevant” to the top auction records for contemporary art. Now when anyone, anywhere in the world Googles “Contemporary Art Auction Record” Gretchen’s vision boards, physically displayed here come up as top search results. Give it a try! Google “Contemporary Art Auction Record.”
Artificial Intelligence is inherently backward-looking and susceptible to being reprogrammed through knowledge of the internet’s structure. Gretchen exploits it, rewriting our sense of political possibility by using a search engine’s own rules and limitations against itself. This installation invites everyone into the process of using their own creativity and desires to program AI based on the world they want, not just the one we have historically had.
Objective: To transform the museum space into an interactive vision board where visitors are encouraged to participate in its making, collectively imagining and manifesting the future they want. The specific goals are to foster creative expression, social connection, and community dialogue around artificial intelligence, diversity in technology, and internet literacy.
Intended audience: All welcome. Past iterations show a willingness that crosses demographics to participate. Young women and those under represented in technology are particularly targeted.
Visual and press archive of past installation:
Facebook OOE Kunst Video: 3 hours of the installation in action in a time-lapse video of 30 seconds
FAD Magazine Article: Gretchen Andrew turns a museum into a participatory installation Vision Board in new solo exhibition exploring the trust boundary of the internet
FAD Magazine Article: Gretchen Andrew interview with FAD Magazine in the framework of the exhibition at the Francisco Carolinum Linz about the Metamorphosis hybrid NFT drop
Gretchen-FC-TrustBoundary.pdf: Description of exhibition in Francisco Carolinum Linz
Video of Gretchen Andrew explaining how the installation connects to AI and the internet
Community Vision Board after 5 month exhibition
More images of the installation
Gretchen Andrew and Ai Weiwei start a community vision board together at The Francisco Carolinum Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art
Community Involvement: In concurrence with the exhibition, different supporting programs and educational events could take place, covering topics such as
Proposed exhibition catalogue / Essay subjects: If the institution is to publish an exhibition catalogue or a collection of essays within the framework of the exhibition, the following subjects are proposed:
Timing and preferred dates: Installation participation dates are the same as installation exhibition. 1 month or more encouraged.
Space Required: 3meters +, lobby or hallway possible
Equipment / Furniture / Other Materials Required:
email@example.com: contact for deep dive of materials and installation
Walls are protected in a thick, easily removable, wallpaper that acts as a barrier between the walls and the audience. To the audience, the experience is still one of working directly onto the walls of the institution although the walls actually stay preserved and protected.
Carpet protects the floors and acts as the space that defines the working area.
A variety of materials (glue, glitter, magazines, etc.) can be ordered in bulk using established sources.