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Participatory presence: social connectedness through collaborative art practices

Participatory presence: social connectedness through collaborative art practices

Gingrich, Oliver ORCID: 0000-0002-1656-0032 , Havsteen-Franklin, Dominik, Renaud, Alain, Hignell-Tully, Daniel and Grant, Claire (2024) Participatory presence: social connectedness through collaborative art practices. International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media. ISSN 1479-4713 (Print), 2040-0934 (Online) (In Press) (doi:

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In a post-Covid context, the term presence has become the subject of renewed academic focus, amplified by mass phenomena such as Zoom-fatigue and online classroom teaching. The prism of new materialism allows for a new reading of relationships between technology and human sensing, physical and virtual presence and copresence, with possible design implications: Current research in public health and social-environment discourse is interested in the effect of presence on well-being and potential links between presence and social connectedness as a contributing factor to wellbeing. As a theoretical framework new materialism provides a lens that foregrounds complex relations between affect and technology, enabling us, through interventions like KIMA: Colour, to further interrogate the broad discourse on mediated presence and social connectivity - specifically in contemporary online contexts. This paper provides an overview of the AHRC-funded research project, p_ART_icipate, which is a collaborative investigation led by the University of Greenwich, Brunel University, and CNWL NHS Foundation Trust. This paper describes one of the case studies within the project, "KIMA Colour", a collaboration with the National Gallery and the Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB). The case study explores the effect of collective cultural experiences and participatory art (Fig. 1) on a sense of social connectivity and copresence. In collaboration with RNIB and a group of visually impaired individuals, the team asked how we can design meaningful and accessible online interfaces that actively contribute to a sense of copresence or ‘participatory presence’. Findings suggest a possible link between the experience, a sense of presence and social connectedness. This research aims to contribute to our understanding of the role of participatory art in fostering both a sense of presence and social connectedness in an online context and to provide recommendations for improving accessibility and facilitation design.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: participatory presence; social connectedness; presence; participatory art
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > NC Drawing Design Illustration
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Design (DES)
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2024 10:57

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