Thesis Info

Thesis Title
Practice of Invitation - Art and meaningful participation
Markuz Wernli Saitô
2nd Author
3rd Author
Masters in Fine Arts (New Media)
Number of Pages
Transart Institute, Danube University, Krems, Austria
Thesis Supervisor
Marjorie Vecchio
Supervisor e-mail
Other Supervisor(s)
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Fine Art
Languages Familiar to Author
English, German, French, Japanese
URL where full thesis can be found
Participation, connection, empathy, invitation, social practice, action art, relationship, creative control, local relevance, artistic motivation, participation mode, collaboration, cooperation, community.
Abstract: 200-500 words
The practice of invitation is part of the shared, abundant living which recognizes that we belong to something bigger. In a time when many feel disconnected from the world and themselves and when technology, consumerism and ideologies keep us more and more apart from each other, meaningful opportunities for spending physical time together outside of work cater to an existential necessity. Rather than the secluded escape in studio and gallery, the practice of invitation engages with rearrangements in everyday situations. It is exemplary how an artist like San Keller congregates train commuters at Grand Central Station and takes them collectively on what he calls the ‘Long Way Home’ one participant at a time. People step out of their routine, meet and spend a more or less sleepless night together, experiencing themselves as related beings within the mundane routine of going home. Invitation is the beginning of a journey together that goes beyond limitations of commodity and one’s singularity. Creativity researcher Lewis Hyde explains: “If art is conceived as a gift exchange and given away, shared, spent, it retains or increases its liveliness like a human life. It becomes the means of meaningful, significant use of surplus.” This full and shared engagement, this ‘giving ourselves away’ is more important than ever before, because engagement inevitably confronts us with the critical question: Is this individual, this work, this world I am engaging with, worthy of the life that I have to give?