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Democratic Journey

Artist’s Statement: Democratic Journey is an expression of the basic consensus between people in the process of creating a society and in its externalisation as culture. The work is an evolving process that, as a simulation, is enabled and enacted by people’s direct participation. The transience, fluidity and randomness of people's encounters with the infrastructure of society – the ‘reality’ that governs their daily lives – is manifest in this work as a sequence of interpersonal procedures evolving in time. These interpersonal procedures take a group of 32 individuals on a journey, both imaginary and actual, in which they build a ‘society’ between themselves. The formal structure of the work enables 32 individuals, who have not previously met, to become one group of 32 members. There are six stages to the group’s evolution, each of which is built around a participant’s response to a question concerning the ‘ideal journey’. The questions are open: there are no right or wrong replies, no good or bad responses. They are simply a way of externalising and articulating people’s highly personal, implicit visions of their destiny to themselves and to others. A dice is thrown before the presentation of the second question to generate random pairings of participants and this procedure is repeated before each subsequent question, leading to larger and larger groupings. The outcome of the work cannot be known in advance and participants’ interpretation of what constitutes the ‘ideal journey’ is completely relative to the models held and expressed by the 32 participants. However the structure of the work, from the individual towards progressively larger groups, ensures that participants will interact with each other and at some undetermined level influence each other’s perceptual models in the drive towards consensus. The work is neither analysed nor edited: after the completion of Journey Question six the group disbands.

Date

24 September – 07 November 1999