Hannah harkes: Hello Mike Chavez-Dawson, October 16, 2010 I was wondering if you would be interested in sharing a few of your thoughts on audience participation with. Parmi les pratiques préférées des Britanniques, on trouve les sextoys (34 des sondés ont avoué en utiliser lexhibitionnisme et lamour en public (28) ou encore labstinence (25). This inspection demands of the contemporary artist a refined self- reflexivity, substantial critical awareness, highly sophisticat- ed levels of subtlety and attentiveness to the implications of their approach to participation. It would be great to chat in Sunderland, and hopefully by then Ill have a clearer idea of just what it is Im trying to get. However the currently touring Unrealised Potential, by Mike Chavez-Dawson, Sam Ely and Lynne Harris, seems to en- dure a Brechtian assessment of its technical procedures and ideologies. Though todays cigar-smoking spectator has been somewhat transformed, by a growing capitalist society and, disillusioned by the fall of communism, responds cynically to revolutionary ideals; it seems he still desires a mode of interaction with the subtlety of Brechts approach. 14 In attempting to apply a Brechtian approach to con- temporary art practice, it could be said that, in a society ex- isting after the collapse of communism, it is questionable whether Brechts approach, so heavily affected by Marxist thinking, could still be relevant today. The Art of Participation: 1950 to Now. The spectator is then informed of the underlying design of the play which he is to witness. In: Willet J, Manheim R, editors. Homepage on the Inter- net. In its directness, the work also seems to me to be shown with a somewhat dry humour, comparable to Brechts tone of approach. It is not just a technical influence that Brecht appears to have had on Unrealised Potential, but an ideological influ- ence, too. This carefully constructed appearance of effortlessness al- lows the theatre to claim a temporary authority51, for whilst keeping the traditional aim of theatre and art, to entertain the viewer, as central; the obviously high level of expertise shown by the performers balances an authority with. 16 62 Mike Chavez-Dawson, emailed personal communication 2010 Dec. Great Britain; Eyre Methuen Ltd.; 1978 73 Brecht. I was lucky enough to walk in on the film loop during a section with no TV crew, so really got the sense of dubi- ety, of there being something off kilter in the acting, the reason of which didnt become clear until the microphones. This perspective takes into consideration the nature of an art works status when placed in a situation involving a viewer. Do you know the one? Amongst the tangled discourse and the myr- iad of approaches made in the arts to address the barrier between the spectator and the spectacle, 2 Willet J, editor. According to Ranciere5, belief in this complex prob- lem drives various attempts to remove passivity inherent in the role of the spectator. Within the visual arts, this Brechtian principle is particularly interesting when looked at in conjunction with the artists featured in Pop Life, an exhibi- tion held at the Tate Modern over. In attempting to remove passivity, many further this notion by relating it to concerns of a socio- political nature, hoping that the spectator could draw upon the experience of actively relating to a work and apply this experience to their engagement with societal and political. Badiou78 explains that Brecht used theatre as an instrument of education, with which to manufacture his ideal society.