Wired Women S@lon 105 : CONTINGENT: Only if participation occurs

Curators: Erandy Vergara & Mark Clintberg

Thursday, December 11, 5 to 7pm
Free Entrance

Thursday, December 11, 7 to 9pm
5$ suggested donation*

@ STUDIO XX – 4001, Berri (corner Duluth) space 201

December 11 to 19th, 2014
Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 5pm
Saturday, Sunday, Monday 12pm – 5pm


As part of our end of 2014 season event Wired Women Salon #105, Studio XX is pleased to collaborate with Media@McGill,launching the new issue of In Circulation as well as an exhibit featuring the works of artists Helen Reed and Hannah Jickling, Nicole Lattuca, Klintberg & Nemerofsky, Dean Baldwin, Heba Y. Amin, Zohar Kfir, Jeff Kulak and Charlie Williams, Cynthia Hammond, Camille Bédard, Shauna Janssen, Roger Latour and Itai Peleg. The exhibition, curated by Mark Clintberg and Erandy Vergara-Vargas, will open on December 11th followed by the curators and artists presentations and will be held from December 11th to 19th in the gallery space of Studio XX.

*Donations contribute to the general activities of Studio XX.


Why participate? Who can participate and who cannot? Who set the rules of participation? What is the role and what are the limits of technologies and platforms for contemporary forms of collaboration? What strategies and forms of collaboration are deployed to draw attention to or trouble conventions of faith, gender, intimacy, beauty, and knowledge?

This exhibition gathers together eight projects which are contingent upon the participation of different agents, and that each respond to one of the questions above. Some of these emerged as a response to a problem of a local community, while others invited participation in specific art and educational projects. Overall, they question the assumption that participatory strategies are inherently positive, and that they enable horizontal and democratic decision-making processes in the public realm.

These projects reveal the limits faced by some agents who wish to document or intervene in social injustices. But far from preventing participation, these works reveal the need for a nuanced understanding of what participation is. Participation is contingent upon the action, organization, and gathering of people, but also contingent upon public policies, laws, and social constructs. Rather than assuming that participation is good in itself, they reveal the tensions at the centre of negotiations with others, and the still fixed conventions that make people claim positions when participating. Decisions to participate are directed by personal desires that are constructed from social situations. This exhibition turns a critical eye to participation and invites gallery visitors to consider participation as contingent on a vast array of circumstances.

This exhibition results from an open call for artworks, as well as invited and commissioned projects. All eight projects are born from contingency, from a series of complex events and situations that could not necessarily be predicted; they result from frustration, from pain, from struggle, from hope, from the desire to respond to social injustices and to incite supposedly frivolous actions – such as crafting chocolates, fostering seedlings, displaying flowers, and serving drinks – that reveal some tensions involved in participation.

The methods, practices, and models gathered in this exhibition result from different junctures that incite more than one person to take action, to participate. They are contingent in the sense that they all invite participation, but also in that they only fully come into existence through participation. These types of participation, however, are accented by economic, historic, and social problems that set the rules of participation.

This exhibition is part of the special issue “To Participate: Global and Spatial Perspectives” of In Circulation, an interdisciplinary journal based in the Department of Art History & Communication Studies at McGill University in Montreal.


IN CIRCULATION is an interdisciplinary journal based in the Department of Art History & Communication Studies at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. The journal is an annual graduate journal, published electronically in the Fall of each year. Each issue will address both historical and contemporary realities. incirculation.ca

Media@McGill is a hub of research, scholarship and public outreach on issues and controversies in media, technology and culture.