Theorist, critic and curator Mike Watson working in the KulttuuriKauppila residency in July

Watson is especially interested in how art can be accessible to everybody and how anyone can participate in cultural production equally.

Mike Watson (PhD Goldsmiths College) is a theorist, critic and curator who is principally focused on the relation between art, new media and politics. He has written for Art Review, Artforum, Frieze, Hyperallergic and Radical Philosophy and has curated events at the 55 and 56th Venice Biennale, and Manifesta 12. He has recently published a second book for ZerO Books, entitled Can the Left Learn to Meme?: Adorno, Video Gaming, and Stranger Things. Nowadays Mike lives in Oulu.

Mike is especially interested in how art can be accessible to everybody and how anyone can enter the art world and participate in cultural production equally. The questions of power and participation are in the core of his research and writing. When curating and producing art events these values contribute to open and accessible happenings with artists co-operating with the audience. “Art world should open up to new ways of participation. In the Internet we see a multitude of modes of production where anyone can contribute and take part. These trends may eventually also change the world of art in the future”.

During his residency at KKAiR Mike is working on a book based on his own experiences in Italy called Down and out in the art world. He enjoys the peaceful atmosphere of the rural environment as well as the active art scene in Ii. “I am impressed with the commitment of the whole community towards art production and public art here in Ii. You have the municipalitys’ strong involvement and also as a crucial element the self-managing force of the local artists’ community.”

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