Putting Participation on the Map

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While the internet has enabled new, transnational collaborations in the form of participatory art projects, the challenge with these increasingly popular initiatives is to credit the contributions and individual ideas of artists who might otherwise float lost in the crowdsourced sea. Wooloo Productions has managed to excel at meeting this challenge, while building the logistics of web-based participation into the concept of their works. Wooloo's newest project is Rebranding Acts, "an investigation into cultural identity in an age of global migration." The initiative invites artists from around the world to consider the ways in which "nationality" is manufactured in their home country, and to "rebrand" these concepts, from their own perspective. While the open call is predicated on the argument that such hegemonic nationalist constructions often exclude identities that don't fit the mold, Rebranding Acts invites anyone to add their voice to the discussion by uploading videos of their own public interventions. The best of these videos will be curated into major exhibitions in Prague and New York, later this year. This is not the first of Wooloo Production's projects to deal with national identity. Co-founding artists Sixten Kai Nielsen and Martin Rosengaard gained worldwide notoriety when Defending Denmark, their "international campaign to rebrand the country of Denmark" which documented 18 months of membership in the ultra-right Danish People's Party, was covered on Al Jazeera TV, launching an international discussion about party lines and artist interventions. If you'd like to join the party of people bringing such important projects to life, visit Wooloo.org. - Marisa Olson


Image: Wooloo Productions (Sixten Kai Nielsen and Martin Rosengaard), Attendance at the Danish People's Party National Congress from "Defending Denmark," 2006