The Aesthetic and Material Implications of Ecoventions’ Ongoing Participatory Demands

  • Mateusz Salwa Institute of Philosophy, University of Warsaw, Poland
  • Sue Spaid


In this paper, we assume that participatory art is an artwork, produced either collectively or by one artist, that invites participants to alter either its appearance, structure, and/or function, though not its purpose. This notion of audience participation is particular useful in discussing ecoventions (Sue Spaid’s term). An ecovention is an “artist-initiated practical action with ecological intent” and its purpose concerns whatever issues the collective who originally implemented it aimed to address. Generally speaking, an ecovention’s purpose concerns maximizing ecosystem functioning. We contend that such projects and various practices implied by them may result in an aesthetic experience of the environment based on the audience’s feeling of participation in the ecosystem and. It is partly a consequence of the fact that ecoventions are artistic projects. We claim that ecoventions as participatory artworks are important because they expand the field of art by including environmental issues in it, offering a new model of audience participation and) they may effectively change for the better the ecological conditions of a particular place.