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interactive art and artists: Pawel Althamer
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Pawel Althamer

Polish artist Althamer's concern with highlighting the apparently peripheral or overlooked, particularly with regard to the human experience, has often led to his own interaction with the lives of others. In 1994, for example, he asked museum attendants in a Warsaw art gallery which items would make their working day more pleasant, then provided them with chairs, a potted plant, a radio and soft drinks.

By contrast, his site-specific project for Münster 07, Sciezka (path) required visitors themselves to perform a task by following a designated route. The path led from the urban edges of the city out into the countryside, winding its way through a small wood and across a stream. In the middle of a field of barley, it abruptly came to an end.

Inspired by what Pawel perceived as a surprising conformity in Münster regarding the way the city was navigated by its inhabitants - footpaths are never used by cyclists, bike trails never used by pedestrians - Pawel's project sought to interrupt convention with a more sporadic, adventurous alternative.

Challenging the familiar, the dead end to which Sciezka led forced its users to make their own decisions and renegotiate possibilities regarding their return to the city and its more orderly structure.

 

Interactive art, continued: Rirkrit Tiravanija >

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