1st Edition

Visual Participatory Arts Based Research in the City Ontology, Aesthetics and Ethics

Edited By Laura Trafí-Prats, Aurelio Castro-Varela Copyright 2022
    170 Pages 34 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    170 Pages 34 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Visual Participatory Arts Based Research in the Cities maps ontological, aesthetic and ethic differences between humanist and posthumanist arts-based research, while providing insight on methodological orientations to develop arts-based research with frameworks based on process-philosophies.

    It is the first book on arts-based research which focuses on the city, adopting a posthumanist approach to the assembled nature of urban environments, where agency is distributed across infrastructures, technologies, spaces, things, and bodies. Chapters one to seven feature a series of studies, situated in different cities in Europe and the Americas, which outline experiences of movement, inhabitancy, interdependence, collaboration, infrastructuring and sensorial re-calibration informed by art practices in film, photography, digital projection, installation, performance and art as social practice. At the core of this book is the idea that aesthetic ecologies of cities do not depend solely on human activity, relying instead on non-logocentric modalities of collective life.

    The book is an indispensable tool to researchers, instructors and graduate students in education, the social sciences and the arts aiming to conceive, design and develop projects in arts-based research.

    List of Figures

    List of Contributors


    Chapter 1- Introduction: Visual participatory arts-based research in the city: Outlining posthumanist approaches

    Laura Trafi-Prats and Aurelio Castro-Varela

    Part I: Ontologies Reorientations

    Chapter 2- Relocating the cinema in the city: The case of El Solar de la Puri

    Aurelio Castro-Varela

    Chapter 3- Fred Herzog's affective engagements with things in the city of Vancouver

    Donal O’Donoghue and Matthew Isherwood

    Chapter 4- Black life and aesthetic sociality in the Subúrbio Ferroviário de Salvador, Bahia

    Brais Estevez

    Part II: Aesthetic Practice

    Chapter 5- Lively pathways: Finding the aesthetic in everyday practice

    Valerie Trigs, Michele Sorensen and Rita L. Irwin

    Chapter 6- A hauntological enlivening of the Coma Cros archive through pedagogical inquiry and live performance

    Judit Vidiella

    Part III: Ethics of Participation

    Chapter 7- The Lynden Sculpture Garden’s Call and Response Program: To wonder, encounter, and emplace through the radical Black imagination

    Rina Little and Portia Cobb

    Chapter 8- A poetics of opacity: Towards a new ethics of participation in gallery-based art projects with young people

    Elizabeth De Freitas, Laura Trafi-Prats, David Rousell and Riikka Hohti

    Epilogue: The remaking of collective life in (post)pandemic times

    Laura Trafi-Prats and Aurelio Castro-Varela



    Laura Trafí-Prats is a Senior Lecturer of Childhood Studies and Research Methodologies at Manchester Metropolitan University. Laura’s research engages with and responds to children and young people’s sensory and material experiences in a variety of contexts including urban spaces, the natural environment and schooling.

    Aurelio Castro-Varela is an Assistant Professor of Cultural Pedagogies at the University of Barcelona. His research focuses on learning environments and urban arts-based practices through a new materialist perspective. He is also a member of the research group Esbrina and postdoctoral researcher in the European project Pleasurescapes. Port Cities’ Transnational Forces of Integration