Public spheres, counterpublics’ fears and syncopolitics
journal contributionposted on 20.04.2020, 13:09 by Fred DalmassoFred Dalmasso
This article explores the often normative and idealist notion of the public sphere at its possible breaking point by analysing the online reactions to two tabloid articles about a 2016 performance of Dancing with Strangers: From Calais to England by Instant Dissidence. It first looks at how a comment platform could be perceived as a subaltern public sphere and as a substitute for a live audience in order to reconsider the notion of the counterpublic. For this, it examines the dialectical tension between politics and aesthetics within a subaltern online public sphere not immune to all kinds of extremism. This leads to an attempt to consider online hostile lay critics as a potentially legitimate public to address the dilemma faced by contemporary artists when engaging with society in an all-inclusive manner. Finally, this article offers a different reading of Instant Dissidence’s performance and of the possible reasons for the commentators’ rage and alienation and proposes syncopolitics as a way out of both online polarisation echo chambers and the public engagement conundrum.
- The Arts, English and Drama