Date: December 2004
Creator: Walker, Rebecca Ann
Description: In this study I outline seven characteristics of a traditional Happening (the use of games and play, an inherent intertextual element, an emphasis on place/space, an element/spirit of anarchy, an element of chance, an emphasis on the fusion of art with everyday life, and the existence of both a purpose and a meaning) and seek to determine which characteristics contribute to the Happening's current usage as a rhetorical tool. I created a traditional Happening containing a message of environmental consumption and destruction, and surveyed audience members regarding their interpretation and experience. The survey responses were coded using a top-down narrative analysis. I discovered that intertextuality, place/space, and the fusion of art with everyday life are particularly effective communicators of a message in a socially or politically conscious Happening.
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