Social Capital as art theme

Looking at the book Social Capital Forms of Interaction I found about the artist Luc Steels that attempts to reverse the experience of dis-empower in viewers. In his work Communitas (2003) Steels provided a software system and a hand-held device to viewers, with the goal to create networks among the project’s participants, allowing them to participate and comment during the exhibition. The participants could create content, upload it and then be presented on a website.

His works explores the paradox of virtuality and the doubt of what is going to happen with personal interactions in the future if the facilitators of these interactions are internet and mobile devices, but on the other hand, it can be a reinforcement of real communities, if the mediation is done with traditional organizing principles an values.

Steel’s Communitas aspires to elicit a creative, participatory response for redressing the imbalance of power between the artist and the viewer. (Chen et al. 2004)

Communitas Poster


Chen, Howie, et al. Social Capital: Forms of Interaction. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 2004. Web.

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