About the Project

En Masse was a collaborative project led by Bronwyn Lace and myself in 2010. The project was about investigating the potential for trans and intra disciplinary conversation and collaboration and represented an attempt to merge the vision of environmental activism and the vitality of experiential art to address some of the pressing issues of our time. We invited 50 of Johannesburg’s most interesting creative minds to participate in the project.

Eight 3-hour conversations were held over the month of August 2010. Each meeting had between 5 and 8 invited individuals. Each conversation began with a 30-minute presentation. The intention of this presentation was not to propose any particular theory or solution but rather to inspire an open dialogue around what it means to engage thousands of people at one time.

After the presentation a series of 6 questions where presented to the group. These questions were about creating somewhat of a structure for the conversation but always allowed for open interpretation. The questions were as follows:

  1. What is your response to having an audience of over 1000?
  2. How do you envision the use of basic elements?
  3. How would you capture human energy?
  4. What do you want a member of the audience to walk away with?
  5. Where do you envision this happening?
  6. What do you see as our major challenge(s)?

The intention behind these sessions was to inspire the conceptualisation of a large-scale public performance combining aspects of both installation and performance art, where the massed audience (of at least 1000), will function as both viewer and performer.

The documentation of this project was included in the Creative Time exhibition in New York in 2010.