Hosted by Garage for the tenth consecutive year, each Art Experiment covers a different topic but always aims at active viewer engagement through interaction with mediators.
A flagship event within Garage’s public program, Art Experiment involves mediators who operate as agents between the visitor and the ideas of artists on show at the exhibition. Mediators who worked on Art Experiment. You’re on Air fulfilled a variety of tasks at once, keeping to the timing and logistics of a visit to the project—in order to ensure that every viewer saw all the works on display; setting up and moderating an open dialogue with the visitors; running workshops of both “practical” (such as the creation of a scent) and more “esoteric” formats (such as meditation or composing an energy bouquet).
The project involved strictly fixed logistics, with 12 daily sessions, each running every 30 minutes. The opening session started at 12:00, and the last one, at 19:00. The duration of one session was 90 minutes. Group size was limited to 14 people. Each group was guided by several mediators, including the leading mediator, a mediator in the Alchemy of Scents workshop area, a mediator in the installation zone, and a mediator-performer in the flower area. The leading mediator was permanently attached to the group and combined the mediator’s functions with those of a coordinator, ensuring that the group spent a certain amount of time scheduled in advance for each of the project’s zones.
Forty-six mediators and nine mediator-performers were recruited for Art Experiment. You’re on Air, the youngest among them aged 15, the oldest, 32. All mediators were selected via an open call which included two stages: creative competition and CV, followed by an oral interview. The forty-six successful candidates were selected from over 130 applications. Preparation for the eleven-day project took a month and a half, during which the mediators met with curators, artists, a speech coach, and a perfumer, along with attending seminars and conducting their own research. The mediators also developed and organized from scratch an event within the project’s public program prior to its official launch—the Art Experiment teaser.
Mediator-performers went through an independent selection process and training program. Most of them had previously collaborated with Garage on the exhibition project Infinite Ear. Their task at Art Experiment involved more subtle interaction with the visitor than that of regular mediators. Mediator-performers ran group meditation sessions and composed energy flower bouquets together with the visitors in the zone created by the artist Jess Hirsch. This is why it was necessary to invite professional actors and performers.
Another unconventional mediator on the project was the printed guide featuring illustrations by Olya Levina. This guide, handed out to each person in the beginning of their visit, helped to acquaint them with selected pieces on show, while also allowing extended (co-)participation by suggesting a walk along one of the routes to a special playlist created by the artist Jess Hirsch. The pdf version of the guide is available here.
Mediators involved in Art Experiment. You’re on Air kept free-form diaries documenting their emotions throughout the project. These fifteen diaries are available below.