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TransCoding – From 'Highbrow Art' to Participatory Culture
Social Media – Art – Research

by Barbara Lüneburg, [transcript], 2018.

Artistic research, and with it the process of doing art and the artwork itself, are at the heart of this investigation. For that reason, I provide – as an augmented way of reading – this complementary website to my book TransCoding – From 'Highbrow Art' to Participatory Culture | Social Media – Art – Research published at [transcript], May 2018. Here I introduce the reader to the video and audio samples discussed within the monograph. Designed in a way that reflects the structure of this book, the site presents annotated audio and video excerpts of TransCoding’s artworks, interview passages and community contributions. The book could be read as text alone, but in my opinion the reader will derive more and gain a more holistic experience from listening in parallel to the additional audio and visual media made available. (Click here for the link to the monograph on "TransCoding" published at [transcript])

I have structured this website according to the main parts and chapters of the book. In the book each link to an artwork is accompanied by an indication in which of the badges below it can be found. For instance: 'Link to the video documentation of Slices of Life: http://transcoding.info/english/book.html – PREFACE'. By clicking the badge with the same name ('PREFACE') a window opens that displays the annotated artwork indicated in the title.


Part I of the monograph consists of a general introduction to TransCoding in chapter 1; chapter 2 describes the research field and gives an overview of participatory art in the field of contemporary (classical) music and the project-specific methodology.

Part I is rounded off in chapter 3 by an interview of the TransCoding team that offers an overview of the project from the perspective of the cultural scientist Torsten Flüh. In his questions, he touches on the (crossover) aesthetics of TransCoding, the challenges of a digital society, social media in the arts and the creative process behind the project.


Part II is concerned with theories and concepts related to participative art and the theoretical framework for our social media and content strategies.

In chapter 4, I define participatory culture via web 2.0 in the context of our project. In chapter 5, I look into the social media content strategies that furthered and unlocked the creativity of the community for mutual benefit. In chapter 6, I recount the production of the artwork and the problems that arose out of the participatory character. Chapter 7 discusses the motivation for participation that let people contribute to the artwork of TransCoding. In chapter 8, which is dedicated to the community of TransCoding, I document selected community contributions and reflect on them. Chapter 9 (‘A Potential for Change’) deals with the impact of the community on the role and the self-concept of the artist.


Part III (‘Artistic Research – New Insights Through Arts Practice?’) offers a comparison of discourses in the fields of ethnographic sociology and artistic research. We deploy here the philosophical paradigm of Foucauldian discourse analysis. I discuss with the sociologist Kai Ginkel, co-author of the chapter, the similarities and differences in the methodologies of artistic research and ethnography.

We compare the overall production of knowledge, point out similarities and differences, and search for the values, taboos and power strategies behind methods and approaches (chapter 10). We present and analyse the case study I am a Priest, a movement from the artwork Slices of Life, from the perspective of each fields. Here, we investigated how a method has bearing on the ‘truth’ that is being sought and how it is accordingly depicted (chapter 11). Finally, we evaluate whether both disciplines might possibly inform each other in terms of methodological innovation and enhancement (chapter 12).


The artworks and this monograph would not exist without TransCoding’s community.

I would like to thank all our active and passive supporters; by name, I am grateful to Louis Aguirre, Victor Barceló, Monique Besten, Julien Charest, Tamara Friebel, Gloria Guns, Anthony Green, Camilla Hoitenga, Olivia Kieffer, LIA, Feliz Anne Reyes Macahis, Daniela Michelle, Katarina Michelitsch, Sara Mn, Anahit Mughnetsyan, Alina Murzakhanova, Paul Norman, Heghine Ohanyan, Mikolaj Pociecha, Alexandra Radoulova, Hali Rey, Damian Stewart, Felix Christian Thiessen, Ricardo Mateus Tovar, Sabina Ulubeanu, Isabelle Vigier, Michael Wolters, Susanne Wosnitzka, and my students in the seminar ‘Undoing Gender’ from the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz and Karl Franzens University of Graz, who all contributed with voice, sound, image or word to the artworks of TransCoding.

Contact: Prof. Dr.phil. Barbara Lüneburg
Email: barbara.lueneburg@kug.ac.at