Shrinkles of Dissent
Pranks in the public sphere
by Antoinette Burchill
About the Book
The author reconsiders mischief making, and proposes a reclassification of mischief as a strategy of value and agency within the fields of aesthetics, protest, cultural resistance, art and the public sphere. Shrinkles of Dissent considers this position in terms of pragmatic mischief, political mischief and counter-intuitive mischief.
I believe in mischief that takes a faint wisp, or a rascal of an idea and makes it real. Tangible. Performed and encountered.
I believe in making mischief that once corporeal, can be identified as a prank, as a ‘tactic’, as a ‘strategy’ (De Certeau 1980:5). Mischief making framed as performance, as an act of publishing opinion and of embodying and contesting opinion. I believe ‘a “good” prank… ought to serve a higher purpose by engaging with the world through humour and critique.’ (McLeod 2011:97)
I believe in making mischief in the public sphere and the counter-public sphere. I believe in publics activating public space, and the transformation of the public realm in to a performative and discursive site: a public sphere. A public sphere for the exchange of opinions, a counter-public sphere for dissent, and playfully oppositional insolence. I believe ‘public mischief, is the seed bed of democracy’. (Dovey 2009:5)