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Dr. Peter Burke



Dr Peter Burke is an artist and lecturer situated in Melbourne, Australia. He employs marketing strategies, and fictional personae to generate social interactions in public space. He does this in order to examine topical issues and to question the general condition of contemporary society. His cross-disciplinary approach embraces performance, painting, drawing, video and the mass media.Burke creates ‘pop-up’ interventions at highly regulated commercial and civic sites, including international art fairs, biennales, galleries, shopping precincts and streets. He manipulates the conditions of these sites by combining fiction and humour to ‘perform’ surprise and benign disruption. His aim is to open up an understanding of art as social space and to examine how the blended relationship between artworld, commerce and the public may be negotiated. In 2017, Burke completed his PhD research project 'Pop-Up Art: Performing creative disruption in social space'. Through a series of performative and participatory projects he investigated how artistic interventions in the street and commercial or artworld marketplaces can critique power relations. Burke currently lectures in the School of Design and the School of Art at the Victorian College of Arts at the University of Melbourne.


Mishap | German Colony, Haifa | Performance

Mishap is a series of impromptu actions performed in public spaces in various cities around the world. The work is based on a simple slapstick gesture—a performer spills the contents of a briefcase into pedestrian traffic. In recent iterations of the project in Shanghai, Tokyo, Delhi and Bloemfontein, it is unlikely that audiences recognised the intervention as a performance, even though cameras were in the distance. When passersby engaged and helped the performer pick up the briefcase contents, it appeared to reveal concern, kindness and empathy. When passersby did not assist it begged the question of whether it was the briefcase and its associations with power, the fear of corruption, apathy, or the way pedestrians are conditioned to engage or disengage in public space that prevented people from helping.

Interview Peter burke
00:00 / 50:24

לקריאת הראיון עם פיטר (עברית)

Read the Interview with Peter (Hebrew)

Instructions for Live Observation

תצפיות ושאלונים

Street Questionnaires

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