The Talent Show
In recent years, television’s “reality” shows and talent competitions, along with Web-based social media, have pioneered new models of cultural participation that offer people a conflicted chance at fame. At the same time, governments worldwide have asserted vast new powers of surveillance, putting unwitting “participants” on an entirely different stage. Against this backdrop, The Talent Show, examines a range of complicated relationships that have emerged between artists, audiences, and participants in light of the competing desires for notoriety and privacy that mark our present cultural moment. For almost half a century, artists have modeled and exploited these desires and dramatized the complex dynamics that surround them, often engaging people to participate in their work—both with and without their knowledge.