Sleepless nights: Contemporary Art and the Culture of Performance | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 23, Issue 45
  • ISSN: 0845-4450
  • E-ISSN: 2048-6928


The unavoidable necessity to sleep acknowledges the built-in limits humans have to the nearly inescapable demands of work and consumer culture. International art events such as Nuit Blanche present a resistance to this mortal ‘sleep’ as a version of participatory art. Though such events foreclose traditional notions of spectatorship, they nevertheless reinforce spectacle as a systemic challenge to individual subjectivity. Arguably, contemporary art’s increasing sleeplessness and its contradictory implications compel a kind of ‘activation’ that affirms rather than resists the global market.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): contemporary art; Nuit Blanche; participation; sleep; spectacle
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