Public Address Systems collects a series of projects created and coordinated by artist and researcher Lois Weaver. The current Public Address Systems are The Long Table, Porch Sitting and the Care Cafe. Visit our Archive for all previous Systems. 

Each of these projects is at its core an engagement with the public, though Weaver’s extensive practice brings together multiple and interrelated strands. In a period when the nature of ‘the public’ is increasingly contested, Public Address Systems create spaces that are hospitable and open so that alternatives can be modelled and critical questions staged. What do we share and what do we owe each other? How are ‘we’ counted and who is included? From broad questions about material resources to intimate studies of bodies and identity, Public Address Systems asks how it is possible to think, and feel, publicly.

Public Address Systems draws on modes of inquiry to think about political, cultural and technological questions of the ‘public’. These modes are performance, place and the everyday, with each focusing in detail on a range of topics and contexts.

This site shows how Weaver’s performance practice directly addresses political issues, explores persona and identity, and becomes a methodology for working with the public collaboratively and in dialogue.

Public Address Systems also draws on place, and in particular, the appropriation of institutional spaces for complex interventions around gender, sexuality, human rights and other crucial flash points for public activism. The library, the museum and the form of the manifesto are all radically reconfigured to create new public spaces for political action, and to question ingrained institutional boundaries.

Finally, Public Address Systems shows that everyday practices – often associated with the private, the domestic and the marginal – can be used to create new forms of public sociality. The space between the kitchen table and the porch swing becomes politically charged and of public consequence.

Public Address Systems also appropriates institutional spaces for complex interventions around gender, sexuality, human rights and other crucial flash points for public activism. The library, the museum and the form of the manifesto are all radically reconfigured to create new public spaces for political action, and to question ingrained institutional boundaries.

More information can be found at publicaddresssystems.org