a l a n a j e l i n e k
p a r t i c i p a t o r y
  (most recent first)

* Not all the artworks listed here are participatory in the sense that the artwork is created with little or no distinction between originating artist and other participants.

Some of the artwork listed involves the participation of others as essential to the creation of the artworks, but the final artwork may be indistinguishable from those made more traditionally.

Epistemologies of Stuff
(Stuff produced by Engineers reframed as Art, Archaeology and Anthropology)

This is Not Art: Death of a Lung Cell
'Anobium Punctatum (woodworm) : an intervention'
moot point
the field
you want me to to do it your way?
not praising, burying
cannibal forking : an experiment in distributed protocol
tall stories : cannibal forks
europe the game
rules for anti-terror: a game for two or more people
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'Epistemologies of Stuff'
(Stuff produced by Engineers reframed as Art, Archaeology and Anthropology)


For the launch of UH's Art Sci Lab that I co-founded in June 2021 with Sam Jury and co-lead, I had the opportunity to work with the university's microfluidics engineers. I chose to reframe the stuff they produced, much of which is literally rubbish and destined for the skip, using 3 different museum modes, namely the traditional archaeology museum mode, the traditional 'world cultures' or anthropology museum mode and the traditional art gallery mode.

Epistemologies of Stuff

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'Anobium Punctatum (woodworm) : an intervention'
Leeds Art Gallery 2019

This project and art intervention into the Yorkshire Sculpture International was proposed by Alana Jelinek, at the invitation of Rececca Wade, Assistant Curator for Sculpture at the Henry Moore Institute.

The exhibition was the product of workshops with various groups working with the ethnographic collection of World Cultures at the Discovery Centre. The objects in the installation were made by participants and also chosen by them from the World Cultures collection.

Leeds Discovery Centre

The names of the participants are John Hornsby, Adrian McCluskey, Sarah Glatherine, Leigh Newton, Esther K. Niangi, Elisabeth Ndonga, Samer Altamah, Zaynab Doli, Fatin Najem, Nokhsha Ahmed, Kinaa Baraka, Amina Sutaife, Nawzad Mahmood, David Blakeley, Fe Uhuru, Nelson Rodriguez, Igor Pedraza, Katy Pedraza, Peter McDonagh, Colin Barden, Maryam Shokrizadeh, Olive Sanderson, Teagan Riches, Michael Ferens and Rebecca Wade.

Leeds Discovery Centre

These makers of art, Art, folk-art, community art, craft, experiment or ethnography have been facilitated by others, including translators (Fadwa Az-Jaleli, Shaimaa Khattab), collections, education and outreach experts and curators (Jasmine Evans, Clare Jolley Judith Shalkowski, Alison Smith, Megan Jones, Angie Thompson).

Leeds Discovery Centre

There are, no doubt, many others who laboured invisibly to enable the artwork to happen.

Leeds Discovery Centre
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'Pacific Presences' 2013-2018
European Research Council funded multidisciplinary project investigating Oceanic Art in European Museum Collections

Filming of Knowing in Netherlands

There was also many other artists involved including Lisa Reihana, Mark Adams and Areta Wilkinson, and the Oceania exhibition at the Royal Academy was one of the amazing outcomes of the 5 year research project.

The most important artworks of mine that came out of the multi-disciplinary research project based at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge, with Nicholas Thomas were:

belonging a series of podcasts (2018)
knowing an art film (2014-15)

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belonging : an art podcast series about belonging

The podcasts together explore the question of ethnographic museums and whether we can understand the hundreds of thousands of objects from Oceania that are now in Europe as a diaspora.
The episodes explore how meanings and sympathies shift depending on what is juxtaposed, or heard first.
belonging 1 With Rodney Kelly, Julie Adams, Maria Stanyukovich, Oliver Leub, Pala Molisa, Wayne Modest, Reina Sutton and Lilja Kupua Addeman.
belonging 2 With Kat Szabo, Insos Ireeuw, Alisa Vavataga, Emelihter Kihleng, Sean Mallon and Pandora Fulimalo Pereira.
belonging 3 With Sana Balai, Kaetaeta Watson, Liz Bonshek, Alisa Vavataga, Pandora Fulimalo Pereira, Pala Molisa, Maria Stanyukovich, Nina Tonga, and Imelda Miller.
belonging 4 With Liz Bonshek, Maria Stanyukovich, Pala Molisa, Imelda Miller, Jackie Shown, and Rodney Kelly
belonging 5 With Wonu Veys, Liz Bonshek, Maria Stanyukovich, Sean Mallon, Ole Maiava, Kolokesa M?hina-Tuai, and Oliver Lueb.
belonging 6 With Emelihter Kihleng, Liz Bonshek, Insos Ireeuw, Lilja Kupua Addeman, Alisa Vavataga, Maria Wronska Friend, Kat Szabo, Julie Adams, Reina Sutton, Ole Maiava, Wonu Veys, Rick Pa, and Wayne Modest.
belonging 7 This is the first time the podcast is edited so that no one identifies who they are. It is compiled using recordings of Rodney Kelly, Liz Bonshek, Julie Adams, Oliver Lueb, Maria Stanyukovich, Fuli Pereira, Wayne Modest, Kat Szabo, Ole Maiava, Maria Wronska Friend, Reina Sutton, and Nina Tonga.
belonging 8
This is the most experimental edit so far and the second time the podcast has been edited so that no one identifies who they are. It is compiled using recordings of Rodney Kelly, Imelda Miller, Julie Adams, Oliver Lueb, Maria Stanyukovich, Kat Szabo, Maria Wronska Friend, Lilja Kupua Addeman, Insos Ireeuw, Jackie Shown, Kaetaeta Watson, Ole Maiava, Sana Balai, Rick Pa, Fuli Pereira, and Liz Bonshek.
belonging 9a
This is the third time the podcast is edited so that no one identifies who they are. If you have listened to the other 8, you may be able to identify each speaker. This edit questions whether it is important to know who is speaking and from what institution they speak.
belonging 9b
Belonging 9b has the same content as belonging 9a but it includes names and institutional affiliation if there is one.
The podcast is compiled using recordings of Julie Adams, Lilja Kupua Addeman, Reina Sutton, Kaetaeta Watson, Kolokesa M?hina-Tuai, Liz Bonshek, Fuli Pereira, Maria Stanyukovich, Wayne Modest and Pala Molisa.

belonging 10
With Reina Sutton, Fuli Pereira, Rodney Kelly, Wayne Modest, Liz Bonshek, Pala Molisa, Sana Balai, Maria Wronska Friend, Imelda Miller, Nina Tonga and Jackie Shown.
belonging 11
The final podcast in the series was made using recordings by Julie Adams, Lilja Kapua Addeman, Susanna Rianna Balai, Liz Bonshek, Insos Ireeuw, Rodney Kelly, Emelihter Kihleng, Oliver Lueb, Kolokesa M?hina-Tuai, Ole Maiava, Sean Mallon, Imelda Miller, Wayne Modest, Pala Molisa, Rick Pa, Pandora Fulimalo Pereira, Jackie Shown, Maria Stanyukovich, Reina Sutton, Kat Szabo, Nina Tonga, Alisa Vavataga, Wonu Veys, Kaetaeta Watson, and Maria Wronska Friend
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volkenkunde volkenkunde volkenkunde

knowing (2015)

on Vimeo

Project Details

‘knowing’ was a project with Volkenkunde, Leiden. In 2014 I invited a range of people from various backgrounds to talk about objects in the collection of Volkenkunde, Leiden, Netherlands, one of the partners in ‘Pacific Presences’, a research project led by anthropologist, Nicholas Thomas.

My aim was to explore the politics of occupation and colonialism through the historical objects from Papua in the Volkenkunde collection. The region now called Papua or West Papua has also been called Irian Jaya and Nederlands-Nieuw-Guinea reflecting the colonial past and present of the region.

By inviting people from Papua, from Java and of Dutch origin to talk about the objects in the collection, including objects from their own cultures, the project collected stories about objects, some familiar, some chosen by other people, and always including some chosen by the participants themselves. Stories and knowledge were recorded on an audio recorder. The interaction with the objects was also filmed with only the hands and the objects in the frame. The reason for filiming hands and objects only is because most people become self-conscious when their face is filmed and so, because I wanted to keep people feeling safe and open, filming was of hands and objects only. The other main reason for the choice centres on the final film. I believe we make assumptions about a person, and therefore what they’re saying, based on their face. In order to increase parity of reception about the different stories, knowledge, across my ‘informants’, the participants, no faces are shown.

The film was edited by Marianne Holm Hansen and Alana Jelinek. Twenty two hours of footage was edited down to 48minutes.

Knowing was launched at the Centre for Material Research, Volkenkunde, Leiden in 2015 and can be seen currently in the Volkenkunde in the Oceania galleries. It was launched on 25 Oct 2015 in the UK at an event called 'Knowing West Papua' at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge. It has been shown at Decad, Berlin, and various other anthropological and art venues.

Watch the 5 minute preview

or delve into the 48 minute full experience:

Participants (in alphabetical order):
Oridek Ap
Martin Derey
Marie-Christine Engels
Fin Maya Hay
Insos Ireeuw
Max Ireeuw
Betty Ireeuw-Kaisiëpo
Gershon M. Kaigere
Oriana Pentury
Silvy Puntowati
Annette Schmidt
Margriet Siu-Lan Ireeuw
Ignatius Supriyanto
Niek Van Rijswijk
Eric Venbrux
Peter Waal
Benny Wenda

two hands with a papuan artefact from volkenkune leiden

Ideally, 'knowing' is viewed on a tablet or phone with headphones,
so that the screen fits between the viewer's hands and the headphones
whisper the stories people tell.

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moot point (2009-2017)

‘moot point’ has been an annual live art event since 2009 exploring ideas through making and thinking where groups of people from across backgrounds and disciplines are invited to explore and gently interrogate ideas around a theme, at The Field, Essex

2017 moot point will be hosted in Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge and the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Unlike most symposiums and workshops in both the art world and academia, the format for moot point emphasises the individual topics (moots) covered during the day, instead of the expert or star of the show. It is a participatory, egalitarian format. Each moot is led by a person and then it is opened up to the group. There is a mixture of talking or discussion moots and making or practice moots. It is an all day catered event.

Moot point is fully participatory, which means being there and together for the whole thing, building new knowledge across disciplines, together.
2009 Utopia mooted by Alana Jelinek
2010 Hard Science mooted by Juliette Brown
2011 Revolution mooted by Rachel Anderson
2012 Failure mooted by Charles Hustwick
2013 Hospitality mooted by Jen Clarke
2014 (In[ter])dependence mooted by Juliette Brown
2015 Generation mooted by Katie Dow and Louis Buckley
2016 - instead of moot point, we had pottery in a pit, experimenting with the earliest techniques of firing clay

2017 Being and Change mooted by Alana Jelinek:
  • cross-species interdependency, the myth of independence or embracing out parasites
  • alien invasions or the resilience of weeds and our future (botany/ecology)
  • seagrass, what we have learned and how much we don't know
  • learning from elsewhere and taking it home - making frankincense beads
  • picturing the micro and the macro
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the fieldthe fieldthe fieldbees at the fieldthe fieldthe fieldthe field

the field (2009-2017)

As an artwork, The Field was an art experiment in Levinasian ethics, which is understood as an attempt at ethical engagement with the other as Other.
It was also just a field: a physical site with 13 acres of woodland and grassland, 1 mile north of Stansted airport and the activities of and between those who live, eat and visit the area. This includes the non-human.
The area included a set of allotments, an orchard, an apiary*, monthly conservation days open to the public, art events like 'moot point', other events.

As an artwork, the field existed as a way of seeing, a way of being, informed by a history of art practices within the 'expanded field' (all puns intended). It was an invitation to engage knowingly and self-reflexively with the other as Other. In this sense it was an invitation to an aesthetic experience not circumscribed by notions of beauty or the sublime, or in other ways delimited by notions of the Romantic.

At The Field, the Other is understood as both the human-Other and the non-human-Other, which is not what Levinas himself had in mind. Nevertheless, The field as an artwork asked participants to engage with all the various others involved at The Field without resorting to a projection of a culture of the Same (as is the habit of our culture), be it orientalism, primitivism or anthropomorphism.

* Beekeeping: 

In the context of The Field, keeping bees is understood, not only as an ecologically important act, but as a good starting point for attempting ethical engagements with the
non-human Other. It seems less easy to anthropomorphize bees than other animals in close contact with humans but people seem to want to nevertheless. Some even continue to imagine the bees are some kind of an ideal society. We do not.

a terra incognita project

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you want me to do it your way? (2014)

DIY 11
part of Live Art Development Agency's DIY project season 11

Conceived in response to an invitation to propose a project with a feminist theme as part of their CPD strand (continuing professional development - by artists for artists)
Hosted by Patrick Fox of Create, Dublin
with guests Siobhán Clancy and Caroline Gausden

An artwork with a small closed audience and no available recordings or documents other than those recorded by Caroline Gausden for her PhD research into Feminist Manifestos and Socially Engaged Practice.

Friday 12 - Sunday 14 September 2014

participants wish to remain anonymous

The artists wish to remain opaque
(a cheeky reference to Edouard Glissant).

Resisting a neoliberal norm to brand ourselves
for a market
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not praising, burying (2012)

Performed on 12 November 2012 by an invited group of artists, archaeologists, art educators, philosophers in order to interrogate the idea of Greek pottery as art and the idea of Greek artefacts as the pinnacle or origins of artistic practices as we understand them today.

Not Praising, Burying

plastic bottle and black-figure style on modern plastic bottle
The Rules

1. Low-value, throw-away vessels painted to appear like clay must then be decorated using the colours used by ancient Greek potters.
3. Painted decorative elements of the vessels must be in the style of ancient Greek red-figure or black-figure ceramics.
4. Representations must be of contemporary life or values.

The Premise
1. Following the ideas presented by Vickers and Gill in Artful Crafts (1994) :
a. that ancient Greek ceramics were not made as high art objects,
b. ceramicists were a low-status group and not artists in any contemporary understanding of the term,
c. ancient Greek red-figure and black-figure pots were skeuomorphs (playful pretend versions) of metallic objects.

black = oxidised silver
red = gold
deep red = bronze 
white = ivory

2. That equivalents exist in contemporary (Western) cultures of most instances of (existing) ancient Greek material culture.

3. That ancient Greek ceramics depict three types of contemporary subject: everyday life, the gods, and heroes - not a far cry from what is depicted in the tabloids.

12 November 2012
participants / interpreters of rules

Anna Bagnoli (sociologist)
Juliette Brown (co-founder terra incognita)
Sarah Campbell (Kettle’s Yard)
Elena Cologni (artist)
David Cross (artist)
David Gill (archaeologist)
Sudeshna Guha (archaeologist)
Charles Hustwick (artist)
Alana Jelinek (artist & rule setter)
Derek Matravers (philosopher)
Christos Tsirogiannis (archaeologist)

prepared bottles

painting bottles
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cannibal forking event at University of Cambridge 2011
©Khadija Carroll

cannibal forking: an experiment in distributed protocol (2010-12)

Participants are invited to carve their own cannibal fork using traditional skills and English native woods in a self-conscious act of repetition: repeating the act of creating the myths and objects that embody the myths surrounding so-called cannibal forks.
Participants are encouraged to pass on the skills and knowledge required to make further cannibal forks. They are also encouraged to contribute to the Museum's collection of 'cannibal forks'. Many participants donated their cannibal forks to the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge. They have been accessioned.

First experiment in distributed protocol, 'Cannibal Forking', occurred on 25 September 2010 at 'The Field'.
Then at the following venues:
Chinese University Hong Kong, 12 November 2010
Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology, University of Cambridge, 29 October 2011
The Project Space, London 'again : on repetition an informal symposium on repetition in practice', 28 November 2011
Bodger's Ball 2012, nr Axminster, Devon, 12 May 2012

*NB The making of cannibal forks may or may not predispose a participant towards cannibalism.

cannibal forking event at the field
cannibal forking at The Field 2010
cannibal forking cambridge

cannibal forking cambridge

cannibal forking cambridge

cannibal forking cambridge
cannibal forking at University of Cambridge 2011
part of the Festival of Science
Generously supported by ESRC
economic and social research council logo

photos of this event copyright of
Khadija Carroll
cannibal forking event cambridge Cannibal Forking 29 October 2011
One-day course to learn traditional English green woodworking skills with Alana Jelinek and carve a cannibal fork using native woods.

Working in tandem with, but also independent of, the Museum artwork, 'Tall Stories: Cannibal Forks'
Alana Jelinek initiated a 'distributed protocol' in order to replicate the myths and knowledges that will continue the construction of cannibal forks. English green woodworking skills form part of this protocol.

1pm talk (45min) with Dr Lucie Carreau
‘Cannibal encounters: museums, objects and photographs’

2pm screening of film ‘Cannibal Tours’, dir Dennis O’Rourke
(72min) 1988

3.30pm talk (45min) with Dr Anita Herle

Festival of Science
Generously supported by ESRC
economic and social research council logo

A version of cannibal forking that was not participatory but instead performed by Alana Jelinek, was seen at 'On Repetition' by Marianne Holm Hansen, Space Studios, 2012

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Tall Stories : Cannibal Forks (2010 & 2012)

Tall Stories : Cannibal Forks began with a group of colleagues from the Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology coming to The Field to learn how to do green woodwork using traditional European tools and native European woods in order to carve their own cannibal fork. The idea was to create self-consciously our own versions of the 'cannibal forks' in the Museum's collection. For me, this was the physical embodiment of the process that was happening anyway: it was clear that each person had constructed their own version of the truth of the 'cannibal fork' and that these truths were disparate, detailed and sometimes flamboyant and mutually conflicting.

The process of carving the cannibal forks was filmed by Marianne Holm Hansen and later edited with Alana Jelinek into the 8min film that comprises one part of Tall Stories : Cannibal Forks.
The other part of the artwork is the newly crafted cannibal forks. The Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology has now accessioned these as part of its collection and all other cannibal forks that were donated, having been made at the various Cannibal Forking events.

link to tall stories cannibal forks video 2010 - original site specific intervention
into the Fiji displays at the Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology, University of Cambridge

2012 - autonomous artwork which includes the original collection of 'cannibal forks'
shown as part of Gifts & Discoveries,
curated by Mark Elliott and Nicholas Thomas, Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology, University of Cambridge, 2012

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europe the game, large interactive oil painting at chateau, alba la romaine, france 2012

europe the game (2002)

54factorial permutations of Europe with 54/36factorial exclusions at any one time.
An interactive, participatory oil painting
54 birds eye view landscape paintings can fit into a frame that includes a maximum of 36 paintings.
Each painting is 60x60cm.
Rules for engagement:
1.each player must take it in turns to choose which of the 54 paintings fit 'Europe'
2.the frame 'Europe' can contain a maximum of 36 paintings
3.when Europe is full, players must take it in turns to alter any choices

Europe the Game at Volkenkunde Museum Leiden

Talk about Europe the Game, and footage of it being played at Volkenkunde Museum, Leiden, for RCMC SWICH 2016

europe the game

'Earth Critical', Chateau, Alba-La-Romaine, France 2011 (curated by Charles Hustwick)
europe the game at beaconsfield gallery

europe the game at beaconsfield
Beaconsfield Gallery, London, 2004
open mike session
europe the game hastings

europe the game hastings

europe the game in shopping centre europe the game in hastings shopping centre
‘Points of View’, Hastings Museum and Art Gallery and...

... Priory Meadow Shopping Centre, 2003 (curated by Judith Stewart)

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rules for anti-terror artwork
rules for anti-terror: a game for 2 or more players (2005)
10x10cm hardwood, paint, ink 
shown at 'Hiroshima Nuclear Imaginaries', Brunei Gallery, SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies)

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