Karikis employs expertise in sound philosophies, including feminist theories of vocal expression (Cavarero, 2005) and the political possibility of sound (Voegelin, 2014; 2018) to advance knowledge in participatory art as defined by Claire Bishop (2012), and performance-based video art. Children of Unquiet expands on research by LaBelle (2014) and the socially-embedded practices of artists Sonia Boyce, Artur Zmijewski and Nicolas Philibert, to generate conditions for socially disadvantaged participants to practice forms of ‘sonic agency’ (LaBelle, 2018) that give voice to their life-narratives and aspirations.
Children of Unquiet presents a new research paradigm by developing rigorous participatory methodologies to generate new knowledge in Italian labour and class history, sustainable energy production, twentieth-century film and architecture. It sets a benchmark in contemporary participatory art by impacting on local communities via skills and knowledge transfer. Through creating agentive opportunities for children-participants for the expression, visualization, urban redesign and dissemination of an alternative regional future, contesting narratives of a ‘failed human project’ (Hardt, 2014) and becoming a catalyst for a renewed communal identity, purpose and change to be voiced (Augustine, 2017). The research and its rigour are also made available to audiences through a mobile library sharing the wider theoretical context of the work, embedding the textual discourse within the art exhibition and setting a new benchmark of contemporary art-exhibition practice and curation.
Testimony to its relevance and significance within current academic, artistic and curatorial research, Children of Unquiet has been invited by nearly sixty institutions globally and leading biennials in fourteen countries, reaching an estimated audience of over seven million people. It has been introduced into curricular academic study in art, visual sociology and political science internationally; been the subject of articles in newspapers, books and specialist publications; broadcast on TV and radio and shortlisted for industry awards.