Rui Gonçalves Cepeda

Working Title of PhD: Mediating provisional communities: The production and management of collaborative artistic practices and their after-life


  • Dr. Abigail Gilmore
  • Dr. Simon Parry

Overview of PhD

PhD Professional Practice in Arts and Cultural Management, Institute for Cultural Practices, The University of Manchester.

Through my practice research, I argue that collaborative art practices contribute to the existence of cultural democracy in a community. Active participation in collaborative projects gives the community the ability to express itself publicly and the confidence to have an active voice as citizens in decision-making in matters that are of concern in the public sphere. Collaborative art practices exist when the visitor, who now have become an active participant, “shares responsibilities for developing the structure and content of the work in collaboration and direct dialogue with the artist” (Helguera, 2011, p. 15). The research draws on my practice as founder and director of the Trienal, a transcultural festival in Portugal that commissioned and presented collaborative art projects, producing durational artworks which worked with and in regional communities and places.

Key words: management, collaboration, mediation, transformation, narrative, commodification, cultural democracy.


Rui has been working as a freelance art critic, curator, researcher and arts producer/manager for more than two decades. He has a MA in Cultural Studies from Goldsmiths College, University of London and a degree in Arts and Events Management from London Metropolitan University. His expertise crosses the fields occupied by arts and cultural management and production, the market for and contemporary art theory, as well as social criticism and participation, and epicure. He is the founder of the cross-cultures festival Trienal, a festival that brings together all those interests.

PhD-related publications, presentations or other outputs


  • ‘The Envirolution Revolution: Raising Awareness of Climate Change Creatively Through Free and Accessible Community Engagement Festivals’, in C. Howarth et al. (Eds.) (2021) Addressing the Climate Crisis: Local action in theory and practice. Palgrave Macmillan: London. pp. 38-48.
  • ‘The illusion of Art Without Mediation: Challenging the Challenged Democracy’, conference paper presented at AICA Taiwan International Congress Art Criticism in the Age of Virtuality and Democracy, 51st A.I.C.A. International Congress in Taipei (Taiwan), 14-21 November 2018.


  • Place-Based Climate Action Network, Climate Praxis Conference, 30 September 2020
  • Fields of Collaboration in Contemporary Art Practices, CULTURGEST Lisbon (Portugal), 19–20 November 2019
  • Art Criticism in the Age of Virtuality and Democracy, 51st A.I.C.A. International Congress in Taipei (Taiwan), 14-21 November 2018
  • 9th MidTerm Conference of the RN-Sociology of the Arts – Arts and Creativity: Working on Identity and Difference, University of Porto – Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Portugal), 8-10 September 2016


Email (2):