Article Number: 489
Hard Cover, German, Staple Binding, 2003, Jan van Eyck Academie
Steve Rushton

The Milgram re-enactment.

Essays on Rod Dickinson's re-enactment of Stanley Milgram’s obedience to authority experiment

Essays on Rod Dickinson's re-enactment of Stanley Milgram’s obedience to authority experiment

he Milgram re-enactment was a reconstruction of one part of Stanley Milgram’s Obedience to Authority experiment, first conducted at Yale University in Connecticut from 1960. During the original experiment subjects were asked to give seemingly real electric shocks to another individual. The experiment was designed to test the limit to which subjects were prepared to follow the orders of a scientist. It aimed to establish to what degree an individual would be prepared to hurt a fellow human because they were ordered to do so. In the original experiment the three protagonists were the Learner, the Teacher and the Scientist. The Learner and the scientist were actors and the Teacher was an unwitting subject who had answered an advertisement calling for participants for a learning experiment in a study of memory.
The Milgram re-enactment was initiated by artist Rod Dickinson. It took place at the Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow on February 15th and 17th 2002. The re-enactment followed the same procedure as the original experiment in every respect, and the laboratory and the machinery were identical to the equipment used in the Yale experiment. However, there were several significant differences. For the re-enactment, the Learner, the Teacher and the Scientist were all actors and no one was fooled into thinking that they were administering real electric shocks.The re-enactment took place in front of an audience who viewed the event from behind the surveillance windows of the laboratory installation.

English — 72 pp — 134 x 155 mm