Happening (type of artistic action)

A happening is a type of artistic action, similar to a performance. The expression was coined by Alan Kaprow in the 1960s in New York.

As its name suggests, while a performance art or theatrical performance can involve audience participation, happenings make it the centre of the work. The artist provides a framework and the audience members who perform the act become the focus of attention while they live out an aesthetic and sensory experience. Audiences at the happening interact with the production through doing rather than seeing.