Today some of the key debates on what art is, can be, or ought to be centre on the way art is encountered. What kinds of experience, both individual and collective, ought to be developed for art? And what kind of art can be developed to facilitate or provoke new encounters? It is no accident that socially engaged art is among those contemporary practices that are involved in the militant reconfiguration of what used to be called art's viewer, pressing the case instead for participation, interaction, community specificity, co-authorship, collaboration and counterpublics in art. It is interesting to note, therefore, that Jacques Ranciere's newly translated book, The Emancipated Spectator, turns the screw on two related 'errors of critical thought': socially engaged art and the critique of the spectator.