Reading Response Week 2
Socially Engaged Art and Digital Practice
16 Sep 2018
This session of socially engaged art we discussed the role of a social practice artist and how some artists come to a community and make work that does not connect well with the community as they are outsiders who only come and then go. (Should social practice work require long term engagement?) We also discussed what a public space on the internet.
After discussion with a group about the meeting I narrowed down public on the internet in three ways
- Technically public - The underlying technology allows for open access. But it may require esoteric knowledge to be accessed. Examples - Torrent, p2p networks, torr, etc.
- Public repository - This category has websites that share knowledge to the public. Examples - Project Gutenberg, Wikimedia, etc
- Public mission - This category has websites that have in their mission to be public. Examples- Social media, twitter, facebook
An area of public that my group disputed over was the importance of regulation. In my opinion I believe that to be considered public you have to have as minimal regulation as possible. I think in a distributed networked environment regulation can be kept at a low level and I will use it as a benchmark for testing public spheres online.
This weeks readings:
- Design Activism and Social Change chapter
- Preface to A People’s Art History
- Shannon Jackson Chapter 1
- Renzo Martens in the Congo
- The Minute Hand of Social Change by Caroline Woolard
- Happiness is Other People
Gulizar Cepoglu created a series of workshops on design activism. They would focus on the role and responsibilities of designers during periods of social unrest. He used a design process to encourage participation.
A challenge was bridging the language barrier between Turkish and English students. Secondly constructing a visual language presented a major challenge. Finally, was limited internet access.
The students overcame their challenges and were able to use the power of visual design as both a political and social act.
A People’s Art History Preface
“Why aren’t the artists of today responding in force to the political crisis of the moment?” My response was they are are responding but you are looking in the wrong places.
Many people look at museums and galleries when they thinking about visual art. While the writer describes these as not the place for activist art. Politically engaged art can exist in museums and galleries but activist art is located in the streets and communities.
The writer describes that contemporary art practice blurs the lines about what is considered art, and discourages the traditional use of “visual art.” Instead activism and movements are indeed art.