social practice

Post image for An Artist Takes Feminism to the Stoops

“It’s a utopian vision of Brooklyn, isn’t it?” A friend asked this as we stood in the middle of her Prospect Heights block, watching people swirl around us, and I agreed. There appeared to be representatives of so many different races, ethnicities, genders, and economic classes, all packed into that one block, Park Place between Underhill and Vanderbilt Avenues.

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Post image for Major New Multifaceted Exhibition Focuses on Ecology and Environmental Issues

The word “expo” conjures big visions: grand pavilions, ferris wheels, exotic exhibitions, a world’s fair. But last Sunday, a different kind of expo opened at MoMA PS1, in Long Island City, Queens — Expo 1: New York, the latest curatorial effort of the institution’s director, Klaus Biesenbach. It’s not quite a world’s fair, but Expo 1, which is the result of a ongoing partnership between MoMA and Volkswagen, riffs on the idea by comprising many pieces that fit loosely together as a whole. It might best be described as an exhibition of exhibitions, or an extremely multifaceted exhibition, or an exhibition that’s “not only an exhibition,” as Biesenbach said at a press preview last week. He also talked about it in terms of wrapping “an envelope around the building [MoMA PS1],” while curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, a co-organizer of the show, called it “almost like a Russian babushka.” This was shortly after Obrist posed the essential question from which Expo 1 sprang: “What is a large-scale exhibition for the 21st century?”

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Painting the Homeless

by Ben Valentine on January 10, 2013

Post image for Painting the Homeless

BERKELEY, California — Hugh Leeman’s work didn’t immediately impress me. It had a distinct Bay Area style, which is not my personal favorite — his paintings are loose, colorful, street art–influenced, and have some realistic surrealism mixed in — but what caught my attention in Leeman’s practice was the social utility interwoven with the artwork.

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Post image for Granting Reconfigured for Social Engagement

A Blade of Grass is rethinking what a grant to an individual artist can be. Earlier this year, the nonprofit organization, which explores alternative models of funding for interactive and participatory art practices, launched Artist Files, the first project in a multiyear experiment. The inaugural grant is rooted in the concept of social engagement and hinges on the harbinger of interactivity: the internet. Artist Files is completely public-facing, presenting the entire grant process in the form of blog posts and probing questions on the organization’s website. Visitors are invited to register and comment.

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Art Cannot Provide a Way Out

by Ryan Wong on August 1, 2012

Post image for Art Cannot Provide a Way Out

In 2006, art historian Claire Bishop lit a fire under the collective seat of the art world with her Artforum piece “The Social Turn: Collaboration and its Discontents.” It set off — as much as any essay in the hermetic and staid world of contemporary art theory can — an uproar. Her new book takes it a step further.

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Post image for Why Going Viral Isn’t Always a Good Thing

I love the internet. It’s jumbled and weird and mind-numbingly vast. It’s also the source of my employment. (Thanks, internet!) But I’m also worried about the internet — specifically the internet and art.

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Post image for Social Practice and Global Media

The work of Social Practice is on the rise, but compared to the traditional art world news of auction prices and gallery openings, it doesn’t seem to be receiving as much online attention.

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Post image for Alternative Economies: A Conversation With Caroline Woolard

We’ve all heard the complaints about income inequality. And although how to actually solve the economic crisis is up for debate, we all agree that it’s a hard time to make a living. This is true for everyone, not just artists, but perhaps artists can lead the way in offering real alternatives to our flawed economic system. Artists, as creative people already faced with an extremely competitive market where success is hard won, are in a unique position to confront the issues of income distribution.

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Post image for Can Living As Form Relieve My Liberal Guilt?

In order to properly follow up on my experience with Creative Time’s social practice summit, and given my heretofore lack of involvement with #OccupyWallStreet protests, I was pretty much obligated to visit Creative Time’s Living As Form exhibition at the historic Essex Street Market. I mean, the art included, for the most part, is all about progressivism and alternative modes of operating within our faulty society. And community! I love that word, community! As a dutiful citizen of the world, surely taking in an exhibition dedicated to valuing people doing stuff together over commercially-based, materialized practice would amount to me contributing something, somehow. Right?

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