That social practice is difficult to define is not a new problem. However, what I experienced was not so much a confusion of terms but a confusion of time: a series of talks that demonstrated the divide produced by the slowness of theory pitted against an active practice.
Chloë Bass is a Brooklyn-based conceptual artist working in performance, situations, publications, and installations. Learn more about her at chloebass.com.
Standing Up: Bill T. Jones and Theaster Gates Discuss Their Collaboration
Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane Dance Company’s Story/Time is a kind of spoken dance piece inspired by John Cage: 70 one-minute stories “interrupted by a chance musical score.”
Funk, Medicine, and Questions of the Future
In performance, as in history, there’s a lot that gets lost: layers of meaning and nuance too complex to carry in a single story. Investigating Simone Leigh’s and Xenobia Bailey’s projects for funkgodjazz&medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn, produced by Creative Time and the Weeksville Heritage Center, I was struck by this loss as an informative process.
Learning Omaha: The Impossibility of Place (Part 4)
I’m home in Brooklyn now — I’ve been back for about three weeks. As the Department of Local Affairs starts up in Bed-Stuy, where I’m the artist in residence for the Laundromat Project, I’ve been thinking about different ways to frame and understand my summer.
Learning Omaha: Social Practice in Action (Part 3)
OMAHA — I walked from Nebraska to Iowa this morning, over the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge.
Learning Omaha: Through Teenage Eyes (Part 2)
OMAHA — Both teaching and social practice ask a leader (artist, teacher, organizer) to codify and articulate a set of steps that are then acted out by a group. There’s a place for uncertainty, but it should be strategically applied: by choice, not default.
Learning Omaha: A City by Way of Art (Part 1)
OMAHA — Fourth of July, 2014. I am in America’s heartland and trying not to get romantic about it.
Adrian Piper Binds Us with Impossible Trust
The Probable Trust Registry, a new work by Adrian Piper, is not an exhibit so much as an agreement.
Learning from James Baldwin
2014 is the “Year of James Baldwin” for New York City. Several major cultural organizations, including New York Live Arts, Columbia University, the New School’s Vera List Center for Art and Politics, and Harlem Stage, are partnering to present a series of talks, events, performances and interventions inspired by, in response to, or continuing the writer’s legacy.
Invisible Cities: Matthew Barney’s Blindspot
Let’s look past the globules, barnacles, and goo. At its heart, Matthew Barney’s River of Fundament is a film about white, male America’s failure to comprehend urbanism.
An Architecture of Poetry and Sound
To experience “Frolic Architecture” is to enter into a world that feels both familiar and bizarre. The piece, a collaboration between composer David Grubbs and poet Susan Howe is a delicate sound collage, rich with layers, solemn, and mildly, comfortably disjointed.
Reading the Rituals of Performance
PORTLAND, Oregon — On a trip to Portland last month, I encountered a number of artists who use writing’s structures and processes to order performance behaviors. But for Lisa Radon, it’s reading, not writing, that serves as the moment of performance.