Since the 1990s, critics and curators have broadly accepted the notion that participatory art is the ultimate political art: that by encouraging an audience to take part an artist can promote new emancipatory social relations. Around the world, the champions of this form of expression are numerous, ranging from art historians such as Grant Kester, curators such as Nicolas Bourriaud and Nato Thompson, to performance theorists such as Shannon Jackson. Artificial Hells is the first historical and theoretical overview of socially engaged participatory art, known in the US as “social practice.” Claire Bishop follows the trajectory of twentieth-century art and examines key moments in the development of a participatory aesthetic. This itinerary takes in Futurism and Dada; the Situationist International; Happenings in Eastern Europe, Argentina and Paris; the 1970s Community Arts Movement; and the Artists Placement Group. It concludes with a discussion of long-term educational projects by contemporary artists such as Thomas Hirschhorn, Tania Bruguera, Pawe? Althamer and Paul Chan. Since her controversial essay in Artforum in 2006, Claire Bishop has been one of the few to challenge the political and aesthetic ambitions of participatory art. In Artificial Hells, she not only scrutinizes the emancipatory claims made for these projects, but also provides an alternative to the ethical (rather than artistic) criteria invited by such artworks. Artificial Hells calls for a less prescriptive approach to art and politics, and for more compelling, troubling and bolder forms of participatory art and criticism.
Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship
Author: Claire Bishop
Publisher: Verso Books
"For too long Social Practice has been the notoriously flimsy flipside of market-based contemporary art: a world of hand-wringing practitioners easily satisfied with the feeling of 'doing good' in a community, and unaware that their quasi-activist, anti-formalist positions in fact have a long artistic heritage and can be critically dissected using the tools of art and theatre history. Helguera's spunky primer promises to offer a much-needed critical compass for those adrift in the expanded social field." -Claire Bishop, Professor of Contemporary Art and Exhibition History, CUNY, and author of Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship "This is an extremely timely and thoughtful reference book. Drawn from empirical and extensive experience and research, it provides a curriculum and framework for thinking about the complexity of socially engaged practices. Locating the methodologies of this work in between disciplines, Helguera draws on histories of performance, pedagogy, sociology, ethnography, linguistics, community and public practices. Rather than propose a system he exposes the temporalities necessary to make these situations possible and resonant. This is a tool that will allow us to consider the difficulties of making socially engaged art and move closer to finding a language through which we can represent and discuss its impact." -Sally Tallant, Artistic Director, Liverpool Biennial "Helguera has produced a highly readable book that absolutely needs to be in the back pocket of anyone interested in teaching or learning about socially engaged art" -Tom Finkelpearl, Director of the Queens Museum, New York, and author of Dialogues in Public Art
A Materials and Techniques Handbook
Author: Pablo Helguera
Shannon Jackson's Social Works mediates between visual and performance studies, incorporating political, aesthetic and social discourses. This book uses case studies and contemporary methodologies to give insight into experimental art-making.
Performing Art, Supporting Publics
Author: Shannon Jackson
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
What We Made presents a series of fifteen conversations in which contemporary artists who create activist, participatory work discuss the cooperative process. Colleagues from fields including architecture, art history, urban planning, and new media join the conversations.
Conversations on Art and Social Cooperation
Author: Tom Finkelpearl
Publisher: Duke University Press
'Living as Form' grew out of a major exhibition at Creative Time in New York City. Like the exhibition, the book is a landmark survey of more than 100 projects selected by a 30-person curatorial advisory team; each project is documented by a selection of colour images.
Socially Engaged Art from 1991-2011
Author: Nato Thompson
Publisher: MIT Press
Unmarked is a controversial analysis of the fraught relation between political and representational visibility in contemporary culture. Written from and for the Left, Unmarked rethinks the claims of visibility politics through a feminist psychoanalytic examination of specific performance texts - including photography, painting, film, theatre and anti-abortion demonstrations.
The Politics of Performance
Author: Peggy Phelan
Category: Performing Arts
DIVExamines questions of agency, artisanship, and identity in relation to collaborative art practice./div
Contemporary Collaborative Art in a Global Context
Author: Grant H. Kester
Publisher: Duke University Press
Art is big business, with some artists able to command huge sums of money for their works, while the vast majority are ignored or dismissed by critics. This book shows that these marginalized artists, the "dark matter" of the art world, are essential to the survival of the mainstream and that they frequently organize in opposition to it. Gregory Sholette, a politically engaged artist, argues that imagination and creativity in the art world originate thrive in the non-commercial sector shut off from prestigious galleries and champagne receptions. This broader creative culture feeds the mainstream with new forms and styles that can be commodified and used to sustain the few artists admitted into the elite. This dependency, and the advent of inexpensive communication, audio and video technology, has allowed this "dark matter" of the alternative art world to increasingly subvert the mainstream and intervene politically as both new and old forms of non-capitalist, public art. This book is essential for anyone interested in interventionist art, collectivism, and the political economy of the art world.
Art and Politics in the Age of Enterprise Culture
Author: Gregory Sholette
Publisher: Pluto Press
This is a study of artist/activists and their participation in social movements in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, in Mexico City, Oaxaca, and California. McCaughan places the three movements within their own local histories, cultures, and conditions, but also links them to the 1968 rebellions that were going on across the world.
Cultural Politics in Mexico and Aztlán
Author: Ed McCaughan
Publisher: Duke University Press
Grant Kester discusses the disparate network of artists & collectives united by a desire to create new forms of understanding through creative dialogue that crosses boundaries of race, religion, & culture.
Community and Communication in Modern Art
Author: Grant H. Kester
Publisher: Univ of California Press
"This reader gathers together an international selection of artists' proposals, manifestos, theoretical texts and public declarations that focus on the question of political engagement and the possibility of social change"--back cover.
a critical reader
Author: Will Bradley,Charles Esche
Audience participation has polarized recent debates about contemporary art. This collection of essays sheds new light on the political, ethical and aesthetic potential of participatory artworks and tests the very latest theoretical approaches to this subject. Internationally renowned art historians, curators and artists analyze the impact of collaborative aesthetics on personal and social identity, concepts of the artist, the ontology of art and the role of museums in contemporary society. Essential reading for students and specialists, Interactive Contemporary Art offers a vital critical evaluation of interactivity in contemporary art.
Participation in Practice
Author: Kathryn Brown
We are living in the Age of Participation. Social media are exploding, customer cooperation is sought in product development, and customer content is even built into media. But where is the art reflecting our times? Where are the artists making this kind of art? Who were their predecessors? In this book the author traces the roots of Participatory Art from Duchamp, Mondrian and Moholy-Nagy via less well known artists like Lygia Clark and Charlotte Posenenske as well as via better known artists like Joseph Beuys and Öyvind Fahlström to contemporary artists showing an interest in participation like Olafur Eliasson and Antony Gormley. “Participation is the most important thing that has happened in art” Gormley said in 2009. What, then, is Participatory Art? After around 40 years of practice the author tries to distill the essential principles in 10 suggestions for a Manifesto. Most central is its focus on the unfolding creative moment itself and on the creativity of the spectator.
Toward a Manifesto Differentiating it from Open Work, Interactive Art and Relational Art.
Author: Gustaf Almenberg
The collision of activism and contemporary art, from the Seattle protests to Occupy and beyond The collision of activism and contemporary art, from the Seattle protests to Occupy and beyond What is the relation of art to the practice of radical politics today? Strike Art explores this question through the historical lens of Occupy, an event that had artists at its core. Precarious, indebted, and radicalized, artists redirected their creativity from servicing the artworld into an expanded field of organizing in order to construct of a new--if internally fraught--political imaginary set off against the common enemy of the 1%. In the process, they called the bluff of a contemporary art system torn between ideals of radical critique, on the one hand, and an increasing proximity to Wall Street on the other--oftentimes directly targeting major art institutions themselves as sites of action. Tracking the work of groups including MTL, Not an Alternative, the Illuminator, the Rolling Jubilee, and G.U.L.F, Strike Art shows how Occupy ushered in a new era of artistically-oriented direct action that continues to ramify far beyond the initial act of occupation itself into ongoing struggles surrounding labor, debt, and climate justice, concluding with a consideration of the overlaps between such work and the aesthetic practices of the Black Lives Matter movement. Art after Occupy, McKee suggests, contains great potentials of imagination and action for a renewed left project that are still only beginning to ripen, at once shaking up and taking flight from the art system as we know it.
Contemporary Art and the Post-Occupy Condition
Author: Yates McKee