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WHAT IS SOCIAL PRACTICE?

?מה זה סוצ׳אל פרקטיס

 

 

People ask me all of the time, "What is social practice?".  There is no one definition.  It is not one thing.  It is a multitude of "things" and it is evolving.  Here are some thoughts on what it means to me at the moment in the context of my art making.

Social practice is relational art.  It is situational.  It is collaboration-full.  It unfolds between people.  Or between people and the rest of the world.  There is space and there is time and there is the world.  Together they form the collaboration.   Social practice is led by questions and curiosities.  It may be driven by perceived injustices or discontent, beauty or humor.  Sometimes there is physical evidence of the direct work and other times it is only memory or reflection. For many artists and audiences, it is the experience that is the art.  It is up to the artist to shape how the story gets told.  

Social practice breaks down the artist/artwork - gallery/viewer model and engages broad and often unexpected audiences in the making of the work.  Social practice artists engage a multitude of forms from performance, to object making, from writing, to walking, canoeing, eating, educating.  Almost all that we do as humans moving through the world is social practice.  It is how we curate or reflect upon the moment or series of moments that transforms being-ness from everyday action to art.  Aesthetics and execution of an idea shape and define social practice as an art form.  Social practice artists  expect the audience to help answer their inquiries.  Just how each artist does that is a personal decision crafted in his or her own time and spirit. 

Now, tell me, "Who is Superman?"