I believe that there is not enough emphasis placed upon understanding the theoretical and historical perspectives and contexts of ‘participation’ that are, for me, crucially important to both practice and research that engages with people, place, power and politics. Similarly, I also believe that, whilst this field is situated within ‘the social’, there is not enough emphasis on how practice and research may fit with broader understandings of art and society, nor, for that matter, with wider theoretical from other interrelated disciplines. … READ MORE
An old post for a new blog
This was my prosecution witness statement from the excellent Participation on Trial event organised by the lovely Chrissie Tiller and Goldsmiths from May 2015.
think it remains as relevant to me as it did more than a year ago but I would say that I was a little over-generous in my support for socially engaged art – a term now so completely appropriated by the Institution of Art that it effectively is THE SAME AS participatory art. … READ MORE
There is a crucial debate that is often still referred to when questions of art and social change arise. It is essentially a disagreement about the potentialities of participatory art as a mode of effecting social change; predominantly a discussion about policy and methodology – two questions that are at the heart of much of the writing about socially engaged art and its practice.… READ MORE
Participatory art is a growing field. As a practice, it adopts numerous forms and crosses many boundaries. Participatory art is often, but not always, implicated in narratives surrounding personal and social change, either directly through public policy, or indirectly through the statements of individual socially engaged artists. Socially engaged art interventions are often short-term and limited in scope and scale.… READ MORE
Participatory arts or, more precisely, socially engaged arts practice is resurgent. Participation in the arts is, like many times in the past since the Victorian era, being promoted as a panacea for many of the issues facing our communities. New initiatives such as ArtWorks , Cultural Value Project and Participation & Engagement in the Arts seek a sea change in UK cultural and educational settings. … READ MORE