[-empyre-] week 4: social practice and institutions

Babak Fakhamzadeh babak.fakhamzadeh at gmail.com
Fri May 27 23:13:19 AEST 2016

Hi Michaela,

Your projects sound rather fascinating.
Have you got some links to these actual projects?


Babak Fakhamzadeh
On May 26, 2016 3:13 AM, "Michaela Leslie-Rule" <
michaela.leslie.rule at gmail.com> wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Hi,
> Thanks so much for the opportunity to participate in this discussion. I
> look forward to hearing your thoughts on this issue.
> My professional practice is concerned with using art and participatory
> media practices to build opportunities that amplify marginalized voices in
> communities. I often collaborate with philanthropic institutions in this
> work, either by collecting or synthesizing information gleaned from within
> communities, or by connecting community members to institutions so that
> they may better inform programming and policy.
> My work has primarily been focused outside of the United States (largely
> in Sub Saharan Africa), but recently I've begun working with communities of
> children living near Salinas, CA and with a community of elders in the
> Mississippi Delta. I define my professional work as storytelling that lies
> at the intersection of research, advocacy and communication. Importantly I
> don't distinguish between the art I produce as a media maker and the art I
> produce with communities that use media as one discipline among many
> others.
> Right now I'm working on two long term projects that deal with the idea of
> spiritual technologies in Black American communities in the South and South
> East United States. One deals with exploring metered hymn singing, its role
> within the black church (baptist and methodist) as a transformative ritual,
> and the potential application of this 'spiritual technology' to secular
> communities working within a social justice or social impact space. The
> other deals with agricultural knowledge held by elderly black farmers in
> the Mississippi Delta and ways in which this knowledge can be transmitted
> to young parents and their children through storytelling.
> Other past projects have included:
> - Global campaign around women and girls, science and technology
> - Media project with girls in Rwanda and Malawi
> - First generation Latina girls discussing sexual and reproductive health
> in Salinas
> - Arts intensive conducted annually in South Bronx (NY) with girls raised
> in the projects there
> As I continue working around and within philanthropic institutions I find
> myself struggling with questions relating to the ethics of accepting
> institutional support and a oft heard 'new' equity agenda that includes
> increased focus/funding of *voice *and diversity, when in most cases
> institutional wealth is sustained in some manner by social inequality.
> I'm also interested in how the impacts of social practice projects are
> measured, when is it important to measure impact or change as a result of
> social practice art projects and who should do the measuring.
> I'll leave it at that for now.
> On Tue, May 24, 2016 at 8:11 AM kyle mckinley <bicirider at gmail.com> wrote:
>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> hello everyone,
>> Welcome to the fourth and final week of our May discussion of social
>> practice. This week’s guests on EMPYRE have been selected to help us think
>> about the particularly challenging intersections that emerge between
>> artists, communities, and institutions as Social Practice is increasingly
>> crystalized as a genre and as a funding model. Those guests are Michaela
>> Leslie-Rule and Corrina Mehiel.
>> I've generally thought that this might serve as an opportunity to reflect
>> on the challenges that (funding) institutions and socially practiced
>> artworks present to one another, and, I suppose, the opportunities...?...
>> Basically I'm thinking about how Dont Rhine’s comments in week 1 present a
>> critique of the ways in which institutions expropriate value from the
>> participants of socially practiced art ("participation in its value form").
>> To the extent that such institutions are themselves implicated in processes
>> of displacement and gentrification, and to the extent to which such
>> institutions are de facto put to service as an extension of the State, such
>> critiques should serious pause all of us who imagine art as a force for
>> social transformation. As artists and curators, what do we do with that
>> going forward? Where you encounter meaningful strategies for working
>> against these tendencies? Are there other pressing issues that come up in
>> the interchanges between artists of social practice and institutions of
>> various sorts?
>> Corrina Mehiel (US) is an artist / art professor, with a background in
>> community arts education.  An adjunct professor at the Art Academy of
>> Cincinnati, Mehiel teaches social practice and studio inquiry in the BFA
>> and MAAE programs.  She holds a BA from The Pennsylvania State University
>> and an MFA from the University of Cincinnati.   With roots in Seattle,
>> Washington and Central Pennsylvania, Mehiel identifies as an American more
>> than from a particular city or state.  She spent the greater part of the
>> last decade abroad, living in India, Australia and Dubai.  Currently a
>> studio assistant for the social practice pioneer Mel Chin, Mehiel is a
>> collaborator for his Fundred Dollar Bill Project which aims to educate
>> children and families to make a lead safe environment for all.  In addition
>> to teaching, maintaining a studio practice and collaborating on socially
>> engaged projects, Mehiel is a graduate student in the Public Policy program
>> at Portland State University, with research on policy shaping through
>> artistic and civic engagement.
>> Michaela Leslie-Rule (US), MPA, MPH is an artist and social scientist. As
>> the owner of Fact Memory Testimony <http://factmemorytestimony.com>, she
>> has been fortunate to collaborate with ITVS’ Women & Girls Lead Global,
>> Memphis is Music Initiative, Community Foundation for Monterey County, Nike
>> and Firelight Foundations’ Grassroots Girls Initiative. Embedded in
>> Leslie-Rule’s approach to advocacy, communication and strategy, is a
>> commitment to elevating community voices through the use of storytelling.
>> She is particularly interested in participatory methods for measuring and
>> documenting social and organizational change, and has designed and
>> implemented participatory evaluation, strategic planning and documentation
>> projects on four continents. Leslie-Rule also uses a storytelling approach
>> to design and produce multimedia advocacy campaigns. As the producer of
>> Global Fund for Women’s IGNITE: Women Fueling Science and Technology global
>> campaign and online storytelling project, she curated and oversaw the
>> creation of five online galleries, designed and implemented a five-city
>> international girls’ hackathon and oversaw a coordinated advocacy effort
>> between the Fund and UN Women demanding equal access to and control of
>> technology for women and girls worldwide.
>> Leslie-Rule holds Masters of Public Health and Public Administration from
>> the University of Washington with a focus on advocacy and multimedia
>> storytelling in global health. She also earned a BFA from New York
>> University’s Tisch School of the Arts. You can learn more about
>> Leslie-Rule’s approach and see samples of her work at
>> http://www.factmemorytestimony.com/
>> --
>> http://www.kylemckinley.com/
>> http://buildingcollective.org/
>> _______________________________________________
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>> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
>> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
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