[-empyre-] social practice / institutions / whose measures?

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Mon May 30 06:23:42 AEST 2016

hi all
new message now have appeared (out of time sync) due to the empire processing of discussants not part of directly enrolled guests), and I am sorry
if questions I wanted to further direct at Corinna Mehiel are now perhaps no longer relevant, as she has posted more postings now that seem to reach further,
although to an extent she is invoking institution-critique, and perhaps, given her work in Cincinnati, I was interested in the kind of institutions she refers to
(where she teaches, or public streets neighbourhoods, the city?)

…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…

which the implicated institutions?  It seems Kyle is referring now to educational sector and art schools?

[Kyle schreibt]

>For our purposes today, it might be
worth thinking about whether, and to what degree, socially practiced arts
appear in response to, and are accountable to, social movements and
marginalized communities.>

this comment I could not agree with more. And yet one probably would need to distinguish a range of practices (is applied drama or 'theatre for development', working with/as NGO, an arts practice?)
and what characteristic strategies  (and alignments) they use (and whether they are arts and aesthetic strategies or whether that does not matter). Yet ambiguity tends to unavoidable, as i tried to show
in my earlier example of Mel Chin, business man, organiser, strategist, trouble shooter, and artist selling art-as-social practice in a gallery)

Corinna, do you have photos of the parking meters in Cincinnati that you grafted and detourned?

Kyle,  you argue
 the frequently heard claim that “social practice is so white”
seems to me less an indictment of anything intrinsic to the genre or its
discourses, so much as an accurate description of who many artists are in
effect accountable to — a disproportionately white and bourgeois art market
and disproportionately white and bourgeois group of funding agencies..>>

and I wonder whether this is at all true; how do you measure?  
in other locations (say in Houston or Atlanta, to my knowledge;
or in Britain, or generally I suppose outside of US :scenarios are different, were we to look at Brazil? India? 
and other places) this argument would have to be qualified, changed, no?


Johanne Birringer

More information about the empyre mailing list