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Overview

Essays, dialogues, and art projects that illuminate the changing role of art as it responds to radical economic, political, and global shifts.

How should we understand the purpose of publicly engaged art in the twenty-first century, when the very term “public art” is largely insufficient to describe such practices? 
 
Concepts such as “new genre public art,” “social practice,” or “socially engaged art” may imply a synergy between the role of art and the role of government in providing social services. Yet the arts and social services differ crucially in terms of their methods and metrics. Socially engaged artists need not be aligned (and may often be opposed) to the public sector and to institutionalized systems.  In many countries, structures of democratic governance and public responsibility are shifting, eroding, and being remade in profound ways—driven by radical economic, political, and global forces. According to what terms and through what means can art engage with these changes?
 
This volume gathers essays, dialogues, and art projects—some previously published and some newly commissioned—to illuminate the ways the arts shape and reshape a rapidly changing social and governmental landscape. An artist portfolio section presents original statements and projects by some of the key figures grappling with these ideas.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262034814
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 11/25/2016
Series: Critical Anthologies in Art and Culture , #2
Pages: 544
Product dimensions: 6.80(w) x 9.60(h) x 1.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Johanna Burton is Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement at the New Museum in New York and the series editor for the Critical Anthologies in Art and Culture.

Shannon Jackson is Associate Vice Chancellor of the Arts and Design and the Cyrus and Michelle Hadidi Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Her publications include Social Works: Performing Art, Supporting Publics.

Dominic Willsdon is Leanne and George Roberts Curator of Education and Public Practice at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. His publications include Public Intimacy: Art and Other Ordinary Acts in South Africa.

Johanna Burton is Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement at the New Museum in New York and the series editor for the Critical Anthologies in Art and Culture.

Shannon Jackson is Associate Vice Chancellor of the Arts and Design and the Cyrus and Michelle Hadidi Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Her publications include Social Works: Performing Art, Supporting Publics.

Dominic Willsdon is Leanne and George Roberts Curator of Education and Public Practice at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. His publications include Public Intimacy: Art and Other Ordinary Acts in South Africa.

Eyal Weizman is Professor of Spatial and Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths College, University of London and a Global Scholar at Princeton University. A founder of Forensic Architecture, he is also a founding member of the architectural collective DAAR in Beit Sahour/Palestine. His books include Mengele's Skull, The Least of All Possible Evils, and Hollow Land.

Devin Fore is Associate Professor in the Department of German at Princeton University.

Wendy Brown is Class of 1936 First Chair of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, where she is also affiliated with the Department of Rhetoric and the Critical Theory Program and the author of Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism's Stealth Revolution (Zone Books).

Johanna Burton is Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement at the New Museum in New York and the series editor for the Critical Anthologies in Art and Culture.

T. J. Demos, an award-winning writer, is Professor of Visual Culture at the University of California, Santa Cruz and Director of its Center for Creative Ecologies. He writes widely about contemporary art, global politics, and ecology, and is the author, most recently, of Against the Anthropocene: Visual Culture and Environment Today (Sternberg Press).

Carrie Lambert-Beatty is Assistant Professor in the Department of History of Art and Architecture and the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University.

Tom Finkelpearl is Program Director of PS 1 Contemporary Art Center in New York City. From 1990 to 1996, he was Director of New York City's Percent for Art Program.

Shannon Jackson is Associate Vice Chancellor of the Arts and Design and the Cyrus and Michelle Hadidi Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Her publications include Social Works: Performing Art, Supporting Publics.

Table of Contents

Series Preface Johanna Burton ix

Director's Foreword Lisa Phillips xi

Plight of the Publics: An Introduction to Public Servants Johanna Burton, Shannon Jackson, and Dominic Willsdon xv

Public Works 1

"We don't need another hero": War and Public Memory Rosalyn Deutsche 3

Who Owns a Vacant Lot? Orthodoxy vs. Culture Industry Lise Soskolne 27

Art and the Cultural Contradictions of Urban Regeneration, Social Justice, and Sustainability: Transforma Projects and Prospect.1 in Post-Katrina New Orleans Joshua Decter 45

Latin America and a New Political Leadership: Experimental Acts of Coexistence Teddy Cruz Fonna Forman 71

The Destruction of Destruction Eyal Weizman 91

Department of Security 109

The Fire This Time: Black Youth and the Spectacle of Postracial Violence Henry A. Giroux 111

Photo Requests from Solitary Jean Casella Jeanine Oleson Laurie Jo Reynolds Solitary Watch Steven Corotan Robert Frazier Rachel Herman Chris Murphy Frank Reyna Robert Sauseda JR. Willie Sterling Kijana Tashiri Askari Robert Timm 131

Can This Machine Kill Mass Incarceration? Joshua Dubler 141

Squeaky Dolphin to Normcore: Anxiety in a Big-Data Era Kate Crawford 159

Department of Labor and Economy 173

Biopolitics, Identity, and the Public Sphere in the 1970s: Oskar Negt and Alexander Kluge Devin Fore 175

W.A.G.E.N.C.Y.: W.A.G.E. (Working Artists and the Greater Economy) 191

Indent (to Serve the Debt) Fred Moten Stefano Harney 197

In Service: Art, Value, Merit, and the Making of Publics Andrea Phillips 207

Portfolio: Organized Alicia Ritson Kaegan Sparks 221

Simone Leigh 222

Ashley Hunt 228

Pedro Reyes 234

Jeanne Van Heeswijk 240

Gregg Bordowitz 245

Mel Chin 251

Pablo Helguera 257

Caroline Woolard 263

Jonas Staal 269

Andrea Fraser 275

Department of Education 281

Neoliberalized Knowledge Wendy Brown 283

Back to the Future (of Art School) Alex Klein 299

Sliding Scale: Between Art and Education Marit Dewhurst in Conversation Johanna Burton 313

Mutual Rehabilitation: Norfolk Prison Recordings of Art Books for Blind Readers Mara Mills 331

Department of Health and Environment 341

Art After Nature: The Post-Natural Condition T. J. Demos 343

Dear <$$$>, I write regarding toxic sovereignties in Windjarrameru Elizabeth A. Povinelli 357

Embodied Memory: Reimagining and Legislating Sumak Kawsay in the Modern Andes Bill Kelley Jr. 367

Women, Waves, Web Carrie Lambert-Beatty 381

Department of Culture 405

Government Agency Tom Finkelpearl In Conversation With Shannon Jackson 407

A critique of social practice art: What does it mean to be a political artist? Ben Davis 423

Growing Dialogue: What Is the Effectiveness of Socially Engaged Art? Ben Davis Tom Finkelpearl Deborah Fisher Elizabeth Grady Richard Kooyman Rick Lowe Louisa McCall Ernesto Pujol Katy Reckdahl Gregory Sholette Noah Simblist Randall Szott Nato Thompson Glenn Weiss 437

Starting in the Middle: NGOs and Emergent Forms for Cultural Institutions Irit Rogoff 465

Publication History 481

Contributors 485

Board of Trustees 501

Index 503

What People are Saying About This

Saskia Bos

Encompassing sections on labor, the economy, biopolitics, education, and security, this anthology tackles urgent topics like the effectiveness of socially engaged art and offers readers an in-depth and critical understanding around artwork and ways of thinking too often simplified as 'social practice.'

Thomas Keenan

Public Servants boldly reaffirms the necessity of talking about art and politics together. In it, everything we thought we knew about both becomes questionable. This bracing, passionate, thrilling collection shakes it all up and goes after the clichés and the taboos with unrelenting fervor. It doesn't tell us what to do, but it will certainly help us to figure that out for ourselves.

Endorsement

Encompassing sections on labor, the economy, biopolitics, education, and security, this anthology tackles urgent topics like the effectiveness of socially engaged art and offers readers an in-depth and critical understanding around artwork and ways of thinking too often simplified as 'social practice.'

Saskia Bos, curator, art historian, and former Dean of The School of Art at The Cooper Union, New York

From the Publisher

Public Servants boldly reaffirms the necessity of talking about art and politics together. In it, everything we thought we knew about both becomes questionable. This bracing, passionate, thrilling collection shakes it all up and goes after the clichés and the taboos with unrelenting fervor. It doesn't tell us what to do, but it will certainly help us to figure that out for ourselves.

Thomas Keenan, Human Rights Project, Bard College

Extraordinary in its range and depth, Public Servants is an essential volume. It rigorously unpacks the intersectional, aesthetic, and real possibilities for art and culture to confront the social, economic, and environmental challenges of a globalized world.

Laura Raicovich, President and Director, Queens Museum

Encompassing sections on labor, the economy, biopolitics, education, and security, this anthology tackles urgent topics like the effectiveness of socially engaged art and offers readers an in-depth and critical understanding around artwork and ways of thinking too often simplified as 'social practice.'

Saskia Bos, curator, art historian, and former Dean of The School of Art at The Cooper Union, New York

Laura Raicovich

Extraordinary in its range and depth, Public Servants is an essential volume. It rigorously unpacks the intersectional, aesthetic, and real possibilities for art and culture to confront the social, economic, and environmental challenges of a globalized world.

Customer Reviews