Art as Social Practice : Technologies for Change book cover
1st Edition

Art as Social Practice
Technologies for Change

ISBN 9780367758462
Published March 15, 2022 by Routledge
370 Pages 69 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

With a focus on socially engaged art practices in the twenty-first century, this book explores how artists use their creative practices to raise consciousness, form communities, create change, and bring forth social impact through new technologies and digital practices.

Suzanne Lacy’s Foreword and section introduction authors Anne Balsamo, Harrell Fletcher, Natalie Loveless, Karen Moss, and Stephanie Rothenberg present twenty-five in-depth case studies by established and emerging contemporary artists including Kim Abeles, Christopher Blay, Joseph DeLappe, Mary Beth Heffernan, Chris Johnson, Rebekah Modrak, Praba Pilar, Tabita Rezaire, Sylvain Souklaye, and collaborators Victoria Vesna and Siddharth Ramakrishnan. Artists offer firsthand insight into how they activate methods used in socially engaged art projects from the twentieth century and incorporated new technologies to create twenty-first century, socially engaged, digital art practices. Works highlighted in this book span collaborative image-making, immersive experiences, telematic art, time machines, artificial intelligence, and physical computing. These reflective case studies reveal how the artists collaborate with participants and communities, and have found ways to expand, transform, reimagine, and create new platforms for meaningful exchange in both physical and virtual spaces.

An invaluable resource for students and scholars of art, technology, and new media, as well as artists interested in exploring these intersections.

Table of Contents

Foreword: The Medium is Not the (Only) Message…

Suzanne Lacy


A conversation between xtine Burrough and Judy Walgren

Section I: Seeds & Tools

Introduction by Natalie Loveless

1. Modest in Nature, We are All Lichen and other Lessons Learned with Carbon Sponge Brooke Singer

2. Pandemic Makeover: Reimagining Place & Community in a Time of Collapse

Beverly Naidus

3. Bio-Digital Pathways: Mushrooming Knowledge, Expanding Community

Lucy HG Solomon and Cesar Baio (Cesar & Lois)

4. Valises for Camp Ground: Arts, Corrections and Fire Management in the Santa Monica Mountains

Kim Abeles

5. Cultivating Techno-Tamaladas

Praba Pilar

Section II: Windows & Mirrors

Introduction by Harrell Fletcher

6. A Human Atlas: Immersive Storytelling for the Twenty-first Century

Charissa Terranova in conversation with Human Atlas founder Marcus Lyon

7. Borderland Collective: In Practice and Dialogue

A conversation between Jason Reed and Mark Menjivar

8. We Are Worth Everything: Survivors As Themselves

Judy Walgren

9. An Interview with Ari Melenciano

xtine burrough and Judy Walgren

10. Making Politics: Engaged Social Tactics

A conversation between Joseph DeLappe and Laura Leuzzi

11. Social Practice Artworks

Chris Johnson


Decolonial Healing: In Defense of Spiritual Technologies
Tabita Rezaire

Section III: Magical Machines

Introduction by Anne Balsamo

12. Space and Time: Science Fiction as an Imaginative Catalyst for Social Change Christopher Blay

13. Witch-Plant-Machine: Speculative Histories and Planetary Justice

Margaretha Haughwout

14. Cybernetic Loops and Fermented Technologies of Participatory Poetry: Reflections on the Kimchi Poetry Machine

Margaret Rhee

15. Impossible Spaces and Other Embodiments: Co-constructing Virtual Realities

Dalida María Benfield, Christopher Bratton, Evelyn Eastmond, M Eifler, and Gabriel Pereira

16. One Breath Poem: A Telematic Revolution

xtine burrough, Sabrina Starnaman, Letícia Ferreira, Fiona Haborak, and Cynthia O’Neill for LabSynthE

Section IV: Expansions

Introduction by Stephanie Rothenberg

17. Community Building Through Collaboration

Sarah Ruth Alexander

18. Online Intimacies and Artful Life in Turtle Disco Zoomshells

Petra Kuppers

19. Community Accessible Archives; What You Leave, When You Leave

Gemma-Rose Turnbull

20. living liveness

Sylvain Souklaye

21. Being in Between: Challenges of Art Science Collaborations

Victoria Vesna and Siddharth Ramakrishnan

Section V: Reimagination

Introduction by Karen Moss

22. PPE Portrait Project: Image, Ethics, Health

Mary Beth Heffernan

23. Can This Be a Community When You’re Trying To Sell Me A Luxury Watch?

Rebekah Modrak

24. Justice and Representation Within the Limits of Contemporary Photography

Eliza Gregory

25. Technology of Touch: How Craft Can Lead to Social Change

Cara Levine

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xtine burrough is Professor and Area Head of Design and Creative Practice in the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication at The University of Texas at Dallas, where she directs LabSynthE. burrough is a hybrid artist who engages participatory audiences at the intersection of media art, remix, and digital poetry. She is the author of Foundations of Digital Art and Design with Adobe Creative Cloud, 2nd Edition, editor of Net Works: Case Studies in Web Art and Design, and co-editor of a series of books about remix studies.

Judy Walgren is a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, and the Associate Director for the Michigan State School of Journalism, where she teaches classes in visual literacy, photography, and immersive media. Before pivoting to academia, Walgren worked with multiple media companies including the Dallas Morning News and the San Francisco Chronicle. Her research interrogates relationships between photography, media archives, and power structures. Her work explores socially engaged practices for visual storytellers.