ART as/is SOCIAL: on engagement in contemporary cultural theory & practice was an artistic research project examining contemporary theoretical positions of socially engaged art in relation to the reality of artistic practice. Through a series of open discussion sessions with artists, curators and creative professionals, key concepts and case studies related to socially engaged artistic practice were investigated from the individual, contextualized perspectives of the participants. Each session departed from a prominent text by a scholar, theorist, critic or art world professional on a topic related to social engagement in the arts, such as public space, art institutions, urban pedagogy or the Commons. Participants were asked to reflect on the texts from their own personal and professional positions, and to evaluate the theoretical standpoints expressed in the readings against their own practical experiences. As such, the project assembled a collection of pluriform practice-based knowledge, bundled in a zine as well as a blog.
The discussion series was hosted by ZKU – Center for Art and Urbanistics, and made possible with the kind support of the Radboud Honours Academy Nijmegen.