Monday, November 30, 2009

Artist Harrell Fletcher sent me this call for proposals for Open Engagement, a three-day conference at Portland State University (May 14-17, 2010), exploring the role of the artist in socially-engaged art.

Open Engagement is a three-day conference that is an initiative of the Portland State University Art and Social Practice concentration and co-sponsored by Pacific Northwest College of Art and Portland Community College. Directed by Jen Delos Reyes and Harrell Fletcher and planned in conjunction with the Portland State University MFA Monday Night Lecture Series, this conference features three nationally and internationally renowned artists: Mark Dion, Amy Franceschini (Futurefarmers) and Nils Norman. The conference will showcase work by Temporary Services, InCUBATE, and a new project by Mark Dion created in collaboration with the PSU Art and Social Practice concentration.

The artists involved in Open Engagement: Making Things, Making Things Better, Making Things Worse, challenge our traditional ideas of what art is and does. These artist’s projects mediate the contemporary frameworks of art as service, as social space, as activism, as interactions, and as relationships, and tackle subject matter ranging from urban planning, alternative pedagogy, play, fiction, sustainability, political conflict and the social role of the artist.

Can socially engaged art do more harm than good? Are there ethical responsibilities for social art? Does socially engaged art have to do civic or public good? Can there be transdisciplinary approaches to contemporary art making that would contribute to issues such as urban planning and sustainability? As both urban planning and contemporary art imagine new worlds, how can art projects be seen as potential models for living?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Big Run-Up

Wow. A blog. How 2006.

Welcome to the blog component of the Indirect Collaboration Panel that will be debuting at the 2010 SXSW Interactive Festival.

In the coming months, this blog will be a repository of the interesting examples, dissertations, personalities, and trends of collective creativity on the web. We have been beaten about the head in the past few years with the notions that the gatekeepers have been vanquished, and that we are all have the potential to be informed, empowered individuals working for ourselves. This may sell a lot of business books, but the idea of collectivism in creativity presents a trickier problem. Creativity, especially in our age, has been wrapped around the ideal of the auteur as artist, that of the singular vision. Is there a space in our current media landscape for singular works to be made from many minds? Or is art by it's nature something that resists the flattening power of the web?

Our contributors, as well as panelists for the SXSW discussion, are:

Tim Lillis is owner of Narwhal Creative, and frequent contributor to Make Magazine, with his Tricks of the Trade series.

Joe Alterio
is an illustrator, comic artist, animator and designer, and founder of the collective charitable art project, Robots And Monsters.

Andrea Grover is an independent curator, artist and writer. In 1998, she founded Aurora Picture Show, a now recognized center for filmic art, that began in Grover's living room as “the world’s most public home theater.” She curated the first exhibition exploring the phenomenon of crowdsourcing in art (PHANTOM CAPTAIN, apexart, New York, 2006), and, with artist Jon Rubin, organized an exhibit in which worldwide participants created a photo-sharing album of their imaginings on Tehran (NEVER BEEN TO TEHRAN, Parkinggallery, Tehran, Iran, 2008) She recently programmed an evening of films for Dia Art Foundation at The Hispanic Society of America, New York (LESSONS IN THE SKY, 2009); and has inaugurated a new semi-annual screening series, MENIL MOVIES, with The Menil Collection. Currently on view is 29 CHAINS TO THE MOON, an exhibition she curated for Carnegie Mellon University's Miller Gallery, which continues her research into cooperation and distributed thinking across disciplines. She has an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a BFA from Syracuse University and was a Core Fellow in residence at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Our Moderator, Joshua Glenn, a cultural semiotics analyst and independent scholar, is coeditor of and co-curator of the Significant Objects project.

Join us in our discussion, and come see us in Austin, as well!