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Engaged arts

Just Leaving and Other Ways of Saying Goodbye Notes on Disengagement
This series of articles has covered engagement. But what about disengagement? In other words, once a commitment has been made and a practice has been conducted, how does an artist ‘quit’ it? This article looks at some key considerations that make moral evaluation of engaged practices possible. In thinking through these evaluations, we come across a set of methods of disengagement that rethink the relation engaged practices have to ethical judgement.
Why So Serious? Responsibility in Engaged Practices
Some odd dichotomies remain present in the arts today. Starting from a new approach to the classical autonomy vs. engagement discussion, this essay concludes that a new form of responsibility needs to arise.
The Dimensions of Propaganda
Art has an inherent relationship with the political. In order to work as an engaged artist, it is important to understand the inherent alliances to politics, as well as how the practice produced might be a political tool. Different forms of art have always been utilised to reproduce ideological beliefs—in other words, propaganda. This article analyses why art is such a handy political tool and how it has been utilised throughout history.
The Toponomy of the Classroom
Certain spaces produce certain practices. We are tempted to think in dichotomies: for example, form and content, but often overlook a third element—space. The same occurs in education, where we often think of what is taught and how it is taught, overlooking where it is taught. This article thinks through how spaces produce certain kinds of practices, following guidelines set by Michel Foucault. Veldkamp compares the most prevalent educational spaces to engaged practices and wonder what spaces engaged practices need.
Authentically Unoriginal
Certain concepts, including the ‘author’ and ‘original,’ still form the postulates of many artistic practices. In this article, I outline some of the key thinkers that have critiqued these terms during the past century. However, most of these critiques were developed by focusing on certain types of artworks. Therefore, this article will think through these theories in light of the engaged practice.
Engaged Art Incorporated Front Desks and Legal Entities (About the Business Called ‘Engaged Art’)
Just like the institution of politics, engaged arts are often about organising. Nevertheless, many engaged practices risk lip synching current organisational structures, through which they wedge form and content further apart, resulting in all kinds of violence. In this article, Veldkamp analyses different forms that attempt to engage but merely lip sync prevalent organising, such as the helpdesk, action committee and legal persons.
Help! Help! Help! The Interpellation of Help and What It Means to Engaged Practice
Help is one of our strongest social bonds. Nevertheless, the code in which we do so—which is culturally determinant—often results in something quite the opposite of help. In this article, Veldkamp sketches a scene of hailing for help and thinks through the possible responses.
Roleability A Short Critique of Popular Use of Narratology in Engaged Artistic Practices
When artists delve into engaged practices, there are a few conventional ‘gateways’ facilitating a bridge between the artist, who is seen as separate, and their intended subject, who is seen as deviant and thus needing to be approached. The idea of gateways encompasses an ontological difference, where a social reality…
Realism, Hyperrealism and Transrealism in Engaged Practices
In this article, Veldkamp builds on arguments by Jacques Rancière and Albert Camus and delves into some works by Tania Bruguera and different schools of realism in general. He concludes with an argument against plain realism, instead proposing something more ‘unreal’: transrealism.
Medium-centrism and Transmedial Thinking An Investigation into the Point of Departure and Productive Goal of Artistic Practice
Abstract Much of the arts has become used to pre-given forms and mediums as the starting point of any practice. The first part of this article delves into how this is problematic for engaged practices and proposes ways of postponing the form of an artistic endeavour in order to subordinate…
Reflective and Transgressive Engaged Practices Beyond Sterility, Distance and Reproduction
Artist Renzo Martens notes that much of the engaged practices merely produce ‘sterile’ criticism. These practices do not consider their own background, nor do they attempt to really resolve the things that they regard. This article dissects what this so-called ‘sterility’ consists of, what alternatives are cognisable, and concludes with a distinction between ‘reflective’ and ‘transgressive’ engaged practices.
The Location of Art A Topographical Earthquake
We claim to localise ‘Art’ with a capital by means of ‘pointing and naming’ certain objects that we consequently call ‘works of art.’ In this article, Veldkamp investigates the location of art: what ‘place’ do we point to when we claim something is Art? He contrasts the object of a traditional artist’s practice with that of another type of artist: the engaged artist.
A Bird’s-Eye View of Engaged Practices A Handful of Approaches to Art that Mingles with Politics
In this glossary-like document, Veldkamp glances at some (by no means all) of the landscape engaged practices exist within, ranging from ideas on ‘interactivity,’ ‘relationality,’ ‘participation,’ ‘politics,’ and so on. He attempts to formulate some preliminary definitions, which will be explored further throughout the rest of this series of articles.
Towards Engaged Arts an introduction
The engaged artistic practice as we know it today is built upon a set of axioms that this series of articles attempts to investigate. By thinking through these concepts that are so cherished by the arts, new propositions are put forward that would fit better with the premises of engaged arts as we know them. An attempt for a hermeneutics called ‘dematerialised aesthetics’ or ‘system aesthetics’ can be read between the lines.