Art as Interaction

With roots in activities as diverse as mural painting, sports, street fairs, or community activism, publicly engaged art inserts itself into specific contexts and directly engages its audience-often with the hope for social change. It endeavors to make social structures as art rather than objects. This class will investigate the evolving practice of art by creating objects designed to interact with people and spaces around campus. In what ways can collaboration and audience participation be part of artistic practice? Can such a practice still be concerned with aesthetics? What kind of societal questions can art pose while still being art?

Sample reading list:
Pablo Helguera, Education for Socially Engaged Art
Claire Bishop, Artifical Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics
Nato Thompson, Living As Form
Bruno Latour, Re-Assembling The Social
Jacques Rancierre, The Emancipated Spectator
Maria Lind, Taking the Matter Into Common Hands

Reading/Writing assignments:
One socially engaged art project will be produced by the end of the term; one oral presentation/written paper of a case study of a socially engaged work; one collaborative project, which creates a sculptural structure that engages a site on campus; one social research exercise

Prerequisites and Restrictions:
Any 200-level course offered by ATL, CWR, DAN, MUS, THR, or VIS.




Wednesdays, 12:30 - 4:20 pm


Fia Backström