I was asked 'what is social practice art' in a media interview today. This is what came to mind in the moment...
How would you define "social practice art"?
I wouldn’t. There are different definitions of this across continents, art forms, eras, and from artist to artist, project to project to and to rigidly define this is reductive. Social practice involves working with people in an active way, but how this manifests in each project, in each community and with each artist will be different – it’s more about a resonant feeling of doing social practice than a definition.
That’s not to say that I don’t engage with the debates on ‘what is social practice’ or think them not important, and the nuances of approaches these debates surface are integral to extending the practice as a whole; but we are all working from the one common denominator, of working actively with people in a social setting, and from there, practise will diverge. This I think is to the strength of the sector and its credit, this is where the breadth and depth of our work comes from and our relevance an value across all sorts of settings.