AAG 2018 – Call for Papers – Arts research, theory and practice

AAG 2018 – Call for Papers – Arts research, theory and practice

American Association of Geographers annual conference, 10th to 14th April 2018, New Orleans

With the theme of the 2018 AAG conference being Black Geographies and Geographies of Struggle and the Association’s concern with engagement outside of its academy thresholds, we are seeking papers from academics and practitioners from across the geography, arts and community development disciplines and sectors to form a three-part whole-day session on these issues.

Session 1 will focus on practice-based research; Session 2, on theory and its application in this regard; and Session 3, on practice and practitioners.

We are seeking contributions from a global field from all settings; urban, suburban and rural. We are especially interested in contributions from practitioners and ‘non-academics’ and in directly including the community voice in the paper presentations. We aim to include both qualitative and quantitative research and project evaluations, as well as methodologies, and critiques of the same.

Please submit an abstract for consideration, of no more than 250 words, by 20th October, to both cara@caracourage.net and anita@smartlab-ie.com. Successful applicants will be informed by 23rd October for their timely registration to AAG 2017.

We cannot offer funding for attendance at the conference at this time so responses to this CfP should be made on this basis. For all information relating to the conference and its registrations deadlines (25th Oct 2017), please visit: http://annualmeeting.aag.org.

What do (social practice) artists do?

I recently asked my networks of artists the question, ‘what do (social practice) artists do? The question took inspiration from Frances Whitehead's What Artists Know, spurred also by the confusion I sometimes meet in others around what the art is in this type of practice, and having to explain how play or talk is art - I feel now is a time to really call out for what this practice is and how it does it.

Below is a (very) first level complication of the many comments and views I received in response to this question. The initial call can be found here on FB.

 

We do things

Play, talk, listen, build, design, make, knit, cook, garden, storytell, film, draw, mould...

Disrupt, provoke, draw attention to, question, protest, experiment, inspire, raise awareness, trust, observe, connect, dream, fail, succeed...

Outside of institutions and institutional thinking

 

We work with

The community, community of place, of interest, of the marginalised, the silent

Self and other, individual and collective, everyone as equal participant, collaborate, co-produce

As an expert in our own right, with other experts in theirs - which has paramount the community as expert in their own lives

Not knowing what will happen

 

We make things...

Street furniture, meals, murals, films, stories, gardens, sculpture, song, images...

Prototypes, pilots, tests, debates, progress, encounters, fun, mess

Join together, people together, people and their place, autonomous and in solidarity

 

We help things happen...

People to see, people to speak, people to listen, people to reflect, people to change things, people to act again, relationships to form, networks to be made

Break resistance, encourage resistance, right wrongs, question the status quo and the ‘always-done’

Places to look nicer, places to feel better to be in, places to work for the people that use them, shape the future space and place as agents of change

 

We work in...

Streets, squares, houses, shops, parks, canals, car parks, schools

Physical spaces, material form, emotional places, contradictions, harmonies

Contested spaces, left-over spaces, forgotten spaces, hidden spaces, derelict spaces, potential places, the grassroots

Communities, businesses, offices, city hall’s, governments

 

Social practice art is active in the realm of creative and social interactions, embedded in its community location and equally concerned with the art process as much as the art object created through it, and the relation between its knowledge and that of others.

Social practice art is ever-evolving, all-encompassing and unbounded; no-one exhaustive or definitive list can exist for such a pursuit, but with social practice artists being called on by many – from the bottom up and the community, to top-down and the government – to help create material, social, cultural, political and economic betterment, there is cause now for a moment of reflection, articulation and further dialogue on what social practice artists do, where, how and why.

 

Cara Courage, work-in-(endless)-progress, 2015

Created in collaboration with: Jason Bowman, Donna Close, John Collins McCormick, Lloyd Davis, Terry Hardy, Sam Hewitt, Dimitri Launder, Shauta Marsh, Anita McKeown, Carol Parker, Rachel Preston Prinz, Stephen Pritchard, Matt Rudkin, Simone Sheridan, Lindsey Smith,  Charles Stanton, Peta Taylor, Dan Thompson, Chris Thorpe-Tracey, Daniella Vg, Jim Walker, Simon Wilkinson, Ed Woodham.

 

What Do (Social Practice) Artists Do?

Taking inspiration from Frances Whitehead's What do Artists Know, I am working on a similar list/manifesto for What Artists Do, in particular, What Social Practice Artists Do.

This is spurred in the first instance by the confusion I sometimes meet in others around what the art is in this type of practice, and having to explain how play, or cooking or gardening or talking is art, I feel now is a time to really call out for what this practice is and how it does it.

In the spirit of social practice art, this of course is a collaborative endeavour and when this gets published (in my thesis, on my website, in papers and at conference), all will be named.

So, my question to all of you, what is it that (social practice) artists do?

Please either email me or reply on the comments below. The results of this will be published here in due course. 

Dinner at the Carey Estate for residents, cooked by the artists, part of the drawing shed's Some[W]here in 9 Elms, Wandsworth project, May 2015 

Dinner at the Carey Estate for residents, cooked by the artists, part of the drawing shed's Some[W]here in 9 Elms, Wandsworth project, May 2015