Ten community cultural organizations and the institutions with which they maintained contact over one year from “ Irrational” Organizations: Culture and Community Change by Mark J. Stern
Sometimes, it feels like I’m preaching to the choir when I talk talk to arts administrators, arts teachers and socially conscious programmers about the social potential of the artist and cultural programs. And I find myself thinking, “How do we get this message to those in leadership positions who don’t know how important the arts are?” I know that the arts are not just icing on the cake of industry and retail; I know that community-based arts organizations can have powerfully positive effects on their communities; I know that regional economies are effected by the presence of individual working artists; I know that artists often pioneer inner city redevelopment only to be pushed out once they have stabilized a depressed community. But, do the policy makers, city and county leaders, politicians and international policy wonks know how integral the arts are to communities? I doubt it. Otherwise, artists would have an honored place at the table.
Not content to wait around for an invitation to participate, Artist Richard Kamler has created SEEING PEACE – a multi-pronged initiative designed to create a presence for artists at the UN. Seeing Peace is an exhibition, a collective action, an assembly and a conceptual artistic intervention. I don’t know if it will achieve the status of “great art” or if it will pass muster as a “work of genius.” I do know that these process based interventions are popping up all over the artistic landscape and, I believe, point to a growing interest among artist in not only designing products, installations and works of art, but in creating what I like to call “aesthetic interventions.” So, three cheers in particular for SEEING PEACE and for works of art that blur the boundaries between object, process and concept so intensly that it’s engenendered a relatively new critical methodology (French in origin, of course) called Relational Esthetics. Let’s hope this critical methodology provides some insight and not just another layer of inpenetrable art-geek talk.
Almost Random Links:
Public Relations – Nicolas Bourriaud – Interview ArtForum, April, 2001 by Bennett Simpson
The Interventionists: Users’ Manual for the Creative Disruption of Everyday Life
InSite 05 – contemporary art project based in the bi-national region of San Diego-Tijuana
Artistic Director: Osvaldo Sanchez