In light of the politically empowered movements that have risen across the globe during this turbulent year, George Scheer explores the role of the artist becoming a catalyst for broad social change and questions the purpose of integrating politics with creative forms.
Social, participatory, and engaged art practices, critically imagined, must eventually grasp their political foundation. These art forms, which take cultural production as their interest are an implicit part of a Political project—big P—by framing living practices as a ground for world-making projects. They articulate the boundaries and intersections of living persons congregating, communicating, corporatizing, and collectivizing. However they go about it, these artists and their projects set the stage for an emergent context, a field of possibilities, a potential to constitute relations—the Political as form—big P. As social practitioners and cultural producers we literally conceive, in our poetics, new Political imaginaries.
The third annual Creative Time Summit, Living as Form, presented by public arts organization Creative Time and curated by Nato Thompson, was held on September 23 at NYU’s Skirball Center for Performing Arts. The Summit offered a broad (and at times scattershot) survey of socially engaged art practices on a global scale. Approximately 32 presentations, each held to eight-minute segments, provided a flip-book of contemporary practices, activist exploits, and creative interventions into civic, private, communal, and political realms. The summit marked a continued commitment to these art practices—which remain under-recognized and underfunded—and a witness to their global perspective.