[artinfo] FIELD: A Journal of Socially Engaged Art Criticism

Art&Education edu-news at mailer.e-flux.com
Sat May 9 22:48:20 CEST 2015

FIELD: A Journal of Socially Engaged Art Criticism,
is pleased to announce the release of its inaugural issue (spring 2015),
available now at <http://field-journal.com/>field-journal.com.

FIELD was created in response to the remarkable proliferation of 
contemporary socially engaged art over the past 15 years. This is a 
complex, contradictory and unruly area of practice that is 
distinguished by its extraordinary geographic scope. Today we find 
socially engaged art projects under development around the globe, 
from India to Ecuador, from Senegal to Ukraine, from Cambodia to 
Ireland, and beyond. While otherwise quite diverse, this field is 
driven by a common desire to establish new relationships between 
artistic practice and other fields of knowledge production, from 
critical pedagogy to participatory design, and from activist 
ethnography to radical social work. In many cases it has been 
inspired by, or affiliated with, new movements for social and 
economic justice around the globe. Throughout this field of practice 
we see a persistent engagement with sites of resistance and activism, 
and a desire to move beyond existing definitions of both art and the 
political. This is one of the most rapidly expanding areas of 
contemporary art production. However, aside from a small number of 
well-established artists who operate primarily within the commercial 
gallery and biennial circuit, it has received relatively little 
substantive critical attention.

At FIELD we believe that the trans-disciplinary nature of this work 
requires a movement beyond the conventions of existing art theory and 
criticism. Thus, FIELD's editorial advisory board includes key 
thinkers in the areas of art practice, history and criticism, as well 
as philosophy, anthropology and sociology, among other fields. FIELD 
was founded by Grant Kester, a leading figure in the analysis of 
socially engaged art. His books Conversation Pieces: Community and 
Communication in Modern Art (University of California Press) and The 
One and the Many: Contemporary Collaborative Art in a Global Context 
(Duke University Press) have played a formative role in recent 
debates about the nature of this work. The journal is being produced 
with an editorial collective of graduate students in the Visual Arts 
department at the University of California, San Diego. 

Our first issue features essays by Luke Cantarella, Christine Hegel 
and George Marcus on new research methodologies at the intersection 
of design and ethnography, Marc Herbst on the relationship between 
East German cultural policy and socially engaged art practice today, 
Greg Sholette writing on the tenth anniversary of the bellwether 
Interventionists exhibition at MASS MoCA, Sebastian Loewe on the 
appropriation of the Occupy Movement by Documenta and the Berlin 
Biennale, Krzysztof Wodiczko's theorization of the role played by the 
"inner public" in his projection projects, and Sue Bell Yank's 
analysis of the tension between community and self-interest in Jeanne 
van Heeswijk's Freehouse project in Rotterdam. The issue also 
features interviews with Tania Bruguera, reflecting on her withdrawal 
from Immigrant Movement International, and Althea Thauberger on her 
Murphy Canyon Choir project with military families in San Diego.
For more information you can contact FIELD 
at <mailto:fieldjournal1 at gmail.com>fieldjournal1 at gmail.com.

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