By Tracee Johnson
On February 3rd through February 8th, art theorist Stephen Wright visited faculty and students from the Otis Public Practice Graduate program to discuss the frequently contemplated question in our field of, “WHEN does Social Practice occur?” When is the social practiced or become social? Where does it draw its knowledge and inspiration from? How does it engage with other practices and art theory? For the first five days, casual discussions were held for over two hours each morning in rotating cafes and coffee shops. On the final day, local artists and community guests were invited to participate in a culminating discussion, further diving into a discussion about what it means to be a social practice artist.
Starting from the premise that the vocabulary and even the genealogy of social practice have yet to be determined, the conversations flowed in and around descriptive themes within social practice. Stephen’s “lexicon” of social practice was influential in guiding trends that arose and definitions that were debated. Student’s individual art practices were highlighted as major case studies to further map the goals and propositions of social practice artists. Stephen Wright, Suzanne Lacy and Bill Kelley Jr., amongst other artists/professors, helped to further guide the conversations.
We invite you to download a podcast series summarizing the major themes and discussions from each day.
Conversation with theorist Stephen Wright on the promise of Social Practice by Bill Kelley Jr. (MFA Public Practice Faculty)