"Art as Social Action . . . is an essential guide to deepening social art practices and teaching them to students." —Laura Raicovich, president and executive director, Queens Museum
Art as Social Action is both a general introduction to and an illustrated, practical textbook for the field of social practice, an art medium that has been gaining popularity in the public sphere. With content arranged thematically around such topics as direct action, alternative organizing, urban imaginaries, anti-bias work, and collective learning, among others, Art as Social Action is a comprehensive manual for teachers about how to teach art as social practice.
Along with a series of introductions by leading social practice artists in the field, valuable lesson plans offer examples of pedagogical projects for instructors at both college and high school levels with contributions written by prominent social practice artists, teachers, and thinkers, including:
Mary Jane Jacob
Jen de los Reyes
Jeanne van Heeswick
Lesson plans also reflect the ongoing pedagogical and art action work of Social Practice Queens (SPQ), a unique partnership between Queens College CUNY and the Queens Museum.
Art as Social Action
An Introduction to the Principles and Practices of Teaching Social Practice Art
Edited by Gregory Sholette, Edited by Chloë Bass, Edited by Social Practice Queens
1 May 2018
6.00 x 9.00in.
About the author
Gregory Sholette is an artist, writer, and activist focused on excavating the history and theory of socially engaged art. His books include Delirium and Resistance: Activist Art and the Crisis of Capitalism and Dark Matter: Art and Politics in an Age of Enterprise Culture. He is a graduate of the Whitney Independent Studies Program, holds a PhD from the University of Amsterdam, and teaches Social Practice Queens, Queens College, CUNY, which he cofounded with Maureen Connor and the Queens Museum in 2010.
is an artist and public practitioner focused on scales of interpersonal intimacy and daily life as a site of deep research. She is a regular contributor to Hyperallergic
, where she writes about the urban environment, performance, social practice, and race. Her artistic work has been supported by many organizations, including the Laundromat Project, the Pulitzer Foundation, and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. A graduate of Yale and Brooklyn College, she is an assistant professor of art, teaching in Social Practice Queens, Queens College, CUNY.
"Art as Social Action presents a sharp set of pedagogical tools for teaching and learning about art as a vehicle for social engagement. Having evolved from an innovative collaboration between Queens College and Queens Museum, the book's offerings are embedded in the workings of both community and artists, breaking down the very idea of what participation means in art and non-art contexts. Key questions of authorship, which audiences are served, how does engagement happen, and whose needs are met and how are addressed with forthright vigor. The volume importantly provides rigorous interrogation of the process as well as the outcomes; it is an essential guide to deepening social art practices and teaching them to students." —Laura Raicovich, president and executive director, Queens Museum, NYC
"It's no small thing to educate at the intersection of art and social justice. It's a scope of inquiry that has tripped up art historians, artists, and college deans for multiple decades. This contribution is valuable to educators in its insight, pragmatism, and breadth." —Nato Thompson, artistic director of Creative Time, author of Culture as a Weapon: The Art of Influence in Everyday Life
"This book is a great resource that connects the dots between the pedagogy for socially engaged art and the most pressing pressure points for social change. In doing so, it reinforces the urgency of this art practice, and signals clearly that social practice prioritizes societal change over academicism." —Paul Ramirez Jonas, artist and professor, Hunter College CUNY