1. What is the role of art in social practice? And what kind of role or function could it play? Does art has this responsibility to participate in social practice?
An artist basically uses art to communicate his idea to a group or community of people. Once an artist’s idea is communicated, then it can be built upon by other social practitioners. As far as social practice is concerned, art can be used as a way to promote the practice. Like the example given in the article, the occupy movement used art in order to promote the movement. Similarly, there are various communities in Asia, where administrators destroyed and rebuilt entire villages for capitalistic motives, but they said it is for aesthetic concern. Those residents in the villages used to have strong social connection or belongingness toward their community, in order to not hurt those residents’ feelings (or, to create a nicer saying to the public), the administrators used the saying that the purpose is for pursuing higher common profit of citizens. The re-building is termed as social practice because it is being done for the people who live there by building architectural structures or art galleries. A lot of times, designers come up with possible solutions for social change and give it a form of art in order for their solutions to reach out and speak to the community they have been targeting. We have seen architects doing that while re-building different communities. For example, companies, architects and NGOs want to re-build the slums in Mumbai, all for different reasons but leading up to the same goal, some of the reasons are capitalistic yet some are not, but still stick on to the idea that it is to bring about a change in the lives of people who reside there.
2. Is art a tool, form, container, or an approach in social practice? What is the idea behind an artistic action?
Art is also totally dependent on how people use it. Rirkit Tirivanija’s 1992 artwork example, mentioned in the article; was about serving curry and rice to people visiting the exhibition; but why is it art? or even social practice? Serving curry is building an aesthetic relation to the art piece by involving people in the art itself. But what led to this artistic action? Was it just a way to have people participate in something the artist made and eventually only a means for the artist to promote themselves? Art becomes social practice when it is not only addressed to the community but also does something for the community.
3. If art has the function of carrying out social practice / idea, since usually the society / community has longer existence and history, how fundamental could this idea be? Would it be just a temporary thing?
How does an artist know if what they are building is going to live for a long time or just temporarily be a piece of art that is spoken or debated about by other people. As mentioned above, art is an idea communicated through the art piece to a community, but a community stays together for a long time, in that case how is it that art can continue to influence the community without being exhaustive? How do we know that an idea put across by an artist is something that is going to be relevant for generations in the community?
4. Is collaboration inherently anti-capitalist? If so, how so and why? If not, why not?
Collaboration is not entirely anti-capitalist, but at some point the monetary desires need to be set aside in order for the collaboration to work out. At some point however, it is going to be driven by capitalist motives. Put together a group of artists and social practitioners to come up with an idea for a space in the city; both would be working on the same goal, but in order to make the most of the space it is important for them to collaborate. A balance between monetary and social aspects should be maintained in order for the collaboration to work out well.
– Ritika & Mennie