The Social Turn: Collaboration and its Discontents
An interesting chapter from Bishops’ book Artificial Hells, we discussed the problems that occur when art becomes instrumentalised by the state. Somewhere along the way (social policy under new labour)it became arts job to cure society’s ills; money was made available for projects with a social focus and almost all funding now comes with some public engagement strings attached. The problem is that while these projects may be socially beneficial, it doesn’t necessarily follow that they are good art. They are being judged on the basis of how successful they are as social projects, yet not being compared to other (non-art-based) social projects nor being judged on an aesthetic level, critically, as art works. It looked at the politics, ethics and problems in involving people in artworks.