In this lab we explore the idea of 'social practice' in art and culture, as an open yet integrated approach, by looking at real world scenarios relating to creativity and collaborative methods, that can be used by artists and researchers who work individually or with organizations and communities.
Evelyn and John Grzinich use their 12+ years of experience as both artists and organizers running MoKS (moks.ee), to reflect on the idea of social practice in art and culture. This idea is not new, but embodies a fusion of various artistic practices such as "community art", "relational aesthetics" and branches of public and political art that deal with localized issues of social justice, education and the environment. What has made the idea of social practice more widely used, is the proliferation of work done by independent artists, groups and researchers outside of traditional institutional and art world contexts, since the early 1990s. Yet, rather than debate the term, our plan is to look at and discuss some case studies to formulate a shared idea of social practice, then work through a set of techniques, to uncover some of the creative potential of the workshop group itself. The techniques will focus on creative and participatory approaches using writing, drawing, and more performative methods of observation such as walking and listening, to reflect on us, our environment and our process. Who is this workshop for? We welcome those who have interest and/or experience with community groups and process oriented creative and experimental research methods. Side interests can include rural communities, collaboration, art and critical contemporary art practices. Over the years MoKS has developed a working relationship with a number of anthropologists and ethnographers due to our setting and working strategies which often parallel methods of "participant observation", "creative observation" etc.