Filed under: Creative Activism, Political Pranks
9 amazing political art projects of 2010
by Michael Lithgow
December 10, 2010
Nasty galleries, arrests, fast food, American imperialism, Olympic culture jamming, cyborgs and cute cartoons
The star of ‘engaged art’ is on the rise. The number of artists creating, performing, and exploring in the world of social and political reality is mushrooming. Or maybe that’s the way it has always been, and new technologies are allowing us to do end-runs around gate-keeping curators and mainstream media. Either way, we are discovering whole worlds of politically engaged and celebrated artists that not so long ago would just as likely have been escorted from the hallowed houses of high art for disturbing the peace.
Call it what you will — engaged art, social practice, avant-garde, dialogical aesthetics, community art, public art, activist art, radical art — audiences for the confounding, beautiful, horrible and hilarious kinds of symbolic dissidence these practices describe are growing. When Art Threat started three years ago there was only a few websites like us. Now there are dozens. This is a very good thing.
A top 10 (or 9) list is a necessarily troubled compromise made up as it is by hierarchy and exclusion. On the up side it’s like a map — something to help navigate an increasingly complicated and at times overwhelming volume of cultural choices. So here’s my map of people and organizations to watch for, some better known than others, but all involved in making art that gets under the skin and changes — at least I hope it does — in some undeniable way those who encounter it.
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