Thursday, May 29, 2008

Social Sculpture

“Only on condition of a radical widening of definitions will it be possible for art and activities related to art [to] provide evidence that art is now the only evolutionary-revolutionary power. Only art is capable of dismantling the repressive effects of a senile social system that continues to totter along the deathline: to dismantle in order to build ‘A SOCIAL ORGANISM AS A WORK OF ART’… EVERY HUMAN BEING IS AN ARTIST who – from his state of freedom – the position of freedom that he experiences at first-hand – learns to determine the other positions of the TOTAL ART WORK OF THE FUTURE SOCIAL ORDER.”

Beuys statement dated 1973, first published in English in Caroline Tisdall: Art into Society, Society into Art (ICA, London, 1974), p.48. Capitals in original.

Joseph Beuys
made famous this notion of social sculpture. I have been interested in this line of thinking for many years, hence my focus on the table and dinnerware and accoutrement's for sharing meals. I am introducing this concept here now because I hope to engage a conversation about art as a social intervention and the future of communication, particularly as the Internet is developing, as a means to produce a less aggressive means of being on the planet together.

1 comment:

gregory said...

good subject ... and just to let you know, how i know about you is from somewhere on the net, a friendfeed thing maybe.. so the spreading of memes is really accelerating

i don't know about the social influence of art .... it would seem to require an artist not to be influenced by the times, which is extremely rare...

and you should get off this blogger platform immediately.. why? the article is on another page than the comments, so i have to click back to remind myself of what i want to say, and with blogger i sometimes lose what i have written when i do that ... also, if you use disqus, the commenters can talk to each other as well as to you, so the flow increases...

art is element of transformation, good topic.