Social Practice

The incomplete Glossary.

Language is something we are shaping together. The list below is nothing else than a modest beginning to establish a language in common: it is an invitation to you to respond, to add and to improve it. Maybe one day it will grow into a Wiki for Social Art...

Action Art
Describes a form of performance art that put the audience into an active position.

Alternative Art Forms
Refers to performance, text based, installation and other hybrid forms of artistic expressions.

Art vs. Design
Art has its autonomous, independent course and can be a domain without boundaries. A work in art comes from art itself.

Change
"You never change something by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. Respond to a difficult situation with creative kindness. Be the change." Buckminster Fuller

Culture Jamming
The act of using existing mass media to comment on those very media themselves, using the original medium's communication method.

Collaborative Art
Greenmuseum.org differentiates three types of artistic collaborations:
1. At the most basic level are what might be termed technical collaborations, either between two artists (e.g. Gilbert and George or Linda Montano and Teching Hsieh) or between an artist and a printmaker or foundry.
2. We also find collaborations that break the 'fourth wall' of artistic creativity, transforming spectators into participants. These include spaces organized by the artist as well as more direct forms of participation in planning, implementation and data collection.
3. A third area of collaborative practice involves an even more extreme disavowal of the "ego imperialism" of artistic identity, through the artist's long-term involvement in a given site or community (...) Here the sublation of art and life is sought not through the introduction of quotidian material into the sanctified field of the art object, but through the dismantling of the artistic personality itself in a splay of mediatory practices and exchanges. Deprived of the venerating mantle of the gallery and the museum, the artist is rendered less majestic, but also more accessible, better able to reveal creative insight as a shared human capacity rather than a divine gift.

Councel for the Artist
Nikki Pugh distilled from a number of sources eight powerful statements which, as she puts it, "form the keystones to future artistic practice":
· Make exchanges with spaces
· Strive to achieve modest connections
· Set your own agenda
· Add to a culture of learning and experimentation
· Get the message across
· Meet a new network
· Resist the ascribed role of witness
· Circumnavigate predictability

Emergence
Emergence is the process of complex pattern formation from simpler rules. Emergent processes or behaviours can be seen in many places, from any multicellular biological organism to traffic patterns, cities or organizational phenomena.

Generative Art
refers to any art practice where the artist uses a system, such as a set of natural language rules, a computer program, a machine, or other procedural invention, which is set into motion with some degree of autonomy contributing to or resulting in a completed work or open creative process of some kind.

Gross National Happiness
Bhutan's guiding principle for its development is the Gross National Happiness and was pronounced by His Majesty King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, soon after his enthronement in 1972. GNH is a balanced and holistic approach to development, and is based on the conviction that man is bound by nature to search for happiness, and that it is the single most desire of every citizen.

Guerilla Art
is the surreptitious, and often sudden, creation or installation of unauthorized public art, often with the purpose of making an overt political statement. The term is often used interchangably with "street art."

Guerilla Philanthropy
Philanthropists and filmmakers, John Chester and Andre Miller have have traveled the east coast performing random acts of kindness for individuals down on their luck and on the streets, finding jobs, homes, even prosthetic limbs for the complete strangers they serendipitously encounter.

Gutai
(Japanese: concrete; substantial; definite) One of post-war Japan's most astonishing and provocative modern art movements ironically born in the highly traditional Kansai province. Gutai Bijutsu Kyokai (Gutai Art Association) was formed in 1954 in Osaka by Yoshihara Jiro, Kanayma Akira, Murakami Saburo, Shiraga Kazuo, and Shimamoto Shozo. The word has been translated into English as 'embodiment' or 'concrete'. Shiraga's Challenge to the Mud 1955, in which the artist rolled half naked in a pile of mud, remains the most celebrated event associated with the group. The rigoruous extinction of student protests in the late 60s in Japan brought not only the end for Gutai but for activating art in general that took out to the streets.

Happenings
In the late 1950s Allan Kaprow, the legendary American pioneer of performance art, coined the term 'Happening', describing an art form taking off from life and providing engaging situations.

Incubator
A congregation of creative minds in a medically approved, moderately sized enclosure left to stew awhile. Unwed to the conventional or expected and within an environment of controlled chaos, the subjects of an incubator take part in distinctive, memorable work or process.

Installation Art
Installation art is art that, through the use of sculptural materials and other media, seeks to modify the way we experience a particular space. Installation art is not necessarily confined to gallery spaces and can refer to any material intervention in everyday public or private spaces.

Interaction
Interaction is a response experience in which both actor and reactor are engaged in a mutually affecting experience. This means that the system is comprised of two interactive partners. In the case of interactive media, one partner may only be mildly interactive (such as a computer) and only programmatically so. While most of the computer actor's actions are the result of predetermined programming, if the variations are ample enough, it can be said that this actor is interactive (making it an interactor). Mostly, two humans (being inherently interactive) will create an interactive system or experience simple by conversing.

Interactor
A term for an interactive participant in an interactive experience. Other terms could include: user, participant, actor.

Life as Art
By Thích Nhat Hânh, Peace is Every Step, Bantam Books 1991:
"Everything we do is an act of poetry or a painting if we do it with mindfulness. Growing lettuce is poetry. Walking to the supermarket can be a painting. When we do not trouble ourselves about whether or not something is a work of art, if we just act in each moment with composure and mindfulness, each minute of our life is a work of art. Even when we are not painting or writing, we are still creating. We are pregnant with beauty, joy and peace, and we are making life more beautiful for many people. Sometimes it is best not to talk about art by using the word "art". If we just act with awareness and integrity, our art will flower, and we don't have to talk about it at all."

Meta Space
Themed environments that invite guests and provide a space that endorses both the needs of groups and individuals.

Memes
The selfsustained replication and spread of ideas or gestures in a manner akin to viruses that goes without human effort. There is a formum dedicated to the free dissemination of ideas called Memefest (Festival of Radical Communication) which sets out for its participants to generate and replicate positive and beneficial pieces of information that are transferable from one mind to another. Examples might include thoughts, ideas, theories, practices, habits, songs, dances and moods.

Moment
In physics, the moment of force (often just moment, though there are other quantities of that name such as moment of inertia) is a quantity that represents the magnitude of force applied to a rotational system at a distance from the axis of rotation.

Momentarium
A momentarium is a terrain vivarium, used to nurture behavior patterns and to examine or suspend the situational flow of daily life. Often in a momentarium the participating species' ecosystem is emulated on smaller scale and is framed with surprise and intervention.

Moment of Truth
Term used within service management defines all activities involved in the service delivery process. Indicates that defining point in a specific service encounter where interactions are most intense. Also referred to as service encounter.

Mono-Ha
(Japanese: the thing itself) Artist movement between 1945-1970s proposing a sense of amazement at everything. Born into the post-war years and the supposed ruins of consumer culture, a small group of artists were attempting to create a new, utopian reality. They proceeded as if art might be re-enchanted by shifting attention away from the objectification of images and to thecreation of a world of encounters, with everyday objects, that might end up looking like mythic gestures.

Oblique Strategies
A deck of statement cards created by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt that evolved from observations on the principles underlying what we are doing. Some Oblique Strategies were recognized in retrospect (intellect catching up with intuition), some were identified as they were happening, and others were formulated. They can be used as a pack (a set of posibilities being continuously reviewed in the mind) or by drawing a single card from a shuffled pack when a dilemma occurs in a working situation. In this case the card is trusted even if it appropriateness is quite unclear. They are not final, as new ideas will present themselves, and others will become self-evident.
Here some samples of artistic strategies:
· Abandon normal instructions
· Ask your body
· Convert a melodic element into a rhythmic element
· Discover your formulas and abandon them
· Imagine the piece as a set of disconnected events

Radical
"To be truly radical is to make hope possible, rather than despair convincing."
Raymond Williams

Resistance
Stands for a position, an attitude, and a measure. It is an individual or collective response. It can be political, or it can relate to physical properties of the known universe. It concerns citizens. It concerns artists. It concerns that which is local as well as that which is global. It is about forces, agency, strategy, play, and subversion. It is an argument. It seeks change, or it fights to stay the same. It mobilizes. It is unconscious. It is a side effect. It is intentional and affirmative.

Shamanism
Refers to the traditional healing and religious practices of Northern Asia (Siberia) and Mongolia. By extension, the concept of shamanism has been extended in common language to a range of traditional beliefs and practices that involve the ability to diagnose, cure, and sometimes cause human suffering by traversing the axis mundi and forming a special relationship with, or gaining control over, spirits.

Situationist
The Situationist International (SI), an international political and artistic movement, originated in the Italian village of Cosio d'Arroscia on 28 July 1957 with the fusion of several extremely small artistic tendencies: the Lettrist International, the International movement for an imaginist Bauhaus, and the London Psychogeographical Association.

Slow Movement
Presents a cultural shift toward slowing down life's pace amidst our hurry-up, instant-gratification culture where we are more and more unable to switch off.

Social Accupuncture
Term coined by actor and acupuncturist Darren O'Donnell for art that acts like accupuncture on the body politic, that needles us toward possible utopias — the art of civic engagement.

Social Media
Social media is an emerging term used by marketers to describe the "blogosphere of information, opinion, insight, speculation, and perspective," in the words of Chris Shipley. Since 2005 there is the Social Media Workgroup that investigates the development of social identity in the digital world. Web standard 2.0, Social Software and Social Networking are issues for the Social Media Workgroup.

Social Sculpture
Social Sculpture refers to a conception of art, framed in the 1970s by Beuys, as an interdiscplinary and participatory process in which thought, speech and discussion are core 'materials'. With this perception, all human beings are seen as 'artists' responsible for the shaping of a democratic, sustainable social order.

Stigmergy
is a method of communication in emergent systems in which the individual parts of the system communicate with one another by modifying their local environment.

Urban Mining
An "urban mine" is not to be mistaken for a mine located in a city, rather these mines do not require any digging into the ground — the urban mine is the stock of resources already existing in society.

Performance in Business
Wikipedia describes performance in business context as service provision (sometimes humorously referred to as dramalurgy). The location of the service delivery is referred to as stage and the objects that faciliate the service process are props. A script is a sequence of behaviors followed by al those involved. Some service dramas are tightly scripted others are more ad lib.

Performance Art
Forms of expression where the actions of an individual or a group at a particular place and in a particular time, constitute the work. It can happen anywhere, at any time, or for any length of time. Performance art can be any situation that involves four basic elements: time, space, the performer's body and a relationship between performer and audience. It is a tool which assists artists to ecstatically feel and face life.

Psychogeography
According to the article Preliminary Problems in Constructing a Situation (in Situationniste Internationale No. 1, 1958) "Psychogeography is the study of specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organised or not, on the emotions and behaviour of individuals".

Thoughtless Acts
The subtle and amusing ways that people react to the world around them. Thoughtless Acts reveal behaviors in environments not always perfectly tailored to needs and demonstrate the kind of real-world observational approach that can inspire artists and anyone involved in creative endeavors. Jane Fulton Suri and Ideo Magazine brought out a book on this topic.

Your feedback counts:
Feel free to suggest (or make up) a new term, edit the existing text to make this glossary more relevant.

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