Art/Aesthetics · Book-Text-Read-Zines · Public Space · Social/Politics

OPEN – Cahier on art and the public domain

For five years now Open is a cahier that reflects upon contemporary public domain from a cultural perspective. Through a thematic investigation into the changing conditions of public domain and through new ideas relating to this space, Open aims to make a structural contribution to the development of theories about these subjects and to function as a platform for reflection on socio-cultural and artistic practices. Among the international authors writing for Open are philosophers of culture, sociologists, media theorists, architecture and art critics and political scientists.

Open also works together with artists and designers, often in the form of special supplements, and occasionally invites guest editors to produce issues. The cahier is aimed at a diverse public that is interested in critical discourses and discussions about the relationship between cultural production and the public domain, and in the implications for this of processes such as globalization and mediatisation. Open wants to thus create and stimulate autonomous and experimental ideas concerning art and the public domain.

OPEN back issues

Text via Naipublishers

Architectonic · Art/Aesthetics · Book-Text-Read-Zines · Public Space · Social/Politics

Social Housing – Housing the Social: Art, Property and Spatial Justice

‘Social Housing – Housing the Social: Art, Property and Spatial Justice’ examines ongoing transformations in social housing and asks how these transformations are reflected in the aspirations and practices of artists.

Editors: Andrea Phillips and Fulya Erdemci

Housing provides essential shelter, but also gives form to the social. It represents and embodies the materiality of civic politics and thus demonstrates the uneven nature of spatial justice at local and global scale. For many years artists have contributed to the design and organization of structures of living together, often with ambivalent effect. Whilst many have imagined – and attempted to implement – radical new forms of social housing, as alternatives to both privatization and state provision, they have also ushered in waves of gentrification, thus contributing significantly to a story of capitalization now dominant within urban infrastructures. Social Housing – Housing the Social: Art, Property and Spatial Justice questions the politics of urban practice from a variety of geopolitical and disciplinary viewpoints, from liberal private initiatives to the Occupy movement, from Almere to Ramallah, mixing artistic and architectural contributions with those of sociologists, urban historians, philosophers, and activists

‘Social Housing – Housing the Social: Art, Property and Spatial Justice’ is the second volume in the ‘Actors, Agents and Attendants’ series of publications and symposia initiated by SKOR | Foundation for Art and Public Domain to investigate the role of cultural practice in the organization of the public domain.

All text and image via SKOR.

Art/Aesthetics · Performativity · Photographics · Projects · Social/Politics · Theory

The Dirty Art Department at the Sandberg Institute Amsterdam

‘The Dirty Art Department offers itself as an open space for all possible thought, creation, and action. It sees itself as a dynamic paradox, flowing between the pure and the applied, the existential and the deterministic, and the holy and the profane. It is concerned with individuality, collectivity, and our navigation of the complex relationship between the built world and the natural world, and other people and ourselves. It’s a place to build objects or totems, religions or websites, revolutions or business models, paintings, or galaxies.
The Dirty Art Department comes from a common background of design and applied art, it seeks however to reject the Kantian division between the pure and the applied arts. Since ‘god is dead’ and ‘the spectacle’ is omnipresent, it sees the creation of alternative and new realities as the way to reconsider our life situation on this planet.
The Dirty Art Department is open to students from all backgrounds including designers, artists, bankers, skeptics, optimists, economists, philosophers, sociologists, independent thinkers, poets, urban planners, farmers, anarchists, and the curious.’

Jerszy Seymour

Dirty Art Department

Art/Aesthetics · Film/Video/New Media · Human-ities · Performativity · Philosophy · Social/Politics

Beautiful Souls: What makes people good—sometimes

The horrors of the twentieth century left artists and thinkers preoccupied with the problem of evil. How could Germans herd Jewish families into the gas chambers? How could Serbs turn on their Bosnian neighbors, or Hutus pick up machetes and carry out the bloody work of genocidaires?

In Beautiful Souls, Eyal Press takes on a different challenge, more suited to the twenty-first century: He suggests that the true mystery is not what impels ordinary people into the moral abyss, but rather how some people manage to avoid the abyss altogether, by refusing to participate in atrocities. For every horror, there are courageous, conscientious resisters: Germans who hid Jews, Hutus who saved Tutsis, Serbs who saved Muslims. Even the more quotidian forms of evil always generate some resistance: Consider the Enron scandal’s whistle-blowers.

But what enables some to resist while most go along? Beautiful Souls, Press writes, is about “nonconformists, about the mystery of what impels people to do something risky . . . when thrust into a morally compromising situation: stop, say no, resist.”

Press is right to view this as an abiding mystery. Today, thanks to decades of meticulous research by historians, sociologists, anthropologists, and psychologists, our understanding of how ordinary people come to participate in—or turn a blind eye toward—atrocities and crimes has become fairly sophisticated. In contrast, our understanding of how and why some ordinary people turn into resisters remains mostly a matter of guesswork.

Excerpt of an article written by Rosa Brooks at Bookforum. Read it HERE