A response to ‘Are dialogic and relational aesthetics relevant to all participatory and co-creative practitioners?’

On The Edge Research

This excellent piece (Chris Fremantle’s blog 6.1.2014) frames the debate on participation and co-creation in art and design as a priviledging of process (over product) and social concerns (over artistic concerns). This presupposes in some way a radical break with what has gone before that might have particular relevance at this point in time to design, architecture and new media.

There is without question a perceived ‘Social Turn’ in art (Lind 2005/6, Bishop 2006/12, Jackson 2011) and this is frequently articulated as a concern with process and the social (Bishop 2004). However, to play devil’s advocate for a moment (as Claire Bishop herself suggests in 2012), how are these concerns not true of all art and any time? Have artists not always situated their practices within the social? In what sense is this set of concerns a new endeavour, a turn in direction from what went before?

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