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ART 365 A: Social Practice

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Meeting Time: 
MW 2:30pm - 5:20pm
ART 122
Timea Tihanyi
Timea Tihanyi

Syllabus Description:


ART365: Art and Social Practice

 WINTER 2017




ART 122

Instructor: Timea Tihanyi


Office: Art 328J     

Office hours: Please email for appointment

Welcome to Art and Social Practice, the practice of Socially Engaged Art

 Course Schedule / Links to Student Blogs / Artist Research

Course Description

The main focus of the course is on experiential learning, collaboration and expanding a dialogue about interaction and engagement in the public space, and the role of artists in the social process. Social Practice blurs the distinction between life and art, utilizing observation, participation, dialogue, archiving and direct action. The class will focus on the following topics: engagement and exploration in the public space, creating a community, mapping places, alternative economies, and interaction with non-art audiences. 

The main focus of the course is on making work about current social and cultural issues that are relevant to the students in the class. Around these, we will research, and explore various strategies for interaction, representation and critique.

Issues of immigration, the role of minorities in the social fabric, urban growth and transformation, the nature of the public space, technology mediated social experiences, the role of social and community activism, and art as being a medium for creative transformation in our contemporary life, will also be tackled. As a preparation for assignments, we are going to look at artist examples and discuss a few short readings, in order to better understand the historical background that nourishes social practice and the aesthetic issues it raises. 

This is a studio course, consisting of a series of studio assignments, some of which will be done at locations outside of the campus. Expect field trips, readings, individual research, group collaborations, and one artist research presentation. 

Download printable syllabus: Syllabus_ART365-SocPract_WIN2017.pdf and questionnaire_art365.pdf

Course learning outcomes

  • Identify important artists whose practice includes art under the genre referred to collectively as social practice;
  • Demonstrate ability to thoughtfully engage and reflect on these art practices via your own projects and making process;
  • Demonstrate ability to thoughtfully discuss aesthetic and ethical debates related to topics in social practice;
  • Compare and contrast social practices with the making of art objects that are presented in galleries and museums, and explore how social practice becomes accepted as art;
  • Design, develop and document art and creative expression in the social/public sphere.


Blog Archives + Canvas and Blog Help

This course is open to be working with any media of your choice. However, since a large extent of social practice projects are ephemeral and therefore they depend on proper documentation, it is required that you keep an online blog to keep track of your process and projects throughout the quarter.
 Project documentation is the bulk of what you might present during a critique. Record and collect your inspirations, discoveries, and evidences of the project development process consistently. You are expected to include writing (reflections, research, interviews, etc.) as well as visuals (sketches, photographic, and maybe audio/video documentation) for each project you are working on. This documentation is a significant part of the final grade and also part of your UW undergraduate art portfolio.

Artist Research

As part of the course, you are expected to find and research a contemporary artist whose work in social practice you find inspiring. Artist research presentations are scheduled throughout the quarter. List of Artists for research.


Final Critique:

Tuesday, March 14th 2:30-4:20pm Final presentations reviews and party. All online documentation due today. 


Final grade will be determined by the following: 

• Major Assignments #1-4: 40% 

• Contribution and Participation (in class activities, including planning, making, brainstorming, 
discussions, critiques and reviews): 

• Professionalism, Preparedness and Development (preparedness for class sessions, submitting small 
assignments on time, meeting work-in-progress check-points; taking initiative, and showing high level of 
professionalism during collaboration): 15% 

• Project Archive Blog: 15% 

• Artist Research: 10% 

Catalog Description: 
Introduces overlapping territories of art and social practice, the practice of Socially Engaged Art. Focuses on environmentalism, consumerism, economies, society and culture, activism, and the place for creative practice in our contemporary life.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
August 4, 2017 - 9:01pm