Writing the Social

How can we write about the individuals and communities we encounter in our practice? How can writing about these social exchanges inform our practice as well as provide documentation/evaluation of the work? Using writing prompts and dialogue, we will consider these questions and develop techniques to write about the encounters in our practice.


Gretchen Coombs teaches in the School of Design at Queensland University of Technology. Her interests include art and design criticism/activism, specifically recent practices that challenge social structures within urban contexts. Her research involves artists, collectives, educators, and curators who are immersed in new ways of practicing art that intervenes in social and cultural processes to imagine new political subjectivities. Gretchen’s ethnographic research will culminate in a book entitled The Lure of the Social: ethnographies of practice in contemporary art (Intellect 2016).




Gretchen Coombs

Gretchen Coombs

Writer; Educator

Brisbane, Australia