The 2010 Creative Time Summit - Revolutions in Public Practice


About the 2010 Creative Time Summit


At “Revolutions in Practice 2,” the 2010 Creative Time Summit, a diverse international group of socially engaged artists presented specific projects to the general public and discussed a critical issue raised at the previous year’s conference: the idea that socially engaged art “preaches to the choir.” If this is true, then how do we assess the success of socially engaged art? How do we define the purpose of the work? What, in fact, is the “choir,” and is it bound by the racial, geographic, gender, economic, and post-colonial lines that continue to haunt the field itself? As the passionate dialogue unfolded, it became eminently clear that issues of audience are a critical element of any discussion of this work.


Keynote speaker at the Summit was actor Wendell Pierce (who in 2007 played Vladimir in Paul Chan’s Waiting for Godot in New Orleans, a Creative Time project). Curators from Mexico, England, Spain, Lebanon, Nigeria, and Thailand reported on local forms of socially engaged art. Many of the presenters represented the vast community of artists who not only demure the spotlight, but may in fact view financial success as inconsistent with their activist aspirations.


Held at Cooper Union’s Great Hall over two days, with presentations, panel discussions, and conversations with the audience, the 2010 Summit provided a platform from which to call a critical community to action. Moreover, Creative Time invited audiences to participate in discussions during the event and afterwards, on an online, post-event discussion moderated by Gregory Sholette. Finally, we also live streamed this event, enabling viewers from around the globe to contribute their thoughts and ask questions.