The 2011 Creative Time Summit - Living as Form


About the 2011 Creative Time Summit


The third annual Creative Time Summit launched the exhibition Living as Form, the first-ever survey of socially engaged art, which was itself informed by the range of work presented at previous Summits. With more than 100 projects on display, selected by an international team of twenty curatorial advisors, eight newly commissioned works, and a web archive of more than 350 projects, the exhibition-was conceived as a broad attempt to take stock of socially engaged art. It was first presented at the historic Essex Street Market and, in a partnership with International Curators International, continues to travel to venues across the globe.


The 2011 Creative Time Summit expanded from previous iterations to include not only curators, scholars, and visual artists, but also those working in theater, architecture, and dance, as well as in social justice. It included the Summit’s signature 8-minute presentations, as well as intimate panel discussions that unfolded over the weekend following the Summit. The final such discussion culminated in a march to Zucotti Park, where the Occupy Wall Street movement had been born barely a week prior. Summit keynote speakers were philosopher and theorist Gerald Raunig, journalist and best-selling author Laura Flanders, and musician and performance artist Laurie Anderson. My Barbarian kicked off the day with a participatory performance during which dozens of attendees joined them on stage.


Finally, this Creative Time Summit occurred during a time of unrest and revolution, sparked in large part by the Arab Spring, which ignited the streets of cities including Madrid, Athens, Madison, and New York, where diverse publics mobilized as governments withdrew public funding from crucial programs and services and continued their efforts to crush unions. Where these efforts to make systemic change would go, however, was not–and is not–clear. The Summit nonetheless provided a bit of clarity as to possible tools and practices that can be employed by culture producers and others as these movements grow.