Thursday, February 17, 2011

5 Questions (for Contemporary Practice) with Amy Balkin (@ Art21)

Check-out my feature with Amy Balkin at Art21 blog, with regards to her art of "counter-speculative spaces."

Some of my work deals with constructing “speculative counter-spaces” I’d like to see, such as a permanent global commons (in the project This is the Public Domain), or a clean-air park (Public Smog) in real space. I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting more equitable relations globally around access to and control of land, water, and air. But there’s also a range of issues raised by these kinds of projects, including questions of dilettantism when addressing issues of expropriation. It’s easy to think of current examples of brutal struggle over land, including land grabs, occupation, and forced expulsions, so what are the relative stakes?

But Walter Benjamin had this to say – ”One of the foremost tasks of art has always been the creation of a demand which could be fully satisfied only later” – and though he was speaking about future technological advancements that would allow for the production of new forms of art, I think it’s very helpful to consider, particularly in terms of the potential for positing counter-models in the context of aesthetic practice. And perhaps attempting to produce these spaces might move them further towards the realm of political possibility.
--Amy Balkin

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