Arte Útil: Art as a Social Tool

I just spent the last two days at MoMA as a participant in La escuela de Arte Útil conceived by the Cuban artist Tania Bruguera.   There were close to thirty participants and for two days we learned under the guidance of Tania, more about the lexicon of Arte Útil, of what it is/isn’t, of it’s shortcomings and it’s potential.  Here are some of my notes from the workshop:

Can we see art not as a production but an implementation of a process? (Artwork becomes a case study, establish aesthetics as a system of transformation, no longer about the arura of the work but the execution of the intervention)

Can we see ethical gesture as a category of beauty? (beauty comes out of the effectiveness of the gesture, not efficiency. It’s not about functioning better but functioning differently)

Can we make art not to make the world work best but to make the world work differently?
(Use artistic thinking to challenge the field within which it operates)

What are the consequences of the art project? What is the afterlife of art? (Who ultimately benefits?)

Art should not be judged, art should be discussed. Let’s not talk about how it LOOKS but how it OPERATES.

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