Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > Course Catalog 

Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Timea Tihanyi
ART 365
Seattle Campus

Social Practice

Introduces overlapping territories of art and social practice, the practice of Socially Engaged Art. Focuses on environmentalism, consumerism, economies, society and culture, activism, and the place for creative practice in our contemporary life.

Class description

This course introduces overlapping territories of Art and Social Practice, the practice of Socially Engaged Art. The main focus of the course is on experiential learning and expanding a dialogue about art making through engaging local and global issues and communities. The class will focus on the following topics: environmentalism, consumerism, economies, society and culture, activism, and the place for creative practice in our contemporary life. We are going to look at the historic background that nourishes social practice and the aesthetic issues it raises. The main focus is on current social issues and research, as well as exploring various strategies for representing, critiquing, and otherwise addressing these issues.

Student learning goals

Complete and document a series of Social Practice Art projects.

Explore, investigate real life social issues and various creative artistic solutions to present, confront, subvert, document, relieve, and/or solve them.

Gain practice with interview and documentation process, tools and techniques.

Gain familiarity with artists and practices of socially engaged art.

General method of instruction

This is a studio course, consisting of a series of studio assignments, some of which will be done at locations outside of the campus. Expect field trips, readings and one artist research and presentation. Part of the class is a week-long workshop (times to be determined) with a guest artist working in social practice. Please expect to commit a reasonable amount of studio time/week outside of class. Consultation and demos on unfamiliar materials and techniques are always available upon your request. Class discussions, group consultations, critiques and one-on-one consultations will provide you with feedback on your work. You will be also asked to maintain and present a Process log/journal/blog: This course is open to be working with any media of your choice. However, since a large extent of social practice projects are ephemeral, it is required that you keep a log/journal or a blog of your inspirations, discoveries and project development process throughout the quarter. This is a form of documentation and will be reviewed regularly.

Recommended preparation

No prerequisites. This course is for an interdisciplinary practitioner in either studio art, architecture, design, social studies, communication, political science, economics, business, or any other discipline. Keeping informed about world issues and history is useful.

Class assignments and grading

Course content: Definitions and Topics for Social Practice What is Community? / Creating communities Participation / Participatory artworks Dialogue and Interview strategies for the artist Frameworks of Collaboration Place and culture: What is Local? Food as art Alternative modes of working: Performance, sound, media, publication Documentation for social practice

Your final grade will be determined by the following: • Experimentation, effort, artistic merit of completed projects: 50% • Participation in class activities, including work time, critiques, discussions : 40% • Professional manner, individual effort, commitment, progress throughout the quarter: 10%


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Timea Tihanyi
Date: 05/03/2013