DIY Culture Industry: Signifying Practices, Social Networks and Other Instrumentalizations of Everyday Art

art school

At the bottom of this page is a proposal for a book project organized by the head of the sculpture dept. at School of the Art Institute (formerly a curator at the MCA in Chicago, then MoCA in L.A.). Other recent proposals include one for having the School oversee and involve itself in the U.S. entry at the upcoming Venice Bienale. In that one she talks about how:

We must learn together through mutual experience to transcend boundaries and connect. Through the representation of America’s diversity and promise . . . the great promise of modernity can become a gift to all nations. . . The accompanying publication will manifest this same spirit of generosity and potentiality. SAIC’s advanced, fully open and uncommon interdisciplinary approach to education allows for such a collaboration among creative partners, offering multiple points of intersection. Art schools today are places of artistic research and production. So it is not surprising that in the last few years many contemporary curators have taken residence in major art schools, working both in teaching and administrative positions. So we find ourselves today with the conceptual framework and institutional capacity to take on the role of art-school-as-commissioner.

Aside from the obvious attempt to boost SAIC’s status within the hyper-competitive field of art school prestige and recruitment, the general characterization of art school here at time sounds incredibly technocratic (applauding the institutionalization of “artistic research and production”) but more often like a paternalistic NGO (gift, generosity?). And the work the school takes on, like the work of the artist as the school now defines it, becomes that of a facilitator.


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