George Yudice and Osvaldo Sanchez
Date: Friday December 03
Time: 1:00 - 3:00
Place: Regis Center for Art - Influx Auditorium
Introduction: Branislav Jakovljevic, Assistant Professor of Theatre Art, University of Minnesota.
“Discerning the Heuristic Dimension of Public Art”
Our dialogue will focus on public or participatory art through which publics constitute themselves and experience something extraordinary in the process. We are interested in those practices that can catalyze a public experience, of what it is to come together as a public. Inasmuch as these practices generate a heuristic process whereby people constitute themselves (in public), engaging in self-making, we elect to regard these practices as enabling artistic acts. We understand, moreover, that such practices are not limited to the artistic arena, which is institutionally bound, and can be found in activities usually attributed to other fields: education, community action, urban development, etc. In other words, the extraordinary to which we refer is not at odds with the ordinary, and may in fact ensue from it in the very heuristic that a given practice generates. The heuristic as we understand it, is not something which puts itself at the service of a practice (e.g., a method which an art practice assumes); it is rather a dimension inherent in that practice, just as the epistemic, the aesthetic or the ethical are also dimensions of any art work. None of these dimensions can be separated out for they are inherent in the structure of the practice. The heuristic, in our view, is that dimension in which the experience of subjective and intersubjective creation/creativity/revelation transpires.
It is for this reason that we also understand that the enabling character of these practices is not the same as an instrumentally-driven notion of empowerment. While we believe that there is a political valence to practices that catalyze publicness and experiences of civic belonging, we do not define the political in terms of utility and effective results. This, indeed, is the problem that has plagued many discussions of political art, which assume, explicitly or implicitly, that artistic representations are the most effective means of changing social and political realities such as inequality, prejudice, violence, etc. According to this view, the heuristic process never reveals its political potential. If it does it is shackled to specific outcomes, therefore relinquishing the open-endedness of public domain experiences as a coming together of social subjects [see Osvaldo Sánchez’s “Curatorial Statement” for inSite_05 and George Yúdice’s The Expediency of Culture for a critique of this view].
Can there be an heuristics without a preconceived goal? Can the “purpose” of such art be to catalyze exchanges (among people, people and contexts, people and institutions, etc.) without there being specific goals. What then is the politics of such art? We are especially interested in those expressions and practices whose action is constitutive of a public experience, whose artistic essence resides in heuristic strategies like game playing, fictional narratives, disseminating informational archives, mapping, surveying, generating models of affiliation and community consensus, recording everyday acts of cultural resistance, and even assuming the political itself in political events and mass spectacles. These may be the act of artists but also curators, organizers, communities, etc. Moreover, we should like to consider in what way these acts are expressions of identities in flux. What does it mean to be concerned about daily life in the city as a political experience? How does that shape one’s sense of self, community, politics, and aesthetics in the sense of providing the necessary terms for creating of a temporary public domain?
The heuristic, like the aesthetic or the epistemic, has always been a dimension of artistic practice, but in given historical moments or in relation to given artistic movements, the heuristic may have greater relief. One obvious example is the surrealist practice of creating a collage of words and images in the game of chance of the cadavre exquis. It did not have one specific instrumentality but opened up a range of logics: the (ironic?) end product of a “work,” the forms of interrelatedness generated by the game, the challenge to art’s institutionality, etc. We are referring to experiences in which the co-participants come to sense, witness, intuit, move with and/or channel a creative energy that is not essentially or exclusively aesthetic. We are interested in art practices in which the heuristic enables the discernment or discovery of the warp and woof of interrelatedness. An interrelatedness that shapes civic belonging and urban identity as a self-constructed and contingent community in ways not limited to those factors that serve societal or institutional utility.
Biography on George Yudice
Born: New York, New York USA
Lives: New York, New York USA
Theorist, Cultural Critic, Author,
Professor of American Studies & Spanish & Portugues, New York University, N.Y., N.Y.
George Yúdice is Professor of American Studies Program and of Spanish and Portuguese at New York University. He is Director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. He also directs the Privatization of Culture Project for Research on Cultural Policy and the Inter-American Cultural Studies Network, whose purpose is to engage scholars, intellectuals, activists and artists in North-South dialogue on the role of cultural work in furthering citizen participation in aesthetic, political, social, and economic matters. His research interests include cultural policy; globalization and transnational processes; the organization of civil society; the role of intellectuals, artists and activists in national and transnational institutions; comparison of diverse national constructions of race and ethnicity. He is the author of Vicente Huidobro y la motivación del lenguaje poético (Buenos Aires, 1977); Cultural Policy, co-authored with Toby Miller (Sage Publications, 2002) El recurso de la cultura (Barcelona: Gedisa, 2003), in English The Expediency of Culture (Duke UP, forthcoming December 2003). He has in progress Culture and Value: Essays on Latin American Literarature and Culture and Theories of the Americas (a reader for Blackwell). He is also co-editor (with Jean Franco and Juan Flores) of On Edge: The Crisis of Contemporary Latin American Culture (1992) and co-editor of the “Cultural Studies of the Americas” book series with the University of Minnesota Press. He has written widely on literature, art, and culture in the U.S. and in Latin America. For the past seven years he has been conducting research on systems of support for art and culture in the US, in several Latin American countries and in international institutions. He is a member of the Executive Council of the Latin American Studies Association, and has been on the Executive Council of the Modern Language Association. He is affiliated with the Center for Arts and Culture in Washington D.C., and is a consultant for the U.S.-Mexico Fund for Culture; the Associação Internacional Arte Sem Fronteiras; UNESCO; InCorpore: and several other organizations. He has been an editor of the journal Social Text and is currently an advisory editor for Cultural Studies, Found Object, and Topia: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies.
Selected Career Highlights:
- Política Cultural, co-authored with Toby Miller (Barcelona: Gedia, 2004)
- The Expediency of Culture: The Uses of Culture in the Global Era. (Durham: Duke University Press, 2003) 480pp.
- El recurso de la cultura. (Barcelona/Buenos Aires: Editorial Gedisa, 2003).
- Cultural Policy, co-authored with Toby Miller (London: Sage Press, 2002).
- Vicente Huidobro y la motivación del lenguaje (Buenos Aires: Editorial Galerna, 1978), 311 pp.
- The Challenge of Cultural Policy (submitted to “Cultural Politics,” Social Text series, U Minnesota Press, undeer consideration)
- Consumers and Citizens, editor and translator, and with an introduction (University of Minnesota Press, 2001)
- On Edge: The Crisis of Contemporary Latin American Culture, edited with Jean Franco and Juan Flores (Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1992).
- Contemporary Cuban Culture, special issue of Social Text, 15 (1986). Edited, introduced and translated.
Ph.D. - Romance Languages - 1977 - Princeton Univsity. Princeton New Jersey.
M.A. - Latin America Literature - 1971 - University of Illinois
B.A. - Spanish/Chemistry - 1970 - Hunter College. New York, New York
Bibliography (download .pdf)
Biography on Osvaldo Sanchez
Born: Havana, Cuba
Lives: San Diego, CA, U.S.A. and Tijuana, Mexico
Art Historian, Curator, Museum Director, and Author
Artistic Director of inSite_05 and Curator of Interventions , he also served as Co-curator of inSITE2000-01. Between 2000-01 Sánchez acted as Director of the Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo and from 1997 to 2000 he was Director of the Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil in Mexico City. Art Columnist for Reforma , a Mexico City newspaper, he also served as Director of the IV and V International Forum of Contemporary Art Theory (FITAC). Sánchez has lectured extensively at numerous institutions, including Bard College, the Guggenheim Museum, Centro de Arte Reina Sofia and the University of Austin in Texas and has authored texts for diverse publications such as Third Text, Grand Street, Sulfur, and Art Nexus.
Selected Career Highlights:
- 1977-1982 - M.B.A. Art History. Universidad de La Habana. Cuba.
- 2003 - Artistic Director. Insite_05. San Diego/ Tijuana.
- 2000-2003 - Profesor at Universidad Iberoamericana. Master Studies. Art Department. Mexico City.
- Co-Curator for Insite 2000 Site Specific Projects. Tijuana-San Diego. (Editor for the Insite 2000-2001 Catalogue)
- 2002 - Fellowship for Curatorial Research. American Center Foundation, New York
- 2001 - Director of Museo de arte contemporáneo internacional Rufino Tamayo. Mexico City
- 2000 - International Program for Museum’s professionals.
- Museum of Modern Art. Nueva York.
- 1999 - Fellowship. (Binational Comitee for the Arts Funds. U.S.-Mexico. Rockefellefer Foundation) Fideicomiso binacional FONCA-Rockefeller
- 1998-2001 - Director of Museo de arte contemporáneo Carrillo Gil. Mexico City.
- 1998 - Director at the Office for International Cultural Exchanges. and Promotion. Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes. Mexico City.
2000 - International Program for Museum’s professionals Museum of Modern Art. Nueva York.
1977-1982 - M.B.A. Art History, Universidad de La Habana. Cuba.
Bibliography (download .pdf)