Dr Sophie Hope,
Through her practice-based research, Sophie Hope inspects the uncertain relationships between art and society. This involves establishing how to declare politics through practice, thinking what it means to be paid to be critical in evaluation and devising tactics to question notions of participation. Sophie teaches and facilitates workshops dealing with issues of public art, the politics of economics of socially engaged art and curating as critical practice and has recently completed her PHD: ‘Participating in the Wrong Way? Practice Based Research into Cultural Democracy and the Commissioning of Art to Effect Change’ at Birkbeck, University of London, where she currently works as a lecturer in Arts Policy and Management. www.sophiehope.org.uk
Ted Purves is a writer and artist based in Berkeley, California. His public projects and writings are centered on investigating the practice of art in the world, particularly as it addresses issues of localism and power, systems of exchange, and critical occupations of social forms. He produces socially-based projects in collaboration with Susanne Cockrell under the umbrella name of Fieldfaring www.fieldfaring.org. Their most recent project, The Red Bank Pawpaw Circle, a large public planting project, was completed in in Cincinnati, Ohio in Fall 2012.
Purves was the founder of the MFA concentration in Social Practice at California College of the Arts in 2005, and is currently the Chair of the MFA Fine Arts Program. His book, What We Want is Free: Generosity and Exchange in Recent Art, was published by SUNY Press in 2005. An expanded edition- What We Want Is Free: Critical Exchanges in Recent Art, co-edited with Shane Aslan Selzer, will be published by SUNY Press in early 2014.
CUBA & USA
Due to last minute scheduling conflict for the artist, Tania Bruguera will not be present at Spectres. However, we will show a video interview created for the conference.
Tania Bruguera is a Cuban interdisciplinary artist currently working on the 5 year Immigration Movement International to explore issues surrounding migration, while empowering the immigrant community. Functioning as flexible community space in the multinational and transnational neighborhood of Corona, Queens, it’s mission is to re-define the immigrant as a unique, global citizen in a post-national world and to implement the concept of Arte Útil, Useful Art, in which artists actively implement the merger of art into society’s urgent social, political and scientific issues. www.taniabruguera.com/cms
Dr Will Garrett-Petts,
Will Garrett-Petts is Professor of English and Associate Vice-President of Research and Graduate Studies at Thompson Rivers University. He is former Research Director of the Small Cities Community - University Research Alliance - a national research program exploring the cultural future of smaller communities. His recent books and catalogues include Imaging Place, Artists’ Statements and the Nature of Artistic Inquiry, The Small Cities Book: On the Cultural Future of Small Cities, and PhotoGraphic Encounters: The Edges and Edginess of Reading Prose Pictures and Visual Fictions. He’s currently engaged in exploring questions of cultural capital, community mapping, and the artistic animation of small cities. Forthcoming book publications include Whose Culture is It, Anyway? and Cultural Mapping as Cultural Inquiry.