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Omphaloskepsis Blog

Non-ordinary Connections

Aug 1, 2015


Non-ordinary Connection

Art connects us. It tells us we’re human, we’re like one another, we feel the same emotions. My mission as a human being, and my job as an artist, is to use art to create deep connections among us. Those deep connections already exist, but sometimes convention rewards us for ignoring them. The greater rewards, however, come from exploring them.

Non-ordinary Connection is a form of artwork called Social Sculpture, audience participation pieces in which the work itself is interdependent on the involved actions of the audience within the work, but more importantly with each other.

Social practice art, also referred to as Social Sculpture or Ironic Participation, is art that brings people together. Art critic Clair Bishop said that social art “Assumes the creative energy of participatory practices. It re-humanizes or at least de-alienates a society rendered numb and fragmented by the instrumentality of capitalism.”


My work deals with permission, scale, access and boundaries. Social Sculpture brings to light the crisis in relationship between art and society by appropriating its audience. It’s born out of an authentic desire to engage my audience. It goes beyond the pleasure principle to cross a threshold that can produce a change by recreating then revealing a blind spot—making the invisible visible.

Speaking at a conference for the Tate Modern in 2013, Shannon Jackson, in Social Turns: in Theory and Across the Arts, made the point that social practice art illuminates viewers’ interdependence and highlights the hidden relationship of people who appear non-relational. “Often political, it has its origins in Marxist theory: the reciprocal and all-sided dependence of the very individuals who are indifferent to one another is precisely what forms their social connection.”

Thus, social practice art reveals the interdependence of people who thought of themselves as independent, or even alienated, from one another. Its aesthetics are not beauty, but discomfort, antagonism and opposition.


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