The reading about social practice art really speaks to a sort of shift in society that focuses more on the community and the world, and contributing to such, rather than focusing on individualism. As the article puts it, social practice art is “a reaction against the excess of individualism,” (Page 4) and I believe that it speaks to a change in people and art culture. All throughout art schools students learn to focus on themselves and their own meanings, even in my art classes we learn to develop our own internal voice and content. “We spend years in art school, where we are taught to explore ourselves,” (Page 7) and that’s definitely not a bad thing. The change in colleges to incorporate social practice art again references this trend of focusing away individualism and thinking about a community. It’s also related to the ideas of crowd-funding and group dynamics, as with the advent of technology and spaces for human communication, people grow closer and work together economically to better themselves and their world.
Like the article explains further, understanding that community takes time and patience. Lowe puts it best when he says that “It’d be an arrogant disregard of a community to come in and think you can grasp all the complexities of a place in a short time,” (Page 7) and when he explains how he spends years immersing himself in a community to understand how to best shape his art. That’s another indication about how there’s this focus away from an individual artist’s ideas and solely an internal drive, and a focus on being part of a community and contributing. That new trend is really interesting to me, and I think even though it was present earlier in history, the social media culture that spawned recently helps facilitate connection between people and a drive to better a community. In the past, any documentation or spread of effects of social practice art were limited by the technology of the time. Now, with the internet and social media, these artists can reach so many new people to show their art to an even larger community and connect with even more people.