“The System Isn’t Broken. It’s Working Exactly As Intended”

We kicked off a series of artist discussions, called Creative Conversations, on April 19 that asks artists how they are dealing with important social issues. In the first part of our series we brought five Creative Capital artists together to discuss how they are using their practice to address criminal justice and mass incarceration. You can watch the full video above, or check out highlights from Twitter below on our Storify. Hope you enjoy!

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The Repellent Fence Story, as told by Postcommodity

Postcommodity, a collective of artists scattered around New Mexico and Arizona, will install two miles of scare-eye balloons at the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona on October 9.

Postcommodity, a collective of artists scattered around New Mexico and Arizona, will install two miles of scare-eye balloons at the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona on October 9.

Next week, the indigenous artist collective Postcommodity (2012 Visual Arts) will present their Creative Capital-supported project, Repellent Fence, the largest bi-national land art installation ever exhibited on the U.S./Mexican border. The fence, which will be installed through a community action from October 9-12 near Douglas, Arizona and Agua Prieta, Mexico, is comprised of 28 tethered “scare eye” balloons, ten feet in diameter, floating 75 feet above the desert landscape to create a temporary two-mile-long sculpture that intersects the U.S./Mexico border.

The geographic location chosen for Repellent Fence is the center point of the largest and most densely fortified militarized zone of the Western Hemisphere. This border region and its omnipresent military and surveillance systems artificially divide people, cultures, languages and communities from themselves and the land, disrupting interdependent human, cultural and environmental relationships that have existed for thousands of years. The monumental Repellent Fence installation is part of a larger public engagement campaign that includes public programming, performances and the first cross-border art walk in Douglas and Agua Prieta. In this post, the artists of Postcommodity—Raven Chacon, Cristóbal Martínez and Kade L. Twist—share the back-story behind this ambitious and timely project, nearly eight years in the making.
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Video: Ruby Lerner, “Policy, Prisons and Pranks: Artists Collide with the World”

In October, Creative Capital’s President & Founding Director Ruby Lerner was invited to speak at the ArtsFwd National Innovation Summit for Arts & Culture as a “provocateur.” In her talk, “Policy, Prisons and Pranks: Artists Collide with the World,” Ruby discussed artists working at the intersections of science, technology, community organizing, entrepreneurship and the media. She highlighted trends and lessons learned from these hybrid artists, noting how the field can and should adapt to support this critical work.

Creative Capital Artist Retreat featured on Hyperallergic

Photo by Thomas Micchelli for HyperallergicOn July 27, Hyperallergic’s Thomas Micchelli shared a wonderfully thoughtful and descriptive account of the artist presentations at Creative Capital’s 2013 Artist Retreat. An excerpt follows, and you can read the full article on hyperallergic.com.

“One of Creative Capital’s methods of building a community is its annual retreat, where new grantees introduce their projects in seven-minute presentations, and prior awardees are given five minutes to offer progress reports. The general idea is to redefine artistic practice from an isolated and often solitary endeavor to a thriving, entrepreneurial engagement with real-world issues and the public at large.

The dozens upon dozens of projects funded by the organization are often, though not entirely, long on social action, research and interdisciplinary practice.

That is not to say they skimp on the emotions or imagination—the most intriguing often arise from an inspired, transformational leap—but many cross so far into activism that their status as art might legitimately be called into question. That is, if that kind of thing matters to you. Continue reading

Creative Capital Presents “Embedded: A Social Practice in the Neighborhood” at CAA 2012

On February 23, Creative Capital’s Director of Programs & Initiatives, Sean Elwood, moderated a program session with three Creative Capital grantees at the College Art Association’s 2012 Conference in Los Angeles. Embedded: A Social Practice in the Neighborhood included presentations and discussion with Cesar Cornejo (2009 Emerging Fields), Mario Ybarra, Jr. (2008 Film/Video) and Ted Purves (2005 Visual Arts). The artists each talked about their practices using their Creative Capital-supported projects (and others) to illustrate their experiences in working closely with communities to bring about change through creative engagement, embedding themselves in particular neighborhoods to realize social goals, build networks and affect cultural practices.

Listen to podcasts from this session:
Part 1: Cesar Cornejo [ti_audio media=”838″]
Part 2: Mario Ybarra, Jr. [ti_audio media=”847″]
Part 3: Ted Purves [ti_audio media=”846″]
Part 4: Panel Discussion and Q&A [ti_audio media=”853″]