Amy Spiers

PhD – Community Cultural Development


Thesis Title
The third term: The aesthetic register of participatory and socially-engaged art


My PhD project is situated within the burgeoning field of participatory and socially-engaged art. Such art practices emphasise participation, dialogue and community engagement to provoke reflection on the present social order, and have given rise to a notion that art can be marshaled to tackle wider social issues. As social practice gains acceptance in the art world, it demands a new consideration of the status of art and the nature of the aesthetic. I aim to address the question: what does it mean to privilege intervention in the social under the banner of art, as opposed to carrying out actions in the name of community development or political activism? What quality is lent to these activities by situating them in the aesthetic realm?

Dr James Oliver, Dr Kate Daw