Creative Resistance is a special edition podcast mini-series in affiliation with the Center for Artistic Activism and is hosted by Research Fellow, Sarah J Halford.


Creative Resistance is a special edition podcast mini-series in affiliation with the Center for Artistic Activism and is hosted by Research Fellow, Sarah J Halford.

In this episode, we heard from art activists Diana Arce, Elliot Crown, Mark Read of The Illuminator, and André Leipold of the Center for Political Beauty.

From Stephen Duncombe, co-founder of the Center for Artistic Activism:

“I’m very interested in metrics which are relative to what artistic activists want to do\…I think it’s too arrogant to say, ‘here’s the one path to success’ – that doesn’t get to the nuances of how artistic activism works. But I do think we need to demand that people have an idea of what they want to have happen and have criteria, their own criteria, for measurements of: are we moving closer to it or farther away from it? Because without those measurements how do you know if what you’re doing actually works?”

Elliot Crown in costume

Photo credit: Elliot Crown (Pictured: Elliot Crown in costume).

Key takeaways from episode 5:

How do we know when something has succeeded or failed? We “measure” it with parameters called **metrics. **

Everyone has different metrics of success and failure; it’s up to you to choose your own. These may be statistical (i.e. how many people showed up to my event?), but they could also be more intangible (i.e. a story someone shared about changing their actions).

Remember the affect/effect relationship when figuring out your metrics of success and failure. If someone told you that your work made them feel a certain way, great (that’s the affect). But did they do something different (that’s the effect) based on that feeling? We’re shooting for a tangible effect in artistic activism.

Going back to your objectives/goals can help you to determine your metrics.

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Music By (in order of appearance):

  • Theme: “Drum Flute Loop in G Minor” by Enoe
  • “Golden Hour” by Podington Bear
  • “Sepia” by Podington Bear
  • “Hip Horns with Drums” by Ryan Cullinane

Music courtesy of

Special thanks to Professor Stephen Duncombe.

For more information on the Center for Artistic Activism, visit:


This was a mini-series, and this was the last episode. The Pop Culture Salvage Expeditions will return to this feed in the future.

Thanks again to Sarah J Halford, creator and host of Creative Resistance: The Podcast Mini-Series

Who is Sarah J Halford?

Sarah J Halford is an academic and activist based in Boston. She has worked closely with the Center for Artistic Activism as a research fellow, conducting fieldwork for the Æfficacy project. Additionally, she worked as a fellow of the Urban Democracy Lab and acted as lead researcher in projects for the British Council. Currently, she is a doctoral candidate of Sociology at Brandeis University, where she is conducting research on social movements and culture.

Sarah received a Master of Arts in 2017 from the NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study, where she created and produced a podcast mini-series, entitled Creative Resistance, as her thesis. After collecting interviews with art activists from around the world, she identified several recurring themes in her data and dedicated an episode in the mini-series to each of them. Creative Resistance is meant to act as a widely-accessible pedagogical resource for artists and activists alike, and is an example of the growing trend of research projects that utilize free and public mediums for dissemination.

She extends her deepest gratitude to Stephen Duncombe and the entire team at the Center for Artistic Activism for providing the support, opportunity, and platform necessary for her work.

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