Sometimes we’re asked, “what’s this artistic activism thing all about?” and “what’s the difference between artistic activism and regular activism?” or “why would I use artistic activism in my campaign?” As an answer, we offer this primer. Why Artistic Activism: Nine Reasons By Stephen Duncombe and Steve Lambert 1: Artistic Activism Mobilizes Affect and Effect […]
Dream: Re-Imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy, by CAA co-director Stephen Duncombe is now a free PDF. Part analysis of popular culture, part how-to guide to creative activism, Stephen make a case for how activists can, and must use fantasy and spectacle in their work…and do it ethically. FREE PDF. Dream: Re-Imagining Progressive Politics […]
Overview The first rule of guerrilla warfare is to know the terrain and use it to your advantage. No longer does this require navigating the mountains of Cuba with a rifle on one’s back, as today’s political topography is one of symbols and signs, images and expressions. From small community organizations to international NGOs, the School […]
Adapted from the C4AA’s upcoming book How To Win: The Art of Activism, this is an article by Co-Directors Duncombe and Lambert about how Artistic Activists can use the idea and ideal of Utopia. Lessons From Utopia Part 1 Lessons From Utopia Part 2 Lessons From Utopia Part 3
Leading up to the Women’s March(es) on January 21, 2017, C4AA Co-Director Stephen Duncombe was asked to write about a “political object” for the web journal HiLoBrow. He chose to write about a protest sign he had made and carried at an earlier march.
In November of 2016, C4AA Co-Director Stephen Duncombe and School for Creative Activism alumnus Silas Harrebye were invited to Oslo Norway to do a presentation (with local actors!) at the National Theatre as part of the Public Calling conference. They later wrote up a version of this performance, sans actors, for Public Seminar, the web […]
As part of a collection of essays on The Democratic Public Sphere (edited by Henrik Kaare Nielsen, et al.) C4AA Co-Director Stephen Duncombe writes about the history of a protest as a performance, what this looks like in an age of global information flows, and the problems of protocols and interface between spectacular protests and […]
In this article, published in Social Research in 2016, C4AA Co-Director Stephen Duncombe muses on the different ways in which activist art can “work,” In the process, presenting the patented C4AA mathematical formula for success. No kidding, well kinda kidding.
C4AA Co-Director Stephen Duncombe considers protest as a performance piece in this short 2013 article in Performance Research, using case studies from the Civil Rights campaign to desegregate Birmingham, Alabama to Occupy Wall Street.
Stephen Duncombe & Steve Lambert “The Good Life” was the mantra of the United States in the 1950s. The country had emerged from a devastating economic depression and a brutal world war into a era of seemingly unbound plenty. The economy was in high gear from the war: there were new products to consume for […]
In 2014, Center Co-Director Steve Lambert was asked to contribute to A Blade of Grass’ ‘Growing Dialogue‘, a series of practitioner-led articles and opinion pieces circling around questions of the affect and effect of art and social practice. Steve’s contribution was No Longer Interested, which you can read below… No Longer Interested I’ve worked to strike […]
In 2014, Stephen Duncombe and Steve Lambert were invited to write an introductory essay for “Truth is Concrete: A Handbook for Artistic Strategies in Real Politics“. It includes essays from, among many others: Andy Bichlbaum, Reverend Billy, Andrew Boyd, Tania Bruguera, Andrea Fraser, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Hans Haacke, John Jordan, Kalle Lasn, Leónidas Martín, Antanas Mockus, […]
Keri Smith is a long-time friend of the Center, and even sits on our board! For her 2014 book, The Imaginary World Of…, Center Co-Director Steve Lambert was asked to write a few words on Utopia, so he did… (Also – check out her latest book, “The Wander Society“) On Utopia The problem with reality […]
Back in 2011, Center Co-Director Steve Lambert wrote a short piece called “No One Wants to Watch a Drum Circle” for the Beautiful Trouble book (which you can read here). That piece was selected to be included in The Sun Magazine in 2014. After it was published, someone who didn’t like his criticism of drum […]
Center Co-Director Steve Lambert presented this talk at the Responsible Data Forum in January. We think it’s got a lot to say about how to turn data towards social goals so we thought we’d share it. USING DATA VISUALIZATION FOR SOCIAL CHANGE Those who visualize data can be reluctant to sully themselves in the messy world […]
The first rule of guerilla warfare is to know the terrain and use it to your advantage. The topography on which the activist fights may no longer be the mountains of the Sierra Maestra or the jungles of Vietnam, but the lesson still applies. Today, the political landscape is one of signs and symbols, story […]
Download Download a PDF version of this essay. 1. DOES IT WORK? Art about politics is not necessarily political art. The function of political art is to challenge and change the world. This should be obvious, but there is plenty of “political art” which uses social injustice and political struggle as mere subject matter: making […]