Cross-border interludes : entanglements of a socially engaged art practice

Michails-Posidis, Maria
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High, Kathryn
Lawson, Shawn A.
Vamos, Igor
Kinchy, Abby J.
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Electronic arts
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This electronic version is a licensed copy owned by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY. Copyright of original work retained by author.
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Building upon the "tools and techniques" for socially engaged art that Pablo Helguera proposes, this dissertation provides an in-depth exploration of cross-disciplinary qualitative methods (such as oral history and citizen science) as artistic tools for engagement. In my projects, these methods were adapted to serve a co-creative art practice and employed at two cross-border locations; Estevan, Saskatchewan, a rural community engaged in farming and oil extraction, and Albany, New York, working with a predominantly African American community impacted by transport trucks and crude oil trains in their neighborhood. This practice-led research also seeks to contribute to the growing body of literature about socially engaged art – particularly to literature in the sparsely covered area of socially engaged environmental art. To frame this body of work, I extrapolate on discourse drawn from contemporary art, environmental humanities, and to some degree, Indigenous and racial studies. Socially engaged art debates argued by Claire Bishop, Grant Kester, Nicholas Bourriaud, among others, inform and shape my thinking about the complexities of authorship within collaboration and evaluative criteria based on ethical and aesthetic concerns.
December 2020
School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Dept. of the Arts
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
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