Cultural policy is sometimes regarded as a largely technocratic preoccupation, which at worst, privileges well-meaning aspiration over decisive action. In spite of its progressive aspirations, it can equally be seen to operate more as a disciplining force within contemporary cultural production. In this lecture, artist Dr Ailbhe Murphy and Dr Áine O’Brien, Curator of Learning and Research at Counterpoint Arts in the UK, will discuss the intersections between policy and practice. Two experienced practitioners from the field of socially engaged art explore and discuss the contradictory dialogic of social practice and cultural policy through a series of international, comparative socially engaged art case studies. Drawing on those case studies, they will propose methodologies and tactics that usefully nurture a critical and generative dialogue between the cultural aspirations of policy and the politics of socially engaged practice.
Dr Ailbhe Murphy is a socially engaged artist based in Dublin. From 2015 to 2022 she was the Director of Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts in Ireland. At Create she was responsible for organisational strategy and programme which traversed research and learning initiatives, advocacy, professional development, commissions and project opportunities and included leading the EU funded Collaborative Arts Partnership Programme (CAPP 2014 – 2018). Ailbhe is also a co-founder of the interdisciplinary platform Vagabond Reviews, which combines socially engaged art and research practice where questions of agency, knowledge production, and representation are central.
Dr Áine O’Brien is Curator of Learning and Research and Co-Founder, Counterpoints Arts in London. She runs Learning Lab, a platform supporting cooperative (un)learning through socially engaged art (SEA). She directs the Summer School on Cultural Diversity and Collaborative Practice in partnership with “Create - National Development Agency for Collaborative Arts”. She co-edited Art, Migration and the Production of Radical Democratic Citizenship with Agnes Czajka. She is currently developing a series of international, place-based commissions engaging socially engaged artists, investigative journalists and digital activists with Beyond the Now - a syndicated social practice platform working across curation, commissioning, research and production.
The audience is presumed to consent to a possible recording on the part of FEINART research Network and Zeppelin University. The recordings will be archived and published on YouTube.