Art and Politics Now

    Research output: Book/ReportBook


    Examining over 200 artists and 250 artworks, Art and Politics Now explores some of the most controversial and ambitious art projects of our time. Throughout the volume, themed chapters explore how, since the turn of the twenty-first century, artists have addressed real-world issues such as globalization, terrorism, conflict, the environment and knowledge, often using radical approaches and techniques to communicate their ideas. Being one of the first volumes to provide an accessible, jargon-free guide to politically engaged art of the 21st century, Art and Politics now focuses on how the increasingly political dimension of contemporary art has given rise to a number of important questions about the role it plays in society today and how it has been co-opted into discourses surrounding activism and political change. This volume examines the implications of what happens when artists engage with the politics of globalization, migration, labour, citizenship, activism, income inequality, injustice, conflict, terrorism, biopolitics, free trade, financial crisis, environmentalism and information technology, and in doing so critically explores the implications ? for art and politics alike ? of this development. A central feature to Art and Politics Now therefore involves a critique of the ways in which artists both address specific political issues and tactically engage with, negotiate, and examine the contested nature of politics. In terms of its originality, Art and Politics Now is also one of the first books to evaluate the impact of neoliberalism, alongside the development of globalisation, on contemporary art practices. In doing so, the volume brings together key areas of critical interest, including the debates surrounding issues such as labour, citizenship, activism, conflict, terror, history, camps, refugees, environments, economies, and digital knowledge production. A core consideration here was to invite a thorough re-evaluation of what happens to terms such as ?political?, 'engagement', and 'activism' when they are co-opted by cultural debates.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationLondon and New York
    PublisherThames and Hudson
    ISBN (Print)978-0-500-29147-4
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 31 Oct 2014


    • This volume examines how the formal methods and techniques employed by contemporary artists have become more diverse and heteronomous in the 21st century. These include lecture-performances
    • the use of documentary and archive material
    • artist-led workshops
    • social activism
    • collaborations
    • community-based projects
    • research-led seminars
    • artist-initiated political movements
    • artist-funded organisations and
    • in particular
    • a growing tendency to co-opt individuals and communities into the processes involved in creating a work of art. In doing so
    • Art and Politics Now extended debates away from more traditional media ? painting
    • scultptrure
    • film
    • installation
    • and video ? and more towards the processes involved in these increasingly mainstream pratices.


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