PRINT January 2010


the Creative Time Summit

WITH THE CLEAR-CUT CLASHES OF THE BUSH YEARS giving way to the increasingly ponderous political atmosphere of Obama, it might seem rather belated to hold a conference dedicated to the blurring of activism, art, and advocacy—a field variously called relational, tactical, dialogic, or community-based. Yet critical discourse around these practices has largely stagnated, and fresh thinking is needed, given the shifting antagonisms, conciliations, and polarizations that attend the current administration. It was with acute awareness of this situation that Nato Thompson organized “The Creative Time Summit: Revolutions in Public Practice” at the New York Public Library this past fall, which had the dual effect of further legitimizing a genre as well as effectively mapping a broad cosmology of recent approaches to artistic intervention.

Of course, it was just this aim of mapping that made the event

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