SocialSocial is an ongoing project by SexEd (Norene Leddy and Liz Slagus). It is a model for artists to work with people who actively engage with the public, but not in an art context, to bring a fresh perspective to socially engaged art. The concept: dinner, drinks, a brief presentation on the history and current examples of socially engaged art projects, and conversations about how to make this work more accessible through the language and strategies of people who do not work in the art world directly. Inspired by a conversation with the Art and Social Justice Working Group, SocialSocial's goal is to address some of socially engaged art's recurring questions and concerns around public(s) and audience, the ethics of credit and inclusion, and the desire to hear from voices outside of the art world. The first SocialSocial was held on November 12, 2014 and included nine participants from the fields of community activism, social work, public education, security, health care, AIDS activism, and science. Documentation from the first SocialSocial will be posted online in spring 2015, so that others can hold SocialSocials and we can continue this dialogue that is critical to the field.
The Social Social was commissioned by the Vera List Center for Art and Politics and A Blade of Grass in response to the first Art and Social Justice Working Group conflict - Accountability: Artist, Curator, Institution, Funder.
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Liz Slagus consults in the areas of art and technology education, public programming and community engagement. In 2009, the State Library of Queensland awarded her the Creative Fellowship for Art & Technology to develop the programming and outreach strategy for Brisbane's new digital culture center, The Edge. During 2008, she produced the youth component for the 01SJ Biennial (San Jose, CA), and co-curated "1800 Frames" for City Without Walls (Newark, NJ)—beginning a curatorial partnership with Norene Leddy. Between 1998-2008, Liz developed and managed Eyebeam's education programs, exploring new teaching and learning techniques and models for engagement. As Director of Education and Public Programming, she co-curated and oversaw large-scale exhibitions, and Eyebeam's public presentations. Liz continues to lecture about arts education, production and collaboration. She holds a BA in Art History and Anthropology from Bucknell University and an MA in Visual Arts Administration from NYU.
Norene Leddy's artwork examines how technology is used in relationship to marginalized populations. Projects include working with sex workers, inner-city girls, LGBTQ youth, and others to explore ways that high and low technology can be used for protection and self expression, from the latest in GPS and mobile software to simple DIY kits. In addition to drawing, video, sculpture and installation; related performances and workshops are frequently part of her artistic practice. Her work has been shown internationally at venues including Eyebeam (New York), Henie Onstad Kunstsenter (Norway), and Sarai Media Lab (India). She has been the recipient of numerous grants, awards and residencies including a Fulbright Fellowship, two Eyebeam residencies, and funding from NYSCA, Bronx Council for the Arts, and the Experimental Television Center. In September Norene was nominated for a 2011 World Technology award. Norene earned her B.F.A. from Boston University in 1994 and a M.F.A. from Parsons The New School for Design in 2000, where she is now a Part-time Assistant Professor. In 2008, she started an ongoing curatorial collaboration with Liz Slagus. Together they have curated exhibitions for City Without Walls, Kean University, and Gallery Aferro. She is online at http://www.nobetty.net.