Art and the Public Sphere


This module seeks to explore the role of art in the public sphere. It introduces the learner to contemporary theories of the ontology of the social world and of communicative action. It grounds the practice of contemporary art-making in social contexts, and examines its role in the constitution and shaping of those contexts, opening the possibility of art being a vehicle for social change.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate a deeper and broader knowledge and understanding of the relationships between the public sphere, the lifeworld and the system.

  2. Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the distinction between linguistic and non-linguistic sign systems, and the role of the art sign in generating a social system.

  3. Have an introductory understanding of social ontology, the status function declaration, and non-linguistic means of generating social distinctions and cultural agency.

  4. Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the concept of socially engaged art.

  5. Have a thorough familiarity with contemporary debates on art and society.

  6. Have an ability to relate issues of cultural agency, community and sustainability to their own professional and personal lives.

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