Social Practice as Arts-based Methodology: Exploring Participation, Multiplicity, and Collective Action as Elements of Inquiry
Claims that the arts are a kind of research is nothing new, finding relevance for scholars in the social sciences and the arts (Barone & Eisner, 2011; Cahnmann Taylor & Siegesmund, 2018; Leavy, 2019, 2009; Sullivan, 2005). Given that art is continuously being reimagined, it follows that arts-based research takes into account contemporary artistic processes and materials and the theories, aesthetic philosophies and contexts that shape them. In this paper, this author considers socially engaged art in the context of arts-based research and raises the question, what can be learned from social practice as an arts-based methodology? The work of three socially engaged artists are referenced to demonstrate how distinct qualities associated with social practice, such as shared participation, multiplicity, and collective action offer new considerations for arts-based research that aims to bring about social change.
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