SourcesThe idea of transformation in our project is connected with social change; it evokes ideas of revolution, paradigm shifts, or small-scale changes in a given community. Social change requires a previous analysis of its own viability and the process that might trigger it, and its implementation requires reflection on the meaning of creativity, innovation, progress and evolution. Artistic practices that wittingly or unwittingly reproduce or support the status quo might be called affirmative art. By contrast, a rather minoritarian set of artistic projects develop critical stances towards the normative- often undemocratic- structures of cultural production. And a third- even more exceptional- category would include transformative art, which shares the objectives of critical approaches, but tries to go one step beyond, contributing to actual social change. Transformation always entails criticality, but not all critical approaches- however artistically or intellectually advanced- lead to transformation. The latter requires added dimensions of agency, performativity and empowerment, if it is to effectively lead to changes in the values and regulative norms structuring social life. In this regard, Edgar Morin’s idea of “complex thought” points towards a holistic perspective integrating thought and action.
Genealogies of practice