Cecilia Galiena's blog

A peak into the platform prototype building

Understanding how to build a user-driven platform has stretched my non-geek brain to new areas. Thanks to my web guru and mentor Julie Thompson, a connection ZERO1 provided me with, I was able to direct my focus, during this first phase of platform-prototype building, to two major foundational areas of work: the platform-users’ needs and the platform’s search feature.    

But before I go any further, and for those who may be just joining in, my project is about building a platform that will become a hub for fostering art making in the social realm, and for promoting a healthy dialog and collaboration between this type of art practice and the sciences, the grant givers, the art institutions and the non-governmental agencies that operate with an integrative approach. The end goal of this platform is to foster a way to go about social change that integrates the creativity, the problem-stirring and the borderless experimenting capacity of socially engaged artists with disciplines that are normally bound by scientific procedures.

At the node between art discourse and systems of action

As my concept for a web platform for social practice artists and other forces aimed at social change takes shape, my attention also goes to what may help us better understand some aspects of intervening in the social arena.

To start, what happens when social practice artists approach communities:

  • How do they relate to the current global economic system while aiming at empowering groups and villages?

  • What kind of philosophy do they espouse while enabling poor or marginal communities to move as positive agents in their daily lives?

  • Do they oppose the free market rules or do they go with it; is there even a third possibility...

  • How do we assess their strategies vis-à-vis the difference in histories and traditions in different geographical areas?

Connecting the not so obvious dots

A.N.D. Social Practice – the project I am doing for my ZERO1 Fellowship - is also about connecting aspects of thought and practice that aren’t necessarily manifested; an intriguing and worthwhile pursuit. For this blog, I wanted to share two different projects by two different artists, and extracting what I see as a common aspect in both. These two projects were part of a six-project compilation I prepared for April's South First Fridays event at the ZERO1 Garage. The projects are shown in these two videos – by the way, if you are in a hurry, give yourself more time: the total duration is almost one hour (but it is well worth it)!

So Sorry, by Ai Weiwei, 2009
Sandbox, by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, 2010

Sharing A.N.D. Social Practice with a great audience and in a great space

First of all, I am really falling in love with the ZERO1 Garage and the ZERO1 Fellowship program. I love the space; I love what it is used for and what it brings to the people who visit it, including myself.

I admit it, I was nervous before the talk started last Friday. But the outcome was unexpectedly positive for me. I presented my ZERO1 Fellowship project – the occasion was the monthly Art/Tech: In Conversation talk at the Garage. Results? It helped me gain more awareness both about the project and about what it is that I need to do going forward. (By the way, I hope you know a little bit already about my project from the ZERO1 site, and in case you don’t here it is.


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