“Whose Terms?” was conceived as a dual-form project the Department of Education and Public Engagement started in late Spring to look at some of the conditions, agendas, and priorities that operate in social practice art. Part 1 of the project took place as an experimental symposium in which nine participants were invited to speak on a specific term (mutually decided upon) as if they were contributing to a glossary founded on the premise of position-taking, specificity, associative engagement, and dissensus. Shown above is session one of the presentations with Julia Robinson on MATERIAL, Marc Herbst on CRITICALITY, Christoph Cox on ETHICSJEQU on CAPITAL, and Sally Szwed on EMPATHY.

For Part 2 of the project, a series of texts will be posted on our Six Degrees blog over the next eight days conceived as short-form “glossary entries” on terms associated with social practice. The entries collectively sketch out a field for the current state of social practice discourse, but more importantly they diverge into several often personalized responses to aspects of art’s engagement with the social world that are of concern and warrant further examination. Contributors to this second and final part of the glossary development are Wendy Vogel on CONSCIOUSNESS, Hakan Topal on RESEARCH, Andrea Liu on PARTICIPATION, Nova Benway and Jenny Perlin on RESPONSIBILITY, Megan Heuer on ENGAGEMENT, Emily Zimmerman on TRUST, Emily Baierl on OUTCOME, and Alicia Ritson on LITTORAL.

You can follow the full series at, and we’ll be sharing highlights on Tumblr!