Letter from the editor

In this second issue of Conversations on Everything, art & social practice graduate students continue their artistic inquiries by spending time in dialogue with artists, curators, boxers, undergraduate students, a livestock apprentice, a third-grade student photographer and their mum, as well as a Times Square security guard.

Editing my way through all the conversations feels like I’m traversing wildly different landscapes with a common value—the desire to build connection and an equitable world in the face of today’s violence. Lisa Jarrett, a professor in the art & social practice program, has a practice that is deeply rooted in the formulating of questions. Questions do not need answers. They can be poetic mysteries that open more doors. Seeing work through the questions they ask, or rather, that I formulate for myself on the behalf of its creators, helps me imaginatively frame inquiry and makes the work more expansive. 

Here are my questions about the conversations in this issue, in the order published. Many concern privilege, power, self-knowledge and identity. I hope you find your own questions and in so doing, learn something new about yourself.

How do the members of a radically inclusive art project within a legacy sport practice view themselves and their community?

What did the strangers say?

How does caring for livestock expand an art practice?

What do I have to do to know me?

What is the impact of whiteness on Black creatives?

How can I convince everyone they are qualified?

How can we give children more power?

What makes an interview?

What is the profound vernacular conduit that can help invite someone into a shared space?

What art school would you create?

What is still truly obscured and how much of it is by choice?

How can people of color take up more space in museums in ways that are visceral, embodied and ritualistic?

As the trickster looks in the mirror they hear someone call their name; what is it?

Salty Xi Jie Ng is an artist co-creating semi-fictional paradigms for the real and imagined lives of humans within the poetics of the intimate vernacular. She is from the tropical island metropolis of Singapore and is an alumni of the Art & Social Practice MFA program. Salty receives letters to the editor at xi3@pdx.edu

The Social Forms of Art (SoFA) Journal is a publication dedicated to supporting, documenting and contextualising social forms of art and its related fields and disciplines. Each issue of the Journal takes an eclectic look at the ways in which artists are engaging with communities, institutions and the public. The Journal supports and discusses projects that offer critique, commentary and context for a field that is active and expanding.

Created within the Portland State University Art & Social Practice Masters In Fine Arts. Program, SoFA Journal is now fully online.

Conversations on Everything is an expanding collection of interviews produced as part of SoFA Journal. Through the potent format of casual interviews as artistic research, insight is harvested from artists, curators, people of other fields and everyday humans. These conversations study social forms of art as a field that lives between and within both art and life.

SoFA Journal
c/o PSU Art & Social Practice
PO Box 751
Portland, OR 97207