Welcome to the third edition of the Social Forms of Art Journal: 003 Recreation.
In the third installment of SoFA, we will look into the ways that recreation plays a role in art and in artist’s lives. Not only in how artists work and play, but how recreation can be used creatively: amusement, fun, and leisure are powerful methodologies for connection, collaboration, experimentation, resistance, and self care. We are interested in learning how artists use these strategies in the creation of situations that leverage recreation towards artistic ends.
Within our daily lives, recreation is often put in opposition to “work” and is defined through discretionary time. In essence, time that we have control over, where we get to choose what we do. How do artists choose to spend this time? How do artists even distinguish this time when so much of social and “non-work” time in an artist’s life is related to their “professional” practices? Artists often blur the lines between where their practice begins and ends, and it often becomes unclear when we are working and when we are relaxing. Through this issue of SoFA, we will investigate how artists use this time, both as a component of their artwork, and in actual recreation.
Artists Lauren Moran and Anke Schüttler look at the odd and uncommon relationship between art and sports in their project “The Portland Museum of Art and Sports.” Roz Crews connects the dots between prescribed and natural forms of play and how these are dictated by the playgrounds where kids (and adults) interact. Jen Delos Reyes discusses art and labor, and methods artists can take to create lives that are fulfilling and aspirational. Dance collective Physical Education talks about their collaborative practices almost as a self-help group—one that has grown and evolved over the years to fit the needs of each member in their lives.
Tia Kramer has collected a series of instructions from artists that can be used as a portable list of scores. The Radical Imagination Gymnasium calls for everyone to exercise their radical imaginations, much like any other muscle, in order to help it become stronger. Nola Hanson traces a series of moments where embodiment, spirituality and sports intersect during their transition. And Artist Michael Bernard Stevenson Jr. and Katie Shook discuss various forms of play, their value, and outcomes.
Through all these varied approaches run distinct threads that draw on the tension between work and play, loosening up, sweating, exhaustion, and the power of remembering. Please enjoy this issue, and if reading it begins to feel like work, stop and go out and play!
Eric John Olson
The Social Forms of Art (SoFA) Journal is a bi-annual publication dedicated to supporting, documenting, and contextualizing socially engaged art and its related fields and disciplines. Each issue of the Journal focuses on a different theme in order to take a deep look at the ways in which artists are engaging with communities, institutions, and the public. The Journal seeks to support writing and web based projects that offer documentation, critique, commentary and context for a field that is active and expanding.
The SoFA Journal is published in print and PDF form twice a year, in June and December by the PSU Art & Social Practice Program. In addition to the print publication, the Journal hosts an online platform for ongoing projects.
Sponsored by the Portland State University Art and Social Practice MFA Program