Open Engagement, an annual free art conference that explores various perspectives on art and social practice, will find a fitting landing point within the diverse, "micro-global" community of Corona, Queens. The 2014 Open Engagement conference is co-presented by the Queens Museum and A Blade of Grass, and will take place at the newly renovated Queens Museum, with additional programming at New York Hall of Science, Queens Theater in the Park, Immigrant Movement International, and various other locations around New York. Its new location will highlight the work being done around art and social engagement on the East Coast, further materialize this already developing network, and create a site that will connect these efforts.
This year the conference will focus on the theme of Life/Work. Artists have a way of provoking new forms of being, examining and challenging the ways that we live and work, proposing alternative approaches, and suggesting ways of navigating and negotiating existing systems. Open Engagement 2014 features keynote presenters Mierle Laderman Ukeles and J. Morgan Puett, and focuses on the theme of Life/Work. The conference examines how economic and social conditions connect to life values and philosophies and situate the everyday in relation to larger political and social issues including labor, economics, food production, ways of being, and education. What are the impacts of artists living and working in community? What is the work of art today? How has the idea of life's work changed in the 21st century?
Directed and founded by Jen Delos Reyes in Regina, Canada in 2007, the conference went on to become a key site for people interested in socially engaged art. As in the past, Open Engagement will include a partnership with graduate programs featuring art and social engagement. This year Social Practice Queens (SPQ), a new MFA concentration that combines the resources of Queens College (City University of New York: CUNY) and the Queens Museum, will lead the partnership, which will also include a number of other New York-based programs. The unique partnership between Queens College and the Queens Museum, whose new one word mission is fittingly, openness, will provide a strong framing support for the conference. The conference will also continue its tradition of being free and open to the public. Open Engagement is a free conference that will take place May 16"18, 2014.
Free Registration and Full Schedule are available at openengagement.info
Non-registered visitors to the museum will still be able to observe Open Platform presentations from 12-5pm on Saturday and Sunday, May 17-18 which are roughly 10-minute series of rapid-fire presentations on various socially engaged art projects that will take place in the Skylight Gallery in the central atrium of the Museum. Some short-term installations will also be on view in front of the Museum.
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