On being a social artist

A couple of people have described me recently as a “Social Artist”. Most obviously with regard to my finding and continued curation of Tuttle. I looked around for other references but could only find this site, which contains much that resonates with me, but is a bit more new agey than I’m prepared to be today.

So I looked at definitions of art and pulled together this:

“The process or product of skilfully bringing people together in such a way as to create a sense of beauty in those that see or participate in it”

It’s not the entire picture of me, but is that something you see me do?

Oh and for those who haven’t seen it yet, here’s David Pinto’s interview with me that touches on this subject, including a lovely intro from Debbie Davies.

12 thoughts on “On being a social artist”

  1. Personally, I think the word beauty is too nebulous for the definition. Is it really just about beauty – isn’t it about transcendence, changing perspectives and/or inspiring thought?

  2. we are all conducting social art
    but if you look at the biggest picture
    it’s a bit ugly…

    when a company or a group or a community are really alive
    with all the members contributing well
    each having their place
    and each respected
    the aesthetic is something easily experienced and beyond words to describe

    in any piece
    it’s the individuals who are participating and creating the social experience
    that are the artists
    which makes you one of the best i have encountered so far in my life

    be well

  3. Lloyd, you are undoubtedly a social artist, whatever the definition. You might like this from Etienne Wenger http://socialreporter.com/?p=474
    “The key success factor we’ve found is learning citizenship where learning citizenship is a personal commitment to seeing how we are as citizens in this world. Let me give you an example: I know an oncological surgeon in Ontario, Canada who asks himself how to provide the social infrastructure for patients to learn about cancer. An act of learning citizenship is to be able to use who you are to open this space for learning. I’ve come to call these people social artists, people who can create a space where people can find their own sense of learning citizenship.

    “I love social artists. In fact I worship them. First because social artists know how to do what I only know how to talk about; and second because I care about the learning of this planet. I think we are in a race between learning and survival. We live in a knowledge economy where any expertise is too complex for any one person. One person can’t be an expert so anyone who can give voice to that need to work together is a social artist.

    “I do a lot of consultancy work for training community leaders, but in my heart of hearts I know the real secret of those social artists is not something I can teach. The real secret of those people is knowing how to use who you are as a vehicle for opening spaces for learning. I don’t really have the words – but I just know when I see it. It is a way of tapping into who you are and of making that a gift to the world … it’s about being able to use who I am to take my community to a new level of learning and performance.”
    And of course Tuttle is an ace social space.

  4. It’s not the entire picture of me, but is that something you see me do?


    I like it for several reasons: (i) it shows up how your work is profoundly creative. (ii) I like the linking of ‘social’ and ‘artist’ – your work doesn’t take place alone but in relationship. There are others – I’ll keep thinking.

    Also I really love the last two paragraphs of the comment above and they really describe you well.

  5. Actually that wasn’t Patrick. That was Frankie – not realising that Patrick was logged in on WordPress. Sorry.

  6. I like the term ‘social artist’ as well as your definition. You have high ideals. Good luck with it. Rgds Vince

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