Socially Engaged Art
 Bourdieux, A Social Currency, Print run for the Open Engagement Conference at the Queens Museum in New York City. May, 2014. 

Bourdieux, A Social Currency, Print run for the Open Engagement Conference at the Queens Museum in New York City. May, 2014. 

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BOURDIEUX is a currency, a game and a medium of exchange for social commodities and services. It was originally designed for trade between the participants of the Spectres of Evaluation conference in Melbourne, Australia (February 2014), but was also presented at the Open Engagement conference at the Queens Museum in New York (May 2014), and at the Portland Art Museum for Assembly, a Social Practice Get-together (June 2014).  

At the beginning, the currency is distributed in correlation with the hierarchies present at the conference: keynotes get the most, presenters and panelists get lots, artists get some, attendees get just a bit, and the general public get none at all.  

People are invited to exchange the currency for information and items of social value in whatever way they see fit. Email addresses, ideas, inspiration, influence, contact information, inside jokes, url links, website coordinates, pdfs are bought, sold and traded with Bourdieux. 

Participants are encouraged to discuss how they generate power in an art context, who accumulates social capital in socially engaged art works.   At the end of the conference, participants use their accumulated wealth of Bourdieux to bid in an auction for prizes rich in social capital. 

The project aims to reveal the economy of social and cultural capital already present within the discipline and at conferences for socially engaged art.  It also shows how our economies of power mimic or operate under similar rules to our financial economy.  Further, the project presents currency as an abstracted representation of our social relationships and explores the danger of quantifying value.

Spectres of Evaluation Conference

Footscray Community Arts Centre, and Incinerator Gallery.  Melbourne, Australia. February 2014.  


Open Engagement Conference

Queens Museum of Art, Queens, New York City.  May 2014.

Assembly; a Social Practice Get-together

Portland Art Museum, June 2014