Model Model UN

On February 22nd, 2013, the CCA Social Practice Workshop, guided by acting General Secretary Jacob Wick, presented Model Model UN: Issues in Practice. This daylong event was modeled after a Model UN, with the goal of arriving at a definition for social practice art. During the event, participants sat on four separate councils related to the issue: the Council on Ethics & Engagement, the Council on Form & Aesthetics, the Council on Historical & Theoretical Frameworks, and the Council on Duration & Sustainability. In each council, participants were asked to draft a resolution defining the field of social practice art through the specific focus of their council. Resolution procedure was modeled after Model UN resolution procedure.

Hear part of the opening speech, written and delivered by Jacob Wick:

After the final council meetings, a meeting was held wherein a final resolution was decided, by popular vote. This resolution served as the motion for a public Oxford-style debate, moderated by Ted Purves. Arguing for the resolution were Zoë McCloskey and Lex Kodzieradski; arguing against were Matthew Contos and Monte Lawton-Masi. The for side won, according to a disputed vote.

As a result, the definition of the field of social practice art, for a period of one year or until the Model Model UN reconvenes, is:

Social practice, within its specific yet infinitely diverse historical contexts, and within its current implementations, should offer the rearrangement of all theoretical frameworks, social, economic, and political. Social practice aligns, sometimes unwantedly, with art and social movements throughout history. It nods to theory to legitimize itself. Should it stop reading and start doing? In the spirit of the avant-garde, with the seriousness of activist politics, social practice can serve as a catalyst for a shared future, mobilizing and maintaining human interest in shared time and space.

MMUN Overhead
Photo: Jim Norrena