This was a space for our shared constituencies (you) to ask your own questions to Los Angeles, about the nature and character of creative social change practices in Los Angeles. This existed as an open, public, and editable document.


  1. Does LA’s geography affect the nature of critical practice, and if so how?
  1. Does this landscape support some kinds of politics over another?
  1. How does the sprawling nature of Los Angeles as a city support/inhibit larger community conversation? Could this potentially restrictive feature of the city become advantageous to creative social change practitioners?
  1. What constitutes a “success” or a “failure” in creative social change practices? Are these terms even useful?
  1. How do social change practices and discourse in Los Angeles engage with, respond to, challenge, and/or confirm an art world whose practitioners are predominantly white?
  1. How does neo-liberal ideology line up with the public art/social art agenda in Los angeles, and do civic institutions (museums, governments) reproduce similar ideologies through cultural policies locally?
  1. Does social change practice hide its own political agenda?
  1. What do we want to achieve? What is it we want to achieve through the means that we have gathered here?
  1. What are the truths in LA that keep us apart, that allow for hate, distrust, and ultimately exploitation through the differences inherent in the landscape of the city and the world? In what manner might these truth be made bare in such a way that they participate in a process of overcoming and healing and growing while not collapsing the necessary differences of the moment?
  1. What are the truths and material realities that we can insist upon or make real or virtually real that can assist in insisting upon/making actual our better world?
  1. How can we address the dramatic wealth disparities within our movement?
  2. Is there a regional or bioregional model of socialism that can be cultivated here without engaging in the dominant national political structure of this nation?
  1. What geographies of solidarity (at the level of neighborhoods, regions, national and international) currently exist, have existed in the past, might exist in the future?
  1. Do artists or those interested in social practice politics ally themselves with movements? If yes then how? if no, then why not? Is a new (or old) art movement centered on justice possible?
  1. How does social practice avoid imperialism or totalitarianism?
  1. What are the ethical (meaning usefully productive) relationships between art and social movements, how do they vary in relationship to particular movements?
  1. Why doesn’t every roof in Los Angeles have solar panel on it… I mean, duh?
  1. How can we create a space in LA where artists can lead by example in creating their own inclusive, eco-friendly/permaculture community outside the capitalist paradigm?
  1. What are some examples of social practice projects in LA that have successfully addressed multiple audiences (i.e. local community vs. art world vs. political leaders and activists)? What strategies might artists use to reach multiple audiences with their projects?
  1. What have been the best/major exhibitions and publications that have documented LA’s artist-activist community and history? Can we come up with a reading list?
  1. Which LA museums and curators are our best allies for supporting social practice? Are LA museums and curators doing enough to support social practice? What are the ways in which social practice is currently being supported by the major institutions in this city?
  1. Is the Bay Area more or less radical (or any other politically oriented qualifier) then Los Angeles? If so why? Is this reflected in the culture? Is this an idiotic question?
  1. Why aren’t the “subaltern allowed to speak”1 and when they do, how do we listen and translate? *

(this questions refers to the incorporation of radical practices into the dominant     conatus of the neoliberal project) Ex:( Lyotard and Deleuze speaking for the working classes of the “third world”) Makes me think from where does one acquire knowledge of the marginal or will the humanities be forever stuck in hierarchy and historicism? If so, then the humanities, our philosophizing of what is progressive also needs to be questioned, and maybe the gendered subaltern woman of color is the only sovereign subject in history, the rest of us more or less automated through the medium of western discourse, I guess this question is also part of question 6. s/o to question 6)

  1. How do you respond to Claire Bishop’s Artificial Hells?
  1. Social change is never a “controlled experiment” but always an unwieldy intervention,often creating unintended consequences in its wake, for better or worse. This better or worse perspective may vary a great deal, depending on who you’re talking to and where they’re coming from. How can people involved in such projects better take account and engage with the plurality of cultural perspectives out there in LA, including, for example, some troubling or challenging groups (i.e. challenging to those who promote social change) that we may “want” to change, but perhaps do not want to change? Put differently, if much of culture or society tends to strive for stability or is recalcitrant to change, how much change is too much change? Is there a wrong kind of change?