What’s the Use

Is art only art insofar as it refuses to be useful? Or can art practices serve a wider purpose in the world? This reader starts from the premise that art is an integral part of the social, economic, and political process. Art is best understood through its dialogue with the social sphere, rather than as a ‘thing in itself’. By mapping a diverse terrain of examples and ideas, this book explores the complex interplay between art, use, history, and knowledge. The contributing writers and artists demonstrate how in past and contemporary practice these relationships are set up and played out.

Pla Macià, The Garden City Movement and its Afterlife is the title of the article with which I contributed to this amazing reader. Other contributors are, Nick Aikens, Christina Aushana, Zdenka Badovinac, Manuel Borja-Villel, Tania Bruguera, John Byrne, Jesús Carrillo Castillo, Christina Clausen, constructLab, Tamara Díaz Bringas, Georges Didi-Huberman, Charles Esche, Annie Fletcher, Lara Garcia Diaz, Liam Gillick, Melinda Guillen, Jeanne van Heeswijk, Alistair Hudson, Thomas Lange, Li Mu, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Trevor Paglen, Manuel Pelmuş, Emily Pethick, Alexandra Pirici, Laurie Jo Reynolds, Adrian Rifkin, John Ruskin, Lucía Sanromán, Catarina Simão, Sara Stehr, Subtramas, Steven ten Thije, WHW (What, How & for Whom), Stephen Wright, George Yúdice