After reading “Conversation Pieces: The Role of Dialogue in Socially-Engaged Art” I found myself torn; I had never considered conversation to be an art practice, but was now considering it. The old phrase, “the art of conversation” comes to mind when I consider this dilemma I find myself in. On one hand, art is made by going through a process of trail, error, and exploration, and on that note, one can have many conversations in one’s life time, but never have the same one twice. So by definition, is a conversation really a form of art, or are we all just talking at one another?
When I thought of art, I always considered something physical, such as a painting, a picture, a photograph, etc. Socially engaged art before now had never crossed my path, but now that it has, it is an interesting theory that I realize I can apply to my own work in a way. Art produced for children is like telling a story to or for them. As children one learns to question and fill in gaps through one’s imagination. Is this so different from the art of conversation? Is producing a piece of art that engages with its audience through the telling of a story similar, if not the same as Wochenklausur and his cruise through Zurich with prostitutes and politicians? Through documentation, there is a story told through this art piece that an audience engages with. Is an illustrated child’s book not similar, and if it is, can one not say that as one grows, he or she is exposed to participatory art through conversations through many of the means adults educate children.