BRUCE BARBER
Sentences on Littoral Art, 1998

1) Littoral describes the intermediate and shifting zone between the sea and the land and refers metaphorically to cultural projects that are undertaken predominantly outside the conventional contexts of the institutionalized artworld.
2) Littoral projects are lifeworld affirming as opposed to system reproducing. Littoral Artists work between the private realm and the public sphere.
3) Littoral Artists recognize their position as political subjects and act accordingly.
4) Social actions may (re)produce cultural judgments.
5) Cultural interventions may lead toward social change.
6) Public, community based art is essentially political.
7) The political positions that artists adopt should be followed ethically.
8) Littoral artists acknowledge Marx's injunction in his 11th Thesis on Feuerbach, that it is not up to philosophers (artists) to simply interpret (represent) the world; the point is to change it.
9) In Littoral art projects social interactions should be co-ordinated with less emphasis on egocentric calculations of success for each individual than through co-operative achievements of understanding among participants.
10) Social and cultural actions can be strategic, exemplary, instrumental or communicative. Communicative actions attempt to lessen provocation and encourage dialogue. They are the result of the conjoining of theory and practice into a political praxis.
11) In Littoral Art projects no one individual should assumed absolute control of the communicative process; rather it should be, in the best sense possible, participatory and democratic.
12) Public art projects are aimed at stimulating dialogue and participation within a specific community to engender (or engineer) conscientization, and possibly, social change.
13) The interaction between marginal groups, and their integration in such projects can lead to extraordinary results in which artistic, social and environmental objectives overlap.
14) Littoral art helps to stimulate dialogue and elevate the standards of conversation between different communities and disciplines whose paths would normally not cross.
15) The littoral artist may use any form and employ any materials, techniques or procedures to reach his/her objectives.
16) Littoralist art is more about giving than taking.
17) Within littoralist art practice, donative art strategies extend the language of the altruistic gift into a more politically efficacious education about the nature of gift giving and reciprocity.
18) Littoral artists acknowledge their debt to history and respond positively to successful models presented by the historical avant-gardes and neo-avant-gardes of the more recent past.
19) Littoral art projects can provide a powerful incentive for social integration as opposed to individual competition.
20) Littoral art can provide an alternative to capital accumulation and power as an indicator of success.
21) Political correctness cannot rescue a bad idea. It is difficult to subvert a politically correct position.
22) Littoral projects may become art if they are concerned with art and enter the fields of discourse associated with art theory and criticism.
23) Some successful littoral projects may begin from a position of naivete.
24) Surveillance is a form of control. Observational techniques represent methods of social control.
25) Littoral artists should attempt to understand the affects of their actions and interventions in the public sphere and learn from their mistakes.
26) Artists may perceive the littoralist projects of others to be better than their own, but they should strive to approximate success at every level of their social engagement.
27) Littoral projects may engage directly with an institution.
28) Once the immediate objectives of the project are established, the course of events should be allowed to unfold organically. There may be many side effects that the artist cannot imagine or control. These may be used to stimulate and/or assist the development of new work.
29) The process is social and should not be tampered with. It should run its course.
30) There are many elements involved in a littoralist project. The most important may not be the most obvious.
31) It the artist uses the same methodology in a group of projects but changes the techniques and materials, one would assume that the artist's work privileged the method.
32) Banal ideas cannot be rescued by privileging the aesthetic values that may reside in the work.
33) It is difficult to bungle a good littoral project.
34) When an artist displays his/her craft too well, it may result in the loss of the social importance of the work.
35) These sentences comment on littoral art but are not art.

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