Darren Alexander Cole
MFA ’16 Film/Video
Meeting a community where they are — both physically and relationally — is necessary to successfully engage a community through art. Through that meeting, an artist can identify the challenges and matters relevant to a community and be responsive to those matters in their art. My main objective is to, through art, create a dialogue that is relevant to the community in which my work is embedded. This dialogue is possible through a combination of multiple mediums — film, performance art, painting, installation pieces, and emerging technology. With an understanding of space, place, and time of pivotal events, an artist is pushed to be accountable to that community and to represent the community. Equally, the respect from an artist towards a community allows residents to understand the opportunity for their input and participation — and to respond back to the artist. Practice- and discourse-driven experimentation provides a platform for constant critique by the intended audience. Assisting a community in their ability to understand or ask questions of society extends beyond the creation of an experience. It provides a prompt for action-oriented responses to develop, thus creating a community-involved solution that can affect the future of that community. These responses are realized through an artist’s practice in direct connection with the initiatives of the artist-community engagement.