As Valerie Salez says, sometimes the artist is dropping pebbles into the pond, creating small ripples.
One of the issues that came up repeatedly at the Art of Engagement conference was how does one evaluate the work? Art is a business--there needs to be fiscal and ethical responsibility checks and reports. We can learn from each other's descriptions of the entire process of a given project including the research stage and the after-effects of the projects. When the process is made transparent we can benefit from each other's wisdom and experience. Inviting other artists to witness the stages of the process is another way to build evaluation right into the structure of a project.
The ephemeral natural of the work can be its strength and weakness, allowing the art to enter our lives in subtle ways, but also making it slippery to pin down and evaluate. ATSA's Annie Roy says we are left with souvenirs. Some of these are objects and hard evidence, but others are memories that will be passed down to the community in actions and stories. One thing I love most is to sit and talk to an artist about their work over a hot cup of tea--technology be damned! The conference is over! Long live the conference! Go forth and disseminate!
Well, the conference isn't really over--Paula Jardine's Graveyard brunch has bee moved to Gallery Gachet at 1 p.m. where the conversation moves more deeply into the areas of issues around cultural redress.