Guiding principles of allodoxic art


Allodoxic interventions build on the participatory elements of new genre public art, as theorised by Suzanne Lacy. Lacy states that the critical consideration of the effectiveness of this practice has remained relatively unexamined.[i] Allodoxic interventions are able to take up the challenge of providing this embedding as a criterion of judgement.


Allodoxic interventions are rooted in revolutionary planning and disobedience. I present Arendt’s account of these areas, particularly her book, On Revolution, and her essay, ‘Civil Disobedience’, as a successful design for allodoxic art tactics. As principles, they provide an analytical armature for judging the success of these tactics and extending these types of interventions. Firstly, by embodying freedom through innovation, allodoxic interventions incorporate rupture, risk, and disobedience to signify rebirth of action and the public realm, all the while remaining true to its originating political spirit. Secondly, by designing for durability, interventions make provision for institutions, the law, or groups of people so that they may embed rights and maintain or expand the commons in sustainable ways. Thirdly, by embedding rights as safeguards to our happiness, these themes become rooted and internalised within communities so that they can become sustainable. Finally, as public participation in concert with others, the relevance and general interest of allodoxic interventions should be to political predicaments rather than to legal or moral ones, so they relate to what Arendt sees as collective responsibility. 


In this section, I provide a range of intervention examples from my own work, from Baroness Elsa, and from others to elucidate how the prioritisation of particular principles shapes tactical processes, collaborative and participatory programs, and outputs and outcomes as artistic forms and impacts in the social sphere. This pre-allodoxic activity acts as a springboard, where chance plays a part in the potential for successful allodoxic interventions. 

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[i] Suzanne Lacy, Mapping the Terrain: New Genre Public Art. (Seattle: Bay Press, 1995), p. 173.