Internet Community//Community Art//Art via Internet?

This is my framework

A Research Notebook

Internet Community for Community Art Practices

Tessa Miller

For just over a decade, the way that Americans connect with each other have been dominated by the ever-growing, constantly evolving influence of the internet and social media. Scholars have theorized a myriad of new issues and new opportunities that this landscape has created. We can instantly connect with people over long distances that we may have otherwise never met; since we have our devices with us nearly all the time, we consider ourselves and others always available; language is evolving more quickly than ever before and creating new communities that have little connection to geographical proximity. 

Community art practices are inherently collaborative, grounded in a specific community with the intent to grow, heal, or otherwise benefit that community, often creating cultural objects or spaces together in the real world. Given the dependency on embodied participation and on interpersonal communities, how are community art practices being shaped by the internet? Has the internet weakened our concept of geographical community? If so, is this a bad thing? How have online community art projects built and sustained communities? 

I will be doing a survey of the online presence of Chicago community art projects, practices, and organizations. For each practice, I’ll gather observations about their use of websites and social media as well as conduct online interviews to gain insight into the attitudes that direct their decisions about internet engagement.

So far I have only connected with Michael Thomas from Lucky Pierre.


  1. Who is part of your community?
  2. What do you do for this community?
  3. How do you communicate with your community?
  4. How do you extend your organization's effectiveness using the internet?
  5. Who in your community has access to your internet interactions? Who does not?
  6. In what ways do you depend on your internet presence to accomplish you mission?
  7. What parts of your mission must be accomplished outside of the internet?

Questions for Community and Socially Engaged Arts Organizations:

However, I have begun collecting observations and analysis of various art organizations's online presence.





Decentralized community

Collaborates and Exhibits internationally


Very little public internet interaction


Collaborates remotely using SM, online organization tools, and Video calls


Minimal digital archive of past work

"Why is the documentation now more important than the event itself?"

-Michael Thomas (founding member) in a video interview

Lucky Pierre Collective

"It’s (technology) not going away any time soon so we as artists and thinkers need to figure out how to wrangle that in a positive direction -- like we thought was going to happen with this “democracy of the commons” of being online that was then commandeered by the world of the corporate -- I think there's still possibilities for radical reorganization to happen through this medium. I’m hoping."  -Michael Thomas of Lucky Pierre (2020, April 24) video interview

Primarily serves a local community but also invites others in.


Active and interactive presence on instagram, Facebook, and website.


Seems to be interested in increasing Hyde Park cultural capital

Hyde Park Arts Center

Serves Chicago's South Side residents almost exclusively.


Website offers information about the organization and events but is minimally interactive


Instagram functions as an announcement board for their community


Their community must be built through real world interactions at their gather spaces, markets, and events.

Experimental Station

Serves Chicago's Roger's Park neighborhood


Very minimal website.

Minimal Instagram that is not consistently updated

Vibrant and active Facebook page


This organization is focused on building community in Roger's Park. They function as a space for gathering to make things together.  

PO Box Collective

Local community