Everyday Life, Politics and Art

The field of Everyday Life in Cultural Studies is home to significant literature on art, artists, and creativity. The literature tends to be politically inflected, extolling ideas about harnessing the everyday as a site of transformation, which according to some theorists can be achieved through art. The quotes below capture the provocative and inspiring philosophies of a range of writers which are related to 53 Million Artists’ aim of changing the everyday practices of British citizens.

“Daily life represents the most obstinate channel of the emergence of resistance, the perception of possibilities, and the reawakening of the conscience” (Gambacorta, 1989: 130).

“It is the everyday world itself that is open to redemption, to positive and empowering transformation…art, culture or intellectual inquiry are integral to a fully lived human existence” (Gardiner, 2000: 15).

“Everyday life is the realm of the ‘messy’, the impure, a ‘conjunction of habit, desire and accident'” (Kaplan & Ross, 1987: 3).

“The everyday has a resistant quality simply because its very presence is not always registered by the panoptic gaze of bureaucratic power; it remains an inchoate and heterodox mix of fluid, multiple and symbolically dense practices and thoughts, a ‘black rock that resists assimilation'” (de Certeau, 1984: 60).

“The everyday must be understood dialectically; it is simultaneously an alienated and potentially liberated state” (Gottdiener, 1996).

“It is in the midst of the utterly ordinary, in the space where the dominant relations of production are tirelessly and relentlessly produced, that we must look for utopian and politically aspirations to crystallize” (Kaplan & Ross, 1987: 3).

“Everyday life harbors the texture of social change” (Kaplan & Ross, 1987: 4).

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