Routledge

Glossary

Acculturation is a process in which members of one cultural group adopt the beliefs and behaviors of another.
Activism refers to a doctrine or practice that emphasizes direct vigorous action especially in support of or opposition to one side of a controversial issue.
Activist is someone who emphasizes direct and vigorous action in support of or opposition to a controversial issue.
Adaptation is an adjustment to environmental conditions for survival.
Aegis means the sponsorship, control, or guidance by an individual, group, or system.
Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy that studies perceptible beauty in art and nature, together with the intellectual and emotional responses to beauty.
Airport profiling is the racist targeting of individuals of Middle Eastern descent as terrorist threats to airport and airplane security.
Antagonism is hostility or opposition between contradictory principles.
Appropriate and Appropriation refers to the practice of adopting, borrowing, or recycling (parts or the entirety) of pre-existing elements or forms to create a new work.
Architecture refers to buildings, open areas, communities, and other man-made constructions and environments.
Archive is a collection of historical records or primary source documents; it also refers to the physical location of the collection.
Archivist is a person in charge of archives.
Articulate is to express oneself readily, clearly, or effectively.
Artifact is a hand-made object or the remnants of one, belonging to a specific time or culture.
Assemblage is an artistic process in which the artist puts together found object to create a three-dimensional composition.
Assimilation is the merging of cultural traits or of a minority group into the main cultural body.
Authorship is the source, or the state, of creating a piece of art.
Bearing witness is the act of proving, showing, testifying, or providing evidence of an event, cause, motivation, or action.
Caricature is an image or description of a person which mockingly exaggerates features or characteristics.
Catharsis is a purification or purging of the emotions, primarily through art.
Coexistence refers to living in peace with one another, especially as a matter of policy.
Collage is an art technique where the artist glues such materials as newspaper clippings, ribbon, photographs, other artworks, etc., to another surface (e.g. canvas, wood, paper).
Collective refers to a group of people who work together to reach a goal.
Combine refers to Robert Rauschenberg’s body of mixed media works that appear either as wall-hung works or as freestanding objects that draw on materials from everyday life and the history of art.
Commission is an order granting authority to perform a particular action or function in exchange for money.
Community is a group linked by a common policy.
Conceptual art is an art form in which the artist's intent is to convey a concept or idea rather than to create an art object.
Congruence is the quality or state of two ideas or things agreeing or coinciding.
Context is the circumstance or setting relevant to any given situation (i.e. place, time, events, and people).
Convention is an accepted rule of conduct or practice.
Craft refers to an art form, trade, or occupation requiring manual skill and dexterity.
Creative Commons license gives rights for the distribution and production of copyrighted ideas and products. Some CC licenses allow for changes in the copyrighted material and can be available for distribution both commercially and non-commercially.
Creative license is the authorization of imagination in a work of art. Creative licensing brings forth questions of what is innovated, borrowed, and recycled.
Cross-fertilization is the interchange or interaction between different ideas or categories of a broadening or productive nature.
Cultural capital is a sociological concept, like economic capital (wealth) and social capital (professional and social network), which confers power and status. It is distinguished by an educational, social, and intellectual knowledge that allows for a higher status in society.
Curation is the special preservation, acquisition, and presentation of art objects or artifacts with scholarly content and research for public review.
Curator is the person who performs and manages the tasks of curation for cultural institutions.
Democracy is a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.
Direct action is motivated activity, often for political reasons, that (a) obstructs another agent or institution from performing some practice to which the activists object, or (b) attempts to solve problems which agents or institutions are not addressing to the satisfaction of the activists.
Documents are physical or digital representations of a body of information designed with the capacity to communicate. In the broadest sense, "documents" include any item amenable to cataloging and indexing, that is including nonprint media.
Dominant culture refers to the culture of the dominant social grouping, including their language, behavior, rituals, religions, and social customs. The dominant culture is not necessarily the culture of the majority.
Dominant space is an area, location, building, etc., in which a certain group of people predominate.
Embroidery is the art of making ornamental designs, usually on cloth, with a needle and thread.
Eminent domain is a power given to the state to appropriate private property for public use (health, safety, interest, or convenience). For example, acquiring land to build a new highway would fall under eminent domain. Under the Fifth Amendment, the owner is entitled to reasonable compensation for the land.
Environment refers to the social, cultural, and physical factors that influence the life of a person or population.
Experiment is an operation or procedure carried out under controlled conditions in order to discover an unknown effect or law, to test or establish a hypothesis, or to illustrate a known law.
Fact is a truth known by actual experience or observation.
Feminist is someone who supports social, political, and economic rights for women equal to those of men.
Fiction refers to something invented or imagined.
Folk art describes an array of crafts and objects produced by people with no academic artistic training.
Free will is the freedom to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention.
Gentrification is a rapid change in the economic and racial demographic of a neighborhood that results when middle-class or affluent individuals move into low-income residential areas. The increase of real estate values effectively displaces former residents and business owners who can no longer afford the area.
Ghettoization comes from the Venetian term ghetto, which were Jewish quarters in Italian cities. Ghettos are isolated areas of the city where marginal groups are clustered; ghettoization is the general term applied to the neighborhoods that are isolated and left to stagnate in economic, social, and cultural development.
Graffiti are markings such as initials, slogans, drawings, and paintings on walls in public spaces.
Hegemony refers to the social, cultural, ideological, or economic influence exerted by a dominant group.
Icon is an image of someone who is venerated by the culture. It is also a sign or representation that stands in for something because of its resemblance or analogy to it.
Iconoclasm in Greek denotes “image-breaking,” which relates to icons of religion, politics, and culture.
Iconography refers to pictorial material relating to or illustrating a subject.
Identity is the distinguishing character or personality of an individual.
Ideology is the body of doctrine or thought that guides an individual, social movement, institution, or country.
Insignia is a distinguishing mark or sign.
Installation art is an environment made of found, natural or industrial materials to create an experience for the viewer that reveals the context of a place or site.
Integration is a process of allowing people, regardless of race, ethnicity, or religion, equal access of a community, place, or organization.
Intellectual property is an exclusive right over authorship and ownership of artistic and commercial creations and ideas.
Integration is a process of allowing people, regardless of race, ethnicity, or religion, equal access of a community, place, or organization.
Intentional communities are planned communities created through a shared set of social, spiritual, and political beliefs that shares responsibilities and resources among its members.
Intervention means to occur, fall, or come between points of time or events; to come in or between by way of hindrance or modification.
Investigate means to observe or study by close examination and systematic inquiry.
Juxtaposition is the act or an instance of placing two or more things side by side.
Loitering is the idle occupation of an area in public space with no expressed purpose. There are loitering laws in some states that prevent the gathering or standing of individuals or groups at a given space.
Memory is the power or process of reproducing or recalling what has been learned and retained, especially through an associative mechanism.
Mis-en-scène is a French term which translates to “putting on a scene” and may refer to the mood and tone created by the scene or the stage.
Moral relates to principles of right and wrong behavior.
Movement refers to the series of organized events that work together towards a shared goal, idea, or cause.
Narrative is a true or fictitious story, or an account of events and experiences.
Norm is something standard or typical that is socially enforced.
Nostalgia is a longing for people, things, places, or conditions belonging to the past.
Objective in art means the expressing or dealing with facts or conditions as perceived without distortion by personal feelings, prejudices, or interpretations.
Objectivity is defined by a neutral and impartial stance that applies to journalism, science, and philosophy. In cultural production objectivity is an attempt to present truths that are discovered rather than formulated by personal bias, judgment, and opinion.
Open source is a term applicable to software design and production where information on methodologies, research, and development is made accessible for others to execute further innovation.
Open system is a system which continuously interacts with its environment, where importing and exporting, building up and breaking down the material components change the system’s boundaries and its future interactions.
Palimpsests refers to Roman and Greek tablets or manuscripts that have been used, erased, and reused. In architecture, palimpsests are traces of change on buildings or the physical environment.
Paradigm is a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind.
Performativity is the repetition of speech, acts, and other social constructions that make up our understanding of reality. These acts make it appear as though social conventions are natural, when they are based on an internalized and repeated performance. A sense of subjectivity is an effect of such performance. So is identity. If performativity is about repetition, then it can also have a history or be interrupted, which is important for subverting or challenging what are accepted as social norms.
Perspective refers to an individual’s mental view of facts, ideas, and events and their interrelationships.
Popular culture is a general term used to describe contemporary life and items that are well known and generally accepted.
Portraiture refers to depictions of the unique appearance of specific individuals or groups of people.
Privatization is the transfer of ownership or provision of services from public government to private business.
Public space is an indoor or outdoor area to which all citizens have the right of access and a place to perform their rights to free speech.
Queer is a formerly derogative slang word for homosexual, which has been co-opted by various groups of the gay and lesbian community.
Readymades are mass-produced utilitarian objects which the artist transforms into works of art by placing them in an artistic context.
Realism is a style of painting that depicts figures and objects as they are in life.
Redevelopment is a state and federal initiative started in the 1930s in America to change the urban planning of large areas of the city to address urban neglect with revitalization of real estate, business, and structural improvements.
Re-enactment is to repeat the actions of an earlier event or incident.
Relational aesthetics is an artwork that fosters human relationships that make use of social interactions or contexts to generate encounter and exchange (Nicholas Bourriaud, Relational Aesthetics, Dijon: Les Presses du réel, 2002, p. 14).
Relics are preserved personal objects of saints; they can also be objects of commemoration with religious and historical significance.
Remixing is the act of creating a variant of an original by rearranging or adding to the original.
Repatriation is the act of restoring or returning objects or people to the country of origin, allegiance, or citizenship.
Re-presenting is the act of presenting something, such as an idea, concept, or process, anew.
Repurpose means to put to a new use.
Rituals are symbolic acts that exist in all societies that may be performed by an individual or groups in public or private settings. Rituals differ according to religious, traditional, and spiritual functions; they are rites of passage that are performed to ceremonialize respect, worship, and commitment.
Secondary use design is a term used by Martin Pawley to describe architecture that makes use of waste byproducts. Pawley describes Alfred Heineken’s World Bottle Brick design, with the primary use as a beer bottle and secondary use as a building brick, as a strong example of the concept.
Silhouettes are profile outlines, usually cut out of black paper.
Site is the general location or place of an artwork.
Site specificity is the particular placement and location of an installation artwork where the meaning of the work is directly informed by its social and historical relationship to context. The meaning of a site-specific artwork is dependant on place and placement, which effectively can change the entire meaning of the work.
Situation is a constructed event that the Situationists believed had the potential for play to lead to a total revolution of life and society.
Speaker’s corner is an area in public space where lawful public speeches are allowed; it is an area where one can exercise the right to free speech.
Status quo refers to the existing state of affairs.
Stereotype is something conforming to a fixed or general pattern; especially, a standardized mental picture that is held in common by members of a group and represents an oversimplified opinion, prejudiced attitude, or uncritical judgment.
Subjective in art is interpretation that is modified or affected by personal views, experience, or background.
Subjectivity relates to ideas, feelings, and perspectives that originate with the subject. In contemporary discourse, this is a contested term, or rejected altogether, because the idea of an individual subject is seen as a construction of culture, language, and politics.
Temporary Autonomous Zones (T.A.Z.) are created spaces that are evasive of authoritative rules associated with social spaces.
Transformational politics is a field that guides people towards looking inwardly to discover true power, releasing a collective creativity, in order to create a new society.
Typography is the style, arrangement, or appearance of typeset matter such as books.
Unitary urbanism was a primary demand of the Letterist and Situationist International for a new urban/town planning that reintegrated art back into everyday public life and provided humanist architectural design that would dissolve the difference between work and leisure.
Urban renewal is a type of redevelopment that takes large neglected areas of the city and prescribes new use and design for the area. This is a very controversial process where the government uses eminent domain to confiscate private property for public use. People, businesses, and entire neighborhoods are displaced and relocated for urban renewal projects.
Urbanism is the way of life for people who live in the city.
Utopia is an imaginary ideal of a perfect society. The double meaning in Greek, which translates utopia as
both a good place and no place, is significant because of the improbability of achieving a singular ideal for society at large.
Value is the relative worth, utility, or importance prescribed to something.
Vernacular refers to the native or indigenous language, as opposed to the literary or learned.

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