Looking Back, Looking Forward

Self-published, 2017

Edited by Jen Delos Reyes, Katie Hargrave, Heath Schultz

Featuring contributions by: Dan S. Wang, Rene de Guzman, Erica Mena, Rose Salseda, Anthony D. Stepter, & Paul Ramirez Jonas.


Art Practical Issue 8.3 Art Can't Do Anything If We Don't

March 23, 2017

To All the Futures We Can Imagine

Beyond Critique: Contemporary Art in Theory, Practice, and Instruction

Published by Bloomsbury, 2017

Edited by Pamela Fraser and Roger Rothman

Critique has long been a central concept within art practice and theory. Since the emergence of Conceptual Art, artists have been expected by critics, curators, and art school faculty to focus their work on exposing and debunking ideologies of power and domination. Recently, however, the effectiveness of cultural critique has come into question. The appearance of concepts such as the "speculative," the "reparative," and the "constructive" suggests an emerging postcritical paradigm.

Beyond Critique takes stock of the current discourse around this issue. With some calling for a renewed criticality and others rejecting the model entirely, the book's contributors explore a variety of new and recently reclaimed criteria for contemporary art and its pedagogy. Some propose turning toward affect and affirmation; others seek to reclaim such allegedly discredited concepts as intimacy, tenderness, and spirituality. With contributions from artists, critics, curators and historians, this book provides new ways of thinking about the historical role of critique while also exploring a wide range of alternative methods and aspirations. Beyond Critique will be a crucial tool for students and instructors who are seeking to think and work beyond the critical.


Say It While You Still Mean It: Conversations on Art and Practice

Published by OE in Print, 2017

Edited by Terri Griffith, Duncan MacKenzie, Richard Holland

Open Engagement is an annual artist-led conference dedicated to expanding the dialogue around and creating a site of care for the field of socially engaged art.

Bad at Sports is a weekly podcast, a series of objects, events, and a daily blog produced in Chicago, San Francisco, and New York City, which features artists and art worlders in conversation about art and the community of makers.

Bad at Sports and Open Engagement are two of the principle spaces from which artists witness and investigate the scope of an emerging practice. Say It While You Still Mean It: Conversations on Art & Practice presents nine luminaries, fellow travelers in conversation about a dynamic meaning making.

I'm Going to Live the Life I Sing About In My Song: How Artists Make and Live Lives of Meaning

Published by OE in Print, 2016

The book gives an inside look into these artists daily lives through in-depth on-site visits, interviews, images of their homes and workplaces, and a foreword that will unpack the history of the artists impulse toward art and everyday life. The book is a full-color document that lays bare the quotidian as well as monumental aspects of their work and lives. It gives an inside look at how these artists approach not only their work, but their days, schedules, relationships and how they live. 

Many of the artists that blur the boundary between art and life have an approach that is not merely a project, but, in the words of John Cage, they treat art as an “experimental station in which one tries out living.” In these experiments artists are shaping the world around them through their art. We can look to artists to show us how to creatively shape our daily existence. They can model for us the worlds we want to live in. 

This book serves as a road map of where others have been - through a series of interviews with visionary artists/philosophers/thinkers- towards creating the lives we want to live and the worlds we want to see through the creativity of artists who have used their work to make and live lives of meaning. The book examines the social movements, cultural theory, and philosophies that were influencing these artists from political activism, intentional living, pioneering figures, and Eastern philosophies. It traces a history of artists who have worked on the border of art and life and culminate in chapters looking at the work of  Fritz Haeg, David Horvitz, J. Morgan Puett, Ben Kinmont, and Mierle Laderman Ukeles. These artists use daily acts of living to connect their artistic practice to their life values and philosophies.

The Everyday Practice of Public Art: Art, Space, and Social Inclusion

Published by Routledge, 2015

Edited by Cameron Cartiere, Martin Zebracki

The Everyday Practice of Public Art: Art, Space, and Social Inclusion is a multidisciplinary anthology of analyses exploring the expansion of contemporary public art issues beyond the built environment.

It follows the highly successful publication The Practice of Public Art (eds. Cartiere and Willis), and expands the analysis of the field with a broad perspective which includes practicing artists, curators, activists, writers and educators from North America, Europe and Australia, who offer divergent perspectives on the many facets of the public art process.

The collection examines the continual evolution of public art, moving beyond monuments and memorials to examine more fully the development of socially-engaged public art practice. Topics include constructing new models for developing and commissioning temporary and performance-based public artworks; understanding the challenges of a socially-engaged public art practice vs. social programming and policymaking; the social inclusiveness of public art; the radical developments in public art and social practice pedagogy; and unravelling the relationships between public artists and the communities they serve.

The Everyday Practice of Public Art offers a diverse perspective on the increasingly complex nature of artistic practice in the public realm in the twenty-first century.

Talking About Museums in Public

Portland Art Museum, 2014

Talking About Museums in Public was organized by Jen Delos Reyes and brought together a group of Portland artists to encourage public conversation and thinking about the role of museums in people’s lives in the 21st century.


A History of Engagement:
The Portland Art Museum 1909–2014

Portland Art Museum, 2014

Researched and Written by Sarah Lampen

Edited by Jen Delos Reyes
Illustrated by Olivia Serrill
This book traces a strand of the Portland Art Museum’s history of engagement with a focus on the work conducted by the Education Department. This timeline focuses on strategies that move outside of standard practice, reach beyond the museum to build relationships, foster community participation, and make clear that a museum can be a center of not only cultural engagement, but civic, social, and community activity.


An Illustrated Treasury of Quotes on Art/Life

Published by Museum Press, 2014

An Illustrated Treasury of Quotes on Art/Life looks at how the daily acts of living as explored by a selection of artists working today connects their life values, philosophies, and approaches to larger political issues including labor, economics, food production, and education and continues the legacy of artists who have sought to fuse art and life.

The booklet features quote interpretations from Belin Liu, Corbin LaMont, Ariana Jacob, Kate Bing-Burt, Justin Flood, David Horvitz, Lori Gordon, Paul Ramirez Jonas, Jason Sturgill, Kerri-Lynn Reeves, Will Bryant, Sarah Baugh, Crystal Baxley and Nicole Lavelle.


Reference Points Book Series

Published by Publication Studio, 2013

Art and Social Practice Reference Points was a book series edited by Jen Delos Reyes between 2012–2014 and was produced in conjunction with current MFA students that cover three areas related to socially engaged art: people, thematic volumes, and workbooks. Working in conjunction with faculty students select individuals or groups that are influential for socially engaged artists, themes that capture currents in contemporary social art practice, and methods for creative application.

Releases in the series edited by Jen Delos Reyes:

Center for Urban Pedagogy with Molly Sherman
Harrell Fletcher with Adam Moser
John Malpede with Dillon De Give
Temporary Services with Carmen Papalia
The Art and Social Practice workbook, edited by Erin Charpentier and Travis Neel

This series was designed by Nicole Lavelle and Sarah Deann Baugh and published by Publication Studio.


Discotopia: Searching for Paradise on the Dance Floor


An essay written for the Utopia exhibition at CS18 in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2011. The essay looks to disco as a utopian model.


A Wikipedia Reader


A project by ASDF that I contributed to.This was commissioned by the Art Libraries Society of New York for the Contemporary Artists Books Conference at Printed Matter’s 2009 NY Art Book Fair. It was organized through David Senior at the Museum of Modern Art Library.

Contributions by:
Paul Branca, Dexter Sinister, Barbara Ess, Fillip, Rob Giampietro, Marc Handelman, Zach Houston, Adam Katz and Julia S/rman, Brian Kennon/ 2nd Cannons Publications, Chosil Kil, Alex Klein, Marisa Olson, Paul Pieroni, Laurel Ptak, Eileen Quinlan, Michael Smoler, Jamie Stewart, Oraib Toukan, Lia Trinka-Browner, Jen Delos Reyes, Rafael Rozendaal, Ryan Waller, Amy Yao.

Some People, Places and Things that Have Taught Me About Community, Collaboration, and Pedagogy.

An incomplete list of people, places, and things that have taught me about community, collaboration and pedagogy (in no particular order) that I made for Paul Butler’s Reverse Pedagogy.

Share Document: Writings on Design, “Ten Lessons Graphic Designers Learn That Every Artist Should Understand."

Published by Ampersand Gallery and Fine Books, Portland, OR. 2013.

“Ten Lessons Graphic Designers Learn That Every Artist Should Understand”, was written as a commission for Design Week Portland. The essay looks at how design education fosters traits that socially engaged artists could benefit from.


Open Engagement: An Anthology

Delos Reyes, Jen, Editor.

Published by Publication Studio, 2012

Open Engagement: Art and Social Practice 2007–2011 is a collection of essays, lecture transcriptions, interviews, photographs, and project documentation focused on socially engaged art that has emerged from the Open Engagement conference directed and founded by Jen Delos Reyes. Open Engagement explores the questions surrounding why artists have now, more than ever, turned towards ideas of community and social connections for creating their work. This book is a document of a selection of three years of conference materials that includes internationally known artists, curators, and scholars such as: Mark Dion, Amy Franceschini, Julie Ault, Bruce High Quality Foundation, Fritz Haeg, Pablo Helguera, Nils Norman, and others.

This book wraps language around the burgeoning field, a critical text for those hoping to explore this subject. Each year this publication will be updated to include materials from the most recent conference.


Social Practice Art: A History

Delos Reyes, Jen, Editor. Portland State University.


Box set of zines co-written and produced by the 2012 History of Art and Social Practice class at PSU.

Because We Are Your Friends: Legacies of Institutional Critique in Art and Social Practice

BOMB Online
Essay that looks at how a history of institutional critique has translated in socially engaged art within museum culture.


A Case for a Contemporary Collection of Canadian Folk Music


Delos Reyes, Jen. Manitoba Folkways Project.


Private Lives


Art Criticism and Other Short Stories, edited by Helen Reed. 

Artist book anthology. Series of six staple bound, softcover, b/w booklets.

Edition of 100.

Edited and produced by Helen Reed.

Publication design by Chris Lee.

This anthology of short fiction about contemporary art features six short stories:

Darren O’Donnell fantasizes about hosting a couch-surfing Thomas Hirschhorn, Sam Korman pens a conspiratorial excursion through the paintings of Wayne Gonzales and Anna Gray & Ryan Wilson Paulsen compose a letter to their friendly art rival Ryan Gander. Onya Hogan-Finlay revisits the work of Lee Lozano at Michigan Women’s Festival, Jen Delos Reyes imagines the journeys of three Felix Gonzales Torres’ poster works, and Helen Reed contributes a narrative about a trip to see Andrea Bowers’ Non-violent Civil Disobedience drawings.

Art Criticism & Other Short Stories is a collection of fan fiction for contemporary art & artists, enacting a speculative & playful relationship with objects of desire.

God Only Knows What I’d Be Without You


YA5 Volume 1, Issue 2, June 2011

We Need To Know Where We Have Been: To Know Where We Are Going.


Delos Reyes, Jen, Editor. Portland State University.

A collaboratively written text on the history of art and social practice. This book features the contributions of over 20 undergraduate students enrolled in the History of Art and Social Practice class at Portland State University in the Winter of 2009, graduate students from the Art and Social Practice MFA concentration, Portland based artists, and interviews and contributions by influential social practice artists including Ted Purves, Helena Keefe, and Paul Butler.


“Let Knowledge Serve the City: A Social Education”


Part of Condensations of the Social at Smack Mellon.

Essay written on the value of public learning and learning in public. Essay was dispersed through the neighborhood of the gallery on a series of flags that marked sites of public learning connected to the exhibition. Excerpts from the essay appeared as flags marking sites of learning identified by PSU students.


“Never Going Back Again: Remaking Rumours.”


Delos Reyes, Jen. Among Friends, Haverford College.

“The Quirky Ones.”


Delos Reyes, Jen. MFA Graduate Exhibition catalogue essay, Disjecta.

“Preaching to the Choir.”

Delos Reyes, Jen. Artcity 2008 catalogue.

“We Are Here For You.”


Delos Reyes, Jen. Decentre: Concerning Artist Run Culture. YYZ Books.

“Group Work: The Factory, Warhol and Social Engagement.”


Delos Reyes, Jen. MacKenzie Art Gallery.