Annotated by
Miguel A. López

Talking to Action: Art, Pedagogy and Activism in the Americas


Bill Kelley Jr., Rebecca Zamora


University of Chicago Press



Talking to Action accompanied the eponymous exhibition curated by Kelley and Zamora in the context of the Pacific Standard Time: Los Angeles / Latin America project in 2017. It collects critical essays and documentation of socially engaged practices and collaborative community-based art practices developed across the Americas. The editors highlighted practices not included in the traditional gallery and museum narratives, which were often creating interdisciplinary dialogues, working in public space and creating intersections of art, activism, grassroots organizations and social science. ML

"From its inception, Talking to Action: Art, Pedagogy, and Activism in the Americas was meant to focus on dialogically-driven, community-based art making across the Americas.
Given the quick growth and academicization of the field that we call social practice in the United States over the last decade, I was determined to say something about the intellectual and methodological roots of these practices that were not simply anchored in northern-transatlantic thinking. Thus, Talking to Action was a research project that was born of a need to redirect the legacies of the past. Given this alternate mapping, it only made sense to begin with the idea that we’re attempting to learn something and that this learning should take the form of a dialogue."