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Margaret A. Coleman





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Cumberland County


This research addresses the constraints of creative practice as it exists within the realm of mainstream capitalist culture and the possibilities for creative practice when practiced through a lens of anarchism. Drawing from Silvia Federici’s historical analysis of Marxist enclosures, and Gregory Sholette’s argument of art as a form of enclosure, this research advocates for an expansion of what is considered creative practice. The Dominant Art World Structures indicate institutional organization, a relationship with the cultivation of capital, and a hierarchical construction, making space for the conversations, practices, and people that have been allocated to this realm of mainstream contemporary art practice. In my research, I explore the potential for a creative commons, that allows for inclusion of voices that would traditionally be excluded from the Dominant Art World Structures. I engage with practices that often lie outside of the Dominant Art World, that may not even be commonly identified as art. The research also includes examples of creative practitioners whose practices are not acknowledged. Sources include punk zines, small town newspapers, posters from events that were not otherwise documented, and interviews with community members. This research advocates for a foundation of anarchic perspective that grounds itself on consciousness as stemming from the relational of being part of the other, of being a participant of the collective.

The first half of the dissertation examines what capitalism, consumption, and commodification has created in relation to art, leaving a realm filled with competition with the eventual outcome being the monetization of people and relationships themselves. The second half of the dissertation begins to construct a perspective of what creative practice could be, when coming from a consciousness that employs anarchic sensibilities. These chapters identify characteristics of the creative commons and explore practices that demonstrate these characteristics, including collaboration or collective action without claim to authorship, skill sharing, and what it means to build from the ground up.


Art Practice | Fine Arts | Philosophy


Institute for Doctoral Studies in The Visual Arts


Portland ME

From the Ground Up: An Anarchic Methodology for Creative Practice Beyond Capitalism



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