Colleague and friend Steven J. Tepper released a rather extraordinary book this August on the dynamics and anatomy of controversy surrounding the arts. Not Here, Not Now, Not That! Protest over art and culture in America
is an exhaustive and extensive sociological study of conflict around culture, built on data from 71 cities between 1995 and 1998. But it’s also a book about politics, community, identity, expression, and the complex way those elements of our lives interact around art.
- communities are changing;
- art and other symbols of community life amplify and call attention to growing uncertainty;
- people react to art in order to clarify boundaries of permissible expression and to voice concern; and
- the dynamics of protest differ based on the trajectory of a community, its rate of social change, and its political and institutional context.