Labeled Projects and Partnerships
Art & Design Research Laboratory at Ensad, Paris
École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs

Art makes society

new social ecologies and hybrid forms of publication

An investigation in the contemporary Mexican scene

The project “Art makes society, new social ecologies and hybrid forms of publication. An investigation in the contemporary Mexican scene” brings together EnsadLab and EHESS (IIAC and CRH) and CEMCA (international Mexican and Centroamerican study centre of CNRS in Mexico) researchers.

Taking as a point of departure a series of studies on contemporary art forms in Mexico, this project explores sites which allow new civil institutions at the intersection of art, social and political issues to be produced today. At once spaces of friction, of uncertainty and of creation, these new civil institutions express societal issues in a sensitive way and also propose ways to reinvent modes of being in the world. They play a particularly important role when, as in the Mexican context, the social fabric is undermined by growing social inequalities. Proposing new contexts for artistic production, they also make it possible to reweave threads between the different groups and create social links, thus fostering the emergence of  “commons”. In this context, art could make it possible to reinvent spaces of socialization in contexts of strong social fragmentation.

To account for these dynamics, this project intends to set up a series of anthropological surveys in cultural centers and in art festivals located in three regions of Mexico (Mexico DF, the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas). These will allow us to observe how social groups are able to activate, through artistic creation, new types of public spaces. This collective project thus makes the bet that art and society, when they meet, can bring about new social ecologies resulting from collective and relational actions. Furthermore, the sensitive nature of artistic creation practices requires researchers working on this topic to invent methods of inquiry and writing that can allow for their restitution. We therefore wish to combine this empirical aspect of research with research through practice, which will allow us to explore the possibility of hybrid forms of publication and restitution of this research.


Projest supervised by Francesca Cozzolino (enseignante-chercheure, Ensadlab) with the collaboration of Sophie Wahnich (directrice d’études, EHESS) and Pierre-Olivier Dittmar (maître de conférence, EHESS), supported by IRIS PSL «Création, cognition et société».

Research team :

Samuel Bianchini (EnsadLab)
Francesca Cozzolino (EnsadLab/Lesc)
Pierre-Olivier Dittmar (EHESS)
Lucile Haute (Université de Nîmes/EnsadLab)
Quentin Juhel (étudiant-chercheur EnsadLab)
Sophie Krier (UCR/EnsadLab)
Caroline Perrée (CEMCA, Mexico)
Sophie Wahnich (CNRS/ IIAC-EHESS)


Mapa de recuerdo, projet du collectif « La Buena Estrella », Mexico, octobre 2018