Episode 015

Cruel Optimism









Sophie Hope



March 11, 2022


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Sophie Hope has just written a contribution to a book called The Failures of Public Art and Participation. In this episode she expands upon some of the arguments in her chapter, We Thought We Were Going To Change The World: socially engaged art and cruel optimism.

She bases her analysis on a reading of Laurent Berlant’s book Cruel Optimism and uses a long running work of her own, the 1984 Dinners, as the starting point for a practical look at how we might thrive through solidarity in the face of the frustrations of our cruel optimism.