Semester of Graduation

August 2018

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Art History

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

This thesis will discuss the development of socially engaged art collective Fallen Fruit (active 2004 – present) in regards to their community-oriented projects, museum exhibitions, and recent online artwork Endless Orchard (2017). Fallen Fruit presents an interesting example of a social practice art group since they straddle both an activist agenda as well as the commercial world of mainstream institutions and the Internet. This paper will analyze the rationale for Fallen Fruit’s manner of adapting to commercial success by considering their progression from localized projects in the communities of Los Angeles to curated exhibitions in well-known museums and venture into the online world. The research conducted here will present both the positive and negative effects of navigating the commercial art world as a socially engaged art collective. This research was completed by analyzing texts by social practice artists and scholars, such as Suzanne Lacy, Grant Kester, and Claire Bishop. Additionally, information was gathered about the larger context of urban gardening and foraging from authors like Alys Fowler. More specific information about Fallen Fruit and their projects were gathered from their website, blog posts, journal articles, books, and an artist talk I attended.

Date

6-5-2018

Committee Chair

Ryan, Susan Elizabeth

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