As a term in art history and criticism, this refers to the taking over, into a work of art, of a real object or even an existing work of art. The practice can be tracked back to the Cubist constructions and collages of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque made from 1912 onwards, in which real objects, such as newspapers, were included to represent themselves. Appropriation was developed much further in the ready-mades created by the French Dada artist Marcel Duchamp from 1913. Most notorious of these was Fountain, a men’s urinal signed, titled and presented on a pedestal. Later, Surrealism also made extensive use of appropriation in collages and objects, such as Salvador Dali’s Lobster Telephone. In the late 1950s, appropriated images and objects appear extensively in the work of Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, and in Pop art. However, the term seems to have come into use specifically in relation to certain American artists in the 1980s, notably Sherrie Levine and the artists of the Neo-Geo group, particularly Jeff Koons. Appropriation art raises questions of originality, authenticity and authorship, and belongs to the long modernist tradition of art that questions the nature or definition of art itself. Appropriation has been used extensively by artists since the 1980s.


The term art intervention applies to art designed specifically to interact with an existing structure or situation,be it another artwork, the audience, an institution or in the public domain. The popularity for art interventions emerged in the 1960s, when artists attempted to radically transform the role of the artist in society, and thereby society itself. They are most commonly associated with conceptual art and performance art.


The policy of active participation or engagement in a particular sphere of activity; specifically, the use of vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change.
Source: Oxford English Dictionary


A period of time during which human activities have impacted the environment enough to constitute a distinct geological change.
Source: National Geographic


A State constituted wholly by one or more archipelagos and may include other islands. An archipelago means a group of islands, including part of islands, interconnecting waters and other natural features which are so closely interrelated that such islands, waters, and other natural features form an intrinsic geographical, economic and political entity, or which historically have been regarded as such.
Source: UN Convention


The art and technique of designing and building structures that serve both utilitarian and aesthetic ends.


The process of providing and preserving evidence of activities which occurred in the past, the stories they tell, the people they document, and store valuable sources of information for research, thereby affirming the past, present, and future, while embodying the promise of the present to the future.
Source: National Archives and Jacque Derrida


The attribution of life and personality (and sometimes a soul) to inanimate objects and natural phenomena.
Source: Oxford English Dictionary

Animism designates a cosmos in which theoretically everything is alive and communicating, and potentially possess the qualities of being ‘a person’ or, at the very least, an agent of some kind.
Source: Posthuman Glossary


Research that defines art as its object in one way or another is generally called art research. Art can, however, also offer a premise and an aim for research: a motive, a terrain, a context and a whole range of methods. This kind of research is often referred to as “artistic research”. It is not a counter concept of “scientific research”, but instead, its primary aim is to describe the framework of research in a way that does not simply reduce art to the subject matter of a study.

Artistic research is typically carried out by experts in various fields of art, i.e. artists – or artist-researchers, to be exact, because not all art is research. Artistic activities can be considered research only when they are done within a critical community.
Source: University of Helsinki


The variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complex  of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems.
Source: Convention on Biological Diversity


A body is at once a material thing in the world and a point of view towards the world… the body as lived, as yielding the sensory experiences and lived intentionality of a subject negotiating its world… a body which is encountered by others whose response to it mediates our own sense of being.
Source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy


The study of plants, especially as observed in the field, and in their taxonomic, morphological, anatomical and ecological aspects.
Source: Oxford English Dictionary


The socio-economic system where social relations are based on commodities for exchange, in particular private ownership of the means of production and on the exploitation of wage labour. Capitalism is one of a series of socio-economics systems: tribal society and feudalism. It is the breakdown of all traditional relationships, and the subordination of relations to the “cash nexus” which characterises capitalism.
Source: Encyclopedia of Marxism


Dangerous overheating of the planet and the lack of action to stop it.
Source: Public Citizen


The customs, language, values, and skills that are handed down from each generation to the next in a particular cultural group and that help to maintain its sense of identity. Cultural heritage also includes specific technological or artistic achievements
Source: APA Dictionary of Psychology

Cultural heritage includes artefacts, monuments, a group of buildings and sites, museums that have a diversity of values including symbolic, historic, artistic, aesthetic, ethnological or anthropological, scientific and social significance. It includes tangible heritage (movable, immobile, and underwater), intangible cultural heritage (ICH) embedded into cultural, and natural heritage artefacts, sites or monuments. This definition excludes ICH related to other cultural domains such as festivals, celebration etc. It covers industrial heritage and cave paintings.
Source: UNESCO


A sustainable though dynamic state in which humans and wildlife coadapt to sharing landscapes, where human interactions with wildlife are effectively governed to ensure wildlife populations persist in socially legitimate ways that ensure tolerable risk levels.
Source: Society for Conservation Biology


The social processes involved in the generation and circulation of cultural forms, practices, values, and shared understandings: see also consensus.
The work of the culture industry.
Source: Oxford English Dictionary


The practice of selecting, organising, caring for, the items in exhibitions and/or the collection of a museum or other exhibition site.


Decoloniality refers to the logic, metaphysics, ontology and matrix of power created by the massive processes and aftermath of colonization and settler-colonialism. This matrix and its lasting effects and structures is called "coloniality."  More plainly said, decoloniality is a way for us to re-learn the knowledge that has been pushed aside, forgotten, buried or discredited by the forces of modernity, settler-colonialism, and racial capitalism.
Source: College of William and Mary


The definition of design incorporates seven elements: agent, object, environment, goals, primitives, requirements and constraints.
Source: Ralph, P., Wand, Y. (2009). A Proposal for a Formal Definition of the Design Concept. In: Lyytinen, K., Loucopoulos, P., Mylopoulos, J., Robinson, B. (eds) Design Requirements Engineering: A Ten-Year Perspective. Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing, vol 14. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

A variety of practices in which aesthetic and economic aspects are considered, including social, cultural and ecological facets, posing questions, repositioning and reframing design itself.
Source: Lexicon of Design Research


Migrants or descendants of migrants whose identity and sense of belonging, either real or symbolic, have been shaped by their migration experience and background. They maintain links with their homelands, and to each other, based on a shared sense of history, identity, or mutual experiences in the destination country.
Source: International Migration Law, UN Migration


The movements of persons who have been forced or obliged to leave their homes or places of habitual residence and move across international borders.
Source: International Migration Law, UN Migration


Ecology is the totality of the pattern of relationships between organisms and their environment.
Source: The Ecological Society of America


1) A community of organisms and their physical environment interacting as an ecological unit.
2) A dynamic complex of plant, animal and micro-organism communities and their non-living environment interacting as a functional unit.
Source: UNEP Law and Environment Assistance Platform


The process or action of:
1)To put into a body; to invest or clothes (a spirit) with a body.
2)To impart a material, corporeal, or sensual character.
3) To give a concrete form to (what is abstract or ideal); to express (principles, thoughts, intentions) in an institution, work of art, action, definite form of words, etc.
Source: Oxford English Dictionary 


1) The crisis of the global human ecosystem is threatened by grave imbalances in productivity and in the distribution of goods and services - as evidenced by the fact that a large proportion of the human population lives in poverty, and that a widening gap exists between those who benefit from economic and technological development and those who do not
2) A crisis with accelerated changes are occurring at the global scale, with rates of economic and social development outstripping progress in achieving internationally co-ordinated environmental stewardship - with the result that improvements in environmental protection due to new technologies are being 'cancelled out' by the magnitude and pace of human population growth and economic development
Source: SOAS University of London


A radical political movement to end sexist oppression.


A mode of representation—a way of describing individuals and events—that is strikingly different from representation concerned with truth. Fiction may even depart from truth in the things it talks about, which typically include nonexistent individuals and even members of nonexistent kinds.


The concept of geocultural space has been taken up in fields as diverse as theater and performance studies, historical literary studies , civic performance art, political science, studies of education and immigration, international relations and cultural geography. Scholars across these disciplines have defined geocultural space variously as mapping cultural practices and attitudes onto the geographic regions with which they are associated, or referring to a ‘sense of place’ that encompasses the historical and cultural events and narratives associated with a location.


The intimate correlations and occasionally determinate relationships between terrestrial space and power


An increasing internationalisation of markets for goods and services, the means of production, financial systems, competition, corporations, technology and industries. Amongst other things this gives rise to increased mobility of capital, faster propagation of technological innovations and an increasing interdependency and uniformity of national markets.
Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development


History is the result of conceptualization of the past on the part of the people who tell it –professional historians, politicians, partisans, and ordinary citizens.


Local knowledge that is unique to a given culture or society, which is the basis for local-level decision making in agriculture, health care, education and other matters of concern in rural communities.


Practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated therewith – that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognise as part of their cultural heritage. This intangible cultural heritage, transmitted from generation to generation, is constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment, their interaction with nature and their history, and provides them with a sense of identity and continuity, thus promoting respect for cultural diversity and human creativity.
Source: UNESCO


Institutional critique is the act of critiquing an institution as artistic practice, the institution usually being a museum or an art gallery.


Labour is, in the first place, a process in which both man and Nature participate, and in which man of his own accord starts, regulates, and controls the material re-actions between himself and Nature. He opposes himself to Nature as one of her own forces, setting in motion arms and legs, head and hands, the natural forces of his body, in order to appropriate Nature's productions in a form adapted to his own wants. By thus acting on the external world and changing it, he at the same time changes his own nature.


That which constitutes the matter or material of something; The quality of being composed of matter; material existence; solidity; Material or physical aspect or character; outward appearance or externality. 4)The quality of being relevant or significant.

Source: Oxford English Dictionary


The movement of persons away from their place of usual residence, either across an international border or within a State.


A kind of story or rudimentary narrative sequence, normally traditional and anonymous, through which a given culture ratifies its social customs or accounts for the origins of human beings and natural phenomena, usually in supernatural or boldly imaginative terms.

Source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy


A kind of story or rudimentary narrative sequence, normally traditional and anonymous, through which a given culture ratifies its social customs or accounts for the origins of human beings and natural phenomena, usually in supernatural or boldly imaginative terms.


A telling of some true or fictitious event or connected sequence of events, recounted by a narrator to a narratee (although there may be more than one of each). Narratives are to be distinguished from descriptions of qualities, states, or situations, and also from dramatic enactments of events (although a dramatic work may also include narrative speeches).

Source: Oxford Reference


The whole of material reality, considered as independent of human activity and history 2)The whole universe, as it is the place, the source and the result of material phenomena (including man or at least man’s body) 3)The specific force at the core of life and change 4) The essence, inner quality and character, the whole of specific physical properties of an object, live or inert.


The art, occupation, or practice of teaching. Also: the theory or principles of education; a method of teaching based on such a theory.

Source: Oxford English Dictionary


The theory or practice of government or administration; the science or study of government and the state.

Source: Oxford English Dictionary


The political and theoretical struggles of societies that experienced the transition from political dependence to sovereignty

Source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 


A new way of understanding the human subject in relationship to the natural world; It seeks to undermine the traditional boundaries between the human, the animal, and the technological.

Source: Georgia Institute of Technology

Public Sphere

Any place, either physical or virtual, functioning as a setting for expansive communication among citizens about the meaning, development, conservation, or revision of public values. As such, the public sphere is a precursor value, a prerequisite for identifying and achieving public values, at least within the context of a democracy.

Source: American Review of Public Administration

Public Art

Public art has to do with ordinary, unmythicized people in ordinary places and with the ordinary events of their mundane lives. Public art in its traditional sense occupies public space and memorializes a public event, and in the current sense, questions the meaning of that space and that events and draws the public into intelligent discourse with it.

Source: Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism


A form of compulsion involving a rigid or stereotyped act that is carried out repeatedly and is based on idiosyncratic rules that do not have a rational basis (e.g., having to perform a task in a certain way). Rituals may be performed to reduce distress and anxiety caused by an obsession; A ceremonial act or rite, usually involving a fixed order of actions or gestures and the saying of certain prescribed words. Anthropologists distinguish between several major categories of ritual, although these can often overlap in practice: magic rituals, which involve an attempt to manipulate natural forces through symbolic, often imitative, actions (e.g., pouring water on the ground to make rain); calendrical rituals, which mark the changing of the seasons and the passing of time; liturgical rituals, which involve the reenactment of a sacred story or myth, as in the Christian eucharist and many other religious rituals; rites of passage; and formal procedures that have the effect of emphasizing both the importance and the impersonal quality of certain social behaviors, as in a court of law; More generally, any habit or custom that is performed routinely and with little or no thought. —ritualism n. —ritualistic adj.

Source: APA Dictionary of Psychology


The theory or practice of regional organization; esp. regional government or control as opposed to centralization; (later also) the grouping of several states, countries, etc. into a larger region for political, economic, or administrative purposes. Also: support for or advocacy of this; Regional quality, character, or distinctiveness; regionality; esp. the expression of this in literature, art, etc.

Source: Oxford English Dictionary

Spaces of the Curatorial

A comprehensive platform that aims to bring forth innovative and experimental forms of artistic and curatorial practices that intersect the present and histories of contemporary art embedded in social-political spheres with other fields of knowledge.


The integration of environmental health, social equity and economic vitality in order to create thriving, healthy, diverse and resilient communities for this generation and generations to come. The practice of sustainability recognizes how these issues are interconnected and requires a systems approach and an acknowledgement of complexity.

Source: UCLA Sustainable Committee


Technology refers to the state of knowledge concerning ways of converting resources into outputs.


Dramatic performances as a branch of art, or as an institution; the drama. Also, the drama of a particular time or place; dramatic art as a craft, the theatrical profession.

Source: Oxford English Dictionary


The science or practice of describing a particular place, city, town, manor, parish, or tract of land; the accurate and detailed delineation and description of any locality.

Source: Oxford English Dictionary


A belief, statement, custom, etc., handed down by non-written means (esp. word of mouth, or practice) from generation to generation; such beliefs, etc., considered collectively; Doctrine, or a particular doctrine, which is not stated in scripture but which is believed to have comparable authority, having been transmitted orally or by other non-written means.

Source: Oxford English Dictionary


A form of nationalism often established in migrant communities that constructs the diaspora as nationalist extension of the homeland.


Urban life or character. Also: urban development and planning.

Source: Oxford English Dictionary