Shared stakes, distributed investment: Socially engaged art and the financialization of social impact
This article examines the implications of the financialization of social impact and the emerging social impact bonds (SIBs) market for socially engaged art practices. How do SIBs, which allow for investment in social impact metrics, shift the broader contexts through which the value of social impact is understood in art discourses? In the British context, recent projects by Assemble, Open School East and others do important social work, yet echo the logic of the social investment market by outsourcing social impact. Rather than dismissing socially engaged art initiatives as having been recuperated by financialized capitalism, I suggest the need to develop new ways of achieving a double reading of these works as they relate to – and upset the distinctions between – stakeholder and bondholder valuation.