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Michael Kopp, from Louisville, Kentucky is recent graduate of Indiana University Southeast where he obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Art and Interactive Media. Kopp creates projection installations in public spaces, challenging the political and social issues affecting the Southern U.S. LGBTQ community. Past installation sites have included the office of Rowan County clerk Kim Davis, Kentuckiana Pride Festival, and the Louisville Palace Theatre. Currently, Kopp is obtaining his Masters of Fine Arts Degree at Bowling Green State University (Bowling Green, OH) with an emphasis on Art and Social Practice.
Summer 2016, Kopp was diagnosed HIV Positive. Since his diagnosis, Kopp has focused his research on sociopolitical issues plaguing the HIV Positive community. Employing the conceptual framework of glitch theory, Kopp analyzes the politics and process of HIV transmission through production of contemporary queer art. Kopp has recently curated a new social project in the HIV positive community; he’s developing a traveling podcast interviewing people living with HIV from different sociopolitical backgrounds across the country discussing sex, love and loathing experiences post diagnosis.
Presentation: What Is the Practice of Socially Engaged Art and How Is It Implemented In the POZ Community?
Time: Breakout Session 1
My research analyzes the transmission and sociopolitical effects of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), employing the conceptual framework of glitch theory in contemporary queer art. Through various forms of data corruption and appropriation of found digital artifacts, my work confronts the seemingly innumerable stigmas and prejudices endured amongst the HIV positive community. My creative process includes examining and simulating the production of HIV in the human body, as well as using the virus as a medium for creation. By approaching this series of work with the perspective of creation mirroring destruction, I have found a sort of ease in living an HIV positive life.
It is my long term goal to foster a strong and healthy community amongst people living with HIV through art and activism. Currently I am developing weekly HIV support group meetings; through this engagement I have begun interviewing individuals living with HIV for a Podcast series focused on discussing issues of: sex, love and loathing post diagnosis.
I research sociopolitical, health, and transmission data of HIV through the use of multiple sources. Through the CDC HIV Surveillance Reports, I have discovered that my home town, Louisville, Kentucky, is the seventh highest rated city in America for HIV transmission rates per capita. At large, this harrowing statistic is unascertained by the local government and at risk communities in the city, drastically perpetuating Louisville as an epicenter for transmission of HIV. I aim to bring Louisville hope by curating a strong and politically activated community network and support system for the prodigiously growing HIV positive community; furthermore, fighting to end the transmission of the virus.
I am aiming to present my research and creative social practice within the Louisville HIV Positive community. My presentation will discuss the three social practice projects I have been curating (glitch series, community based social gatherings, and the Podcast series) and how each project has been implemented in POZ community. I would also like to have a brief informal critique to discuss with other community members what is working, and what could be changed to ensure optimum efficacy in creating the sociopolitical change I wish to bring with my work.
1. Acknowledge and differentiate between the practices art as production and art as implementation.
2. Exhibit the role of authorship and ownership in the field of socially engaged art. (role of author vs. initiator)
3. Transform Affect in Political Effectiveness – use art NOT to talk about a political/social situation, but to create a political/social situation of change.
4. Learn resources for working with trans and gender non conforming people.