Legislative arts: interplays of art and law

Amin Parsa, Eric Snodgrass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The relation of law and art is conventionally understood through a disciplinary divide that presents art as an instrument of legal practice and scholarship or, alternatively, presents law as potential context for artistic engagement. Moving beyond disciplinary definitions, in this article we explore how art and law, as modes of ordering and action in the world, often overlap in their respective desires to engage existing material orders. Whereas law’s claim of producing order appears self-evident, we try to highlight, through a concept of legislative arts, the often-overlooked similar function of artistic practices. At the heart of what we refer to as legislative arts are practices that aim to challenge law’s claim of authority in ordering social life through tactical combinations of elements of art and law. In examining a set of examples that include the Tamms Year Ten campaign to close a super-max prison in the United States, the work of Forensic Architecture and practices of passport forgery, we aim to highlight the possibility of manifesting social orders beyond an exclusive reliance upon state laws. Pointing to the potentials of such legislative arts practices, this article suggests that the material ordering quality of artistic and legal practices can, and perhaps should, be weaponized for challenging and remaking the world of unjust state laws.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2034295
JournalJournal of Aesthetics and Culture
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Law and Society
  • Arts

Free keywords

  • forum
  • jurisgenerative
  • law and art
  • Legislative art


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