Artistic interventions can only be examined within the framework of a complex understanding of art and society. This understanding must be intersectional and take account of social disparities and cultural heterogeneities. A comprehensive examination of the interconnections between art and society allows us to understand cultural practices both as factors of social crises and conflicts and as a point of departure for new conceptualizations of the political. This presents us with certain opportunities as well as certain difficulties and conflicts. Recent events have brought the term of “military intervention” dramatically to the forefront of our minds, which has served to highlight the general ambivalence of intervention as a term. It has a spectrum of meaning ranging from participation through to meddling, intrusion, and even assault.
Artistic intervention does not exclusively refer to practices that have a clearly socio-political angle. In addition to programmatic demands for intervention, we focus on the artistic poetics and practices that use their own particular forms, material resistances, and performative dynamics to develop an interventionist potential that is of a more clandestine, subcutaneous, and microscopic nature. We use the concepts of transitivity and intransitivity, themselves still subject to further development, to examine this variety of interventionist forms.