‘Socially engaged artists’ are people who get to count as artists be virtue of their usual or self-defining artwork-making role within the artworld.
They then make use of this status (exploit it, if you like) by messing about in the real world outside the artworld, making things and doing things that they want people who normally would never go into an art gallery to look at and think about in the best sort of open-minded way in which people who do go into art galleries look at and think about things.
…that is to say, as sites of potential illumination (the acquisition of new memes) in any of the domains of human concern: moral, political, economical, scientific, legal, charitable, religious, and whatever. Even aesthetic illumination if there is such a thing (whatever, if anything, an aesthetic illumination may amount to that beats seratonin stimulators).
-Donald Brook, email to Lucas Ihlein, 14 September 2013.