Indeed, there are many examples of art that try to shake up, or disturb the societal comfort zone, surprise people, or challenge them. Art is then linked up to social development, or to a never-ending process of social innovation. Art may function as a means of communication and for social cohesion. It may contribute to a better understanding, more awareness or new meaning.
In social art there are such goals as improved participation of vulnerable citizens, increasing social cohesion and quality of life at neighbourhood or street level. It may help people to enhance their own strength, and provide them with opportunities to shape their own part of society.
The Dutch philosopher Rene Gude said: "Art allows us to make our imagination free and liberating. Without such freedom, there will be no social resilience nor willingness to change in a context of changing circumstances.(..) Free art belongs to the public domain, and to the free life worlds of all various groups of citizens, life worlds that should not be curtailed by economic or political laws. Without free art there is no public imagination."