Bourriaud, interactivity, changing art

I haven’t really said anything about my PGPD in my blog. I learnt a lot from writing it. It would be a shame not to make more out of it in the wider context of my project. The essay was about participatory art in history and the lessons that can be learned from it for online participation in art.

A dot on a line

One of my key sources was Nicholas Bourriaud’s book Relational Aesthetics. At the heart of Bourriaud’s thesis is the idea that art is not to be found in static objects but in lived experiences. A key example of this is the work of Rirkrit Tiravanija, who in the past has presented people with large canisters of thai soup and noodles in the name of art. Here’s a quote from the book:

The contemporary artwork’s form is spreading out from its material form: it is a linking element, a principle of dynamic agglutination*. An artwork is a dot on a line. (Bourriaud, 1998, p20-21)

*agglutination is the adhesion of distinct parts, apparently.

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My head hurts

Okay, so that’s the pgpd out of the way. I loved doing all the reading for mine but am a bit unhappy with the end result. I feel like I’ve learned lots though. And it’s got me wanting to read more theory. I’ve also begun to think that writing this blog is becoming very important in the process of actualising my thoughts and taking them from vague mumblings toward genuine orientation. So, I’ve found myself sitting with the seeds of a few thoughts/questions that I want to write down here, so I can see how they look on paper (sorry, screen) as much as anything. Some might either be obvious or plain wrong, but I want to get a bit more of a grasp of how these things fit together.

Nicholas Bourriaud argues that modernism never died, it just shifted shape and found a new dream. Read this PDF to get a fuller idea. It’s a decent chunk of his very useful, if slightly full of itself book Relational Aesthetics.

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