Sunday, May 5, 2013

Beuys, Kaprow, Piper, Bourriaud (Relational Aesthetics)

Notes of interest for each reading, all of which to keep in mind when considering Relational Aesthetics:

Joseph Beuys, I Am Searching for Field Character:
  • Talks about the creative potential residing in everyone, which is realized through individual intent facilitated through freedom.
  • " is now the only evolutionary-revolutionary power."
  •  "Communication occurs in reciprocity; it must never be a one-way flow from the teacher to the taught. The teacher takes equally from the taught."
Allan Kaprow, Notes on the Elimination of the Audience:
  • Talks about Happenings and the drawbacks and shortcomings of settings that framed and staged the events, making it difficult for them to be as innovative or revolutionary as possible.
  • Sets up parameters for what is required for effective and intentional participatory performance.
  • "It follows that audiences should be eliminated entirely."
  • "To assemble people unprepared for an event and say that they are 'participating' if apples are thrown at to ask very little of the whole notion of participation."
  • " big difference is that while knowledge of the scheme is necessary, professional talent is not...The best participants have been persons not normally engaged in art and performance, but who are moved to take part in an activity that is at once meaningful to them in its ideas yet natural in its methods." 
Adrian Piper, Notes on Funk, I-II: 
  •  Elaborates on the differences in the perception and engagement of dance among black and white cultures, and talks about her participatory Funk Lessons.
  • "...whereas social dance  in white culture is often viewed in terms of schievement, social grace or competence, or spectator-oriented entertainment, it is a collective and participatory means of self-transcendence and social union in black culture along many dimensions, and is so often much more fully integrated into daily life"
Nicolas Bourriaud: Relational Aesthetics
  • Proposes and discusses the responsibilities of contemporary art as something that needs to be experienced rather than observed, through exploring and engaging in social relationships and encounters. Art is no longer something that is hung on the wall or propped on a pedestal...we need to require much more from art than these traditional values and expectations.
  • ""Art is a state of encounter..."
  • "Traditional critical philosophy...can no longer sustain art unless it takes the form of an archaic folklore, or of a splendid rattle that achieved nothing."
  • "...the sphere of interhuman relationships...modes of social exchange...interaction with the that can be used to bring together individuals and human groups...the relational sphere."
  • "Relational art is neither a 'revival'...nor the return of a style. It is born of the observation of the present and of a reflection on the destiny of artistic activity. Its basic hypothesis - the sphere of human relationships as site for the artwork - is without precedent in the history of art..."

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