Sunday, March 28, 2010

Henri Lefebvre on space

Space as a whole enters into the modernized mode of capitalist production: it is utilized to produce surplus value... The urban fabric, with its multiple networks of communication and exchange, is part of a means of production... Capitalism and neocapitalism have produced an abstract space that is a reflection of the world of business on both a national and international level as well as the power of money and the "politique" of the state.

Society of Extras

again by Bourriaud:

"The society of the spectacle has been defined by Guy Deborg as the historical moment when merchandise achieved "the total occupation of social life," capital having reached "such a degree of accumulation" that it was turned into imagery. Today, we are in the further stage of the spectacular development: the individual has shifted from a passive and purely repetitive status to the minimum activity dictated to him by market forces. So, television consumption is shrinking in favor of video games; thus the spectacular hierarchy encourages "empty monads", i.e programmeless models and politicians; thus everyone sees themselves summoned to be famous for 15 minutes, using TV, game, street poll or news item as a go-between. This is the reign of the "Infamous Man", whom Michel Foucault defined as the anymous and "ordinary" individual suddenly put in the glare of the media spotlights. Here we are summoned to turn into extras of the spectacle, having been regarded as its consumers. This switch can be historically explained; since the surrender of the Soviet bloc, there are no obstacles on capitalism's path to empire. It has a total hold of the social arena, so it can permit itself to stir individuals to frolic about in the free and open spaces that it has staked out. So, after the consumer society, we can see the dawning of the society of extras where the individual develops as a part-time stand-in for freedom, signer and sealer of the public place.

Definition of Art according to Nicholas Bourriaud


1. General term describing a set of objects presented as part of a narative known as art history. This narrative draws up the critical geneology and discusses the issues raised by these objects, by way of three sub-sets: painting, sculpture, architecture.

2. Nowadays, the word "art" seems ot be mo more than a semantic leftover of this narrative, whose more accurate definition would read as follows: Art is an activity consisting in producing relationships with the world with the help of signs, forms, actions and objects.

More from Relational Aesthetics

The work we are doing in this class "is not about paintings, sculptures or installations, all terms corresponding with cateogories of mastery and types of products, but simple surfaces, volumes and devices, which are dovetailed within strategies of existence." (Bourriaud, 1998, p.100)

The ecosophic fact consists in the ethical-cum-political articulation between the environmentm the social and subjectivity. It is a question of re-forming a lost political territory, lost by being riven by the de-territorializing violence of 'Integrated World Capitalism.'"(Bourriaud, 1998, p.101)

Ecosophy = ecological philosophy


I am expecting to see all the Following and Put Something Here projects. To those who are lagging behind, please catch up. Please have all your projects documented on your blog.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Schedule for the rest of the semester

March 22

Review Put Something Here
David Gordon presents John Cage
Assignment: John Cage reading

Assigned Reading: Locative Arts
Assignment: Following

March 24

Review Put Something Here for those who have not presented
Sophie Calle/Jean Baudrillard - Please Follow Me
Janet Cardiff - Walks
Review John Cage - live sound and reverse engineering
surveillance, voyeurism
GPS devices available for anyone who wants to use one...
Assignment: Following, Read Jean Baudrillard

March 29

Review Put Something Here: Variation II for those who are doing a second version
Review Following
Assignment: Read Locative Arts

March 31

Filming the class??
Liminal Spaces, Interstice, Creativity and the Public Commons, what have we been doing? Review/discussion/presentation of several Locative Media projects
Maybe outside, weather depending...

April 5

The final project, presentation of ideas; the manifesto

April 7

Maybe no class - Final Project meeting

April 12

Final Project - location confirmation, project development

April 14

Haven't decided yet

April 19

Final Projects: Variation I

April 21

All manifestos due
Assignment: read each other's manifestos and see how they relate to Variation I

April 26

Final Projects: Variation II

April 28

Final Critique and wrap up.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Monday, March 8, 2010


Next class on Monday March 22. Please be on time and be there!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

John Stewart takes on Chatroulette

John Stewart and Chatroulette

The New York Times Review

In the naked museum: talking, thinking, encountering.

Considering the void

Architects and designers were invited to consider the empty space of the Guggenheim as a void and submit variations on projects that could be realized in relationship to the space.

Don't take pictures; No phones

So, I headed down the ramp and ran into the friend who I texted as she was heading up the ramp. Not realizing what the piece was about, she had blown off the little girl and didn't follow her. So, we went back down and met the little girl and started again. I took more pictures and the guard saw me and was not pleased.

As you head up the ramp, please follow me

You are greated by a 12 year old girl who says "Please follow me." Following her into a side alcove, she asks, "What does progress mean to you?" Then she talks with you a bit about that while she walks with you and then introduces you to a teen ager, who picks up the conversation. He talks and walks with you as you continue up the ramp and then introduces you to a slightly older adult. Each time (so far) the "interpreter" gives a synopsis of what you have discussed to the next person so that the conversation has some continuity. This interpreter asks you questions and tries to draw you out. Suddenly they disappear behind a post in mid-conversation and you are immediately collected by an older adult, who will then relay a story about something that they are thinking about related to "progress." You are asked to listen and then they introduce you to a much older adult who engages you in a conversation about "progress" and questions your values. By the end of the conversation, you have reached the top of the museum. You can look down and see the couple kissing, and the perspective of the museum. Photography is not allowed. Nor are cell phones. I txted a friend not to miss this and shot some pictures.

The museum is empty of all art objects

For the first time in its history.

As you enter the museum...

The first thing you encounter is a couple in a slow motion choreography of kissing. The entire museum has been emptied of all art objects so that all the interaction is in conversation with the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. One or the other of the actors sometimes break their focus on each other and gaze off or to the audience and then are brought back into the continous engagement of their bodies.

Speaking of Relational Aesthetics

A fabulous exhibition at the Guggenheim in NY, Tino Sehgal (b. 1976, London) "constructs situations that defy the traditional context of museum and gallery environments, focusing on the fleeting gestures and social subtleties of lived experience rather than on material objects. Sehgal's works nevertheless fulfill all the parameters of a traditional artwork with the exception of inanimate materiality. They are presented continuously during the operating hours of the museum, they can be bought and sold, and by virtue of being repeatable, they can persist over time." (Guggenheim catalogue 2010)

Sehgal's practice has been shaped by his studies in dance and economics, while using the museum and related institutions - galleries, art fairs, private collections - as its arena. He considers visual art to be a microcosm of our social reality, as both center on identical economic conditions: the production of goods and their subsequent circulation. Sehgal seeks to reconfigure these conditions by producing meaning and value through a transformation of actions rather than solid materials.

...a visitor is no longer a passive spectator but one who bears a responsibilty in shaping and even contributing to the actual realization of the piece.