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Lecture slides for MA Contemporary Art Theory and for MFA1 Studio students in the School of Art, Edinburgh College of Art.

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  • Networks

    1. 1. NETWORKS
    2. 2.
    3. 3. Norbert Wiener (1894-1964)
    4. 4. Norbert Wiener’s SOCIAL NETWORK THEORY Non-linear complex system ~ networking is unavoidable. Social relationships seen in terms of: Nodes and Ties Nodes are actors Ties are the relationships between. Open networks are preferable to closed networks. Culture (art) is dialogical .
    5. 5. John von Neumann (1903-57) Developed right-wing theory of cybernetics to rival Weiner’s social cybernetics. Hawkish Coldwarrior (War Game Theorist behind M.A.D.) and Fordist/Taylorist Posthumanist: Humans (workers/hardware) process information (software) given to them by their managers (programmers)
    6. 6. <ul><ul><ul><li>William Whyte </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A belief in belongingness as the ultimate need of the individual; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A belief in the application of science to achieve belongingness - to the group and organisation; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A belief in the group as the source of creativity. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Niklas Luhmann (1927-1998)
    8. 8. Communication Reduction of Complexity Autopoiesis
    9. 9. Robert Rauschenberg Portrait of Iris Clert (1961). Telegram
    10. 10. Hans Haacke Condensation Cube , (1963-65)
    11. 11. Systemic Art and Serialism “ In conceptual art the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work. When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes a machine that makes the art.” – Sol LeWitt, &quot;Paragraphs on Conceptual Art&quot;, Artforum , June 1967.
    12. 12. IBM introduced its System/3 computer (IBM 5410) on July 30, 1969 to meet the computing needs of small businesses.
    13. 14. Information Curated by Kynaston McShine Museum of Modern Art, New York City 1970 Formally established Conceptual Art in the United States.
    14. 15. Software, Information Technology: Its New Meaning for Art Curated by Jack Burnham New York: Jewish Museum, Sept 16 to Nov 8 th , 1970. Participating artists: Vito Acconci, David Antin, Architecture Group Machine M.I.T., John Baldessari, Robert Barry, Linda Berris, Donald Burgy, Paul Conly, Agnes Denes, Robert Duncan Enzmann, Carl Fernbach-Flarsheim, John Godyear, Hans Haacke, Douglas Huebler, Joseph Kosuth, Nam June Paik, Alex Razdow, Sonia Sheridan, Evander D. Schley, Theodosius Victoria, Lawrence Weiner.
    15. 16. Traditional sculpture is not interactive, Burnham’s systems art theory allowed the audience to participate. “… the cultural obsession with the art object is slowly disappearing and being replaced by what might be called systems consciousness”
    16. 17. Keith Tyson Artmachine
    17. 18. What is Makrolab? Makrolab is an autonomous communications, research and living unit and space, capable of sustaining concentrated work of 4 people in isolation/insulation conditions for up to 120 days. The project started in 1994 and was first realised during an art exhibition, documenta X in Kassel in 1997.
    18. 19. Who is behind the project? The project was started by Marko Peljhan , but has evolved and includes work of many people from many different disciplines. The current setup of the project, the mark II, was designed by the architects Matevz Francic and Aljaz Lavric, the metal work is the work of Joze Miklic. The construction itself was designed already in 1997 and you can find more information on it on the website
    19. 20. The secret of free shopping - The Express - Matthieu Laurette washed shaved and ate for free by using only materials that came with offers such as 'Satisfaction or your money back' or 'First purchase refunded'. - The Guardian - Tomorow, we eat for Free. - Le Monde -
    20. 21. Lawrence Alloway – Network: The Artworld Described as a System (1972)
    21. 22. Hans Haake Shapolsky et al. Manhattan Real Estate Holdings, A Real Time Social System, as of May 1, 1971 photographs, data sheets, charts, dimensions variable Work exposed the questionable transactions of Harry Shapolsky's real-estate business between 1951 and 1971.
    22. 23. Steven Willats
    23. 24. Joseph Beuys – ‘social sculpture’
    24. 25. N55 LAND
    25. 28. Hegemonic Bar members of basekamp & friends 1999, Base Kamp gallery The exhibition was named after, and based on, neo-Gramscian hegemony theory. Using this as a departure point, the Base Kamp created the Hegemonic Bar, with the consumption of alcohol as representative of class struggle. Played like a three-dimensional game of life, the Hegemonic Bar was an interactive installation along with instructions, rules, alcohol, & many people. The structure consisted of three platforms signifying class stratification into lower, middle and upper classes. This was accomplished through a variety of visual and auditory metaphors. The platforms increased in elevation as they decreased in square footage, each color-coded with its appropriate decor, music, drink, and price. The lower bar was designated by country and hard rock music, pretzels and beer; the middle bar featured soft rock music, cheese and wine; and the upper bar was a symphony of classical music, martinis and Godiva. The ability of guests to partcipate in each of the bars was determined by a random amount of phoney money distributed at the door. The majority of people were ‘classed’ as either middle or lower income, while fewer guests received enough money to frequent the upperclass bar. As the night wore on, the consumption of alcohol lessened the inhibitions of the partcipants. This helped to foster a more playful and creative approach to stereotypical class roles and manifest the Saturnalian role reversal sought by the installation.
    26. 29. The objectives of proto academy are to develop ways in which an art institutional structure can take advantage of the wealth and knowledge in a particular city and serve as a meeting-point for artists and various academic specialists, cultural producers, politicians, business leaders, and citizens. Further than this the ambition is to provide an interface between art research and the wider public through exhibitions and other forms of representation. Charles Esche Protoacademy, Edinburgh Entrance to Christiania, Free State, Copenhagen
    27. 30. Are You Meaning Company Two Getting Along, (2001-), ongoing project 210 x 148 drawings, colour pencils, pencil sharpener, leaflets, suitcase, DVD, table, chairs
    28. 31. “ My ideas about relational aesthetics started from observing a group of artists - Rirkrit Tiravanija, Maurizio Cattelan, Philippe Parreno, Pierre Huyghe, Vanessa Beecroft. Relational aesthetics was a critical method, a way of approaching the art of the '90s, as well as a general sensibility that these artists shared. One of the most important ideas for me is what I called the &quot;criterion of coexistence.&quot;
    29. 32. “ I like art that allows its audience to exist in the space opened up by it. For me, art is a space of images, objects, and human beings. Relational aesthetics is a way of considering the productive existence of the viewer of art, the space of participation that art can offer.”
    30. 33. Turntablism – Performative - Analogue
    31. 34. VJing – Post-performative? - Digital
    32. 35. GNS (Global Navigation System) Franz Ackermann, Nathan Carter, Wim Delvoye, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Thomas Hirschhorn, Laura Horelli, Pierre Huyghe, Pierre Joseph, Jakob Kolding, Matthieu Laurette, Mark Lombardi, Julie Mehretu, John Menick, Aleksandra Mir, Ocean Earth, Henrik Olesen, Kirsten Pieroth, Marjetica Potrc, Matthew Ritchie, Pia Rönicke, Sean Snyder, Stalker, Simon Starling + Le Pavillon
    33. 36. Wang Du, &quot;WANG DU Parade #4“
    34. 39. Loris Cecchini, Salon pour le Palais de Tokyo 2004-05
    35. 40. Altermodern (Tate Triennial 3 February  –  26 April 2009 ) This year’s Triennial has been curated by Nicolas Bourriaud who co-founded the influential contemporary gallery Palais de Tokyo in Paris in 2002. Bourriaud is proposing a new art term – Altermodern – which describes how artists are responding to the global context in which we all live. Altermodern claims that the period defined as postmodernism has come to an end and a new culture for the 21st century is emerging. Increased communication, travel and migration are having a huge effect on the way we live now. Altermodern describes how artists at the forefront of their generation are responding to this globalised culture with a new spirit and energy. Is postmodernism dead? What does it mean to be modern today?
    36. 44. 2007 Biennales <ul><li>1st Canary Biennial for Art, Architecture and Landscape, Spain </li></ul><ul><li>APT 2006 - Asia-Pacific Triennial, risbane, Australia </li></ul><ul><li>10th Cairo Biennial, Egypt </li></ul><ul><li>2nd Moscow Biennale, Russia </li></ul><ul><li>3rd Auckland Triennial, New Zealand </li></ul><ul><li>8th Sharjah Biennial, United Arab Emirates </li></ul><ul><li>9th International Biennial of Cuenca, Ecuador </li></ul><ul><li>Biennale Montréal, Canada </li></ul><ul><li>Prague Biennale 3, Czech Republic </li></ul><ul><li>52nd Venice Biennial, International art exhibition, Italy </li></ul><ul><li>documenta 12, Kassel, Germany </li></ul><ul><li>Sculpture Projects Munster 07, Münster, Germany </li></ul><ul><li>6th Mercosur Biennial, Porto Alegre, Brazil </li></ul><ul><li>1st Athens Biennial, Greece </li></ul><ul><li>10th Istanbul Biennial, Turkey </li></ul><ul><li>9th Lyon Biennial, France </li></ul>
    37. 45. 2008 Biennales <ul><li>1st Asia Art Biennial Taichung, Taiwan </li></ul><ul><li>5th Berlin biennale, Germany </li></ul><ul><li>1st Asia Triennial Manchester, England </li></ul><ul><li>Glasgow International, Scotland </li></ul><ul><li>55th Carnegie International, USA </li></ul><ul><li>Dak'Art 2008 Dakar, Senegal </li></ul><ul><li>13th Biennial of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean Puglia, Italy </li></ul><ul><li>3rd Bucharest Biennale, Romania </li></ul><ul><li>Arts Le Havre 2008, France </li></ul><ul><li>Biennale of Sydney 2008, Australia </li></ul><ul><li>SITE Santa Fe 7th International Biennial </li></ul><ul><li>Manifesta 7 Trentino - South Tirol, Alto Adige / Italy </li></ul><ul><li>U-TURN Quadriennial for Contemporary Art Copenhagen, Denmark </li></ul><ul><li>Gwangju Biennale 2008, Republic of Korea </li></ul><ul><li>Busan Biennale 2008, Republic of Korea </li></ul><ul><li>3rd Guangzhou Triennial, China </li></ul><ul><li>7th Shanghai Biennial, China </li></ul><ul><li>Singapore Biennale 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>5th mediacity, Seoul, Republic of Korea </li></ul><ul><li>Yokohama Triennale, Japan </li></ul><ul><li>6th Taipei Biennial, Taiwan </li></ul><ul><li>Liverpool Biennial, 2008 United Kingdom </li></ul><ul><li>8th Panama Art Biennial, Panama </li></ul><ul><li>BIACS 3 International Biennial of Contemp. Art, Sevilla, Spain </li></ul><ul><li>Brussels Biennial, Belgium </li></ul><ul><li>28th São Paulo Biennial, Brazil </li></ul>
    38. 46. <ul><li>Some problems with Relational Aesthetics: </li></ul><ul><li>Claire Bishop – democracy involves conflict or ‘antagonism’ rather than consensus; “ we must turn for an alternative to the well-intentioned homilies that today pass for critical discourse on social collaboration .” Claire Bishop interviewed by Jennifer Roche online </li></ul><ul><li>Networked art favours a corporatist approach to cultural management over cultural production (i.e. it is consumerist rather than prosumerist). </li></ul><ul><li>Is this an example of the instrumentalisation of culture or the antidote to instrumentalisation? </li></ul>
    39. 47. <ul><li>Some problems with Relational Aesthetics: </li></ul><ul><li>Committee structure weakens agency (nodes) which can leave the agent powerless. “ Paradoxically, this leads to a situation in which not only collectives but also individual artists are praised for their authorial renunciation. And this may explain, to some degree, why socially engaged art has been largely exempt from art criticism. Emphasis is shifted away from the disruptive specificity of a given work and onto a generalized set of moral precepts.” Bishop “The Social Turn” Artforum . </li></ul><ul><li>Power is transferred to agents who have time and the resources to to pursue networking (i.e. collectors, curators and facilitator). </li></ul>
    40. 48. <ul><li>Some problems with Relational Aesthetics: </li></ul><ul><li>Committee based practice weakens accountability and encourages groupthink and compromise. </li></ul><ul><li>Committee management is predicated on the survival of the system beyond the death of the agents, this can lead to the problem of stagnant closed systems (cartels, quanNGOs, boys clubs). </li></ul><ul><li>T he network, if seen only merely an artificial system composed of information processes, disavows the haptic qualities of much art practice. </li></ul>
    41. 49. Santiago Sierra 8 Foot Line Tattooed on Six Renumerated People Espacio Aglutinador Havana, 1999 In Havana the artist offered volunteers $30, if they agreed on having a horizontal line tattooed on their back, thus alluding to the fact that people in the third world are ready to sacrifice their health for a minimal amount of money. In order to raise the awareness of the inhuman work-conditions and remuneration of illegal foreign workers in numerous countries, in another performance Sierra hired illegal workers for moving concrete blocks weighing 2 tons each without any purpose around a gallery. The workers were paid the local minimum rate. In 1997 the artists commented on racial riots and social conflicts by igniting the Art Deposit Gallery in Mexico City in its inaugural night.
    42. 50. Phil Collins they shoot horses , 2004
    43. 52. Maurizio Cattelan, Ali Subotnick, Massimiliano Gioni (Wrong Gallery)
    44. 53. Hans Haacke Sphere in Oblique Air-Jet (1967).