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relational aesthetics

i'm sure this is so last century, but i've recently been hearing stacks about relational aesthetics and i'm intrigued! i guess i took it for granted that people create 'political' work, work that relates to their particular situation and circumstance in a meaningful and informative way, and encourages some kind of discussion about that idea, circumstance, etc. but now it seems that there's a real 'movement' of it now. (that all sounds very cynical, but it's not meant to, honest!)

in reading about artists that have been linked with this idea (those in the T'fouh exhibition, Zanny Begg, Lucas Ihlein, Art Interactive), i have wished that i was one of those artists. i'm generally an outspoken and political person, and when i see artwork, i like seeing works that are responsive to specific things, work that encourages me (and hopefully others) to participate in something other than reality tv.

unfortunately, i'm not one of those artists and it's kinda got me bummed. i'm having to realise that i'm a daggy, conceptual artist that wants you to think about the human species as a whole, rather than relate to a particular group, event, idea. so last century.

Relational Aesthetics
Aesthetic theory consisting in judging artworks on the basis of the inter-human relations which they represent, produce or prompt.


At 05 October, 2006 08:13, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your blog and I just want to say, you may not be the type of artist you want to be, but at least you know what sort of artist you ARE...
Will visit again,

At 05 October, 2006 13:36, Blogger lauren said...

aw, thanks amanda! actually your blog looks quite interesting as well - i've got a friend with CFS, who's an artist who i think would really dig it..

At 08 October, 2006 08:09, Blogger lucazoid said...

hi lauren, one of the things bourriaud argues in RA is that all art is inherently relational. and this is something that is pretty self evident when you stop to think about it.

it's prolly not all that great, actually, to be lumped in with a "movement" especially when it seems to be "so now" = cos "so now" quickly morphs into "so last year" and then you're back to being passe'. (and this has started to happen, too, there's been a bit of a backlash against RA - mostly for half baked reasons, but nevertheless...)

There are a lot more interesting ideas floating around i reckon, ways of thinking of art as an experience forming thing, rather than fetishising the social interaction bit for its own sake. In the end, relational or not, regardless of medium etc, the art still has to do something interesting...

At 08 October, 2006 16:32, Blogger lauren said...

thanks for that comment lucazoid!! lumping you in with the movement wasn't meant to be derogatory - just observatory.. and if it makes you feel any better, being so last century is so much easier! you don't have to air kiss!

i guess the same as any categorisation, there will be backlash of sorts, but i'm sure that it will all boil down to that same idea eventually, which i totally agree with you, that art has to do something interesting! even if it's as boring as bat shit, it has to actually interest, or intrigue.

At 09 October, 2006 01:22, Blogger lucazoid said...

lauren, no derogatories taken, don't worry. lump me in wherever you like! (and remember, your own blog is a very convenient technology for relational work...)

At 25 February, 2007 05:32, Blogger blair said...

I realise this is a very old post, but I just wanted to tell your that I found your blog by googling "relational aesthetics passe?" after feeling like daggy relational artist. It was exciting to find it, and nice to read about someone else's questioning rather than to find an answer like "yep, your work and the work your like is yesterday's news!" Trends can be rough, but really, I mostly like what I do, so long as I'm not worrying about whether it's hot or not. Sigh.

Anyways, I just wanted to say that I like your words.

At 25 February, 2007 08:00, Blogger lauren said...

hey blair,

well, i'm glad you enjoyed it! trends are so rough and it makes me grateful for not being either a fashion designer or a 19th century french painter - salons are murderous! glad to see you'll keep doing what you're doing.


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