Collection Documents

sur l'art

Relational Aesthetics

Available in french Nicolas Bourriaud, ESilzetique relationnelle; ] 998 Lionel Bevier & Christophe Cherix, Prise directe, 2003 Dan Graham, Rock/Music Testes. 1999 Rob-en Nickas, Viwt;' fl'bre 011 mourir, :2:000 Vincent Pecoil, (ed.), Prieres americaiues, 2002 Fabian Stech, F'ai pm-te avec Lavier; Annette Messager,: Sytvie Hem)', Hirschhorn Pierre Hayghe, Delvoye, D"G.-F, Hou Hanru, Sophie Calle, Mil!g, Sans et Bourriand, 2007 Nicolas Thely, VII it la webcam (essai sur la web-intimite), 2002 Eric Troncy, Le doaeur Olive dans la cuisine avec Ierevolver,

2002
EricTroncy, Le colonel Moutarde dOlls la bibiiotheque avec le

chandelier, 1998 Elisabeth Wel:~erwald. Rue sauvage" 2003 Chen Zhen, Le.I'emretieus, 2003 Avalaible in english Nicolas BOUITlaud, Relational Aesthetics, 2002 Robert Nickas, Live Free or Die, 2000 Chen Zhen, The Discussions 2003
© Les presses du reel, 199&, 2009 © Les presses du reel. 2002 (for the engLi:s.1lranslatien) t www.lesprcssesdurecl.com

Nicolas Bourriaud
Relational Aesthetics
Translated by Simon Pleasance & Fmnza\i\ioods 'With the participation ofMathiel.l Copeland

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Foreword
Where do the misunderstandings surrounding 1990s' rut come from, if non a theoretical discourse complete with shortcomings? An overwhelming majority ofcrincs and philosophers are reluctant to come to grips with contemporary practices. So these remain essentially unreadable, as their originality and their relevance cannot be perceived by analysing them on l11e basis of problems either solved or unresolved by previous generations. The ohso-painful fact bas to be accepted that certain issues are no longer being raised, audit i ,by extension, important to identify those that are being raised these clays by artists. What are tile real challenges of contemporary art? What are its I.ilJilks with society, l:iisn·ory., and culture? The critic's paimnry task is to recreate the complex set of problems that arise in a particular period or age, and take a close look at the various answer given. Too often, people are happy drawing up an inventory of yesterday's concemsc the better to lament the fact of not getrmg My answers. BUl~ the very first question, as far as. these new approaches are concerned, obviously has to do with the material! form of these works. How are these apparently elusive work to be decoded, be they process-related or behavioural by ceasing to We shelter behind the sixties art history? Let us quote several examples of these activities. Rirkrit Tiravanija organises a dinner in a collector's home, and leaves him all the ingredients required to make a Tbai soup ..Philippe Parreno mvites a few peopje w pursue their favourite hobbies on May Day, on a

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The works we shall be discussing here outline so many hands-on utopias. The much vaunted "comrnuaicatiou superhighways". communications are plunging human contacts into monitored areas that divide the social bond up into (quite) different products . So here we are summonsed to talk about things around a duly priced drink. Maurizio Cattelan feeds rats on "Bel paese" cheese and sells them as multiples or exhibits recently robbed safes. user-friendly and relational concepts" These days. The social bond has turned into a standardised artefact. it behoves the powers that human relations should be channelled towards accordingly planned outlets. mechanisation and tile law of profitability. in a practical field arthistory traditionally earmarked fOI" their "representation"? Contrary to what Debord thought. We feel meagre and helpless when faced with the electronic media theme parks. has to take on extreme and <Clandestine forms. :it will not be possible to mamlain relationships between people outside these trading areas. the liveliest factor that is played out on the che sboard of an has to do with interactive. This is a society where human relations are no longer "directly experienced" but start to become blurred in their "spectacular" representation. For anything that cannot be marketed will inevitably vanish. and connect levels of reality kept apart from one another.. You are looking for shared warmth. more efficiently. and breeds chaffinches with the aim of teaching them a new song. complete with a red wig and the visitor merely gets a glimpse of them through the doorway. Pierre Huyghe summons people no a casting session. organises a weekly gym workshop in a gallery.in is to dodge the empire of predictability. represents the final stage ill the transformation LO the "Society of the Spectacle" as described by Guy Debord. if . and that they should be pursued OJ] the basis of one or two simple principles which can be both monitored and repeated. Vanessa Beecroft dresses some twenty women ill the same way. like the laboratory rat doomed 10 an inexorable itinerary ill its cage. Tile relationship between people. build' an inflatable plastic yacht. Carsten Holler recreates the chemical formula of molecule secreted by the human brain whenin love. and signposted by logos. for <1111 saw in the art world he was a reservoir of examples of what had to be tangibly "achieved" in day-to-day life. and the comforting feeling of weIDrn being for two? So try our coffee . Noritoshi Hirakawa puts a small ad in a newspaper to find a girl to take part in his show . littered with chunks of cheese. The space of current relations is thus the space most severely affected by general reificatiou .. open up (One or two) obstructed passages.factory assembly line. u or-friendly places. as a symbolic form of contemporary human relations.. yet it has the drawback of turning its users into consumers of miles and their by-products. Jes Brmch and Henrik Plenge Jacob en install an upturned bu (hat causes a rival riot in the city. In a world governed by tile division of labour and u ltraspecialisation. strives 10 achieve modest connections. artistic praxis appears these days ro be a rich loam for social experiments like a space parrly protected from the uniformity of behavioural patterns.. with their toll plazas and picnic area threaten to become the only possible thoroughfare from a point to another i[] the human world. The ideal subject of the society of extras is thus reduced (0 the condition of a consumer of time and space . Herein lies the rna I burning issue to do with art today: is it still possible to generate relationshipswith the world. for its part.. and puts a photograph of lalbourers at work on view just a few yards from the building site . makes a TV transmitter available to the public. as symbolised by goods or replaced by them. Before long. 8 . J n a Copenhagen square. The superhighway may well acrually help LIS to travel faster and.... The supreme "separation" the separation that affects relational channels. One could add many other names and works 101 such a list Anyhow. Artistic activity. and! the spread of compatible forms of sociability. Christine Hill works as a check-out assistant in a supermarket.

where tfue muchexecrated presentis concerned. The advances of technologies and freedoms. the 10 11 .----_---- -------------------- Some of the following essays were originally published in magazines -for the most part in Documents sur l'art. The new is 110 longer a criterion. To make the book that much easier 10 come to grips with. 199:5. them" if we do not start out from the same sitnation. here. 10}93. patterns and functions develop and evolve according to periods and social contexts. may we suggest to tum right away to the definition of fhe word "Art". This completion bas drained [he criteria of aesthetic judgement we are heir to of their substance. except among Jat~er-day detractors of modem art who. the spirit urforming it).Jr is [he critic's task to study this. How are we to understand the types of artistic. "Le paradigme esthetiquc {felix Gunnari es 1. and the lines of thinking behind. was based on me desire to emancipate individuals and people. A certain aspect of the programme of modernity has been fairly and squarely wound up (and not. cling solely to the lrungs that fuel!" traditionalist culture has taught them to loathe in yesterday's art II] order to invent more effective tools andmore valid viewpoints. ~Re~i1tlon eCr3IJ. This collection of essays is also rounded off by a glossary. which came into being with the Enlightenmem.e 1990s. Contemporary artistic practice and its cultural plan The modern pobtical era. but have been considerably reworked not to say re-ordered. it is not all immutable essence. as the: artists? I. ac~vi~ in the present. but we go on applying them to presentday artistic practices. times. let us hasten to emphasise in these bourgeois. Others are previously unpublished.nil1e a'i'm-iT!!S. and exhibition catalogues'. Artistic activity is a game" whose forms.'· was publsshed in the catalogue fm: 'tile Jrci L)'oll Comernporary An Biennial. and grasp what has already changed and what is sl:iU changing.. behaviour shown in exhibitions held in ili. it behoves LIS to understand the changes nowadays occurring in the social arena.: artj" was published by [he mag. which readers may refer to whenever a problematic concept rears its bead.

The 20tb centurywas thus the arena fOI" a struggle between two visions. Is it possible to disparage the desire to improve living and working conditions. critical and participatory models.. on the oilier hand. It is not modernity that rusdead. all through a general rationalisation of the production process. And what. So the modem emancipation plan has been substituted by countless forms of melancholy. thisis because they are no longer presented Likethe precursory phenomena of an inevitable historical evolution" Quite to 'tlle contrary they appear fragmentary and isolated. which "is condemned to create a series of minor modifications in a space whose modernity it inherits. the Situationists). developed fromthe ideological swing of things offered by modem rationalism.Instead! of culminating ill hoped-for emancipaeion the advances of technotogies and "Reason" made it mal much easier to exploit the South of planer earth. blindly replace human labour by machines. Althusser said that one always catches the world's train on the· move. and individual and social living conditions). cultural and social presuppositions. and set up more and more sophisticated subjugation technicues. For modernity cannot be reduced 10 a rationalist teleology. Art was intended (0 prepare and annoonce a future world: today itis modellieg possible universes. needless to say. but its idealisticand teleological version. and abandon an overall reconstruction of the space inhabited by humankindl" . Deleuze. Surrealism. but to actually be ways of living and models of action within the existing real whatever the scale chosen by the artist.There are several versions of modernity. Proudhon. the Dadaists and Mondrian. differing from their plan in rnanyways.. ~he role of artworks ]S no Ionger 'to form imaginary and utopian realties. rationalist conception haijing from the l Sth century. and improved working conditions wereall billed to free humankind and help to usher tin a better society . from Dadaism to the Situationist International. attitudes and mentalities.decline of ignorance. over the past ten years or so? This "chance' can be summed IlP in ju ~ a few words: learning to inhabit thewodd in a better way. and a philosophy of spontaneity and liberation fhrough the Irrartiomd (Dada. barring the fact that the avant-garde has stopped patrotling like some scout. on the pretext of the bankruptcy of tangible attempts to do as much-shored up by totalitarian ideologiesand naive visions of hi story ?' What used [0. The ambition of artists who include their practice within the slipstream of historical modernity is to repeat neither its forms nor its claims. fell within tile tradition of this modern project (changing culture. any more than it can to political messianism. Otherwise put. and even less assign to art tile same functions as it Their task is akin to the one that Jean-Francois Lyotard allocated to postmodern architecture. What is more. It is evident that today's art is carrying on this fight. but it is now re-formed on the basis of quite different philosophical. Marx. veering mn the direction indicated by Enlightenment philosophers. like orphans of an overall view of the world bolstering them with the clout of an ideology. instead of trying to construct rut based Oil a preconceived idea of historical evolution. so as to tum the sening on his life {his links with 12 13 . Twentieth century avant-garde. The artist dwells in the circumstances the present offers han. however. If opinion is striving to acknowledge the legitimacy and interest of these experiments. Today's fight for modernity is being waged in the same terms as yesterday'S. Lyotard eems to half-bemoan this state of affairstJie defines it negati vely. of toe world: a modest. by coming u:p with perceptive experimental. but it is as well to bear in mind that this projec~ was already there before them. the troop having come to a cautious standstill around a bivouac of certainties. that "grass grows from the middle' and not from the bottom or tile top. by using the term "condemned". both of which were opposed to anthoritarian and utilitarian forces eager to gauge human relations and subjugate people . if this "condemnation" represented the historical chance whereby most of the art worlds known 10 us managed to spread their wings. he cafled the avant-garde has.

then. An (practices stemming from painting and sculpture whicbeome across in the form of an exhibition) tUnIS out to be particularly suitable when it comes to expressing this handson civilisation. The general growth of towns and cities. which are not objects less deservi ng of attention and examination than Messianistic utopias and the formal "novelties" that typified. and which takes being-together as. to use Althusser's expression'. for a 10l1g period oftime. but also to much greater individual mobjlity (through the development of networks and roads. i. unlike TV and literature which refer each individual person 1. which has just as much to do with working conditions and the conditions in which cultural objects areproduced. associated with tile feeling of territorial acquisition. as well as those of the apartment. Because of nne crampedness of dwelling spaces in this urban world.I'Y. managed W come across as a UUXll.. icons. now emphasising a greater manoeuvrability If. modernity yesterday. to borrow Michel Maffesoli's term: flags logos. it is.. ajungle hampering any lasting eI1CoLIDte:r:. tillS evolurion stems essentially from the birth ofa world-wide urban culture. of the aesthetic. to borrow Michel de Cerreau's expression' . going with the opening-tip of attitudes) . reliance). Mn oilier words.lica~ project. Let us leave tbe matter of the historicity of this phenomenon on one side: art bas always been re~ll!honal in varying degrees. the development of the function of artworks and the way they are shown attest to a growing urbanisation of the arristic experinrent. is the time of the "dolce utopia". based OIl. any theoretical terrain. contrasting wlth that dense and "trouble-free" jungle which the natural state once was.dimensions of ahe worle. What is collapsing before om very eyes is nothing other than this falsely aristocratic conception oflhe arrangement of WOI'Ics of art. may nevertheless seem dull to minds formed in the mould of cultural Darwinism. the artwork has. rathee than the assertion of an iudependent and private symbolic space). and the collective elaboratien of meaning.0his or her space .. Once raised to the power of an absolute rule of civilisation. signs. a scaling-down of furniture and objects. there was. into the invention ef fhe everyday and the development of time lived. Its plan. modernity extends into the practi-ces of cultural do-it-yourself and recycling. and the gradual freeing-up of isolated places. according to Jean-Jacques Rousseau. One of the virtual properties of the image is its power of linkage (Fr. factor of sociability anda founding principle of dialogue. Here. that "stose of encounter imposed OJ! people". il1ll. to use Maurizio Cattelan's phrase .. gave rise not only [0 an extraordinary upsurge of social exchanges. like an opening to unlimited discussion. which took off .its theoretical horizon the realm of human interactions and ias social context. and from the extension of this city model to more or less all cultural phenomena. There is nothing more absurd either than the assertion that contemporary art does not involve allY poli..e. lordly item in this: urban setting (the. a central theme. Nowadays. this system of intensive encounters bas ended lip producing linked artistic practices: an art fOIlTI where the substrate is formed by intersubjectivity.todem.. points to <II radical upheaval. He catches the world on the move: he is a tenant of cuhure. and all generate bond".J and historical setting of the state of society. and telecommunications. no longer possible to regard the contemporary work as a space to he walked through (the "owner's tour' is akin to the collector's). It is henceforth presented as a period of time to be lived through. a.an [he end of the Second World War. Artwork as social interstice The possibility of a relasionai art (an art taking as . as with the changing forms of social life. because i~tightens the space of reiations.liJic~ goals ~ntroduced by modem art ]'0 sketch a sociology of IhIS.the phystca] and conceptual world) into a lasting wmld.. or than Itheclaim 1:hat its subversive aspects are nOI. cnliural and po. the "enceunter" between beholder and picture. The ci~y has ushered in and spread the hands-on experience: it is the tangible sYlIllbo.. belping to distinguish between ~heir owner and tile crowd). aJJ produce empathy aud! sharing.

I comment. but now we are woken up by a synthesised voice. The exhibition is tbe special place where such momentary groupings may occur. ago" the telephone wake-up cal] service employed human beings. And ~is "~e~a exchange" must be judged on the basis of aesthetic entena.un an ?f 16 l7 . The present-day social context restricts the possjbjlities of inter-human relations the more because il creates spaces planned to Ibis end. which governs cOIJi~emporary society. even when inertforms are invclved. and professional behaviour patterns are modelled Oil the efficiency of the machines replacing them. mercballidising. Wilen Jells Haaning broadcasts funny stories in Turkish through a loudspeaker in a Copenhagen sq)uare (Turkish Jokes 1994). They record this silent. and defined by it.. and neighbourhood relationships fizzle. he produces in that split secoudamicro-conummity. while city streets are swept clean of all manners of relational dross. or slings a hammock ill the MoMA garden in New York (Hamoc .on the other hand.e automatic cashmachme has become the transit mode] for t!he most elementary of social funcrions. that minute space of daily gestures determined by the superstructure made up of "big" exchanges. 199~). How is anart focused OIl the production of uch forms of conviviality capable of re-launching the modern emancipation plan. The general mechanisation of social functions gradually reduces the relational space. TID. And depending on the degree of participation required of the onlooker by the artist. be it symbolic or material. one made up of immigrants brought together by collective laughter which upsets their exile situation. he 'is operating at the hub of "social infra-thinness" (l'Infrarnmee social). and I evolve in a unique space and lime. pleasure and squabbling.': an orange on the stalls of a deserted Brazilian market (Crazy' Tom'is. TIlls is the precise nature of the contemporary art exhibition ill tile arena of represenrationai commerce: i! creates free areas. The same spirit underpins the development of commuuication tools. it is well worth reconsidering the place of artworks iu the overall! economic system.of private con umprion. An i the place that produces a specific sociabdiry. in both senses of the !iCOU. still life nowadays formed by relationships with the other. bycomplementing it? How does it permit the development of new politicaland cultural designs? Before giving concrete examples. ]993). It remains to be seen what Ihe status of dills is in the set of "states of encounter" proposed by the City. along with the nature of the works and the models of sociability proposed and represented. and time spans whose rhythm contrasts with those Structuring everyday Life. Automatic public teilets were invented to keep streets clean. there is the possibility of an immediate discussion. and also unlike theatre and cinema which bring small groups together before specific. When Gabriel Orozco put. At an exbibition.!. etc . Over and above its mercantile nature and its semantic value.The interstice is a space in human relations which fits more or less harmoniously and openly into the overall system.. an exhibition will give rise to a specific "arena of exchange". r see and percei ve. Just a few years.. governed a they are by differing principles. Contemporary art is definitely developing a politicalproject when it endeavour to move into the relational realm by turning it into an issue. an empty shoebox. but suggests other trading possibilities than those rn effect within this system. there is no live commem made about what is seen (the discussion time is put off until after the show). etc. unmistakable images. Actually. ). and it encourages an inter-human commerce that differs from the "co~nmurucation zones" that are imposed upon us. This inters/ice term was used by Karl Marx to describe trading communities that elude the capitalist economic context by being removed from the law of profit: barter.aJularkic types of production. the work of art represents a social interstice. Without any wording Orozco's photographs are a documentary record of tiny revolutions in the common urban and semi-urban life (a sleeping bag on the grass.. these machines carrying out tasks which once represented so many opportunities far exchanges. formed in relation to the work and in it.en fa moma.

JI1 the materialistic ~hi!. The philosophical tradition tffilatunderpins this relational aesthetics was defined in a noteworthy way by louis Althusser. passes through this viable world state. does not represent a theoryof art. its sole junction is to be exposed 10 this game itself being challenged'. And this all the more so because. stirring lip nlew"possibil~ties of [lie". in relation to its function. and of the image of human relations reflected by it. So the essence of humankind is purely trans-individual. ir "causes: an encounter with the I1'CXt atom andfrom encounter to encounter a pile-up. "Form can be defined as a lasting encounter". atoms fa]! in parallel foonations into the void. there rnnst have been "a setting O'f elements on one another.. or random materialism. An representation (though contemporary art models more than it represents.1 tile moment of their birth. denied them any artistic character.. in spite of Guy Debord who" in til e fi 11 aJ OlInaUysi s. they turn. For in them. because the game is being forever re-enacted..an gmue which forms our object (Dnchamp: "Art is a game between all peop'~e of all periods") nevertheless goes. Relational aesthetics. This particular materialism takes as its point of departure the world contingency. Hubert Damisch saw in the "end of art" theories the outcome of an irksome muddle between the "end of the game" and the "end of play". unlike other acriviaies. lines and colours inscribed all the surfaceof a De)::CC["{lLX painting. There i no such thing as any possible "end of history" or "end of art".game ". Being "materialistic" does not mean Slicking to the triteness of facts. but a theory of form. art is at oncethe object and the subject of an ethic. it is merely a subset in the overall series of existing forms.1 features of a world. which has lIDO pre-existing origin or sense nor Reason.osopl:ticaru tradition ushered m by Epiculll.(the way ice 'sets']".. The artwork does not have au exclusive hold on it. without the meaning of the 18 19 . All works. In orde« to create a world this encounter must be a lasting one: the elements forming it must be joined together in a form. Within this soda] interstice the artist must assume the symbotic models he shows. because they get elements held apart do we mean commerce. beyond thecoatext of wha~ 1$ caned "art" by commodity. in one of his last writings" as a "materiaflsm of encounter". This inter-l1Um.. the scrap obj ects that litter Sc b w ierers' "M erz pi ctures" • Chri B urden 's performances: over and abeve the quality of the pagelayout 01" the spatia] layout. made up of bonds that link individuals together in social forms which are invariably historica] (Marx: the h uman essence is the set 0 f soc ial relations). and fits into the social fabric more than it draws inspiration therefrom) refers to values that can be transposed into society As a human activity based on commerce. What by for-m? A coherent unit. ry. this would imply the statement of an origin and a destination. Tmsis how forums come into being. a structare which shows _the ~ypica. in other words.. from tile "deviation" and random encounter between two hitherto paraflel elements. Lasting encounters. out to be lasting from ID.. nor does it imply that son of narrow-mindedness Lha~ can ists in reading works in purely economic terms .e moment when their components form at whole whose sense "balds good" <1. which might allot it a purpose.oj the world" .other words" by analysing [he coherence of its form and then the symbolic value of the "world" it suggests 10 us. following a slightly diagonal course.ls . (independent entity of inner dependencies) Relauonai aesthetics and rendom materialism Relational aesthetics is part of a materialistic tradition . So the "constructed situations" advocated b:Y the Situationist ln~emational belong in their own right ~o this . A new game is announced as soon as the social setting radically changes. im other words. h~ saw a "art being exceeded" by a revolution in day-to-day hie. Art is a state of encounter. and the birth .~m:l Lucretius. down to the most critical and challenging of projects. If one of these atoms swerves off course. in relation to the players and the system which they construct and criticise. quite to the c~~I.

by cutting them out in the depth of the visible. The setting is wideliling. so a to subject him to what he deems to. and through it.. [1'1. Buren's striped structures.to meet: Jar example.e. [I] the novels of polish writer WHold Gombrowicz. it now can embrace the whole scene: the form af Gordon Marta-Clark or !Dan Graham's work can not be reduced to the "things" those twa artist "produce". a world) CaRJ not be questioned. we see how each individual generates his own form through his behaviour. Today. Forms are developed. Form and others' ga?ie IT"as Serge Daney writes. 1 want to insist on the instsbiliry and the diver ity of the concept of "form". observing contemporary artistic practices we ought '100 talk of "formations" rather than "forms". computer science pu! forward the notion of program itbat inflect the approach of some artist's way of working. precis-ely because of its ambivalence: as fOm1S are looking at us how are we to look at them? Form is most often defined as an outline contrasting with a content. An artist'. his way of corning across. . But modernist aesthetics talks about "formal beauty" by referring to a sort of (conjfusion between style and content.artistic or otherwise.encollnterilJl. forms. An artwork is a. So" for Gombrowicz. as it is om gaze that creates these. and an inventive compatibility of the former with the latter. When tJI:n. be Iris "being' .at is a form that is essentially l~elati()'11al?' It seems worth while to disClillSS thils quesuon by takiag Daney's formulaas a point of reference. as OUf visual experience has become more complex . death and the media in Andy Warhol. or in singling out their shortcomings in the "formal resolution". in denying them any "formal effectiveness". As the artistic "thing" sometime offers itself as a "fact" or an ensemble of facts that happens in the time or space. one from another.. Other ted:mologies may aJ10w the human spirit to recognise . Whell the aesthetic discussion evolves. gestures. The compositian of this bonding agent. The most common criticism to do with new artistic practices consists. the "glue' is less obvious. j! is not the simple secondary effects of a composition as the forman tic aesthetic would like to . Art keeps together moments of subjectivity associated with singular experiences. moreover. what does a form become when it is plunged into the dimensionof dialogue? Wll. Emile Darckheim.enriched! by a century of photographic images. and whose unity (making it a form. after the isolated object. artwork thus acquires the status of an ensemble of units to be re-activated by the bebolder-manipuillaro[.?vance. for instance) that lin l!tnifyim:lgmaner. linking us with diose who reify us by the way they see us fioborrow a Sartrien terminology. individual thinks he is :w 21 ..gatoms manage to form a word. whereby . What was yesterday regarded as formless or "informal" is no longer these things today. the starns of fonn evolves along winh it... We judge a work through its pi listie or visual form. Deleuze and Guattari were not saying anything different when they defined the work of art as a "block of affects and percepts" . What today's informed public understands by "keeping together" is not the 'arne thing that this public imagined hack in the 19th century. is needless to say. no bronze.agglutination... notion whose oll~pread can be witnessed in mjunction by tihe founder of sociology.. dependent on the historical context. . There are no forms in natu:re. present-day art shows that form only exists in the encounter and in the dynamic relationship enjoyed by an artistic proposition with other fnrrnations. Unlike an object that is closed in on itself by the iruervention of a style and a signature. our "form" is. heir Cezanne's apples 0.but the principle acting as a trajectory evolving through sIgns. links. m tbe wild state. objects. "all form is a face looking at us". The contemporary artwork's form is spreading out from its material form: it is a lillking element a principle of dynamic . This form comes about in tile borderlinearea where the individual struggle with tile Other. merely a relational property. and the way he addresses others.. enabling us to recoenise as a "world" a collection of disparate dement (installation.allier types of "wertd-forms" still unknown: for example. then cinematography (introduction of the sequence shot as a new dynamic unity).dot on a line. considering the "social fact" asa "thing" .

Any "inter-subjective relation" proceeds =v= As Daney suggested form becomes "face" throuzh the effect of this invention of relations. For rum. Producing a form is to invent possible encounters. The form of an artwork issues from a negotiation with the intelligihle. others: "the bond with others is only made as responsibility". and the work of every artist is a bundle of relations with the world giving rise to. TOIlJl is the representative of desire in the image. is 11:0t solely a reference to the aesthetics of Bazin and Rossellini.aney explains that "all form is a/ace looking at us". i nothing oilier than the representation of desire.is peremptory and final in each instance. Through it. conversely. and based 011 which his own desire can rebound . suffice it to revert to the profound significance of the image for Daney. meaning. To paint ts tv become pari of history 'througb plastic aud visual choices.. The _"l:tistic form. most recent writings lament the 23 . calls to mind the one acting as the pedestal for Emmanuel Levinas' thiaking. is a metaphor of the face. the image is not "immoral" when it puts us "In the place where we were 110t"S. Practical "judgement".t confronts the history of am in the autarky of his own persuasions rot is an aes'herics that reduces artistic practice to the level of a petti fogging historical criticism. Each panicular artwork IDS a propos a] to live in a shared world. is that form only Its texture 'land ml~y acquires <I. for Daney. does not sum it up. Tins formula. practice. alone. here. for Daney. which even if it does lie at the origin of Daney's thought. through the burden of "responsibility"? When D. To be persuaded of as much. only therefore suitable for producing taboos and proscriptions. he uses a transitive ethic which places Ills work between the "look-at-me" and ~he "look-at-that". As part of a: relationist" theory of art inte[-SllbjedjYity does nor only represent the social setting for tile reception of art which is its "environment". claiming the "ontological realism" of the cinematographic art. for whom the face represents the sign of the ethical taboo . Levinas asserts. the artist embarks lipan a dialogue. but don '] ethics have a horizon other dum this humanism which reduces inrer-subjecriviry to a kind of interservility? Is the image. wltich.ty. other relalions. he is. If we nudge Dalley's.at is involved here. which. is "what orders me to serve another" "whatforbids me to kill"'. Here we ru-e an the opposite end of this authoritarian version of art which we dis~over in the essays of Thierry de Duve". grants form a ~rOdll. WlI. We are in the presence of a prosecutor's aesthetics. for which the arti . he does not merely mean [hal we are responsible for this. ad infinitum.£0 Vie commune. cOlllern~Iatll]g nothmg other than the result of perpetual transactions with the subjectivity of others . needless "'to add...casting an objective ~ye upon himself. much more than competition and violence". both historical an~ a~s[hetic. which symbolises the responsibility we have towards. The autistic practice thus resides in the invention of relations between consciousness. the way tile new-born child "asks for" it mother's gaze. In . the way you return a service in a game Qif tennis. real existence) when it intmduces human inreractions. stated by the artist in the act of irs production. for whom any wmk rs nothing other t. irs "field" (Bourdieu) but also becomes the quintes ence of artistir. reasoning a bit further. be writes. in an image. which is bequeathed to LIS. which the beholder thus becomes capable of discussing. Daney's.!]an a "sum of jndgemerlts". for it is pubhclse~ by a work. hence the negation of dialogue. Our persuasion. in the final analysis. when it "takes the place 0'( another". by way of the form of the face. receiving a form is 100 create the conditions for an exchange. It is the horizon based on wl1icb the image may have a. and so on and so forth. Be maintains that form. by pointing ~o a desired world.ct~~e status: t~e stafus of an "encounter". The face. When an artist shows us something.Tillis exchange can be summed up by a binomial: someone shows omething to someone who returns it as he sees fit The work trie to catch my gaze. rOT some" side-s(epsll'lis iuevitabili. Tzvetan Todorov has shown how the essence of sociability is tile need for acknowledgement. rhus aimed.

such these factors merely ratify a development that goes way beyond {be mere r aIm of art.. piece uchas Ibili have increased considerably. Stacked against ~he wall are cardboard boxes rno t of them open.{iliqroes.l1L of the VIsual .lillio. by Rirkrit Tiravanija.explained Edition.OiS Ly()mro. erge D.Scod.ondon. . Edition. or tum by turn" in time and space .. works proposing a precise contract to viewers. keeping a large bowl of wale!" on the boil. . otherwise put "looped information". m:rking the adve. Turnaround .1ney: Per.g 111 me . which repre ented the es enee of a democracy of the imaae runfavour of another pairillo. 1994. A. Mlicflel M"11I~oh: 1. a.e ~tis summoning me to dialogue wiliil it. In Daney s thinking. Emmannc! Uvil1las: Eildq"c 1'1 illfiIP. Uti Seui! 6. and more or les tangible models of ociabi lily. being re olvedin a culture of interactiviry which posits the nan itmvity of the cultural object as a frut accompli..vclanTodorov: La IIi. E?-rifspllila. R .-lMEC.. few years. thi one TV-related . !POI m IS a dynamic that I Included bom.iqueulpo.auth~ritarjan. The share of interactiviry grows in volume within the et of" 24 25 . J. p. number of stands offering a range of services.. !f} rlJi/dre. p.0 create precise boundarie for the receiver field of activity i[I the artwork. 7. 557. 38. "all form is a face loo~m.ote~receive". Editions P. PocJrne-Bi. Form can only come about from 3 meetine between hIVO levels Qif I"ea]i~y. remains around the edge of any definition: rn i. this is nowaday:..fQPl. p.0 COII"(!I11/. "art coefficient" attempting 1.becalls.fIi1l13rd . &liliol1. Edition. 2.ha become a con tant feature of artistic practice. Lmll Ahhu ser: A metal gondola enclo es a gas ring that i lit.: 'TJ!t'! pox'madem fIiIwliere!f de faire. 93.l. commune.. ~. For hOlIlogcne_ly doe non prod~ce images: it produces the visual. In international exhibitions we have seen a growing.~I<'1de Ceneeu: Idees-GJ.. Thierry de Duve: Essais dmls.n:~ . T7. i'i Ad.I-I~Ib>crtDanusch: Fel/i!ll'l? jamle cadmium. 1995. Editions Grasser.j··.. 9.O. Camping gears i scauered around the gondola in no particular order. containing dehydrated Chinese soups which visitors are free to add the boilmg water to and eat.). Spectator "participation".L.riw:rollce. . 1992.t . This piece.H culprure? an installation? a performance? an example of social activism? In the las. Editions de La Dirrerefl~e. 1993. du Scuil. produced for the Aperto 9'" 31 the Venice Biennial.rom.. As for die space of reflection opened up by Marcel Ducbamp' . "r. Mic. theorised by Fluxus l1appenings and performanc s...end of this "Show/See" pairing. oi"(he 1990s :~~~-Fr:mO./mlcm du monde. 1987.

It denies the existence of any specific "place of rut". Anyarlworklilight thus be defined as a relational object. 'incidentally. 01'1 the other hand the emergence. and. this structure relies on a second order of external relations. prodncing and legitimislng tile order of internal relations.. when he explained that it lakes . like Napoleon orAlexander the Great in Tolstoy's Theory of History . It is against this closed conception of artistic practice. Withem it.. This proposition may well eern to borrow Duchamp's. the areas of production that determines its development. .and a never recaptured desire for dissemination.cornmumcation vehicles. insofaras it presents a ". positions" through s which it can be read. the work js nothing other than a dead object. putting forwardthe notion that ii's the beholder 1'IIho make pictures... and the Other presupposed . It would be possible furthermore... between the beholder and the world. Ali gradually abandoned this goal. by naively raising the issue of the namre of the external relation "invented" by artworks. Thia artwork s PHl1JOSewas not 26 27 . within which rut aimed atintroducing ways of communicating with the deity.The dense network of interconnections between memlJers means that everything that happens in it will possibly be . regards the art world as a "space of objective relations between in other words" a microcosm defined by power plays and struggles whereby producers strive to "preserve or transform it"'.. To give a broad historical picture. ystem of d~fferel1Jjal. to. relational. It acted as an interface between human society and the invisible forces governing its movements.. let us say that artworks were first situated in a jransceudent worki. even if this world was still ruled by the divine figure.tl-VO to make Of! image. for If the inner structure of the ant world actually outlines alimi ted set of "Possibl e ". not artists" . by way of transitivity. but it actually takes things a step further by postulating dialogue as the actual origin of the image-miling process. An understanding of this order made it possible to draw closer to divine designs . the "Art" network is porous. between the artist and the world. like the Internet and multimedia systems points.I. Like any other social arena.. [I: is a tangible property of the artwork. Pierre Bourdieu positions". a collective desire to create new areas of conviviality and introduce new types of transaction with. and explored the relations existing between Man and the world. [11 a word.. There are IID1SJIJlY ways of stating this "relational" reading. regard to the cultural object. that Jean-Luc Godard rebelled against. a period ilia! attached great importance to the physical situation of the human being ill his world •. e latter are thus mere unwitting instruments in the service of Jaws that exceed them. Which gives them a chance to assert that "it'sort that makes art. like the geometric place of a negotiation with countless cerrespondenrs and recipients.. 'Ibis new. with the help of new visual tools suchas Aliberti's perspective. crushed by contemplation. in am view to describe the specific nature of present-day art with the help of the concept of creating relations outside the field of art (in contrast to relation inside it offering it it socio-economic underlay): relations between individuals and groups.. dialectical order developed from the Renaissance 0]]. The. tile alit world is essentially relational. As part of their networking works. alongside a nature that represented the model order. Transitivity is as old as the hills. and Leonardo da Vinci's "Sfumato" . The "society of the spectacle" is thus followed by the society of extras where everyone finds the illusion of an interactive democracy in more or less truncated channels of communication . At the outset of this negotiations have to be undertaken.. of new technologies.tory of this production of relations with the world. This idea of transitivity introduces into the aesthetic arena thai formal disorder which is inherent to dialogue. in favour of a forever unfinished diis'c[ll""siveness. anaromical realism. I don't go along with this cyber-deterministic position. Delacroix wrote in his diary that a successful picture temporarily "condensed" an emotion that it was the duty of the beholder's eye to bring to lite and develop. It eerns possible.Q function of all members". to write a history of art that is the l1!s. the Ramo Nash Club (Devautouc collection artists) thus suggests that "art is -an extremely co-operative system. and itis the relations of this network with al.

today. So the artist sets his sights more and more clearly on the relations that his workwill create among his public. on the entirety of the real. an artwork can be see at any time. encounters. By this. Iris there beforeour eyes. all that remains is documentation that sho~ld not be confused with the work itself. based on a mental realism that reinstated the moving mechanisms of OL~r acquaintance with the object The relational arena opened up by the Italian Renaissance was thus gradually applied to more and. Others have summoned the public to observe a specific phenomenon. living at the same time as someone like Odilon Redon. This specific prodactioa determines not only au ideological and practical arena but new formal fields as well. In a nutshell. various type of collaboration between people games festivals. Once the performance is over. It is the history of the production of relations with the world. on limited parts of this same reality. tihe work prompts meetings and invites appointments. and places of conviviality.iul1:! as released int. with pictures and scufptores regarded here merely as. Beyond obviou mater:ialimpossibilities (museum closing times.~ moment during the morning of the 5th of March 1969. geogrnphical remoteness). the rigorous analyst of our ocular ways of perception. as puoiicised by a class of objects and specific practices. rather.radically challenged until the arrival of Cubism which attempted to analyse our visual IDinks with rhe world by way of the mosrnondescript everyday objects and features (the corner of a table.cases of a production of fOnDS with something other than a SImple aesthetic consumption in mind. it elapses within a factual time. Today. first and foremost. Christian Boltanski sent a few acquaintances an SOS letter that 28 29' . One finds painters ~ike Senrat. who tried 10 see through our relations with the invisible... offered to the curiosity of a theoretically universal public. a~a certain time of the day the first object within !his. more Iimited objects. J mean that over <lindabove the relational character mumsic to the artwork. The example ofperfo. artistic practice is now focused upml the sphere of inter-human relations as illustrated by artistic activities that have been in progress since the early 19908. then. Typo-logy Connections and meetings Pictures and sculptures are characterised. Meetings with a. by being viewable only al a specific time. haifa cubic metre of heJ.o the osmosphere" by him . Now contemporary art ts of~n marked by [Ion-availability. pipes and guitars). such. aesthetic objects likely to be looked at as. by their symbolic 3 vailabiliry. Needless to say. this history seems to have taken a new tum. propped up by practice determined by theintemal development of these fields. Marcel Duehamp. for example. The w spectator is thus prompted to move ID on-derto observe a work which only exists as an artwork by vit1:lle of this observation. The question: "What is our relationship' to the physical world?" had a bearing. [he artwork is thus no longer presented to be consumed within a "mormmental" time frame and npen for a nuiversal public. Meetings. This type of actrvrty presupposes a contract with the viewer an "~angement" w~ose clauses have tended 10' become diversified since the 1960s.l1mance is the most classic of all. though. this iis in no way a linear progression. specific . by arbitrarily ordaining that. invented his "Rendez-vous d'art". the history of art can be read like the history of successive external relational fields. for an audience summoned by the artist. public are [1~l necessarily involved. and on the invention of models of sociability. Essentiatly. managing its OWl} temporal structure. the figures of reference of the sphere of human relations bave now become ful Iy-fledlged artistic "forms". ill at: word all manner of encounter and relational invention thus represent. the way Robert Barry annoanced that at '"a cerUJi. After the area of relations between Humankind and deity and then between Humankind and the object.reach would be transformed mt? a u:eadymade. events. In January m 970.

The generation of the 1990s rook up this set of issues. the orgcmisati. that h~ ~as "still alive". Ben Kinmont. the Food resta~ant opened ill 197 I by Gordon Mana-Clark. Almost thirty years. together wirh the originality el1de~vot1r made In the production of invitations (hanfover from mailart~. these latter set off the broadcast of a piece of music by Kraftwerk (199'3) . two radically different set of problems emerge: yesterday. describing her meetings with strangers. the stress laid 011 relations inside the art world. 3!l 31 . in October 1993. Angela Bulloch set upa cafe.. the form of the visiiingcard (used by DOlnrn~que Gonzalez-Foerster. or asking blind people what tiheiir defilll. a magnificent but ineffeetual toy. In the early 19705. or a machine provoking <l!nd managing mdlvldual and group encountera To mention just a few examples fYQ[D the past two decades.was sufficiently vague in its contemn to be 111 standard letter like 00 Kawara's 'tdegr:a:ms ~nfonning their . and kept an information network aNr.~ustra:!e the :im~ort~lCe of this "rendez-votls" represeated by the arnsnc acena. The eonstitution of convivial relations has been an historical constant since the J960s. ago. advocating those handsOJ1i strategies that underpin present-day artistic practices. Social utopias and revolutionary hopes have given way to everyday micro-utopias and imitative strategies. @JIlY stance that is "directly" critical of society is futile. the dinners org~JZed by O~~iel Spo~~ni.reIlKilinlTI_ik's drawings]. and wrote a text thar was handed out [0 lone diners in the restaurant. if based 0]] tile illlllsion of a marginality that is nowadays iimpossible. crucibles where heterogeneous fonus of sociabilhy are worked our. _ "IF OJ the Restaurant exhibition in Paris. Felix Guattari was.!aging through hotel rooms after being empI?~ed as a cbambennaid. proposed randomly selected peoplethat he would do their washing-up. and which forms its relational dimension.addressees likewise from ~.tJon ofDE:auty is. she formallses.el~ m. When a certain number of visitors sat down on the seals. a biographical experience which lie<1ds~leI' to "collaborate" with the people she meers. Tile subversive and critical funcrion of contemporary art is now achieved in the invention of mdividuel and collective vanishing lines. and the ludic shop called La eMilie qui s~u~ tt [!"e Snulmg Cedilla J opened by George Brecht and Robert Fillioujn Villefranclre. The issue no longer resides m broadening the boundaries of but in experiencing art's capacities of resistance wtthin the overall social arena . of the communn» and neighbourhood commi ttee type. been relieved of the IIIatrer of the definition of art. lIosep~_ Ti:mvIDlija. Georgina Starr described the anxiety she felt about "having s1!lpper on her own". "Jus! Q. after the met. or a1~ngsld~ the bust of a celebrity.Based on one and the same family of activities. For he~ show at the GCe in Tows. and the like. Huyghe). the On Kawara's I met series. which exaggeratedly celebrate the name and face o~ an anonymous passer-by 'on an advertisemei1!~sized poster. in those temporary and nomadic constructions whereby the artist models and disseminates disconcerting situations. And Sophie Calle's work consists larg. withina modernist culture attaching great importance to the "new" and calling for linguistic subversion. though it had. for his pari. so I think that microscopic attempts.day-nurseries in the faculty. so pi vo tal in the ] 960s and I970s.970 onwards. play an absolutely crucim role".~ J think it is illusory to (Jim at a step-by-step transformation of society. Traditional critical philosophy (the Frankfurt school. rumff. Whence the present-day craze for revisited! areas of conviviality. COilvivic/Jity and encounters ~ work l~_ay operate like a relational device containing a certain ~e~:e:e of randomness. Stephen WilJats ~ams~akmgly mapped the Jrelanjonsh~ps existing between the ~nhablla~ts of an apartment block. Today. Let us further mentlOIl.not [0 say regressive.oll of . today... Liam GiLlick and Jeremy Delle~) ~d the address book {some of Ka. in particular) now only fuels art in the form of archaic folklore. Whether she is following a passer-by. the emphasis put on external relations as pari of an eclectic culture where the artwork strands up' to die mill of tile 'I'Soeiety of the Spectacle". the growmg Importance of tile opening as part (I§ the exhibiti{)i] programme (Parreno.. this applies [0 Braeo Dimitrijevic's Casual Passer-by series.

or else given overto immediate experience (Andrea Fraser" exhibition tours). . also sometimes u e a relational context defined in advance so as to extract production principles from it The exploration of relations existing between for instance tile artist arid bis/her gallery owner may determine forms and a project. and Franz West's Passtiicke. The best example of untimely communication upsetting communication networks is probably Angu Fairhurst's piece. by including in tile Surfaces de reparation show (Dijon. is just the literal aspect ofinter-huunal] relations likely to define an artistic production.. 1994) a relaxation area intended for dle artists in the exhibition. by working with spectacle figures. the former being aa integral prot of the other's personal. Pierre Huyghe's posters made in the street.. Each person at the other end of the line thought it was the other person who had called so their exchanges would end up ill an improbable misunderstanding .. Rirkrit Tiravanija.. Images. for example. explorations of relational schemes.: by designing a phallic rabbit costume tor Emmanuel Perrotin which be had to wear throughout the exhibition. history. Maurizio Cartelan has also worked directly on the physical person of bis gallery owner. Lincoln Tobier bas set up a radio station 111 art galleries. equipped in particular with a table football game and a full fridge . As creations and. the form of "hints" and "clues" by the person COl'lUIDSSi:Oning the work conjure up tile portrait traditiou. explores the "wild" dimension of this intesactivity by acting parasitically and paradoxically in the social space. and invited the public to a discussion then broadcast over the airwaves. Artists take rhings further. has explored the socio-professioaal aspect of conviviality. for which..aJ moments of sociability bl objects producing sociabifity. But other artists are suddenly emerging in the relational fabric in a more aggressive way. with the help of airwave-pirating equipment.. and sent multiple "instructions" (0 selected people. where the masn factors rule provided m. His exhibition project at Le Consortium in Dijon (January J995) consisted in "occupying IWO hours of time rather than square metres oj space". So he phoned the customers in a cafe. To wind lip these convivial situations being developed as part of a "friendship" culture.. and The Daughter ala Taoist (1992) used a set inspired by inrimism to mix Esther Schipper's childhood memories with objects formajly organised according to dleH evocative potential and their colour range (here. on the other hand. Bienvenue a ce que valis croyez voir (welcome to What fOIl Think You're Seeing) (1988) included photographic documentation about Gabrielle Maubrie. bas thus devoted several exhibitions to the biographies of her gallery owners. But this artistrcurator pairing.. paces and objects. and by earmarking clothes for Stefano Basifice creating the illusion that he was carrying gallery owner Ileana Sonnabend on bas shoulders . these wo-rks form relational micraterritories displayed in the depth of the contemporary "socius": experiences publicised by surface-objects (Liam Gillick's boards. when the commission formed the social bond atthe mot of artistic representation. It goes without saying that tho e fragmented biographies. Coiiaboretions and contracts Those artists jpwposing as artworks: . which involved organising a party where all the ingredients ended up producing relational forms -clusters of individuals around art objects in situation . whicl1 is an intrinsic part of the institution. let IUS mention the bar created by Heimo Zobernig for the exhibition Unite. In a more circuitous way.. whence Dominique 12 33 . a predominant red). he linked two all galleries telephonically together.. Sam Samore asks gallery owners to take photographs whicb he then selects and reframe. and vice versa.around his works. On several occasions. Gonzalez-Foerster thus explores the unspoken contract that binds the gallery owner to "his/her" artist. Philippe Parreno has been particularly inspired by the notion of party. and Eric Duyckaerts' video-lectures). Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster whose work: deals with the relations which link lived life with its media. Douglas Gordon's work..

produces forms based am set up meetings. through which it was his intent to refashion. enabled artists to work in 11 formless relational model. she got married to four different people divorcing them all in record time. with already existing types of relations. Ghent 1994-1995). Lambert put herself inside the "adolt role-playing" represented by the institution ofmarriage. whose principle was once more used for the Backstage show at the Hamburg KunslVereirn in ~bat same year. which could be listened to wirh headphones . (1 990).Clegg & Guttman. Hirakawa uses a particular corporate body. Noritoshi Hirakawa.. wilth the reiational world iss Ring therefrom. as the one offered by the residents of at large honsing complex. for their part. for his part. The artist here becomes involved in fonn-prodacieg worlds (visit to the fortuneteller. Here. which the artist fits in 10. so as to compile statistics. It is this wavering between contemplation and use that I have tried to identify by the term: operative realism'. with artists as diverse ~s Peter Fend. show at the Pierre Huber Gallery in Geneva (L994) he published a small ad to recruit a girl who would agree to travel with him [11 Greece. as a device of artistic prodection. She exhibits objects produced by this contractual worldcertificates. official photos and other souvenirs .~ert~lm ambiguity. etc.. such as Panamarenko and fhe johrn Latham's "A:rtist"s Placement Group") . Alix Lambert investigated the contractual bonds of marriage: in six months. within the space of his activity. alongside photos and slides cornuring up the world of clairvoyance.. a visit that would be the material for tile show.Maria de Medeiros by Philippe Parreno for the imitator Yves Lecoq. embodies in its own righttl1is contractual system for IDe contemporary artwork. Dijol1. He records their predictions that could then be listened towith a walkman. So for his. These make-believe phenomenawhich imieare the general economy. which is a factory where human relations are reified. officialization of a liaison. and aims to et lip a . MmseiUe. the shape ofwhich suggested tile architecnze of Le Corbusienand was designed to hold on tapes each inhabitant's favourite pieces of music. Oilier practices are aimed at recreating socio-prefessional models and spplying ~heIT production methods. Professional reiation: ciienteies As we have seen. and Marik Kostabi's "studio" me iliimllited to a construction of the replicas of an airline company. as well as more or less parody-oriented "businesses" Like In. ami grouped on tape. Several of IDose taking part worked direcdy on modifying and objectivizing social relations.Vedding Piece (1992). whose installation based OJ] sound documents included interviews witlh tenants. which systematically questioned the inhabitants of the building where the exhibition was being held. floor by tloor. Some artistic events.t.t:l:lus forming compilations that could be consulted by all and sundry tbroughout the exhibition . June 1993).. so that he/she can take forms from them.. between the utilitarian function of the objects he is presenting. ~he series of public activities organised Gonzalez-Poerster's work wita the actress presented in the middle of their work a kind of bookshelf ulli. these various ways of exploring social bonds have to do. Dan Peterman and Niek Van de Steeg Ul mind.. ) which pre-exist him or her. one such being the Premiata Ditta group. with UnIJe. Clegg & Guttman s Record. The cultural customs of IDe residents were thus objectivized by an architectonic structure.oold Airlines and Premiata Ditta. as when be asked several fortune-tellers 10 predict his future. material thai is available foranyone to use. Then there is Farced Armaly. What these artists have in COlll1UOI1 IS the modelline of a professional activity.. tile image of a television person (UI1 homme p~wlic.. In this way.. For a series titled I. lending library. the artist works m the rea] field of t~e production of goods and services. still the best example (Firminy. a fishery and a production workshop. As a form fuelled endproduced by collective interaction. but wtihoun learning any 34 35 . (The' ame term might be used for pi~lleers. Mark Dioa.. In other instances. as is the casewith Ingold Airlines Servaas Inc. from within. and their aesthetic function. The images he exhibits are always the outcome of a specific contract drawn up with his model who is not necessarily visible in the photos.

in April 1'958. to mention a work still having repercussions. little services rendered. ill the gallery or museum space. Form thus really becomes the "face looking at me". But Philippe Thomas system . lIn any event. and Nick V<:m de Steeg put themselves 111 the architect's working conditions . amIthe industrial product actually or metaphorically contained in his work as directly dispatched by their manufacturers and earmarked for sale to the public through his company ''''UR'' (Unlimited responsibility). How toooccupya gallery The exchanges that take place between people. because his signature casting project ran somewhat out of steam after the Feux Pales (Pale Fires) (1990) exhibition at the Cape in Bordeaux.ideological and practical lessons from doing so and thus being restricted to a parody-like dimension of art. adjust their function to a precise context By becoming acquainted with in/ormation just as: it "came through" DIll press agency teleprinters Bond and Gillick would hasten to' tile places wherethe thing was happening at the same time as their "colleagues". the artists fill im the cracks in the social bond. with no more than au appointment.in which the pieces produced are signed by their purchaser. A more discreet narcissism ties: at the root of the pieces shown by Dominique Gonzalez-Poerster at the ARC in Paris and the Cape jJ] Bordeaux". the visitor came to divulge the salient facts of his life. order or commissiou and project. a permanent "digestion of data".apparatlls . This project.-mades Belong to Everyone] agency. the usual criteria of the profession. Hybert defirn1e. and the transformation of the Musee d'Art Moderne de la ville de Pads into a supermarket. like Henry Bond and Liam Gillick as part of the Documents projects embarked upon in 1990. for his part. The openiag is often an intrinsic part of the exhibition set-up and the mode] of all ideal public circulation: a prototype of this being Yves Klein's E'expositios» du vide. which is as removed from Guillaume Bijl's illusionism as from an imitative repreducrion of mercantile trade focuses on the desiring dimension of the economy. ). headed by the late Philippe Thomas. the purpose of which is to rediscover the "initial desires that presided over the manufacture of objects ".organising group meetings etc. turn ou~ to be as likely to act as the rawmatter for an artistic work. By conducting themselves inside the aJr[ world on the basis of the parameters of "worlds" iliat are heterogeneous ~o iit these artists here introduce rel ational worlds governed by concepts of clientele.S as art a social function among others. by giving each one ill poetic function defining its object: the void. Through. Carsten HeUer. with a view to a biography that would then be formalised by the artist.. Thus. When Fabrice Hybert exhibited. and para-scientific experiments. From the presence of Republican guards at the entrance to the his Clert Gallery to the blue cocktail offered to visitors. Klein tried to control every aspect of the routine opening protocol. at the Mllsee d'Art Moderne de Ia ville de Paris ill February 1995. just as Peter fetid.36 37 . the work of J LIlia Scher (Securi I)' by } tllia}o consists in pi acing survei Uance . applies hishigh-level sciensific training to the invention 'of situations and objects which involve human behaviour: inventing a drug tha! releases a feeling of love. The example ot' the us ready-modes appartiennent a tout le monde (Read). so as to patiently re-stitch the relational fabric.neto proceed in a credible way to a second stage. So through little gestures an is like an angelic programme a set of tasks carried alit beside or beneath the real economic system. is a bit different. Baroque sets. shed lighl on the cloudy relational economics that underpin the relations between artist and collector. when she becomes involved in the most menial of fa ks (giving massages shining shoes working at a supermarketcheck-our . and bring back an image that was completely out Df synch when compared with. driven by the anxiety caused by the feeling of uselessness. Others. with ills OECD company. This is Christine Hill' modest aim. He did not have tm:. Bond and Gillick strictly applied the production methods of the mainstream press. he puts the beholder in amawkward position. These were Biographical Offices where. Through his import-export activity dealing with seating bound for North Africa.

November 1994. written live by the film-maker Marion Vemoux on the gallery computer. but ]a would purely and simply disappear ifevery visitor exercised this right: the arti t thus appealed to the visitor's sense of responsibility. each artist was at leisure to do what he/she wanted me throughout the exhibition. Before long. a t'real lime film" experienced and produced by the three artists. WOJ* ill Progress. jn a truck with see-through sides following the random itinerary of auParisian vma 38 39 . enmeshed in ]!S aesthetic designs which reifies. is "occupied" by the artist. a walker walking on a mOVLI)g walkway. This type of "real time" work. it was to tum it into a production workshop. At the opening of Les Areliers du Paradise. from a distance. not only other artist but psychoanalysts. to alter the piece. In Nice. On other hand. because his interaction with the works helped to define the exhibition's structure. or propose performances and events. no. the exhibition played the part of a flexible matter "informed" by the work of the artist The visitor here had a crucial place. 1991). worlds.11 the One Gallery in London tor a fortnight with JUS! a few essential props. precautions taken. ). with Esther Schipper in Cologne. which was held in Ghent in October ~99'4 before finding a more theoretical form with the Traffic exhibition that I curated. and then by This is the show and the show is lnaJ1Y tiu'1'Igs. With each modification. which tends to blur creation and exhibition. In both instances. under the curious gaze of a voyeur viewer: Pierre Iosepn characters coming from a fantastic popular imaginary. etc. a young man wearing a g-string 0]]01 minimal plinth..in exhibition venues. while a barrier preventing entrance to the gallery enabled two or three visitors at atime to check out the scene. Matthew McCaslin and Liz Lamer. Arson. in August 1990. with Felix Gonzalez-Torres. it is the entire exhibition process that. The interplay of inter-human relations was thus materialised in compliance with the principles of an interactive video game. a human being by assimilating it to tile artworks surrounding it Vanessa Beecroft juggles witlh a similar chord. In Gonzalez-Torres' Stacks and piles of weers for example. in accordance with very preci e niles of play.. as the general setting evolved. Philippe Parreno and Philippe Perrin also "lived in" the AU: de Paris Gallery. It might be hastily concluded that thi was a remake of Ben's performance. a "photogenic space" jointly managed by the vi~wer. He was faced with devices requiring him to make a decision. 1992). When Ben lived in the gaUeryit was his intent to signify that the arena of art was expanding. Strange groups of people. but keeps the beholder at a distance. At her first one-woman show. but the two projects refer 10 two radically different relational. and even included the artist's sleep and breakfasts. the artist took photos among a dozen girls all wearing identical thin polo-neck jumpers and panties.ia heet of paper). which Pierre Joseph accommodatesin the exhibitions at the opening. friends . literally and figuratively. a stripper performing her show (Dike Blair). when Joseph. which thus becomes the raw material and the subject of the piece. and irs possible regulation. Parreno and Perrin occupied the gallery. or the person looking at personnages vivants ii reactiver. the relations that were struck lip among visitor turned into a while-you-wan script. Looking at The female beggar brandishing her rattle (No man': s time. Nice. replace it. and all in blonde wigs. Wliat position should be adopted when looking ata work that hands out its component parts while trying to bang 011 to its structure? The sameambiguity awaited the viewer of his Go-go Dancer (1991). with their show Les Ateliers all Poradise. two twin sisters exhibited beneath two. Pierre Joseph. pictures by Damien Hirst (Art Cologne. it i impos ible 110t to avert the eye. the visitor was authorised to take away something from the piece (a sweet. which are as different in terms of their ideological and aesthetic foundation as their respective period can be. fu 1962. was taken up by the exhibition Work. Iris the human flow Qif visitors. Work at the Andrea Rosell Gallery 0992). A 101 of outside people thus helped 10 build a space of relations. and the visitor had to understand that his gesture was contributing to the break-up of the work. coaches. Bell lived and slept i. where everyone was rigged out in a personalised 'l-shirt ("Flear" "Gothic".

A work of art has a quality tililal sets it apart from other things produced by human activities. animals and human beings bumping into each other in galleries acting as test-tubes for experiments to do with individual and social behaviour. At the beginning of art we find the behaviour adopted by the artist. aCJmonde". 1993. Pierre Bourdien. that the latter eems to be the image ofthe former. 1934. and the place. Raisons pratiques. January J992. The work of art actually shows (or suggests) not only its manufacturing and production process.68. bemg played out here and now . their author has no preordained idea about what would happen: art is made in the gallery. it win invariably set its sights beyond its mere presence in space: it will be open to dialogue. E. like its "necessary product". 11'. Jablonka Gallery. he gave himself over to a demonstration of his powers. of the artwork. M'oiecul. which is a temporal process. Cj. poultry rendered inebriated by Carsten Holler with the help of bits of bread soaked in whisky {collective video. o/lerati!" we should mention IWo writings: ·'Qtl 'est-ell qne le realisme in the catalogue for !lfalll' construire l'Hacienda. it allocates to the beholder. So every canvas produced by Jackson Pollock : 0 closely links the flow of paint toan artist's behaviour. discussion and that form of inter-human negotiation that Marcel Ducharnp called "the coefficient of art". butterllies attracted by glue-steeped monochrome canvases (Damien Hirst.r Revohaion. li. Pengui n.dlibilion £'Hiverde I"amow'. The "transparency" of the artwork comes about from the fact that the gestures forming and informing it are free]y chosen or I. On the other hand. Space-time exchange factors Artworks and exchanges Because art is made of the same material as the social exchanges. a Hubert Dami ch' has written. pointing to a possible reconciliation between man and [he "wild" world. 4. 40 41 . or function. bill also the creative behaviour of the artist (otherwise put.This negotiation is undertaken in a spirit of "transparency" which hallmark it as a product of humanlabour. Venice Biennial.\vrilings of Lucy Lippard uch 3 Dematerializmian Krauss.(Pierre Huyghe. This quality is its (relative) social transparency. etc. as far as most of the above-mentioned pieces are concerned. . in and out of Love. it has a special placein the collective production process. the sequence of postures and gestures which make lip his/her work. and which each individual work passes 011 like a sample or marker).. OJ] (his concept. When Joseph Beuys spent a few days locked with <it coyote (l iike America and America likes me). the same way that Tristan Tzara thought that "thought is made ill the mouth". 1992). rats fed on "BeJ Paese" cheese by Maurizio Cattelan.itspositiol1l within the set of exchanges. that set of moods and acts whereby the work acquires its relevance in the presem. COCTours. Edrtioas du Seui]. 1990).1II (he cataioglle for Apeno. 3. ] 993). and Traffic. !felix Guaaari.. "Produire des rapports. U a work of art is successful. Scalprllre ill the Expanded Field. UI~p'tugged. and Rosalind 2. 5. J 993) <it stallholder playing a barrel-organwith a monkey 011 a lead (Meyer Vaisman.

It acquires an exchange 1alue that partly cover and shrouds its primary "nature". given that the decade that has just gone by marked as. the fact of operatingwithin one and the arne practical and theoretical horizon: the sphere of inter-human relations. the world of "commerce". and the various communication processes. It has been said of art. The artwork of the 1990s turns the beholder into a neighbour. whose visual effectiveness underpins most of tile forms proposed by simutationism: For bette!' or for worse. and Marx was the first.over and above the popular icon represented by the image of Marilyn Monroe. what he produces. ill their tangible dimension as tools serving to link individualsand human groups together. Tiley all root their artistic praxis within a proximity which relativizes the place of visualiry in the exhibition prorocol.aII}. For example. first and foremost. identified. that it represents the "absolute merchandise". BUI what exactly are we talking about? About the art object. right down to its crisis "ambience ". So they are all workingwithin what we might can the relational sphere.not about artistic practice. In other words. and has an "infinite tendency" . whichis the "abstract generat equivalent" of all goods between them. our era. seems intolerable to the bigot We know that. Most artists. while their successors show a preference for contact and tactility. his work. theme or iconography. to the world of exchange and communicarion. it was by the recession. Their works involve methods of social exchanges interactivity with the viewer within the aesthetic experience being offeree to him/her. is the "amount of obstract labour" used to produce this item.without belittling it. emerging in the 1980s from Richard Prince to Jeff Koons by way of JeMY Holzer developed rue visual aspect of the media. to wit. once introduced into the exchange circuit.invented. governed by an altogether mechanical indifference to tile subjects selected by him. is relations between people and the world. with the sacred and with those ideologies which seek in art the means of giving the religious a new look. They prefer immediacy in thei. a common substance that permits their exchange. by way of aesthetic objects. It is precisely the attitude of this generation toward communications. and not its own economy. and his behaviour as producer. about the work as it is assumed by tile general economy. This substance. right away.. The fact is that a work of art bas no a priori useful function-not that it is socially useless.980s 011 movements from the 1960s. before being so defined by definitions foreign to it The artist's practice. any kind of production takes on a social form which [10 longer has anything to do with its original usefulne s.Jn other words. What all goods have in common is the fact that they have a value. The subject of the artwork Every artist whose work stems from relational aesthetics has a world of forms. or any "common snbstance". turned out to be not very propitiou to spectacular and showy undertaking. determines the relationship that will be struck lip with.Art represents a barter activitythat cannon be regulated by any currency. the sense of Andy Warhol's Mmif}ln stems from the industrial prednetion process adopted by the artist. style.rvisual writing. ill both meanings of the term. according to Marx. What they do share together IS much more decisive. There are also purdy aesthetic reasons for this: the "back to" pendulum came to a halt in the 1. but because it is available and flexible. because it is the actual image of tile value. need it be said. it its devoted. It is the division ofmeaning in the wild state-an exchange whose form is defined by that of the object itself. This relative transparency which is an a priori form of artistic exchange. It is represented by a sum of money. a direct interlocutor . and are part of its subject. They are not connecred together by . with the "'pOOI''' and experimental art of the l 970s. that makes ir possible to define it in relation to previous generations. a set of problems and a trajectory which are all his own. that is. andmamly Pop Art. i. phenomenon has a sociological explanation. This albeit superficial voguish effect made it possible 42 43 . which is to today's art what mass production was to Pop Art and Minimal Art. This. This "transparency" of artistic work contrasts.

[0. re-view the works of artists like Gordon Mana-Clark and Robert Smithson while the success of Mike Kelley recently encouraged a rereading of Californian "Junk Art", from. Paul Thek to Tetsumi Kudo .. Fashion also creates aesthetic microclimates, the effects of which have repercussions even on our reading of recent history. Otberwise put, Ule sieve organises the mesh of its net in different ways, and "lets through" other types of works-which, in return, influence the present. This said, we find ourselves, with relational artists in the presence of a group of people who" for the first time since the appearance of Conceptual Art ill the mid sixties, in 110 way draw sustenance from any re-interpretation of Ibis or that past aesthetic movement. Relational art is 110t the revival. of any movement, noris it the comeback of aJny style .. It arises from an observation of the present <lind. rom a Line of thinking about the fate of artistic activity" Its f basic claim-the sphere of human relations as. artwork venue-has no prior example ill art history, even if it appears, after the fact, as the obvious backdrop of all aesthetic praxis, and as a modemist theme to cap all modernist themes. Suffice it merely tore-read! the lecture given by Marcel Ducharnp in 1954, titled "The Creative Process", to become quite sure thar interactivity is anything but a new idea." . Novelty is. elsewhere. Lt resides runthe fact that this generation of artists considers inter-subjectivity and mteraction neither as fashionable theoretical gadgets, not as additives (alibis) of a traditional artistic practice. It rakes them as a point of departure and as an outcome, Ell brief, as the main informers of their activity. The space where their works are displayed is altogether the space of interaction, the space of openness that ushers in .a11 dialogue (Georges Bazaille would havewritten: "riff' ("dechi.rure"')).'¥lnt they produce are relational space-time elements, inter-human experiences trying to rid themselves of the straitjacket of the ideology of mass communications, in a way, of the places where alternative form, of sociability, critical models and moments of constructed conviviality are worked out It is nevertheless quite

clear that the age of the New Marr, future-oriensed manifestos, and calls for a bener world all ready to 'be walked into and lived ill is well and truly over. These days, utopia is being lived on a subjective, everyday basis, in the real time of concrete and intentionally fragmentary experiments. The artwork is presented as a social interstice within which these experiments and these new "life possibilities' appear to be possible. It seems, more pressing to invent pos-sible relations with our neighboursin the present than to bet on happier tomorrows. That i all, bllt wt i quite something. And in any event it represents a much-awaited alternative to the depressive antboritarian and reactionary tbinking which, ill Prance al least, passes for art theory in the form of "common sense" rediscovered. Modernity, however; is not dead, if we acknowledge as modem a soft spot for aesthetic experience mud adventarous thinking, as contrasted with the cautious forms of conventionality being defended by our freelance philosopher, tile neotraditionalists ("Beauty" according to the priceless. Dave Hickey) and those backward-looking militant such as Jean Clair.Whatever these fundamentalists clinging to yesterday's good taste may say and think, present-day art is roundly taking on and taking up the legacy of the 20th century avant-gardes, while at Ule sante time challenging therurdogmatism and their tejeological doctrines. Rest assured that much pondering went into this last sentence: it is simply ~irne to write it down, For modernism was steeped in all "imaginary of contrasts", to borrow Gilbert Durand's term, wil.ida proceeded by way of separations and coatrasts readily disqualifying the P2lSt in favour of the future, It was based 011 conflict whereas the imaginary of om day and age is concerned with negotiations, bonds and co-existence .. These days we are no longer trying to advance by means ofconflictual clashes, by way of rhe invention of new assemblages, possible relations between distinct units and alliances struck up between different partners. Aesthetic contracts, like social cnntracts, are abided by for what they are. Nobody nowadays has ideas about ushering in the golden

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age 0111 Earth, and we are readily prepared just to create various Forms of mod",s I!ivmdi permitting fairer social relations, more: compact ways of living, and many different combinations of fertile existence. Art likewise, is no longer seeking to represent utopias; rather, it is attempting to construct concrete spaces, Space-time factors in 1990s' an These "relational" procedures (invitations, casting sessions, meetings, convivial and user-friendly areas, appoinrmenrs, ere ) are merely a repertory of common forms, vehicles. through which particular lines oftibought and personal relationships with the world are developed. The subsequent form that each artist gives to this. reiarional production j nor unalterable, either. These artists perceive their work from a threefold viewpoint, at once aesthetic (how is it to be "translated" ill material terms'i), historical (how ~s ~o be incorporated in a set of artistic references'l) and social (how IS 10 find ill coherent position with. regard to the current stale of production and social relarion T). These activities evidently acquire their formal and theoretical marks in Conceptual Art, in F]UXUlS and in Minimal Art, but they simply use these like a vocabulary, ill lexical basis. Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenbers and the New Realists all relied on the readymade to develop both their rhetoric about. tile object, and Uteir sociological discourse. When relational art makes reference to conceptual and Fluxus-inspired situations, and methods, or to Gordon Marta-Clark, Robert Smithson and Dan Graham, it is £0 convey lines of thought which have nothing to do with their own thinking. The real question is more likely this: what are the right exhibition methods in relation to the cultural context and in relation to tile history of art as it i<; being currently updated? Video, for example, is nowadays becoming a predominant medium. But if Peter Land Gillian Wearing and Henry Bond, to name just ~hIee artists, have a preference for video recording, they are still not "video artists". This medium merely turns out to be the one best suited to the formalisation of certain activities and projects" Other

artist thus produce a sy tematic documentation about their work, thereby drawing tile lessons of Conceptual Art" but 'on radically different aesthetic bases, Relational art which is well removed from the administeative rationality that underpins it {the form of the notarised contract ubiquitous in the sixties' aI1), tends to draw inspiration more from tile flexible processes governing ordinary life, We can use the term communications, but here, lao, today's artists are placed at the oilier extreme, compared with how artists made use of the media in the previous decade ..Where these artists tackled the visual form of mass communicarions and the icons of pop culture, Liam Gillict., Miftos Manetas and Jorge Pardo work on scaled-down models of communicational situations, This can be interpreted as a change in the collective sensibility, Henceforth the gmupis pitted against the mass, neighbourliness against propaganda, low tech against ll.iJghtech, and the tactile against the visual, And above all, the everyday now turns out La be a much mere fertileterrain than "pop culture" -a form that onl.y exists. in contrast to "high culture", through i.t and for rut. To head off any polemic about a so-called return to "conceptual" art, let us bear in mind that these works in 110 way celebrate immateriality. None of these artists Ilasa preference fOor "performances" or concept, words that no longer mean a whole lot here, II] a word, the work process no louge« has any supremacy over ways 011' rendering this workmaterial (unlike Process Art and Conceptual Art, which, for their pan, tended to fetishize the mental process to the detri rnent of the obj ect), ~n the worlds con structed by these artists, on the contrary. objects are all intrinsic part of the language, with both regarded as vehicles of relations to the Oilier. in a way.an object ils every bit as immaterial as .8 phone Gall. And a work that consists in a dinner around a soup is every biU as material as a statue. This. arbitrary division between tile gestureand the form it produces is here called into question. insofar asit is the very image of contemporary alienation: the cannily maintained

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illusion even in rut institutions, that objects excuse methods and that the end of art justifies the pettiness of the intellectual and ethical means, Objects and institutions, and. the use of time and. works, are at once the outcome of human relations-for [bey render social work concrere-and producers of rel ati ens-fer, conversely, they organise types of sociability and. regulate. Jnter-human encounters. 'Ioday's art thus prompts us to envisage the relations between space and time in a drffereur way, Essentially, moreover, it derives its main originality from the way thi issue is handled. What, actually is concretely produced by artists such as Liam Gillick. Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Vanessa Beecroft? What, in tile final analysis, is the object of their work? To introduce a few comparative factors, we should have to embark UPOlJl a history of the use value of art. 'I;\'heli a collector purchased <I work by Jackson Pollock or Yves Klein, he was buying, over and above its aesthetic. inserest, a milestone in a history on (hie move. He became the purchaser of a historical situation. Yesterday, when Y()1.1 bought a Jeff Koons, what was being brought to the fore was the hyper-reality of artistic value ..What has one bought when one owns a work by Tiravanija or Douglas Gordon other than .3 relationship with the world rendered concrete by all object, which, per se, defines the relations one has towards this relationship: tile relationship to a relationship?

.Joint presence and availability: The theoretical ~egacy of Felix Gonzalez-Torres Involved here is a smallish cube of paper, nor big give an impression of monumentality, and too stark you to forget thai it was just a stack of identical is sky-blue ill cO]QI)[:, with broad white piping acting On the edge the blue was heightened by the pile of notice read: Felix Gonzalez- Torres, Untitled (Blue Mirror), ]990. Offset print on paper; endless copies .. One is allowed to take one of the posters away with him/her. Butwhat happens if lots of visitor walk off in tum with these sheets of paper offered to all abstract publjc? What process would cause the piece to change and then vanish? For this work did 110t rnvol ve a "Performance", or a poster hand-our, but a work endowed with a defined form and a certain density, a work not displaying its construction (or dismantlement) process, but the forn: of its presence amid an audience. This set of i sues to do with the convivial offering and the availability of tile work of art, as produced and staged by Gonzalez-Torres, turn out, today, to be meaningful. Not only are they at the hub of contemporary aesthetics, but tbey go a whole lot further too, extending to our retarions with things. This is why, after his death in 1996, the Cuban artist's work calls for a critical appraisal in order to reinstate it ill. the present-day context, to which it has made a conspicuous co nrrib union. The work enough to to enable posters. It as a frame. paper. The

I. Hubert D~mJ $'CO,F.meIJl: jam!!' .r::m:lln·iwn •.Editions

du SBUiJ" p. 76.

49

Gonzalez-Torres' work js well and truly organised around all autebiographical pmject but a two. 199 ]). he foreshadowed a space based in Inter-subjectivity. whose work IS now coming to maturity. Felix GonzalezTorres was probably the very first person no convincingly posit the bases of a homo-sensual aesthetics. The work is also divided into figures which all have a close relationship withlovers living together. ] 991). or the Duchampian "'king and queen" symbolism). two bare ligh~ bulbs fixed to the waH. it gave rise in his work to a specific realm of forms. life shared. with inrertwiaed wires (Untitled (March 5th) II 2. 1991). who each develop their personal problem-set. but of a <couple. shared autobiography. With Gonzalez. What is involved. Its strength lies at once in tile artist's skilful insrrornentalizatien of forms. but this idea has something incomplete about it. the appearance of the candy pieces just when his boyfriend Ross died). twofold unit. It is tempting to describe his work as autobiographical. white beads of Untilled (Blood}. 011 the other hand. is typified as 3 tranquil. the Fed and. and the travel figures). and dual. Meeting and corning together (all the "pairs"). non a categorising claim.Torres' aesthetic is twofold. two minors set side by side (Untilled (March 5th) Ill. 1991 ). but theabsence of the "2". but it is never a binary contrast. Dominique Gonzalez-Fcerster. hallmarked mainly by a contrastless duality. To mention just a few. illness (the record of UII!. and driven by the ambivalence of the motions of attraction and repulsion (suffice it to think of Van Eyck's The Marriage of Giovanni Arrlalfini and Giovanna Cenami. including all tile imagery of absence which is ubiquitous in the work. is an enthusiasm fOI" the universal.itled (Bloodworks}. ]991). complementing one another in a subtle interplay 'Of contrasts and dissimilarities. Douglas Gordon. given the many allusions the artist made to his OWIl life (til". homosexuality represented not so much a discursive theme than an emotienal dimension. a form of life creating forms of art. and in his ability to side-step community-oriented ideneificarions to get '10 the heart of the human experience. 1989. highly personal 'tone of the puzzles. Gonzalez-Tones told the tale not of an individual. and identified with by everyone. This is no longer the addition of IWO inevitably heterogeneous realities. waich :is endlessly dedi ned and which certainly represents its main paradigm. or 3.Torres' work toa neo.. Gonzalez-Torres' couple. homosexuality did [Jot seal a community assertion. Liam Gillick and Philippe Parreno. The formal structure of his work lies in this harmonious parity and ia this inclusion of the other in the self. Overall. separation. So. and last of aUIthe lament ofdearh (Stein and Toklas' grave in Paras.11 ellipse (Untitled (Double Portrait). We thus see two clocks with their hands stopped at the same time (Untitled (Perfect Lovers). two pillows on a crumpled bed. in both instances. presented like a string of happy moments (the light bulbs. knowledge of the other (the "portraits"). From star! to' finish. in the sense that Inspired Michel Foucault to advance a creative ethics of love relationships. when the Cuban artist had his first shows. So from the mid eighties on W OITd . This IS why his work was a significant moment in the representation of the couple. and.Homosesualityas a paradigm of cohabitation It would be too easy to comply with a currently widespread trend an d red uce Felix Go I] zalez. The feeling of loneliness is never represented by the "1". which is precisely the space that would be explored by the most interesting artists of the next decade. J:992).form ali st set of problems or an agenda for gay activism. Jorge Pardo. the black edging on the white pesters). The figure "two" is ubiquitous. Furthermore. for him. thuscohabijation. quite to the contrary. the basic unit of Gonzalez. but also find commou ground around the priority they give to the space of human relations ill the conception and distribution of their works (they so 51 .'.Torres. it became a life model that could be shared by all. Rirkrit Tiravanije. a classic figure in the history of art. still bearing the signs of a body (24 posters. headed.

going beyond social exchanges and collective constructions. anti-form and processart (the candy corner call to mind Richard Sierra in the late sixties) and Conceptual Amt (the white on black poster-portralts are reminiscent of Kosuth). The idea of including the other is not just a theme. But here. But this relative immateriality of the nineties' Olirt(which is more 11 sign of the priority given by 52 53 . and his. a pile of paper cannot be included in the masterpiece category as they as ume the sense to be a pre-established entity.They WDl1~d like there eo be ready-made sense (and its transcending moral. The irrational nature of thecapitalist economy feels thai the structural need to find a firm foothold in the certainties of faith-not for nothing does the dollar bill brandish its proud motto. The art market turns out to be quite at one with IDem. Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster ami Jorge Pardo are perhaps the two artists with the most points in common with GonzalezTorres: the former by dint of his exploration of household intimacy as ail interface of the movements of the public imaginary. re-use of the aesthetic repertory of Mi nimal Art (the paper cubes. what is at issue is pairing and co-existence. this recycling also represents an aesthetic choice: it shows that artistic structures are never limited to JUS1 one set of meanings. They do not want to see that the world is nothing otherthan a chaos that People stand IljJ to by means of words and forms . an origin acting as guarantor of tills sense (an order to be rediscovered) and codified rules (painting. too. And it is in the name of rhi definition that contemporary art : ees itself being disparagedwhole sale-today usually by those who see in tile concept 'of "sense" or "meaning" a notion pre-existing human action. as the sign of a sure instinct in Iazines couceding rue failure to understand forms by the use of a term whose meaning is not known). subtle aspect of his formam repertory. and major investment in art veers usually towards values rubberstamped by common sense. It turns out to be as essential to tile for m31 I understanding of the work. Fer them. code). possible trajectories) within this chao' called reality. the diagrams re embling Sol LeWitl drawings). turning the most personal and complex memories into clear. evanescent. the latter as a result of the minimal. this demand for harmony and cohabitation which even encompasses his refationship with aTI history. The persistent issue raised by Gonzalez-Tones might be summed up thus: "How can 1 live in your reaIDinty?"'or: "How can a meeting between two realities alter them bilaterally?" . The injection ofthe artist's mtimist world into the art structures of the ninety sixties created brand new situations and retrospectively switched our reading of art towards a Jess formalist and more psychologically oriented line of thinking. the new figure of death). ContempomJ'Y forms of the monument The common.. On the other hand. spare forms..express ways of production based on inter-human fellations). now!). Needless to say. the simplicity of the forms used by the artistcontrasts fiercely witli1 their tragic and militant content. I'IIn God We Trust". There has beell1 a great deal of emphasis on the way Gonzalez-Torres "refills" now historicized forms. today's artists revealing processes and situations. B U[ the essence is still this merging horizon aimed at by Gonzalez-Torres. So people worry at seeing.. point between all the things that we include within the umbrella terms of "work of art" lies in their ability to produce a sense of human existence (and point to. with one or two exceptions. and his ability to solve space-time problems by ~he geometrizarion of functional objects. Gonzalez-Poersrer <lindPardo alike both put colour at the centre of their concerns. The fact is that it is often possible to recognise Gonzalez-Torres' "style" by its chromatic softness (blue sky and white everywhere. People grumble about the "overly conceptual" aspect of their works (thus. eed is only introduced to indicate blood.

more of Q threas to power thcm the image of two g~lys giving each other a blow job. as Philippe Parreno explains. For most people. in other words. In his OWl] words. to borrow the words of Cornelius Castoriadis-a TOTInO'll resolution which touches on eternity precisely because it is specific and temporary. but deconstructs tile methods of making the art object. It does not represent Ute logical end of the work. ". deathas an individual. does not dodge materialrsation. he managed to transmute his life style ill terms of ethical and aesthetic values. and in spite of technological development which ridicules thistype of bias. giving it. and focused his practice on a theory of exchange and division. and the minimal nature of the forms used to conjure them up . As a gay man. within a unique form. By confronting and rubbing shoulders with. a proper lime frame. and accordingly. Nothing ::is ever demonstrative or explicit in the political.. So the appearance of the string of electric lights is connected with a secret vision than occurred ill Paris iii 1985: "'1 looked ~IP and immediateiy took a picture. Contemporary work is more than ever this "demonstration. and thus implicitly. which is not necessarily the conventional time frame of the picture being looked at We must stick to our guns on this point. He died of AIDS. and the materialisation of the intangible. The fine grid and the single diagonal line crossing [he space do not directly evoke Ule drop ill white corpuscles in the blood of someone with AIDS. and the illness}. jor everyone to come. "TI'II'O clocks side by side are . for example. be raised the issue of the processes of materialisation in art. of an individual and his times. As an activist. Bur this :>tylisation of social forms comes . but an event. In a more precise way. 54 55 . based on the differing aspects of the monumental: the commemoration of events. Gonzalez-Torres bravely decided to put the vproblerns of inscription at the core of IDS work.s chosen. monumental strategy toO which the artist subscribes. after having rooted his work in an acute awareness of time spans. A Tiravanija show. As friezes with an often chronological succession of private memories and historical events" the portraits produced 11Th the manner 'of wall-drawings fulfil an essential function of the monament: the conjunction.ibilitJl of creating significance by inhabitil2g the edge of the abyss'.. with traditioo. He would even broach iit frorn its most delicate side.RCroSS even more clearly 11]the ongoing contrast which Gonzalez-Torres sets up benween the importance of the events conjured up. He paid close attention to production methods. Ute contiuaity of memory. Untitled (2'1 Days of Bloodwork-Steady Decline] <lisa set of minimalist drawings. for example. Present-day art has no cause to be jealous of the classical "monument" when it comes to producing long-lasting effects. Thus. because it was a happy sight". the time span of an item of information and the capacity of a work of art to confront time are linked with the solidity of the lI1Ja~er]al.and unwittingly deny the possibility and range of the illness. nor by a mannerist refusal to create objects. The object is just a "happy ending" to the exhibition process. Gonzalez-Torres earmarked the most monumental part of his work for the portraits that he produced on the basis of interviews and conversations with the people commissioning them.these artists to time in relation to space than a desire not to produce objects) is motivated neither by an aesthetic militancy.. togetherwith their complexity and their seriousness. They display and explore the process lila! leads to objects and meanings. Once Ute connection has. of the poss. Febx Gonzalez-Torres seems to offer a perfect example of this ambition. and of the survival of the most intangible of emotions. been made between these two realities (the discreetness of the drawing. into a series of events. he promoted new forms of artistic commitment. the allusive power of the work takes on a terrible scope which refers LIS to our constant desire [lot to see that. <Indo]' the way our contemporaries look at new forms of rnaterialisarion. an uninformed visitor might well look al.

the democratic concern that mform it. GonzalezTorres ratified a fact.. he rediscovered the essence of the monumental: otherwise put. like space-time factors governed by an economy going beyond rules in force controlling the management of different kinds of pubhc and audience. together with the laws governing . At a Gonzalez.Does it give me a chance to exist in front of it.it. Who do we want to kid into thinking that an authoritarian art in front of its viewers might refer to another real than that of an intolerant society. he posited female homosexuality as an unquestionahle choice capable of demanding respect from die most reactionary of Republican senators.aning'. the production of a moral emotion. For art does. Untitled (Alice B'. undergoes a process of abstraction similar to those that affect human bodies: "It '5 a total abstraction. Paris). tally wsth my aspirations in real life? Does it criticise what is deemed to be critieisable? Could [ live in a space-time structure corresponding to it in reality? These questions do nor refer to any exaggeratedly anthropomorphic Vision of art. here. What strikes us' in the work of this.. As such.n (the happenings and environments of the sixties. TIlLe candy pieces thus raise an ethical preblem In an apparently anodyne form: our relatiouship to authority and the way museum guards use their power. What nowadays forms the foundation of artistic experience is the join! presence of beholders infron: of the work be this work effective or symbolic.because it cannot use me as a ratlying point in its struggle to obliterate me. running counter to traditional procedures (a framed. For all I know an artist addresses his works to his conternporarie . or messages in bottles. like so many cryptic messages. or waited for the person next to them to filch a candy. Memory. he said to his friend Ross faced with the results of a blood test. refusing to consider the Other in its structure? Does the space-time factor suggested 0Jr described by this work. and in situ installations).unk he regards himself as under sentence of death. artworks which today seem to me worthy of ongoing interese are those which work like interstices. The first question we should ask om elves when Iooking at a work of art is: . not transcend everyday preoccupations. or terminally ill. Here" with the help of a simple photographic still life. while others did not dare. or unless he espouses a fascistfundamentalist version of History (time closed in on its sense. our sense of moderation and the nature of our relationship to the work of art.. before doing likewise. Insomuch as this latter represents the occasion of a physical experience baseden exchange. a history of works prompting the onlooker 10 become aware of the setting he finds himself i. generation of artists is. show I saw visitors grabbing as many candies as their hands and pockets could hold: ill doing so they were being referred to their social behaviour their feti hism and their cumulative concept 'Of the 'world . it is part of a specific l~isrory. With. photo) and bourgeois moral codes (a lesbian couple). 11m it's the body. U also contains a beholder's ethic . but to a vision that is quite simply human.Torres.. be it fantasised or 56 57 . The criterion of co-existence (works and individuals) Gonzalez-Torres' art thus gives pride of place to the negotiation and construction of a cohabitation. a 1992 photograph depicting flowers planted on tile shared grave of the two friends. first and foremost. " Gonzalez-Torres does not deliver messages: he includes facts in forrns. and origin). Toklas and Gertrude Stein's Grave. or on the contrary does it deny me as a subject. is not the least noteworthy aspect of this profoundly and intentionally discreet work . The fact that an artist manages to trigger this emotion. through make-bel ieve. it confronts us with reality by way of the remarkable nature of any relationship ~o the world. On the other hand. It's your life". it h1iUS to be subject to criteria sim~lar so those which underpin our appreciation of any old constructed social reality.

0 '. of the producer 'Over the beholder (let us put itanother way: no divine right. co-producer. and no longer an abstract pbysical presence. and today Angela Bulloch. noi elessly il!l the milddle of the gallery. Tile spread of "curiosity cabinets". And nile forms In a show at Le Magasin in Grenoble. In its day.. virtually by definition. but rather negotiate open relationship with it. and I'm thinking of the above-mentioned artists as well as Lincoln Tobier. understanding. between visual beauty and modest gestures. with the help of comparable formal wherewithal. Gonzalez-Torres altered the museum cafeteria by painting it blue. and we should now realise that forms prompt models of that exhibitions rake do not avoid these precautions. sociabi lity. he installed a quadrilateral bounded by switched-on light bulbs. Time of manipulation. and Andrea Zittel. and protagonist. No outcry about facile gadgets here. whose pbenornenelogical backdrop speculated on the presence of the viewer as an intrinsic part of the work II. So beware: we know that attitudes become forms. Gabriel Orozco and Pierre Huyghe. is worked out in inter-subjectivity. there can be an ideal balance between form and its programmed disappearance. a pair of Walkrnan was. putting bunches of violets on the tables. a priori. provided for vi si tors so that thev could dance onder the fairy lights. Untilled (Ar.For his one-man show a~the Jennifer Flay Gallery in ]993. b . This latter thu wavers between the status of passive consumer and the status of witne associate. The aura of artworks has shifted towards their public Today's art. one which. is this ocular "participation" tha1 Michael Fried denounced. authority). between childlike wonder in front of the image and the complexity of the levels at which it is read. absolute loathing of the public place and shared aesthetic experimentation. under the umbrella title of "theatricality": "The experience of literalistart [Minimal Art} is of QI? object in a . The availability of things does not automatically make them commonplace. BeD Kinmont. incidentally. In both instaucesthe artist encouraged the "beholder" to take up a position within an arranzement '. to name just three more.mdy. A work thus creates within its method of production and then at the moment of its exhibition. behavioural and historical response grven by the beholder to the experience proposed.0 zivina it fife complementing the work. includes the beholder'". and providing visitors with informatinn about whales . The space of Minimal Art was constructed i!ll the distance separating eye and work. 58 59· . The encounter with the work gives rise not so much to a space (as ill tbe case of Minimal Art) as to a time Spall.el1a). but also the elitist attitudes of certain people in art circles. complete with its history and behaviour. are governed by a concern to "give everyone their chance".situation. and it is abundantly clear that a work like Untitled (A~enCl) no longer originates JLIst born ocular perception: the beholder contributes his whole I:.accepted? At the other end of the scale. decision-making going beyond the act of "rounding off" the work by looking at it. Like one of Gonzalez-Torres" piles of candies. The space defined by Gonzalez-Torres' work.. in favour of boudoirs earmarked for experts. the exhibition situations presented to us by artists such as Gcnzalez-Tcrres. attest to an. through forms which do notestablish any precedence.. a momentary grouping of participating viewers. in the emotional. This kind of work (mistakenly called "interactive'n derives from Minimal Art. customervguest. Minimal Art provided the tools required for a critical analysis of our perceptual conditions. and taking part in the formulation of its meaning. which are not resolved beforehand. encompasses in tbewoU:K]ng process the presence of the micro-community which will accommodate it. Car tell Holler. which we have been witnessing for some time.

nor in form itself. modernity has striven to criticise the predominance of the community over the individual. by extension. In our pest-industrial societies. So what do we fmd ourselves looking . The public is being taken into account more and. This was the thrust some time back. discussed and precipitated the pbenomenon of the disappearance of the aura of thework of art.LidjvidualisUl. alone. As if. and transitional objects iugeneral. there . and collective institutions on offer. The age of '"Ll[Jltimited mechanical reproduction" effectively gave this parareLigiolJs effect a hartl 'lime an effect defined by Benjamin as. It does not involve those corporate phenomena whichtoo often act aJS a disguise for the most die-hard fOl:I11$ of conservatism ern this day and age. Reintroducing the idea of plurality. by way of free associations. recreated there. collective and participatcry. after two centuries of struggle for smgulmrjly and against gJOlIP impulses. bur tile freeinglip of iuter-human communications. and not a matter of a social binding hardening around! totems of identity . The aura was.The aura of contemporary art is a free association. to the work of art regarded a a medium whereby an individual expresses his/her vision of the world run front of all audience. will be able to save us from tlhe regressive fantasy that is abroad. But the audience concept must not be mythicizedthe idea ofa unified "mass." bas more to do with a Fascist aesthetic than with these momentary experiences. the most pressing thimg is no longer tilhe emancipation of individuals. We can only extend modernity to advantage by geing beyond the strugglesir has bequeatlied us. but in front of It. For some years now. which delegate its powers to it.. this "sole appearance of 8J distancevrepresented by tile artistic aura were provided by it 35 if the micro-community gathering in uoul of tile image was becoming the actual source of the aura. insomuch as it does nut turn its back on the aura of the work of art. for contemporary culture hailing from modernity. "the sole appearance of a distance" property conventionally associated with art At the same time. where everyone has to hang on to his/her identity'. which skipped the whole art object phase and spoke directly to the audience. means inventing ays of being together forms of interaction that go beyond the mevitabiJity of the families. The aura of art no longer lies in the hinter-wor~d represented by the work. and systematically critique forms of collective alienation. here. the other. And thus. hut rather moves its orisin and effect. within the temporary collective form that it produces by being put ou show. and we don't have enough words to shout down cOiltempomry i. anti-racism and environmentalism all operate too frequently as lobbies playing the power game by enabling it never to have to call itself into question in a structural way). more. feminism. 60 61 . Contemporary art thus introduce a radical hift in relation to modern art. Today. offering it patterns of behaviour.and everywhere. 11'1 muddled way. we are hoping for the rerum of a the traditional aura. as part of a general movement of emancipation. Towards all audience vocabulary (1911). of that o masterpiece prcduced by Ole group General Idea. henceforth. festive. :v A certamn suspicion creeps in with regard to mediative tools. the "distance" appearing specifically Ito create a halo around the work. exploring the varied potentia] in the relationship to. we must bring in a new synthesis which. ghettos ef technological userfriendliness. there has been an upsurge of convivial. i~ being wound lip. user-friendly artistic projects.as briUiantly described by Walter Benjamin ill J 935. the dimensional emancipation of existence.MOdem art widely accompanied.i:lI~ today? Sacredness is making a 'comeback. Relatio[is between artists andwiflat they produce thus tend towards ~he feedback zone. It js :in this sense thai we can talk of a community effect in contemporary art. It is a matter of predefined cording and restricted to a contract. A phase ill the modern project.

we find! in pride of place a project to rehabilitate the idea of Beauty. But the "institutional criteriou" dear to Danto seems to me to be a bit limiting. for example.. he goes on mu t not be mistaken with idolatry and advertising. The discovery of African art.0 immense delicateness. unlike any cosmetic and body-built conception of "the visual impact". profoundly altered our aesthetic canons. dialogue" cultural friction and swapped viewpoints which. or stress on effect.. art. at the end of the 19th century all EI Greco was good for was second-hand dealers. which IS to say. however. generation after generation formulate 1LIl. indeed. We cal) credit. more in compliance with the ideaI have about ~ilil. but these come back to life in his bands: the sight of a cloudy sky. that virtue that is at once visual and ethical.ceIJts of symmetry. 62 63 . The most precise definition he comes up with is this: it is a matter of "the agency that caused visual pleasure in the beholder.nDt show ii~eJf to be useful On other words. His work assaults neither eye nor feelings. the pillars of aesthetic traditionalism. by procuring a certam de?ree of pleasure) to those viewing it. through a series of mediations and discussions. In his essay "Invisible dragon: Four essays on beauty?" Hickey is quite vague about the actual content of this idea. So 1 am gripped by a childlike sense of wonder in front of the glowing. Let us recall that. too. and hi pleasure. However I might try to avoid di agreeable comparisons.. the greatest works of art are always and inevitably a bit of bOfh'. alongside this torrent of fetishist irrationalism. we find an aspiration towards what Hickey calls beauty: a constant quest for simplicity and formal harmony. if it does .ollght. many other people appear to cnrne mto the picture fromllhe "savage" activities of artists. I II let the author assume responsibility for what be writes.e rules that go-vern taste. discreet and fluid. pleclsfu. nevertheless make the odd point. because it is negotiation. but "idolatry ami advertising are. or the photograph of a sandy beach printed on satin-finish paper everything makes an impression although the beholder might be irked by so much kitsch. and "true" sculpture did not exist between Greek Antiq uity and Donatello. to reigning ideologies. This concept can be veiled behind a varied terminology. Arthur Dante's "institutionalist" positions {and for him Art exists when inssitations "recognise" a work) seem to me. harmony. Everything about it is implicit. We get a much dearer idea of what be is referring to when he writes that "beauty sells".e." There are two key notions involved here: aJ efficacy. which underlie the masterpieces of both the Renaissance and then Nazi art? Hickey does. dazzling hues of piles of candies .Beauty as a solution l' Among the various reactionary temptations currently exercising the cultural domain. with calling a spade a spade.The austerity of the "stacks" ~s offset by their fragile precariousness. If] am to draw the necessary conclusions from this proposal a work of art is thus inconsequential if it i not efficacious. Gonzalez-Torres braces himself against subconscious emotions. Never the slightest excess. the art critic who is today's champion of this return to the norm.11. III this ongoing struggle to define tbe realm of art. With Fehx Gonzalez-Torres. and To get back ~o the issue of beauty in art or to what passes for such. COI). He is forever juggling with cliches. Dave Hickey.I don't get off on either of these things. sobriety and equilibrium. and doomed Itself to inconsequence. Let's call it . :~rt. The real "nature' of the agency called Beaoty by Hickey is extremely relative. it has to be aid that this type of aesrhetic represents an example of Reagan-Thatcherite ethics applied to art Nowhere does Hickey challenge the nature of Ibis pleasure-giving "arrangement": does be regard as natural the."' As . and lUI) theory of images that lVas 1'101 grounded ill the of the beholder begged the question of efficacy.

Dutton. tile socalled "developing world". M\lsa~m catalogue. the world ha "broadened" under our very eyes. ill its day. 00 the other hand. Cornelius Edirinn du Seuil. [I. does not enjoy the same reality as Silicon VaUey as far as technical goods are concerned. L92. Nowadays. 7. 3. JbiLl.iiiJIe dragon: Four essays on helmi. 73. Editions Grassel. and to what intent.1996. we can come across. NY. 1. Let us recallthat. in panicolnr La Crmtempiarioll monde.1995. according to Boltanski. cit. sec the works of Micllel Maffesoli. "Art & Objecthood" Anthology. that nothing is more ordinary.ogical Jftodels The modernist theory of art postulated that art and technical means were contemporary bedfellows. tlJan these aesthetics which swiftly become emotional blackmail. p. La rlW/. On this SUbject. 4. Dave Hickey. It believed in indissoluble bonds existing between the social order and the aesthetic order. So the relationships between art. image technology and atomic energy represent threats and tools of subjugation as millch as improvements to daily life. op.. Dave Elicke). n. Tile bwi.ehuol.We might raise the objection that the artist plays here 011 facile emotions. 1993. for example. Michaet Fried. and that the south of the planet. our optimism with regard to the liberating power of technology has been considerably blurred.. You would have to be unbelievably ethnocentric not to see that technological progress is far from being universal. photography did not transform the relationships between tile artist and his material. au o.27.rlee de {'insig. that technology and artistic practices do not always go hand-in-hand.l'. in Gregory Bartock. in a measured and circumspect way with regard to the nature of these bonds: by noting. 1995. even though both are part of an ever-narrowing world. Los Angeles. Screen Re]atiol1S Today 's art alld its le. Minimal Au: (J Critical 5. We now know that computer science. p.rijhmce. On the one hand. and that this discrepancy does no harm to either. 1:. p. complicated than they were in tile L9605. Guggenheim I. BUll what matter is what is done with this type of emotion: what they are steered towards how the artist organises them among themselves. and technology are much more Castoriadis. Art Issues Press.• p. p. Only the ideological conditions of pictorial 64 65 .

come what may. clearly alters the relationship between artists and the world. . came from artists who far from giving up on their critical consciousness. like . The appearance of a major invention. it makes them more visible. are brought together around a form (the screen the terminal) which encapsulates their various properties and potentials. for example.oj thillking that went well beyond the shots of their contemporaries.ee them right down to the consequences they have 011 day-to-day Jife. worked on the basi of the possibilities offered by new tool. Subsequently. artists would appropriate photography as an image-producing technique. on the other. we are doomed to a mechanistic analysis of recent art history. Every technical innovation that has taken place since the Second World War has thus caused a wide range of reactions among artists. This collusion of meanings points to the fact that episternologicallUpbeavals (concerning new perceptual structures). n is odd. it ijs the function of realistic eepresensarion which turns out to be more and more obsolete. These three attitudes which where photography is concerned. enabling us to . destination and stops are known in advance. in a third phase. . bUI others finally become possible. It is easy to see how the relationship between art and technology icon uderably less systematic. 0[1 the other hand. computers. may nowadays occur either simultaneously or alternately helped by a speeding-up of exchanges . .practice were affected. which involves seeing art as an independent realm governed exclusively by its own laws. and that by shifting these. On fue 66 67 . on the one hand. We are a long way from the idea of asserting any kind of superiority of painting over the other media. This is what we might ca~1the Law of Relocation. of the pictorial tradition (the I!p~ist'~ formalism championed by Clement Greenberg). Some things now tum out to be of no use. stemming from tile appearance of technologies as different a film. Degas and Monet thus produced a photographic ilia). and methods of representation as a whole. The second and opposite one involves a mechanistic conception of history which systematically deduces from any new rechnologicai apparatus a certain number of changes in ways of thinking. to use AlthlJsser's expression. however. Art (mil Goo'tis Tile Law of Relocation Art historians are prey to two major stumbling blocks.. fromthe adoption of predominant production methods (the "mec-art" of the sixties). rather than putting IJP with it as anideological instrument. which would give rise to abstract art).. and gesture. The most frul~1 thinking. that one and the sallie word is thus used to describe both a surface that arrests light (in abe cinema) and an interface 011 which information is written. Then. in other words. photography. we can. bln without representing them as techniques. Regarding it. followed all one from the other ill Lime.1lJ train whose provenance. whereas new viewing angles become legitimised {Degas' frames) and the operational method of the camera-the rendering of the real through the impact of light-grounds the pictorial practice of the impressionist. as can be seen with impressionism. and video. In the case of photography. Can we create a parallel between the emergence of photography and the present-day spread of screens in contemporary exhibitions? For our age is nothing if not the age of the screen. say thar ant creates an awareness about production methods and human relationships produced by the technologies of its day. moreover. The first is idealism. By failing to conceive of this compatibility at work within our mental apparatus [I) attain new ways of seeing. So tile main effects of the computer revolution are visible today among artists who do net lise computers. Technology is only of mterest to artist ' in so far a it puts effect into perspective. to the preservation. modern painting would focus its issues on what it contains in terms of scaling things down to mechanical recording (matter. Art m11)'exercises its critical duty with regard to technology from the moment when it shifts its challenges.

The existence of synthetic images. At best. which we might split into two branches. The first. based 0111 general. The visible image no longer represents the trace of anything. and its form is no longer the "terminat" of a human presence. yes. worse still. inventing a coherent and fair work conduct in relation to the production methods of their time . living and seeingcreative. With computer graphics. the work of art cannot. All the images we are acquainted with are the result ofa physical action. So the function of representatioll is played out in behaviouralpatterns. a stage which. but of introducing the gestural. by way of touch screens and interactive video games. the need to semote-comrol i. Otherwise put reversing the authority of technologyin order to make ways of thinking. the management of overseas wealth (ethno-photography).. Technology as an ideological model (from trace to programme) As a producer of goods. Om the one hand. OJl)the other hand. and deciphering the ocial relations brought on by them. is makingan amazing contribution to the way mentalities and attitudes are cbanging.lpthe fundamental paradox that binds art and technology together: if technology can by definition be improved. This is the challenge of modernity: "Taking the eternal from the transitory".other hand. the rapid progres of user-friendly technologies. needless to say. and its more or less virtual inclusion ill the socio-econorniicarel!1a' . definable as the artwork wavering between its traditional function as an object of contemplation. it is. and above aU.At least this type of practice shows l!. it is no longer a question of depicting [rom without the conditions of production. from the hand drawing signs to wielding a camera .. for their part. and no longer of human gestures. or. unless it be that of a sequence of numbers. consists in manufacturing something thatw r ill last. lifeproducing conditions which are essentially changeable. lias no need of any analogous linkage to the subject. actually now possible to produce images which are the outcome of calculation. to bon-ow Nietzsche's term. but also. When Alighiero Boetti gets 500weavers iJll Peshawar. their work is just symptom or gadget. in a way. by manipolating synthetic fractals and images.0 calculation". The art/technology relationship is thus particularly suited to this operationai realislnwbich underpins many contemporary practices. and the representation of their OWIII all ienation from methods dictated by production. results not froom the movement of a body.. bu: from .is introducing into the our way of percei ving and processing data. The technology reigning over the culture of our day and age is. art's function consists in appropriating perceptual and behavioural habits brought 01] by the technical-industrial complex to turn them into life possibilities. These days.ndlls~rial tools and find out about potential mining sites all endowed the camera with a crucial role in the industrialisauoa process. called for sts invention. the computer itself <lUnd changesit has introduced and still. For "the photo is the worked recording of a physical impact" whereas "the digital image" for its part. of mujtinaf on al com panies much more effectively than if he merely portrayed them and described! how they work. computing. Pakistan working for him. Popufation contra] (the introduction of ID cardsand anthropometric record cards).those who produce so-called "computer graphic" [mages. technology expresses the state of productiou-uriellited relationships. Photography usedto tally wirh a given stage ofdevelopmentin the western economy (hallmarked by colonial expansion and the streamlining of the work process). which affects Man's relationship with the images he produces. from France's "Minitel" system [originally a computerised telephone duectory] no the Internet.on their own"· (Serge Daney). The coueemperary image is ~pified 68 69 . he represents the work process. usually fall into the trap of illustration. the representafion of a symbolic alienation from the computer medium. In relafion to this phenomenon. Images "now' function . like Joe Dante's Gremlins which reproduced themselves by pure visual contamination. The whole difficulty encountered by artists keen no embrace the state of technOlogy if you'll forgive the banality of this assertion.

1993). the if'ljh!ence of technology on the 0. Cologne.mfprogramme factor and contemporary art. but without guaranteeing the applicable character of these latter. present-day art IS being developed in-depth by ways of seeing and thinking which usher in computing.. Philippe Parreno. or el e create an awareness about a moment M in the assembly line of social behavioural patterns. To get a better grasp of the degree of relationship between this paired fil. they make up. .. On the other hand. it LS this property of the digital image that informs contemporary art most powerfully. making it possible to imagine a further state of our civjli ation . the games invented by Brecht and Pillion) an encouragement ro be a creative oneself (Beuy om-o do emething (Franz Erhard Walter). Our 70 71 . it is 1]0 longer a trace (retroacti ve). like digital images. notwnhstanding. May 1995) where everyone had a chance 10 come into contact with everybody else Douglas Gordon) where people once again learnt what conviviality and sharing mean (Tiravanija's itinerant cafeterias). Furthermore. but a programme (active).ss less as an independent reality than <IDS a programme to be ~am{~d out. and interstices opened up in the social ·corplIs. ill other words. In the t nineties art while interactive technologies developed at an exponential rate. a model to be reproduced (for example. Otherwise put. economies where there is a reversal ill the relationships between work and leisure (Parrenn's exhibition Made on the Ist of May. This does not however involve works about "social sculpture" the way Beuy . the notion of dimension does not come into the picture. we might talk in terms of micro-utopias. but renders virtualities material ill x dimensions. the work came aero. artists invent way of living.precisely by it generative power. So exhibitions of the work of Rirkrit Tiravanija. any more than the possible transcoding into formats other than the one for which they have been designed . where professional relationships ru-e created like iii festive celebration (the Htue! occidental' video by Henry Bond. programmes. exactly as in the digital image whose proportions may vary with the size of the screen. In their respect. Henry Bond. [ml the midst of sixties' avanr-garde art. which thernsel yes depend on general conditions of social production. on [he one hand. Carsten Holler. where people are in permanent contact with the image oftheir work (Huyghe). they are not naive or cynical enough "to go about things as if' the radical and universalist utopia were still on the agenda. Based on this state of affairs. which-unlike the frame-does not enclose works in a preordained format. and tangible relationships existing between people. arti ts were exploring the arcane mysteries of sociability and interaction. Projects embarked upon by today's artists have the same ambivalence as the techniques from which they are indirectly inspired.1"1 thai is its cOlllemporw1' is wielded within limits circumscribed by thi's latter between the real and the imaginary. Tile camera and the exhibition The exhibition-set As we can see. the same wayan architecture H~eraHy"pmduces" the itineraries ofthose residing in it. tbey do not claim to be realiry. These interstices work like relational programmes: world. and the video camera 011 the other. The theoretical and practical horizon of that decade's art was largely grounded in the realm of inter-human relations. Douglas Gordon. The work thus proposes a functional model and not a maquette. we must come back to the evolution of the status of the art exhibition in relation ro theobjects it contains. The computer and the camera delimit production possibilities. understood it If these artists do indeed extend the idea of avant-garde thrown out with the bath water of modernity (we should stress this point even if a term with fewer connotations should be found). As writings in and with the real and cinematic work. and Pierre Hayghe all construct models of sociability suitable for producing human relations.

Joseph & Parreno. So there is much more film in an Allen Ruppersberg or Carlsen Holler show than in many. similar to a stl'il short-movie in which the viewer has to evolve by himself":" The [ate of the cinema ~or computer science).\ Behave (Joisten.one introduced the possibility of an ongoing manipulation of irs components. in accordance with a cinematographic model. wbile at the same time stressing values of conviviality and productivity which lipped the Belgian artist's social criticism ill the direction of new horizons: among other things" the horizon of 111. Bernard Joisten. Devised as a "programme" giving rise to forms and situations (a "Bag" thus enabled the collector 10 pun his own baggage together. user-friendly accessories such as seats and documents for consultation were made available to visitors). at the Gallery entrance so that visitors could create their visuaJ catalogues themselves. space of a virtual darkroom within which viewers evolve like a camera. and the ambiguity maintained by this between exhibition value and user value.n the rhizomes of the Ramo Nash Club and Douglas Gordon' activities than in those cobbled together synthetic images driven by a craftsmanship labelled as the most reactionary of the moment. 110t as subject bot as plan of action. at the Max Hetzler Gallery. thus has nothing to do with file form of the film. the.hypothesis is that the exhibition has become the basic unit from which it is possible to conceive of relationships between art and ideology ushered in by technologies.111.".111 art based on interactivity and the creation of relationships with the Other. Over and above the "decor/set" according to Broodthaers. This definition of the exhibition as a "photogenic space" was subsequently emphasised with How HIe GOI!f!{. that is. and put 00 in 1989 at the APAC in Nevers and at the FRAC Corsica). Broodthaers presented hi green room the latest version of the Winter Garden shown the previous year as "the primerfor the idea of DECOR that might be . the object here is no longer itself considered as !iI·twork (see also pink f"OOIn arid blue roomt:" This "reinsrarement'' of tbe art Object to the functional arena. and much more computer graphic thinking i. Ol. and cut our viewing angles and bits of meaning. where disposable cameras were placed. as a technology that can be used ill the other ruts. Pierre Joseph and Philippe Parreno. Mtried 10 define these activities by talking about a "directors art". The exhibition Ozone (devised in 1988 by Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster. a reversal which enabled Broodthaers to standi up to the "tautology of reificariorr" which the artwork represented tor him. and from Felix GonzalezTorres to Jason Rhoades}. designed to dodge the inevitability of reification by tile functionality of the elements making it up. turning the exhibiticn/exposition venue (by playing on the accepted meaning of this term in photography) into . In L990. a "set of information strata" (which likens jt. contrary to what is maintained. bid as a lime span 10 be crossed. filrnless camera. In J975. called upon to frame for themselves their way of looking. 31]] ambiguity exemplified by almost an the artists of that generation (from Fabrice Hybert to Mark Dion. sequence by sequence. perforce. How does film really worn art? By the way it handles the time 72 73 . to the detriment of the individual work . by the borde of opportunists who transfer on to film (or computer) Lines of thinking hailing from the 19th century. brilliantly anticipated the artistic activities of the 199{)s. ill.Iris the cinematographic model. a "still short-movie": "The work does not (offer) itself as a spatial whole Ilia! call' be scanned by the eye. Cologne. no the Broodthaers' model). which considerably opened up crucial working avenues !DOl" our period. blurred "artist's films. other wo:r.ds. was thus presented as a "photogenic space". ~99l). for instance is evidence of this shift from the exhibiuon-store {as embling noteworthy objects separately) to the exhibition-set (the unitary rni e-en-scene of objects). Ozone worked ~i ean "icoaographic k field".typified by tile idea of the object reinstated willi a real junction.What Marcel Broodthaers has dome. and the adaptation of these to the life of their possible purchaser.. which permitted the development of the exhibition-form ill the sixties.

Hence the mstallation by the Italian group Premiata OiJlia. "The studio shot. the difference between the actor and the passer-by tends (.. again. omebody ought to write the history of art using the peoples who pas through it. stays at pavement level. is particular in that it replaces the audience by the camerd'". but who comes to act in it? How do the actors and extras make their w. So.. Post VCR art RewindJpla)'ljastlorward The manoeuvrability of the video image is COil V eyed into tile area. wrote Walter Benjamin.. zappable little programmes". those proletarian workers who rent their image as a work force.. they make it possible to capture things out of doors and permit an offhandedness with regard to the material filmed-something that wa not po sible with heavy film equipment. where images and art forms are handled and manipulated. such as.exhibition may have turned into a set. The ordinary humanoid inhabits video art Henry Bond samples moments of sociability. Sean Landers who films from his car. of the involvement of one or more actors caned lIpon to fill a stage.rn be used as a reified replacement for presence.. conjures lip those acclaimed videotapes portraying a fireplace. as Philippe Parreno writes art forms "(1 space in which objects. The camera rums into an instrument for questioning people . a TV set broadcasting the picture of a man eating. scenarios tJuu can be re- enacted ~n. the work of art is DO longer presented as the mark of 74 75 . Informarion about the work process. the latest variant of visual recording.. Pierre Huyghe organises casting sessions.ay across u. and enables the picture editing process to teal the player's body.e) it produces . Angela Bulloch who records her-journey from London to Genoa where she has to [lilt lip a show. The predominant form of videographic resident is thus the poll. where a conference was going on.. hold. and the symbolic/practical structure which make it possible to accommodate them. Miltos Manetas holds a discussion around a cafe table.0 everything going an around him.factor.. The camera asks questions. thus passes into art forms? How does video. But probably the greatest change lies IliI the new approaches [0 time brought on by the presence of home video. Gillian Wearing thus asks passers-by to whistle into a Coca-Cola bottle. that random foray injo the crowd that typifies the television era. oblivious 1. an aquarium. Extras The. images and exhibitiol'!S m:e spiit-seconds.) are now part of the array of aesthetic decisions of any artist Thi applies to channel-flicking for example . etc .It represents the same development in relation to the film camera as that announced by the invention of paint in tubes for the impressionist generation. video plays the same heuristic. too a with Cheryl Donegan who films herself p[Qd~cing paintings. then edits these sequencesm such a way that they produce a continuous sound-allegory of the opirrion poll. or a "disco light". In other respects. A film is usually based on actors.Q diminish . What human flow. With vidc-a. placing on the table. Like films. a:!tertili1is passage? The classic form of the OIlscreen presence is that of the :'OmmnOIlS. and in the midst of what kind of scenery? One day. IL goes along with artists. The basic operations we carry out with a VCR (rewind. according to Serge Baney exhibitions are becoming "disp~ate. As light and easy-to-handle tools. records movements. So those living in Warhol's factory were one after the other press-ganged into standing ill front of the camera .. But the manoeuvrability of video also means that 11 ~. who films his trip between Guadalajara and Madrid. The grapes of Zeuxis are still just as green for post -modern bird . where the visitor can ~ak~ up his/her own itmesary. and Tiravanija. As we have seen. by the "image-movement" (Deleuz. explorawry role as the sketch played ill the ] 9th centory. governed by what forms. freeze frame.

When we move about a city.but one that does no! do away with the flow of gestures and forms from which it stems. not 10 say bounded..a past action. we are under surveillance.illstead of the analytical and deconstructive mode of conceptual art. But if video enables (more or less) anyone to make a movie. which may wen become watered down by heterogeneous exhibition settings.. Vanes a Beecroft's living pictures (tableaux.. Lothar Hempel). it signifies and demonstrates reality. oontinuaUy recycling the forms it produces and handing them out again in different forms? Post VCR art renders forms nomadic and fluid. to do with evidence and proof. rnstruments. together with Philjppe Parreno s Arbre d'onniversaire. and on which it is possible [0 inlay other elements and transmit a different rhythm (fast forward). But do these latter not have something to do witJi:J surveillance? Are they not also part of a world monitored. explores the police.i. In art. For it would eern quite normal today. To mention just a few artists who have recently emerged Pierre Joseph's Personnages vivants ii rea ctiver . in soap opera sets (Fresh Acconci. works like evidence. the safety-oriented counterpoinr to family video sessions. Towards a democratisation Q/l'ieJ1'fJoilltS? Video apparatus is [part of the democesrisation of the pictureproduction process (as a logical follow-on from photography). forthcoming event (the "trailer effect"} or the proposal of a virtual. Over and above the obvious ethical problems posed by this kind of action (in which.ke Kelley and Paul MacC<ilIIWy have. both to be seen and to see their own visibility. an action or a performance should end up becoming documentation on videotape . encouraging the analogous reconstruction of aesthetic objects of the past-"refiUs" of historicized forms. the concreteness ofa practice at ti meg too dispersed and all over the place to be directly grasped (I'rn thinking of Beecroft. with just a video-spy in it Caught: like an insect. represented by the camera. in no time.jt also makes it easier for (more or less) anyone to capture picunes of us. and security. Playing 011 security iconography (grills. Carsten Holler. and bogged down in procedures whereby it keeps a close eye on itself. by lenses. relations between artist and public 76 ri . The Security by Julia programme. and Pierre Huyghe filmed at scene-by-scene remake of Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window.Oil material time span which every exhibition event has to update and revive.. related dimension of the video camera. Video a we have noted just a much in the legal domain (with the Rodney King assault. action" In any event. ill the casual and literal mode represented by video. vivants) together with Fabrice Hybert's Peintures hameopathiques all are presented as unified and specific time spans which can be re-enacted. it is presented as .tvl. however. the Dam h artist Jens Haaning set up an automatic closure mechanism which shut the visitor away in an empty room. but in also bas an effect on om. in a Pari housing estate. had VIto Acconei's performances "reenacted" by models. So. Peter Land. 1995). This latter category turns out to be by far the most numerous. witnessing aesthetics.This forms the work's concentrated focus. and 'then. monitor screens). filmed by al1 "amateur". In a group show. an artistic video surveillance project "directed" by Julia Sher. Our very cultural work are submitted for rereading/recycling. that a piece. Julia Sher turns the exhibition into a space where everyone comes. it explains Serge Daney's prediction about film: "'The only thing tha: will be retained (from art) i:s what carl be remade·''' . attesting to the ubiquity of optical.currentprevaience over any other production 1001. In doing so. a frozen moment. just like the videos which they often end up becoming. the beholder was transformed into the subject of the artist's eye. showing King being beaten up by the Los Angeles police) and the debate stemming from the Khaled Kelkal affair. The aesthetics of conceptual art is already a factual. car-park settings.day-to-day life wrolllgh the generalisation of electsouic surveillance. This artistic use of the video picture does not just happen. recent activities are merely following up this designation 0"1' the "completely administered world" (Adorno) in which we live. but as the announcement of a. Tile work 'becomes a sutt.

ill line catalogue "1/ lalli' construir« Fhaciendo". 2.(JI.l. p. Towards a policy of forms Co. Brcodrhaers. and "Produire des: HippDJ1'S em monde". Modern art altered ti:lisl"elatioNlship by permitting Dlany simultaneous ways of looking at pictures. the place allotted 10 bim by the pictorial device likewise isolated him from others. by analysing its relations with the superstructure and the layer of obligatory behaviour underpinning its use. Venice Biennial. it becomes conversely possible to produce models of relations with the world heading jill direction of modernity.lls Notes . [10. Dan Graham's extraordinary 1974 installation. tile filmed visitor shitted from the status ofa theatrical "character" caught in an ideology of representation DO that of a pedestrian ubjected to a repressive ideology of urban movement Tile subject of the contemporary video is rarely free. "envelope" for the picture was s~[JJPOed 1'0encompass Dol to say submerge. p. Ull the catalogue Apertc 93. Serge Daney. "Qr. no. irifol"lllGl.)"(ms camera?"." in Afr:ica and the Orient? Rothko and Pollock mclnded runtheir work: the need for a visual. Winter ~991 '\lis. 4. Trafic.. the catalogue Creation.e. Essais II. 50. 7 .in a chromatic ambience. tions Denoel-Gonth ier. CCC Tours. "The Trailer Effecr" ill P1illsh Art. but with a slight timelapse. 147. And ill both cases it is an abstract humanity iliat is under consideration. 'wii:lichbroadcast the picture of anyone venturing into it. For art. Nicolas Bourriaud. But should we not be talking in terms of imports. in different forms. subject. the invention of centrist. cast 78 79 . Philippe Parreno. we have no option but to note that after Present continuous pestis). 1983. a tangible. sexual and ethnic inwhich all form of powell' agency in our society are currently indulging. everyone can ~ook at the frescoes of Piero della Feansesca and Uccello from several viewpoints.a/. 6. Liberation. We have often referred to the similarities existing between the "enveloping" effect of Abstract Expressionism and the effect sought by painters of icons. Editions pmnts-SeuilI987.reJmges immobiles was put on for the 1990 Venice Biennial. But perspective singles out a symbolic place for the eye and gives the beholder his/her place in a symbolic social set-up. no technique or technology is a. "j'oumiJ( de i'un posse".iqIle".!laisystems Eyes used to have 10 be raised towards the icon. &1. Tile exhibition COUTIH1. which gave the divine presence a material form as an image. Pierre Levy.sme opharif?". Nicolas Bourriaud..Oiaesthetics me I. ' The future of art as an instrument 'of emancipation and as a political tool aimed at the liberation of forms of subjectivity. This is because he/she collaborates illl the great visual census at once individual. 8. depends 01] the way artists deal with this issue. monocular perspective turned the abstract beholder into. ill the Renaissance.1. May 1990. "'UIII! exposition serais-eile une exposition . since this manner of reading things existed already. cogniuon et culture 1975. 3. By putting tecbnology in its productive context. w./mbitatio. Nicolas Bcurriaud. 1989. Failing which. physical individual. Berjamin. M'. the beholder .become sado-masochistic). ill. 105.I'esl-cef/ue le r. Art Press. art will become an element of high tech deeo in an increasingly disconcerting society. 5. "La MaciliJIt! anivers. 27 May 1'995. "L' (lIIgBllS de Daumier".I some possible extensioas of a re14tim. Needless :[0 say. "'UII (111 de realisaseurs".

The engineering of inter subjectivity The nineties saw the emergence of collective forms of intelligence and the "network" mode in the handling of artistic work. imaginmg him solitary and irredentist "writing is always. except for postulating that the (Bataille). The image is a moment. blah. Similarly. The boundaries afindividual subjec. is an image that does not contain any forthcoming development. "we have to take refuge behindthe world". and more generally the increasing collectivisation of cultural leisure. According to Cooper madness is not "inside" system of relationships of which that person don't become "mad" all on their own. It can only be defined as a product of negotiation. but I can't see it.ejfe. All art with no . as well as the collectivist practices going on ill the techno music scene. as beholder. Because they are restricted to the space of ga~leries and art: centres. a person but in the is involved.. Imagination seems like a prosthesisaffixed to the real so as lO produce more intercourse between interlocutors. Where the decorum of the picture used to offer a frame and a format. If we must reject all manner of imposed commnnalisrn. just as any pointin space is both the memory of a time x and the reflection of a space y. and the refusal of the collective. This mtber naive imagery muddles two quite different notions: the artist's refusal of the cnmmunal rules currently in force. A representation is just a moment M of rue real. so as to fight against the "mass-media manufacturmg" we are subject to. The sense of the work issues from the movement thaa links up the signs rransnutted by the artist.whole into the pictorial space. So discussion weakens and shrinks. blah.cts? These relational artistic practices have been repeatedly criticised. Somebody sees an orange rabbit all my shoulder. In modem art. we must now often be content with bsts and pieces. artisrs win inoludethis imerlocuter in the production process itself. Escaping from reality lis "mad". must pretend to see this orange rabbit on my shoulder. The reigning ideology would have theartist be a loner. But pretence of so doing. (After all. Is this temporal factor frozen. So tile goa] of art is to reduce the mechanical share in us . People we never think all on world has. Discussing this space enveloping tbe beholder ill an ambience or constructed environment. The popularisation of tineInternet web. Because the public is always m somewhat unreal entity. make an effort to produce sense out of objects that are ever lighter. or tothe contrary is it a producer of potentialities? What.. meaning and sense are the nutccme of an interactien between artist and beholder.1 mu t. done alone".. . No one writes or paints alone. and mark out every manner of situation. To find a negotiating space. any "life possibiliry" apart from a dead image? What artists show So reality is what I talk about with a third party. <It centre we have to make the 80 8] . Feeling nothing means not mating enough effort. have aJJ produced a relational approach to the exhibition. Artists look foriuterlocutors. it is precisely to replace it by invented relational networks. because our own. as Marx put it)..Its aim is to destroy amy a priori agreement about what is perceived. reality is nothing other than the passing result of what we do together. All images are moments.#viry What is fascinating about Guattari is his determination to produce subjectivizing machines. and not am authoritarian fact. ever more impalpable and ever more volatile. Eric Troncy refers to an "all around" effect as opposed to the "all over" style which can only be applied to flat surfaces. as well as from the collaboration between people in the exhibition space. blah. which is a levelling device .

The exhibition is au interstice.. which would be to tile liking of those who see ill a Tiravanija or Car ten Holler show nothing more thana phonily utopian pantomime. 1L would 'be absurd to judge the social and political content of a relational "work" by purely and simply shedding its aesthetic value. the strike and its variou devices (banners. like the one. a complex form lilat combines a formal struct~re. AI times it reproduces and bift the forms of this alienation-as in the Philippe Parreno show Made 01'1 the lst of May (1995). in favour of an illusory and elitist modelling of forms of sociability. the demonstrauon and its processlO~s. steers It. . In a way. in other words. and the fi:eeze-frame.they contradict the desire for sociability underpinning their meaning. the hub of which was a lei lire activity assembly lime. The asseT.nbly (soviets. by being Hmlled to the art world. this would be mistaking the object of the practice. otherwise put. but tile product of this conviviality. Free parties lasting several days. In a Tiravanija exhibition. and the impossibility of communicating within an alienated social space. for example it i possible to see a form of naive animation. and bearing in mind tbe political value of forms (what Ncall the "criterion of co-existence". It is not a matter of representing angelic worlds but of producing the conditions thereof. the projection of the symbolic into the real). O~J[s explores the realm of stasis: crippling strik~. The principal argument held again l relational art is that it supposedly represents a watered down form of social critique. in December 1995.form~: Our day and age is. The enemy we have to fight first and foremost is embodied! in a social form.arnd. and thus of enabling Into become material.. agoras). thus extending the concept of sleep and wakefulness. as wasnot so very long ago being advocated by the champions of a "committed" art. computer bugs seizing up thousands of software systems simultaneously . differences and divergences. exnibuions on view for a whole day. But do we deny the interest of Pop Art because it reproduces codes of visual alienation? Do we criticise Conceptual Art for perpetrating an angelic view of meaning? Things are not ~bis straightforward . What these critics overlook is that the content of these artistic proposals has to be judged in a formal way: ill relation to 8:11 history. propagandist ant. 'fihe ["evolutionary culture has created and jiJopu]aID·ised several types of sociability . where time is differentIDy organised. So the exhibition does not deny the social relationships in effect. For these approaches do not stem from a "social" or "sociological" form of art. <'II1d acked! away p after the opening. 10 wit. For the purpose IS not conyiviality. the rransposition into experience of spaces constructed and represented by the artist. the sit-in. defined ill [elation to the alienation reigning everywhere else.. certainly not short of political projects. They are also reproached for denying social conflict and dispute. They are aimed at the formal space-time constructs that do not represent alienation. Onr age acquires its political machinery. it is the spread of the supplier/client relations to every level of human life from work to dwelling-place by way of all the tacit contracts which define our private life. and 'lament the slightness and artificiality of the moment of conviviality om offer: To my ey~. which do not extend the division of labour iruo forms. effectiveness in the freezing of 82 .wilhin a visual project. but it does distort them and project them iinto a space-time frame encoded by tile a11 system. passes it on into day-to-day life. the user value of conviviality injermiugles with its exhibition value. ~1I~ ~t is awaiting forms capable of embodying it.. tracts spatial orzanisation etc. and by the artist him/herself. For form produces and shapes sense. and tile "fleeting image issuing from collective behaviour. The political developmellt of. objects m~de available to visitors.

smart-product extolling their "originality". The work that forms a . The widespread failure of modernity can be found here through the way inter-human relations are turned into products. It is possible to imagine "constructed situations" for private use. ill a theatre that does not necessarily involve a relationship with the Other.relational world". They do not represent exchange in absolute terms bur an historical form of productiou (capltalism). These forms of exchange stern from the "meeting" between the accumulation of capital (the employer) and the available work force (the employee-worker) in the form of a contract. Ideology exalts the solitude of the creative person and mocks all forms of community. and the global economy is trying to force on it methods of reification which trickle into e very aspect of life. Its effectiveness consists in promoting the isolation of authors by cloaking them in a. wi.. always a relationship wjth the other. but ideology is invisible: its form is being form-free. The fact is that the idea of situation doe not necessarily imply a co-existence with my fellov men. an Rehabilitating experimentation Who are we trying to kid that it might be helpful and beneficial to stage a return to aesthetic values based on tradition. we start by muzzling experiments and we end up by accusing freedom of having. The relative failure of May' 68 in France can be seen in the low level of institutionalisation where freedoms are concerned. iit by coincidence that Debord divides the time of the spectacle into. The idea of "situation" extends the unity of time. at the same time as it represents a relationship with the world . Work time is tbus less an "exchangeable time" in the fullest sense. formulated on [he basis ofa figure of exchange. AFtisticpractice is. mastery of technology. and a social interstice. wid:! the art world. here. it can only be analysed and fought through tile prodaction of new types of relationships between people. to which no development of free time correspond . as far as it is possible.l world. which is a factor of life and sociability.. Phoney multiplicity i its greatest trick: [he range of possibilities is abridged every day. 'which imitates natural cycles while at the same time being a spectacle "to a more intense degree"? The idea of "exchangeable time" turns out. 85 . than a buyable time in the form of a salary or wage-packet. possibly wrongly with the inter-humen exchange are the capitalist form» of exchange. to be purely negative: the negative element is not the exchange per se." concept is intended to replace artistic representation by the experimental realisation of artistic energy in everyday settings. the Situationist theory overlooks the fact that if the spectacle deals first and foremost with forms of human relations (it is "a social relationship between people. along with the impoverishment 'Of political alternatives. Relalional aesthetics ana constructed situations The Situariomst "constructed situation. and even intentionally barring others. The constructed situation does not necessarsly correspond to a r-e{ationa. Is. updates Situationism and reconciles it.Prench society is the more affected because it suffers from a twofold block: narional insrirutions are short on democracy. What Debord identifies. and the devahiation of work as a non-economic value. while the names describing this impoverished reali ty proliferate.th imagery as (he go-between"). and respect for historical conventiens? If ~here is an area where chance doe not exist it iis indeed the realm of artistic creation": when we want to kill off democracy. two between the "exchangeable time" of work ("endless accumulation: of equivaletu intervals") and the "consumable time" of holidays. If Guy Debord's diagnosis about the process of producing spectacles may strike us as harsh. place and action. rabies.

properly so-called. chaotic. rich in possibilities. His phrasing is thoroughly oral. . Through its extreme particularness. with a sub-set dealing specifi.thing is /0 know whether a work makes an effective contribution to a changing production oj' statement {production d'enonciation)".y. endowed with a specific texture-drifting "plates" and dovetailed "planes". incorporated within a more general.The aes. and the attention it pays to the "production of subjectivi ty" and its preferred vehicles. "wild and outrageous" (delirant). and one or two passages ill his major works. and with the toolbox he has bequeathed us. or juggling with the lesser meanings of an ordinary word. and he is often reduced to the role of Deleuze's foil. be has written very little about art. Serene materialism. the Guattari signatn re stands out qui Ie clearly. cut short by his untimely passing. if we may use this word. and not to detimit the specific boundaries of this er that type of utterance. where. fellow Gilles Deleuze. quite unlike the conceptual order that presides over the writings of accomplice and. to be effective. off-the-cuff and littered with deceptive short-cuts. does not form a set of dear-cut pieces. Of using English and German terms as they spring to.From the "ritournelle" concept to the masterful passages dealing with types of subjectivization. concepts must assume the finery of tangible reali t. Guattari may still seem. Art. subject matter. The psyche on the one hand. not to say sculptural concern. "ritoumellize") and portmanteau words. Guattari ' concepts are ambivalent and supple. yet appears to be little bothered by syntactical clarity. sn much so that they can be translated into many different systems. yet. which only assume a real consistency provided that it can be given a permanent transcoding. encompasse every concept ill a raft of images. plastic. For while the practitioner in La Borde's psychiatric clinic has always granted a predominant place to the "aesthetic paradigm" in the development of his thinking. Guattari's language mflJ)I seem cbscure. with art being just one of these. or I. TIle style. was a form of living matter rather than a category of thought. What is thus involved is the definition of a potential aesthetics. Felix Guattari's thinking links up right away with the productive machinery with which present-day art is riddled.islIOiI and. it does today seem easier to acknowledge his specific contribution to tile coauthored writings. The processes of thought are usually described here as physical phenomena. "machinery". for hum. NOIf does he hrink from embarking on propositions with regard for the reader. apart from the paper for a lecture 011 Balthus. from Anti Oedipus (L912) toO What is Philosophy? (199 l ).cally with the issue of aesthetics. 86 87 . and become territoriafized 011 images. and S'O 011. At times. Over and above genres and categories he wrote: "The important . henceforth.et us rather say the Guanari scriptoriafflow. significantly under-estimated to us.thetic paradigm (F eli. even if it enjoys a special place. Ute works. and the socius 01] the other are constructed on productive agencies. It is a question. mind and flow from his pen. Guattari's writing is mformed by all obvious v. 10 proceed to a kind of grafting of Guattari's thinking in the domain of present-day art" thus creating a "polyphonic mterlacing". This is because he does not shrink from coming lip with neologisms C'nationaJitarian".'t Guoitan "uti art) Felix Guattsri's work. of thinking about art with Guattari. ringing out ever louder in the contemporary philosophical debate. This aesthetic paradigm is nevertheless being practised already in writing itself.. and this difference inforrn the very spirit of his philosophical undertaking. In the current dearth of aesthetic thought it thus seems to us to be increasingly u eful. whatever the degree of arbitrariness affecting this operation may be.

Proliferation.rivity Thi 1> decl arati on of the de fa c to n atu ral isation of human subjectiv ity is an input of paramount imparlance. subjectivity as production plays the role of a fulcrum around which forms of knowledge and action can freely pitch in and soar off in pursuit of tile laws of the socius. and art's value.If!~f".. 88 89 . Guarrari's cnntribution 'to aesthetics would be incomprehensible if we did not underline his effort to de-naturalize and deterritorialize subjectivity" expel it from his earmarked domai n. by placing it at the crossroads of the interplay of signifiers. New forms o.. the more forcefujly it is C3U1lgb\ 1111its nets. Uprooting fetishism to assert artas a line of thought and an "invention of life possibilities" (Nietzsche): the end purpose of subjectivity is nothing other than an individuation still to be WOIL Artistic: practice forms a special terrain for this individuation.. contrary to tne phenomenological plans with which humanist thinking is riddled. Art. is what defines the field of vocabulary used to describe arti tic activity. here. contrasting with the deification of the subject which is common currency in the phenomenological vulgate. Which. but just as impervious to the fossilisation being brought about by the structuralist . The pivotal position given by Guattari Co subjectivity defines his conception of art. two preferred tool systems. because iL turns out ~o' be henceforth. Whereves this system holds sway. We must thus learn to "seize.Qlishlg subjectivity The idea of subjectivity is certainly the main thread of Guattari's research. P ychoanalysis and art? Two sorts of subjectivity production. and kidnapped on behalf of its immediate interests. i nterconnected. so the technological machines of il~formali()ll and communication operate at the heart of human subjectivit/" . and even going so far as to make it the keystone of the social edifice . incidentally. For ''jliSI' like the social machines tha: can be arrayed under the general heading of collective facilities. providing potential models for human existence in general. and the theorisation of its inclusion in the framework of the general economy of trade.. exploring its constituents and escape modes. a creation that shows many si mi iari ties with artistic activity. two cperatinnal systems. not as a separate category of global production.Iu. This is where we call define Guattari's thinking as. Here Guattari offers a complex and dynamic reading. possible to decipher the entirety of the capitalist system in terms of subjectivity. Status (md operation of subj. is defined as a process of non-verbal semiotization. In it there is no hint of tile fetishization that is common in thi: level of discourse. which are joined together ill tile possible solution to the "Malaise of Civilisation" . In the Guartari order of things. There is also nothing more constructed.f subjecfil'ization are created the same I·val' that a What matters i our capacity to create new arrangements and agencies within the system of collective facilities formed by the ideologies and categories of thought. and tackle the disconcerting shores with their proliferation of mechanistic devices and existential territories inthe process of being formed.Sllbjectivity pursieed (md produced De-. whereas structurafisrn saw in it an times something superstitious. for otherwise we hall see it transformed into a rigid collective apparatus at [be exclusive service of the powers tha] be. There is nothing less natural Ulan SUbjectivity. a colossal undertaking involving the de-naturatisatiou of subjectivity.ec. Pbenomeaology wielded it as the unsurpassable symbol of reality. Be would devote his life to dismantling the tortuous mechanisms and systems of subjectivity and putting them back together again. formulated and worked ou. We migh! say that visuat artist creates HOWjornls from the patette at hi's disposal'. from strut 10 finish. They are disconcerting because the non-human is an intrinsic part of them. beyond which nothing can exist. the sacrosanct subject. and at others the effect of an ideology. enhance and rein vel1 t' subjectivity. its deployment in the area of production.

of struclurMist references.I~ d~es. 'Pe.-vay. going beyond the traditional notion of ideology. he explains. tne p~U_1tnt> mode: association WIDth "ilumoJ'l groups. GlJattari shows himself to be still reliant all the wOrld..Just as _ the Levi~Stra~~s for'~s~. "). art.. for !:Lis pert._.__ This chaotic urgency gives.~roanently off-centre.Guauari's method consi rs in bringing 10 boil the structures fixed by Lacan..'i~y as the_set of relab_ons:.a~ja. human or inhuman. as a~ evolving formation it is modelled on the dlffe~ence which forms_It itself.. "A certain balance still has to be found between structuralist discoveries. the better to single out the structures .. 011 the principle of otherne:ss.se put . an~ in ~~ocase c. ~lot form a. be they individual or collectlve.a~ ~ ground the existence of the SUb~BCt_ It onl~ exists l1!l. . so as not to remotely founder in social post-modem abandonism'": This balance only comes about provided that the socius is observed at its proper temperature. which are certainly considerable. iliformatiOfla/ machines'": Involved here 1S decisive. at the heat of inter-human relationships. Only a mastery of tile "collective agencies" of subjectivity makes it possible to invent particular agencies.This is a decisive breakthrough: the essence of the subjectivity of the subject wa sought.Here. -pl'Ovides as much by the S~Of~. sport"). by the quest for cosmoses bidden beneath everyday institutions.Ifl Guattan s_ 1)1aC?m~-~Ik. So a mapping of it ha to be drawn which spills considerably beyond the limits of the mdividual.. " pres.mt is in this pln~al polyph01nc definition of subj. Real individuationproceeds by way of the invention of eco-mental recycling devices."'1' tion If the force of Marx s impact. dynamic and undulatory linkages which matter lakes 0[1 when it is reorganised by the effect of heat Guattari's subjectivity is determined by a chaotic order. as it was the case for the structuralists.. and the "slow movements" of Braudelian history by tile novel... All Guattari does is indicate the degree to which subjectivity is alienated and dependent on a mental superstructure. rise to a certain number ef operationsThe first consists in unsticking the subjectivity of tile subject.ence ofa second subjectivity. 1II11ld_ w~ find u..ti eO" _. of collective subjectiVIty 50 conscin "S ' ". _servillg t~ CO"_stlUcl "mlrnm~m territories" with which the mdrll'ldual can jdentify. socw-eco/lormc nUlchll~es. which for~s _ !~e asemiological.And last of all tbe set of informational machinery. Althusser and Levi-Strauss: by replacing the static order by structural analyses.d~21t are created between the imd. ..Otb""-w. spare parts of the subjective machme~y: -. . and doing away with the bonds that make it the natural attribute of this latter. W~a_t are the fluid! signifiers that make up the production ofs. etc. of man as "the set of SOCial J1'e. subJ-ectivity can only bedefllled by the" SH 'jee 1\1· . educat~on. in his Theses Ofl F eLi e rbach...ec~ivity that we find the peJ:'spectlv~ n-~n~or that Guattari inflicts on philosophical economy. defined subj.al gadgets. cannot exist in an illlde~endent . environment religion.... .C~11I to or in a relation of ddim{1otiol1 wIth GIl otlierness tI~aI IS asei] . and not artificially "cooled".ecti.ubjectnllty? ~lr:St and foremost.~ b . This Marxist backdrop' turns on! to be readable even in (he terms whereby Guattari defines. -" consisted in defirung the crux. by 90 91 . and no longer. dazzling .. and their pragmatic management. But it i by extending the territory of the subjective to the regulatory impersonal machinery of sociability that Guattari can call on its "re-singularization".ividual and the vehlcles_ of subjectlvl~y he comes across.lcleologJc. _te~tory except 0111 the basis of the other ternwne~ 11 comes. subjectivity. cuhllra~ co~sume~sm "thiNgs made by the rr1'ediaand film in{lu~tJY. caught. the cultura~ environment ('''family. SUbjectIvIty. ~e in signifier reigns supreme .u "I. "AU the conditions milking it possible for individual aJuJ/or coiiective agencies to be in Ii position to emerge as sui-referential b ~xistel11ral TerritO'lY. in "a-significant senuonc systems . Tile "nl-oductl'OIl.~atLODs • Ouanari. then.. a-lilligliUis~icChOH] of contemporary subJectJiVlty. a~1 os~. just as the demonstration of economic alienation by Marx enables him to work on an emancipation of man within the world of labour. andpoint to liberation possibilitie . .. U'hu.

Romantic aesthetics.on cryptodivine inspiration. associated with a global system.. Because the individual does not have a monopoly on slIbjectivity. implies a loss of "polyphony". from wbicb we may very well not have really emerged".s the outcome of disseusus. irnportance: "Devices for producing su~. Rauschenberg. but they do not tally with those srructuralist anthems about the "death of the author". lessening the fizure of the author in favour of that ofthe artist-cum operator. turning it into a commodity). lei us mention the work of Marcel Duchamp.ectivit}' may exist in tile scale of megalopoiis as well as Of! the scale of an . many theories discussed this Romantic version of creation.operating in tandem ~Iith or independently of the fact that they produce meanings".'.The Romantic contrast between individual and society. Guattari 91 93 . In Chaosmosis.in. came w~th all upsurge of the work within the sphere of work. defines Guattari's relationship with the art thing: it is just one field of sensibility among others. who put forms produced by accident. The ignature. as . Guattari's theses may head in tile same direction.he practice of artists over (he past three decades. stemming from iii unifying ecology. 01!l~Ya "transversalist" conception of creative operation . to fml't(!j')~ to time passillg. whose "ready-rnades" reduced the author's 01. of gaps and differences.!lI!S an operator of meaning. alternatively. reifying fragnleotation. unhinging Ute mental "iVOIr)' tower" mythallccated to the artist by the Romantic ideology. too. It is the processes of suhjectivity productioll which need redefining with <I view to their collectivisation. the generalised aesthetics of Roger Caillois. Beuys and Warhol all constructed their work 0111 a system of exchanges with social movemeuts. and helping. but without ever totally toppling its foundations. a phoney problem is involved here..'11 action or interference to merely selecting a mass-prodlloed object and incorporating it in a personal linguistic system. may describe the "mutation" under way: Duehamp. thus redefining the artist's role ill te:rms ef responsibility towards the real" Or. It is not haphazard if the gradual dematerialization of the artwork throughout the 20th century. it cannot be separated from all the other social relations. of alienating operations. as a product of 11Ul11a1] subjectivity. before most people in the "aesthetics trade". This determination to handle existence like a network of interdependent factors. the model of the Author and his alleged disappearance are of no. I· Subjeclivizatiol'l ullits If Kant admitted landscapes andall natural forms ill the field of applied aesthetics we know that Hegel reined in this domain by reducing it exclusively to that: specific class of objects formed by work of the mind. social productions mu t be put through the sieve of a "mental ecosophy". Guattari s version of subjectivity thus provides aesthetics with an operational paradigm. expresses the mental world of a subject. by refusing the Romantic idea of genius and depicting the artist . which' eals into Ute artistic economy the exchange mechanism of subjectivity (an exclusive form of its distribution. in favour of a sterilising. The process of singularisation consists. linguistic games'~" . which informs artistic role-playing and its mercantile system has become truly null and void. till ill force when it comes to de cribing modem art. During the 20th century.it happens. His thinking on ecology also led Guartari to become aware.dividual'). growth and mould 011 the same footing as those originating from a project". postulates that the work of art. of the obsole cence of Ihe Romantic models . JO Jhe 'mysteries' of J!fe and death". to withstand the uniformizarion of thinking and behaving" From this angle. For Guattari. just like problems connected with the environment cannot be detached from all other production relations. in order to tamentits loss. which is in return legitimised by t. Individual subjectivity i d1US formed from the processing of the products of this machinery: a. rather than a pure "creator" relying . of that rough form of subjectivity represented by many-voiceness. in incorporating these signifiers in personal "existential terriaories" as tools helping to invent new relations "w the bod)!.

This is the primary principle of mental ecosophy: articulating particular worlds and rare life forms.machine . Surrealism and tile Situationists.group .ubJectlVrty does not stem from amy homogeneity. without an awareness. Through the exclusive enhancement of the signature." which it is art's mission to produce. It ~evelops it by cuts segmenting and di membering the I]lusory. inner moddling of social relations. But can we stillI talk in terms of the creative subject. a factor of behavioural hcmogenisation and reificati lit . Suffice it to accept the fact that s. as the pedestal that enables it to propound its "ecosophy": as a subjectivity-prodllcing model. p~ychoanalytical therapy. the accredited guardians of which are signature and style guarantors of the goods? T~e Guattari subject is rna. aesthetics has a place an of its OWIl..e. a flexible agency capable of opemting 011 several levels and on differing planes of knowledge. up the various human claims and challenges. the author and his mastery. tile artist is usually intruduced a the conductor of manual and mental faculties coiled around a single principle. It represents a "paradigm". =r= wherever art proposes "life possibilities". postulating that rrothing could change in the infrastmcrure (the devices of production) if the snperstructure (ideology) were not likewise far-reachingly refashioned. Otherwise put. Dadaism. which called fos a joint rransformation of attitudes and social structures. Guattaricalls upon aesthetics 10 offset ° 95 94 . These blocks.de up of independent plates. its styl«. Til. as Deleuze and Guattari write were not the repetition of reified "making" but the "movement of thought"? Guattari contrasts tile honlogellisation and srandardisarion of types of subjectivity with the meed ro Involve the being in "hete. IWC presents us with the bill. Guattari's plea for the "Three Ecologi:es" (environmental ocial. <11Th tried to promote thus a total revolution. Polyphony is nevertheless restored at another level.multiple exchanzes'!" w~ich "~Uer. and mental) under the aegis of alit "aesthetic paradigm" likely to link.e aesthetic par:adigtll The critique of scieniistic paradigrn In Guattari s "schizoanalytical" world." When applied to arnsnc practices. before moving it over into me social The whole Guattari argument proceeds from this preliminary. As such. The modern.. and becoming particular once again" in the framework of a. it can carryon in its role. first and foremost.{Iperson the possibility of getting back together'~s an existential corporeity. as an instrument used for enriching psychiatric and psyeheanalytical practice. in these sets of subjectivization wlIidt bind heterogeneousarenas together. The "Integrated World Ca~~talismll [IWC] described by Guatrari only cares about the "existential territories. when the "components of subjectivization". "individual . othing is possible without a far-reaching ecological transformation of subjectivities. fir . as a ubject whose signature acts as a "unifier of state of consciousness". i. linking up With different pamngs drifting towards heterozeneou fields of subje~tivisatiofl. 0I11y appear unified by the effect of a consensual illusion. "/I is not familiar with any predominant agency of determination steering other agencies in :vith "" I!II£1Inbigu()uS' callS:CI"bt:i~. Endowed with the authority of the signature.. And what if real style. Oil the ~oDtrary. transforming these territories into products. And. western artist is defined. producing a calculated muddle between subjectivity and style.t and foremost. thus lies in the mainstream of modem artistic utopias . it links up most of the century's avant-gardes. of the various forms of founding interdependence of subjectivity.rogenetic processes".refers to a practice current in archaic societies which consists in giving a large number of proper names to one and the same indi vid ual. umts of psychic life. this fact causes the total collapse of the notion of style. which "each work more or less on their own behalf" . cultivating per se differentness.

art for Guattari. which the task of each concrete performance is to evolve. catch the different components of subjectivity and guide them. "caught" by wham it looks at. a prelude to the formation of an "existential territory".eUe. In other WOI"ds. Here again. which is not synonymous with. For him.ng. For switching on the TV set is to expose "your feeling of personal identity" to temporary break-up.. is neurosis. theories and concepts merely have the value of "models of subjeetivization" inter alia. which lays down analytical practices.. might be compared with the thoroughly Nietzschean activity lih8JTI consists in outlining texts in the chaos of the world. "My intention consists in conveying the human sciences and the social sciences from scienti tic paradigms to ethical-aesthetic paradigms" he explains. and inoculate the venom of creative uncertainty and outrageous invention i 0 every field of knowledge. intent to reshape the whole of science and technology based 011 all "aesthetic paradigm".a~ television. pure "dash between a will and a materia1'8 . ]t takes for example tJhefact of looking . As a. innovate. is falsifiability. school. perceived as an "exissentiel motif' working "like an "anractor" within nile "perceptible and significational chaos". and "ritoumellizes" it. and usher in forward-looking openings. for example. In d there is no. from which Guatrarr's broadly origmate. and light ulfl'a single point. in the act of "interpreting and assessing" . Art fixes energy. Denial of claimed scientific "neutrality": "what will henceforth be 0'11 the agenda is the clearance of 'futuristic' and 'constructivist' fields of virtuality'?". Plural subjectivity here is "ritournellized". The subconscious itself is likened to an "I'lstiluthm. the m. in a broad sen e. rhetoric . and (10 certainty is irrevocable. contemporaries th« features that suit him. and mamifacU!ring caucepts?". So it should come as no surprise to read the definition given by Deleuze/Guatrari to philosophy. is it not? According to Guatrari. The "existential motifs" offered for aesthetic contemplation. for which art provides the most conclusive example. a phenomenon of condensation and accumulation of psychic energy on a "motif'. the "capture" obtained by narrative content. An intent dun is akin to' a form of scientific scepticism. Portrait of the psychoanalyst as all artist: "just asan artist borrows fmm his precursors ami his. The primary criterion of scienjificity.. conservatory or academy'": The only thing that matters is the "Work in progress". In a mere general way" it was Guattari's 96 . a collective amenity" Permanent revolunon ja method? "The same should go [ ]1 for painting and literature.. The 0'pposite of this condensation. enlivened by perceptive "parasites" happening m the mom. but rather as a thermodynamic process. Art is the thing upon and! around wluch subjectivity can reform itself the way several light spots are brougbt together to form a beam. The TV viewer thus exists at the crossroads of several subjective nodes: the "perceptual fascination" caused by electronic image scanning. Sigll of cOIiside:uanons to do with aesthetic reception. Thought originates from an art. "the art of formi.freely accept and "eject my concepts?". Ritourl1. so I invite those who read me to ...the hegemony of the "scientistic superego".aUeronly considers the creator's viewpoint. ill which the inventing. What be has against the "psy people" is the way they tum towards the past by manipulating Freudian and Lacanian concepts as so many insurmountable certainties.. with a view to action. without their authors managing to lay claim to guaranteed theoretical foundations or theouthority of a group. the "world of fantasies" aroused by the programme. in formulae. contemplation of form come across nor as any old kind of "suspension of the will" (Schopenhauer). the aesthetic paradigm is called upon to contaminate every chord of discourse. symptom and work Like Nietzsche's aesthetics. and lastly. diverting it from everyday life: a matter of repercLlssion and rieochet. the telephone. as stated by Popper. apart from those pages dealing with the notion of "ritournelle".. areas within.

. The work of art as partiai object The work of art is only of interest to Guattari insomuch as it is not a matter of a "passivelyrepl". it is repeated". In ae thetic contemplafion he thus sees a process of "subjectivization transfer".esel]J~ative [mage".. etc. The work gives a material quality to existeatial territories. the cure for which forms the distarx horizon. unlike the flLlidity of "riaournellizarion". it is worked. with it. art and psychic Life are interwoven in the same agencies. Guattari's postulates tum out to be very akin to those littered by Marcel Duchamp in his famous 1954 Houstolille>Cture on "the creative process'?': the beholder is the joint creator of the work.ion vector or "shifter" capable of deterring our perception before "booking it lip again" to other possibilities: that of an "operator of junctions in subjectivity". whose successive crystallisatlons bounce Oil supple partial objects. neurosis "hardens" whatever it touches . even if it offers the model of that "pathic knowledge" which is the particular feature of aesthetics. Art is never that farremoved from the symptom. venturing into the mysteries of creation byway of the "coefficient of art". that violence wielded by the capitalist system towards the individual. "transfer" of which "the artist i. Guattari only describes art in immaterial terms the better to materialise the mechanisms of the psyche. Guattari fights shy of "likening psychosis to a l'I'ork of art.rtransposing the vitalism of the German philosopher ("A problem that bestirs us to exceed ourselves is beautiful") . piano."ritoumelle".t. for example. withinwhich the image takes on the role of subjectiviza. the method of partial healing emerges 10 re-form the shattered picture of forms of subjectivization. Here. This type of knowledge is only possible pwvideI:J that we do 1100t see mere delight in the contemplaeion of tile artwork. Here again.into the psycho-ecological area of vocabulary for which lie has . This [atter "operates like an existential ritoumetle jrvm the moment when. the formula might easily 'be applied to' artists. Which suggests to us than. i. otherwise put. the object itself is neurotic. thus functions ill neurotic mode. "creating mutant foci of subjectivizanon". oriented. all obsessive ritual".. Except that both dealwilih tile same subjective material.tbis concept earmarks the Moment when the "matter of expression" becomes "formally creative . delirious lines'?" .ed.. Duchamp described this phenomenon in term not unlike those of psychoanalysi : it is indeed a question of a. Gnattari prowls in ~he vicinity of Nietzsche. Borrowed from Mikhail Bakhtine.e. which makes the personality implode by making the "partial 'Components" leave subjectivity "ill hallucinatory. But if the analogy between the sick patient's assumption of independence and artistic creation "is all: times pushed very far. Invariably. Qlul the psychoanalyst 10 al! ar:tist"· . U the analyst's role 'consists in. rushing into spaces Weftvacant by the desertification of direct trading areas.. lt produces an "imrnense void in subjectivity".3 soft spot. "hardens" into obsession. when the ritournelle "is embodied in a 'hardened' representation. . In analysis as ia artistic activity" "time stops being s!ifjel. which is the "difference between what [the artist] had planned to make and what he did".. and rue reaction of the beholder in front of the work occurs in a kind of "aesthetic osmosis which takes place through the inert matter: colour. In any event. that "non-discursive experience of the time span" . the work of art cannot claim anything exclusive. a "machine-like solitude" . a product.21.. but does not overlap. suppres ion of forms of dissent and disagreement that can only be founded by his subjectivity. too... Iategrated capitalism which turns existential territories into goods and shunt' subjective energy towards products..s in no way aware". hallmarked by fluidity. marble. the machine. but psychosis. A void which can 'Only be filled by drawing up a new contract with the inhuman. Guattari's thinking is organised around an analytical perspective.. a split-second in the telltale passage between author aad beholder. whic~ must be brought forward in order to "heal" the disastrous effects of homogenisarion. as the objec: of q ria lificative c hal'lges"." This transiuonal theory of ~e 98 99 .

which derives advantage solely from a "relative s£lbjectil1e autonomization". para-hypnotic process of the aesthetic w<ry of looking that crystallises around it the different ingredients of subjectivity. for the exercise of subjectivity. For an artistic. ecosophic practice. who turned it into the pedestal for his OWIi hunches aboot the fluid nature of subjectivity. the contemporary period has given rise to an immense void in subjectill·ity which is tending to become mm. whose assumption of autonomy makes ill possible to "foster new fields ofreJuence".work of art was taken up by Guattari. Jheprivate and the civil imo sectors?". This aesthetic fluidity cannot be detached from a questioning addressed at the work's independence . For want of such. aU terms corresponding with. AU the more so because contemporary art has developed in the sense of a denial of the i]uillependel1lce (and thus of the sectorizatiou) 100 101 .. "By exacerbating the production oj material QI~d immaterial goods. These strategies [or partial objects incorporate the work in the continuum of a device of existence. It's the spellbinding. From thi angle. but simple surfaces. For how could title very idea ofa partial object referting to a singularisatinn movement of the hetemgeneous ingredients of subjectivity bring 00 an idea of totalit»: "the partial enunciator" that forms the work of art does not depend on a specific category of human activi ty. as we have seen by temporarily clinging to beteirOgeneou. which al-e dovetailed within strategies of existence. aims to re-form these existential territories based on operational methods of subjectivity hitherto painstakingly underplayed. instead of endowing it with the traditional independence of the masterpiece in the system of conceptual mastery. These works are no longer paintings sculptures or instatlations. geared ~o ideas of globalness and interdependence.defined by classical aesthetic perception exercised DID finished objects and closed entities. Such are the procedures of present-day art.s "existential territories". stemming from a hyper-inflational system of imagery. ill the light of Guattari' writings. ecosophic practice The ecosophic fact consists in an etlJicaID-cum-iPolitica] articulation between the environment. like object a ill theLacanian subconscious". the caregorisation fought against by function is inevitably reformed at tlli1elevel of the materials that ground thought So it would seem to be more sound.Guattari defined thislatter as a "part~"alobject" . recycling now socialised and histoncized forms. Here.. This definition embraces tile developm tnt of art forms ill a ve ry fruitful way: the theory of the aesthetic partial object as "semiotic segment" separate from collective subjective prodaction so as to sraet "wOIiuJlg on its own behalj"lIlerfectly describes the most widespread artistic production methods today: sampling of pictures and data.0 the detriment oj the consistency of individual and collective existential Territories. And. themselves.e and more absurd and withoul rec'Oursr!~".3 question of re-forming a lost political territory lost by being riven by the deterrjtorializing violence of "Integrated World Capitalism". The wort. at once highly organised and very "absorbent".. art is still a valuable auxiliary. invention of collective identities . 1. so how could ~t be limited to this particular arrangement suggested by the level of "affects" and "percepts"? To be fully an artwork. It is . of art doesn't hale the eye. the aesthetic object acquires the status of a "partial enunciator".. categories of mastery and types of products. Ecosopby may claim "to replace the old ideologies which used to mistakenly divide the social. whose component parts operate. and redistributes them towards new vanishing points... in must also put forward concepts necessary for the working of these affects and percepts as part of a total experience of thought. volumes and devices. insofar as it provides a "plane of immanence':". to define art as a construction of concepts wuh the help of percepts and affects aimed at a knowledge afthe world .. The work is !the opposite of the blifJer. the social and subjectivity. Here we are bordering on the limits of the definition of artistic activity proposed by Deleuze and Guattari in What is Philosophy: "knowledge of the world through percepts and affects" .

modernity is the moment when "it is not art imitating life. rut is not defined as a place that imports methods and co~~epts. but life imitating art" . But this activity nevertheless tUrDS out to l'Je determined by the . that modernity has been constructed. Georges Bataille built his work on 1I111. " He thus poses tbe final. and its possible injection into fabric rendered rigid by the capitalist economy. in the end rather supetficial correlsuions". The form holds sway over the thing. Guattari's brand of ecosophy likewise posits the totality of existence as a precondition for the production of subjectivity.e critique of this "renunciasion of existence in exchange forfunction" which grounds the capitalist economy.al and cultural range". Later on. problem of aesthetics.l:elltiaily technologic. from the late 19th ceatury 0'11.given it by the formalist theories of "modernism". The production of gestures wins out over the production of material things. "01'1 the one hand tlibal. The experience of the clinic accounts for a Jot ill Illis astonishment in front of this fragmentation of knowledge. historical and economic". Nowadays. and Joseph Beuys found a way of pursuing politics in form. rather than contempiate immanent objects dosed in 0[1 their world of reference . Guattari seems tofuave recorded these buts. that of its use.elltmci. Robert Fillion said that art offers an immediate "right of asylum" to al] deviant practices which cannot find their place in their natural bed. by creating and staging devices of existence including working methods and ways of being instead of concrete objects which hitherto bounded the realm of art they use rimeas a material.. of which Clement Greemberg was the prime advocate. zone of forms of hybridisation. tills capacity of modern art to embrace the most varied of production systems. servile action aimed at producing and transforming matter). thus fetishizes ''jamUl/. So many forceful works of the last three decades only arrived in the realm of art for the simple reason that they had reached a limit in other realms. The behavioural economy . and which Bataille gives to inner experience. Marx is headed in. He readily criticises art as a specific activity. "is the production of a subjectivity that is forever self-enriching its relationship with the wadcP" . like the mannequin of Iris own subjectivity . between works that. the place earmarked by Marx for labour. asks Guauari" . For "the only acceptable endpurpose of human activities. ~o "aestheticize a calle art in which ellery thing suggests that if had an es. 'a. this latter takes pride of place.The artist goes as far as to come across as a world of subjectivization on the move." writes Guattari. by criticising the classical di tinction between Praxis (tile act of selftransformation) and poiesis (the necessary. are wrenched OULt of their context. Based 011 Oscar Wilde's formula.. recently held at the MaMA in New York. Tille root of artistic practice lies in the production of subjectivity.ative agency chosen. on the idea of "life as artwork". The exhibition Primitivism in 20th Century Art.. A definition that ideaUy applies to the practices of contemporary artists. :in an effort involving the individual and collective reformation oflost subjectivity. on the contrary. for example.He thus becomes the terrain of special experiences and the synthetic principle of IDS 102 103 . corporatist subjectivity that leads IlS. In it. The three orders -science. and movements over categories. and vice versa". As one of the driving spmts beJMJJd the Fluxus movement. conducted by a particular corporate body. These days. if marrers ljttle what the specific prodactioa method may be. ethnic and mythical" on the other ctdtural. fiction and action. that "praxis moves constantly into poiesis.. this "corporatist subjecti vity" thst is in the end quite recent.formalist anil.. Everything conspires to make us 'think.of present-day an "How do you render 21 school das~ as an artwork?".shatter human existence by caiibraiing ill on the basis of preordained categories". into a reflex of "sectorization". a. Marx thougbt. beholders are prompted to crossthe threshold of "catalyst-like time modules". the same direceon. Marcel Bwodthaers thus found a way of carrying poetry 'on in imageny.

which consists ill re-forming worlds of subjectivization.lr. an agent of resistance to its commercial distribution and amimetic parasite of the same. 13. 21. rhe an object acquires a kind of deceptive aura. and everything ~n1it stems "01Il an inrerprerarion. Choosmosis. The three ecologies.. Chaosmosis. See also: Feliil! QUIII!an. as a collective production (the mass-produced object) assumed and recycled .e Illl. L'inconsciem machiuique. Felix Guattari. 5. 2. Chaosmosis..lmroductioJ~ Ii In philmophie eS(hitique.PaYOl.. Guattari's lines of thinking help us to consider the Changes currently under way in present-day art .wort. Deteuze'Guarrari. because their conteat refers to several passages ox' several books. Essai de schizoanalyse. in Denis Hollier. Roger Caillois. 104 105 .ee ecologies. "Refonder les pratiques sociales". 211.. 29. were not . but only in relation to production . CiJaasmasis. The three ecologies. a particular model. 1979. some quotations will. 2. u.. Ti. Marcel Decharnp.asl~l"e?". D"c/IlII11p' ilu signe. the work leaves the worM of corarivance.Georges Bataille. 19. Edhions Idee -Gallimard .in ali auso-poietic visual device. mental implosion. &iitiolllS Idees-Gallimard. ~4. in.sopJi)" Verso. rile Street". Felix Guanari. Chaosmosis: to' precise works ". "Le processus Hammarion.5. UO. 16. The three ecologies. and chaosmic spasm which are taking shape on the horizon. 9.ty. Chaosmosis. Chaosmosis. Paris. J10~be annntated. Gualtari. Chaosmosis. possibly would 110t have any meaning if it. London. But this..able to help us to negotiate the "ordeal oj'bal"bari. Indiana Press.e:ecologies.able pie. in Le MOI1d. Chaosmosi . MUll is (J/lilo. l. Chaosmosis. Recherches. to turn them' into fiches and IInforesee. 20. Editious . a development that foreshadows the entire history of modernity.. Chaosmosis. LID 22. de'veloplllieJT! 'il] the author.. for whom aesthetics must above all else go hand in hand with societal changes. 6. Pari. 7. Le college de: sociologie. Chaosmosis. Flash An.. "L'Apprerrfi sorcier". Editions 2.. 3. Chaosmosis. What is' philosophy. !Felix.1reuses. :~ 994. Chaosmosis. 15. 200 I. . In [his behavioural economy. The three ecologies .e diploma]ique" "L'agQ1!ie de ia culture". 1993. 4. The' flwe. " Chance is importam. too. The poetic function. [So enaosmosis. Chaosmosis. 27. POT example.. Summer 198]. 23. 135:. October 1993. 17. 8. was not the primary aim of their author. 26. Pairi~.4. and inflect them . 1 only refer quo led refer 10 3. Athlone Press. 30. U. In a mental world where the readymade represents.. Once exhibited. creati]". Marc Sherringham. "Cracks j. Coilerel!ces ''UIe'I. however.1Ja] t'lrle sentences Arr elhicocseslheric pcsmdigm. no.

Art I" General term describing narrative known a 8! set of objects presented as pan 'of G\ his narrative draw up the critical . sculpture. "And why wOt!ldu 't he do sometbing pompOIlS. Synonym: pompous pompier). An attitude that involves clinging to the defunct signs and forms of one's day. igns. actions and objects. forms. the hunch that life is an aesthetic. riruali ed shaped form. 107 . and rendering them aesthetic.GLOSSARY Academicism 1. lbe word "art" eems tOo be no more dum a semantic leftover of this narrati ve. architecture. owadays. burying the dead. by way of three sub-sets: painiillg. genealogy and di cusse . the issues rai ed by these objects.an IiiSIOI)'. whose more accurate definition would read as follow: All is an activity consisting in producing relation hips with the world with the help of . ~fit P{/)!S off?'" (Samuel Beckett). I9] the end of the day. 2.cS An idea that set humankind apart from oilier animal pecies.. langhrer and suicide are just the corollarie of a deep. Aesthdi.eatedhunch. 2.

Art (The end 00 "The end of rut" only existsin an idealistic view of history. ill might be possible to acquire the overall meaning of society.i!shed by any ideology. (see: Relational (aestheticsl).. is a thing of the past". which invariably exceeds. represented by Yves Klein. ~his figure was heir to illat of tbe artist as "mediurnic and transcendental subject". Recent developments in art merely modify Buchloch's hunch_ Today'~ artist appears as aJJ1 operator of signs. borrow Hegel's formula ~hereby "art. Fontana and Joseph BeIlYS. and the people involved. the socio-economic features encompassing it. This consideration by the mist of the exhibition venue consisted. yesterday" in exploring i~s spatial and architectural configuration. AU totalitarian ideologies show a distinctive wish to control the ~ime in which they exist They replace Iilie versatility of time invented by the individual by the fantasy ofa central place where All works of art produce a model of sociabiluj. b 2_ Artist.eyed it So there is a question we are entitled to ask in front of any aesthetic production: "Does this work permit me to enter into dialogue? Could I exist. be they already there or turking": Co-exilsten4)e criterion Artis:t When Benjamin Buchloch referred to the conceptual and minimal generation of the 19'60.A second possibility. IIIg. and how. and rendering the time in which it exists uniform and colleetive. modelling production structures so as to provide significant double . Foucault thus rightly stressed the fact.artistic activity that encorapasses the space in which i~ is Oil view. the history of things and th~ h~story o~ forms. it is nevel1heless important to fit this investigation into a prospect that goes beyond ~he prinulIY stage of sociology. he defined the artist as a "s:holar/philosopherlcraftsmal1 ''. and not without il"Ouy. An artist' microbiography would point up the thinzs he ha achieved within hi oeuvre. a fantasy of eternity aimed first and foremost at standardising and monitoring patterns of bebaviour. Otherwise PU[. in the space it defines?" A form is more or less democratic. and mrn it into a figure o. we sun need to come up with a history of artistic behaviour. producer of time. prevalent in the art of the 19'90s. Totalitarianism systematically tries to set up a form of temporal motionlessness. This latter method calls for a great deal of subtlety: although such contextual studies have the merit of reminding us that the artistic doing doe-s not drop out of the sky into a place unblem. An entrepreneur/poliucian/director. For Buchloeh. Context In situ art is at form of.. a priori our capacities 001' understanding. It would be naive to think that the history of art represents a whole capable of perennially replacing these three sub-groups. that ~I:teforms produced by the art of totalitarian regimes are peremptory and dosed in 011 themselves (particularly through their stress on symmetry). be it a representation or a designation . MOlLY I simply remind yon. HebaviolIlli L Be_Side those two established genres..f style: let us remain open to what is happening in the present. The most common denominator shared by 31] arti t is that they show someth i. that the art of living clashed with "aU forms of fascism. for us. The act of showing suffices to define the artist. who bands society "the objective results of his labour". It is 1II0t enough 108 109 . for the record. consists in an investigation of the general context of the exhibition: its instil!1Jltional structure. which transposes reality or might be conv. Lucio. We can nevertheless. they do not give the viewer a chance tOo m compliement them.

wben this position consists ill judging the world as he were excluded from it by di vine grace. For there is no mental place where the artist might exclude himself from the world he represent: . And Marx's idea that explains that real criticism J olthecriticism of reality that exists through criticism it elf. Mark Dian). but a space emptied of the factitious. it even creates spaces within which the encounter can OCCUIi:. It in 000 way clashes with authenticity (an absunrd value where art is concerned) but replaces coherences. Gessnrality means the set of requisite operations introduced by 'the production nf artworks. events. Modern Tile ideals of modernity have not vanished. Althusser). Marx. Hobbes. whereconceptual art has helped to. and played no part in It.Artistic practice involves creating a form capable of "lasting". So "the total work of art" come about today in its spectacular version. from their manufacrure 1:00 the production of peripheral signs (actions. Criti. ones. or of the disappearance of contingency (Sartre). Jef Geys. without too much risk attaching thereto. mechanically.. the social characteristics of the place where you exhibit (the art centre. no more nor Jess (Dan Asher. . ). nougat production and unemployment figures? The mistake lies .. Gesture Movement of the body revealing a psychological state or designed to express an idea. or the labour-to-be. to "reveal" whatever it may l'Je. chance meetings of signs and forms. The contemporary form of modernity is ecological. bringing heterogeneous units together 'Oil a coherent level. for their show in Montelimar. For some artists whose compljcated thinking represents an architecture of meanings. Daniel Buren. whose at best touching sincerity inevitably ends up as a forked tongue. emptied of its teleological content. Nowadays. anecdotes) . 100. it nowadays goes beyond critical philosopby. they have been adapted. haunted by the occupancy of forms and the use of images .ca[ materialism The world is made up o... in order to create a relationship to tbe world.in rhinking that the sense of an ae thetic fact lies solely in the context. that the aesthetic experience of the average late 20th century will (Scbopenaauer).. Art after critici m Once art "overtook" philosophy (Joseph Kosuth).. This idealistic attitude can be contrasted with Lacanian intuition that she unconscious is its OWl) analyst. the country . is made up of chaotic.Form Structural unity jmitating a world . spread the viewpoint Doubt can be cast over the stance of the "critical" artist. with the illusory world of "truth". 1n this kind of process the image is an act of Inhabiting Having imagined architecture andart of the future 'the artistis nowpropesing soiutions for inhabitingthem. Art. It is thus possible to predict.f random encounters (Lucretius. how many conceptual hacks are there who laboriously "associate". the city. [mage Making a work involves the invention of a process presentation. Present-day art does nor present the outcome of a labour it is the labour itself. the region. even phoney Faetitiousness ATt is not the world of suspended 110 111 . It is the bad [ie that betrays the hack. Our civilisation makes up for the hyperspecializarion of social lunctions by the progressive unity of leisure activities. 2.to extract.

which. 112 113 . defining himself as a cameraman. street poll or news item asgo-between. but in presenting this same rea. artist is. as it IDSDuchamp. on capitalism's path to empire. Tile work proposes a functional model and not a maquette.. there are no obstacles. discotheques and theme parks. For the first time. ll!te concept of dimension does not come into it. So television consumption is shrinking in favour of video games. doe 110t enclose works within a predetermined format. exhibitions and films will be in competition with a form of expression that is at once more comprehensive and more thought-restricting circulatingwnrmg imagery and sound in new forms. unlike the frame. the CD-ROM. 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..e. having been regarded as its consumers. whose proportions may vary depending Oil the size of the screen. Semienaut Tile contemporary between signs . The artist takes his camera-subjectivity into the. capi tal having reached "such a degree of accumulation" that it was turned into imager)'. we are heading towards tile condensation of leisure in unifying furms . t~ has a total hold of the social arena. Relational (art) A set of artistic practices which take as their theoretical and practical point of departure the whole of human relations and their social context. the museum plays tbe pad of the film. the LlJlJI1eee brothers . Society of extras The society of the spectacle bas been defined by Guy Debord as the historical moment when merchandise achieved "the total occupation of soci a] 1ife". rather than :811l independent and private space.individual might roughly re emble what early 20th century avant-gardes imagined. programmeiess models and politicians. In oilier words. So. with Duchamp. Between the interactive video disk. Here we woesummoned to tum into extras of the spectacle. ever more multi-media-oriented games consoles and the extreme sophistication of mass recreational venues. thus everyone see' themselves summoned to be famous for fifteen minutes. Ready-made Artistic figure contemporary with the invention of film. but rather renders virtuality material in x dimensions. This switch can be historically explained: since the surrender of the Soviet bloc. mal. we are in the further stage of spectacular development: the individual bas sbif~ed froma passive and purely repetitive status to the minimum acti vity dictated to him by market forces.. using a TV game. just as in the digital image. books. Today. (See: co-existence criterion). a semionaui. art 1110 longer consists in translating the rea] with tile help 0'£ signs. thus the spectacular hierarchy encourages "empty monad "> i. which have enough autonomy. produce Or prompt. ) ( i Relarioaal (aesthencs) Aesthetic theory consisting in judging artworks on the basis of the inter-human relations which they represent.. Towards a compact art? Once CD-ROM and CD-I drives are available. he invents trajectories Operational realism Presentation of the functional sphere in an aestheticarrangement. whom Michel Foucault defined as the anonymous and "ordinary'tindividual suddenly put in rhe glare of media spotligfuu. Thi is the reign of "Infamous Man". he records. a it canpermit itself to still' indi viduals to frolic about in the free and open space that it has staked out.

its trajectory. 102. 15. 105 Beecroft (Vanessa} 8. 81. 64 Bond (Henry) 36. 90. 78 Beuys (Joseph) 40. 48.37. an today's work of art often a. 16 Ben 38 Benjamin (Walter) 60. 70. 108 Bijl (Guillaume) 37 Blair (!Dike) 39 Boetti (Alighiero) 68 Buchloch (Benjamin) 108 Boltan k:i (Christian) 29. 24. sumes the role of a trader for a forthcoming event.26. 66. 70. 103. INDEX Aeeonci (Vito) 77 Adomo 76 Alberti 27 Alexander the Great 27 Althusser (Louis) 13. 39. "The style of a thought is its movement" (Gilles Deleuze and FeIiix Guattari). 74 Bourdieu (Pierre) 22. Tltaileli Having been an event per se (classical painting). then the graphic recording 0] an event (the work of Jackson Pollock.action).Style The movement of a work. 74. ~8.46. Bataille (Georges) 44. UO ARC 36 37 Armaly (Fareed) 34 Bakhtine (Mikhail) 99 Balthu 86 Barry (Robert) 29 Basilico (Stefano) 33. or an event that is put off forever.. with photographic documents descrsbing a performance om.93.40 114 115 .

29. 95.98. 46. 113 Prankfurt school 3 L Fraser (Andrea) 32 Fried (Michael) 59.. 3-6 Hirakawa (Noritosili) 8.62. Guattari (Felix)]O 20. sz. 741.99.52....31.49.50 st. I IO Caillois (Rogel") 93.92. 102 Fluxus 25.. 37. 72. Sl Godard (Jean-Luc) 26 Gombrowicz {Witole) 21.. 9'1. 51 54. 20. 34 Hmrst (Darnien) 39.30. 33. 23. 51.24 Cezanne (pall.51. 64 General idea 61 Gillick (Liarn) 30.94.70.44.26.74 Hybert (Fabrice) 31. 1.. 40.9.. 48..63.. 39. 58. 69. 105.55. 33. 104 Calle (Sophie) 30 Cape 36 Casroriadis (Cornelius) 54 64 Cattelan (Maurizio) 8. 77.4].63. 75.. 14. 40. 47. 85. 32.othar) 76 Hickey (Dave) 45. 1 .93.99.. 82 1 J] 4- Dion (MaJfk) 35.40 HoUer ~Cars~en) 8. 7 6. 58 70. 40 Certeau (Michel de) ]4. 24. 46. 71.75 Burden (Chris) ]9 Buren (Daniel) 20. HH. 36.87.58. 93. Durand (Gilbert) 45 Duyckaerts {Eriie) 32 105. 109. 89. 96. 43. 73 Graham I(Dan) 20. 76 Ingeld Airlines 35 77 116 117 .erDominique) 30. L9 Pairhurst (Angus) 32 Fend (Peter) 35".100. 36. I] 0 Donatello 63 Donegan (Cheryl) 75 Duehamp (Mamel) 19. 13. 78. 48. 15 CIeri Gallery (iris) 37 Dada 12 Damisch (Hubert) 18 24.59. 102. 104.64 Hill (Christine) 8.87" 83. 32.96 91. 72.. n4 Haaning (Jens) n.!)1 20 Clegg & Guttman 34. 102 Foucault (Michel) 50.. 78 Dante (Joe) 69 Danto (Arthur) 63 De Duve (Thierry) 24 Debord (Guy) 9. 56.7<0. 22 GOl1Uza~ez-Foerst. lOO. 40. 58.26 Deleuze (Gilles) 13.72 Gordon (Douglas) 32. 103.25. Deller (Jeremy) 30 Devautour 27 Dirnnrijevic (Braco) 30 Ei Greco 63 EpiclllnlS. 71 Hempel (l.112 Holzer {Jenny) 43 Huber Gallery (Pierre) 34 Huyghe (pierre) 8. 78 Greenberg (Clement) 67.Brecht (George) 30 70 Brinch (Jes) g Broodthaers (Marcel) 72" 73.37 Fin~ou {Robert) 30. ] 0. 36. 1]3 Degas (Edgar) 67 Delacroix (Eugel1le) . lO~ . 90.12 ( Gonzalez-Tarres (Felliix) 38. 80" 36. 52.5.19. 102 Bulloch (Angela) 31.95. 418 Daney (Serge) 21. 34.

luu (Matthew) 38 Medeiros (Maria de) 34 K<Int92 Kawara (On) 30 Kelley Mike) 44. 24.51. 32. 34.81. 35 . 48. 64 Perro till (Emman uel) 33 Peterman (Dan) 35 Plenge Jacobsen (Henrik) 8 Poiloek (Jackson) 41.4-8. 76. 42. 75 Prince (Richard) 43 Proudhou 12 Ramo Nash Club 27.~!I 0 Lyotard (Jean-Frau90i )I 13.99 Orozco (Gabriel) 17.19. 77 Kilimnik (Karen ]0 Kinmont CBen) 31. 91 Levinas (Emrnanuel) 21. 73 Rallschenberg (~obert) 46.82 Perrin (Philippe) .(Jasper) 46 Joisten (Bernard) 7 _ 73 Joseph (Pierre) 30. 58 MOl1drian (pien) 12 Monel: (CI. 72.58 Panamarenko 35 Pardo (Jorge) 47. 46 Rou ' eau (Jean-Jacqu s) ]5 Rupper berg (All n) 73 Samore (Sam) 33 Scher (J ulia) 37' Schipper (E ther) 31. 76 Landers Sean) 75 Lamer (Liz) Laiham (John) 35 Le Corbnsier 35 Lecoq (Yves) 34 leonardo da Vinei 27 Levi-Strauss 90. 44. 38.88 97. 52 Parreno (Philippe) 7. 416 Klein I(Yve") 37. 39 Schopenhauer 97. 10. 72.. 30. 79.38 54. 108 Koon (Jeff) 43.90 ]03 Marta-Clark {Gordon) 20" J(). 74 Marx {Karl} 16. 74_ Kudo {Tetsu mi ) 44 la Borde 86 Lacan 90 Lambert (Alix) 34 Land. 24 leWin (Sol) 52 ucretiu . 93 Redon {Odilon) 28 Rhoadestlason) 72 Rosen Gallery (Andrea) 38 lRothl<o (Mark) 79 Mail1etas (Miltos) 47.aUlde)67 apoleon 27 New Real i t. 24 MacCarthy (P'aul) 77 Maffesoli (Michel) 15. 38" 39. 76 JOh]lS Maubrie {GabrielJ } 33 McCas.51. 73. 110 118 119 . 73. 110 Kraftwerk Sl lietzsche 69. U4 Popper 96 Premiata Dim] 34.78. 4-8 Kostabi (Mark) 35 Kosurh (Joseph) 52. Peter) 46.

32. 58 'Iodorcv (Tzvetan) 23. 37 Vemoux (Marion) 38 Walter (Franz Erhard) 70 Warho! (Andy) 20. 48. 75" 82. 95 Smithson (Robert) 44. 83Tobler (Lincoln) 32. 24 Tolstoy 27 Troney (Eric) 80 Vaisman (Meyer) 40 Van de Steeg (Niek) 35. 19 Situationists 12. 54. 42.. 3().75 WilLats (Stephen) 30 ZiUel (Andrea) 58 Zobernig (Heimo) 32 12Q . 93 Wearing {Gillian} 46'. 74.Schwitters (Kmt) 19 Serra (RichaJrd)1 52 Servaas Icc 35 Seurat (Georges) 28 Situationist Iateruational 12. 70. 46 Sonnabend (Ileana) 33 Spoerri Daniel) 30 Starr (Georgina) 31 Surrealism ID295 Thelc (paul) 44 Thomas (Philippe) 36 Tiravanija (Rirkl"il) 25. 51.

> alld encounters 33 35 37 41 41 Collaborations and contracts Professional relations: clienteles How to occupy a gallery Space-time exchange factors 43 46 AmvO}-ks and exchanges The subject of the artwork Space-lime factors in 1990$' art 123 .elational ]form Contemporary artistic practice and its c~llturalplas: Artwork as social interstice Relational aesthetics and random materialism Form and others gaze Art of the 1'99& Participatiml alul 'lrallSitivity 25 29 2.9 30 Typology Connections and meetings Con vivia/itie:.CONTENTS 7 Foreword ]~ 1I 14 18 2m 25 R.

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