Friday, August 28, 2009

For a remarkable critique of Bourriaud’s Relational Aesthetics

click here:

"In this sense I think we can bridge the gap between Bourriaud’s relational aesthetics and his later book, *Postproduction*. [Nicolas Bourriaud, *Postproduction. Culture as Screenplay: How Art Reprograms the World*. trans. Jeanine Herman (New York: Lukas & Sternberg, 2002)] Are not the key concepts of this book, the *use *of cultural artefacts, from toasting to recycling, cutting, playlisting, do-it-yourselfing, colliding and mashing, etc, not the same modalities as those that are applied to people in relational works? In this sense the micro-utopias that are envisioned are indeed utopian projections that are experienced not relationally, as in real life, with all of its traumatic contingencies and unexpected encounters, but at a meta level that is detached. As in a Tiravanija encounter, we observe ourselves being convivial, as if from the outside. Like ravers on ecstasy what we want is not connection but managed disconnection with the right kind of crowd, the right kind of music, disconnected from ourselves and our cares. Isn’t this an indication not that “art is definitely developing a political project” [RA 16] but rather a sign of dysfunction, a kind of sophisticated micro-political version of Celebration, Florida? Or, to put it more directly, a kind of gated interactionism that is fully complicit with behavioural science despite the fact that the scientists have all gone home?"
--from Marc Leger's "Queer Relational"

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