Experiments in Expression · Relational Aesthetics

What is relational art? What are relational aesthetics?

I.
What Wikipedia says about relational art

 

Relational art or relational aesthetics is a mode or tendency in fine art practice originally observed and highlighted by French art critic Nicolas Bourriaud.Bourriaud defined the approach as “a set of artistic practices which take as their theoretical and practical point of departure the whole of human relations and their social context, rather than an independent and private space.”[1] The artist can be more accurately viewed as the “catalyst” in relational art, rather than being at the centre.[2]

Source: Wikipedia

 

II.
What ‘Happenings’ are and what Situationism was

American artist Allan Kaprowcoined the term “happenings” in 1959 to refer to ephemeral, somewhat theatrical, but also participatory, art-related events, many of which were conceived in such a way as to be intentionally open-ended, allowing for improvisation. Artists honored this sense of spontaneity by creating rough guidelines, rather than strict rules or scripts, for participants to follow. The particular social contexts/dynamics and groups of participants (which included the audience members) involved in each happening were integral to the form the events took, causing the same performance to develop differently each time it was carried out. The central belief held by artists involved in creating Happenings was that art could be brought into the realm of everyday life.

The Situationists, a group active from 1957 to 1962, were heavily influenced by Marxist theory, which purported that while living under capitalism, individuals experience alienation and social degradation in their daily lives. They were equally informed by Guy Debord‘s theory of “spectacle,” which states that under capitalism, the mediation of social relations occurs primarily through objects. Wanting to offer solutions toward both these concepts, Situational artists focused on creating works that brought people into direct, immediate encounters and experiences with each other.

For example, they used the strategy of détournement (defined as “turning [preexisting] expressions of the capitalist system and its media culture against itself”) to enact “Situationist pranks,” such as distributing misinformation through false broadcasts, pamphlets, and even church sermons. Another strategy used by the Situationists was the “dérive,” defined by Debord “as a mode of experimental behavior linked to the conditions of urban society: a technique of rapid passage through varied ambiances.” In other words, a dérive was an unplanned journey, like walking through a city’s streets, during which the individual (referred to by Debord as a “psychogeographer,” and also commonly understood as a sort of “flâneur” or romantic wanderer/stroller) allowed himself to be fully aware of, and engaged with, the surrounding environment. They also organized “situations” which were very similar to “happenings.”

Source: https://www.theartstory.org/movement/relational-aesthetics/history-and-concepts/

 

III. Nineteen-Ninety-Eight and Nicolas Bourriaud‘s book

The French curator Nicolas Bourriaud published a book called Relational Aesthetics in 1998 in which he defined the term as:

A set of artistic practices which take as their theoretical and practical point of departure the whole of human relations and their social context, rather than an independent and private space

He saw artists as facilitators rather than makers and regarded art as information exchanged between the artist and the viewers. The artist, in this sense, gives audiences access to power and the means to change the world.

Source: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/r/relational-aesthetics

Desk Notes · Found in the Field · Publisher's Diary

‘Homes of our own creation:’ Georgina Quach on ‘Monsoon’

This was recently published on DK’s facebook

Catching up on movie culture, found this.

Georgina Quach writes: ’[Filmmaker] Hong Khaou’s thoughtful drama Monsoon speaks to those of us who have lost our political origins and geographic home, but are now finding homes of our own creation… [It reveals] how home is found in all kinds of spaces; in food, love, place, memory, song and family. Returning to the site of your childhood can release a complex barrage of emotions…’

Read ‘Back to where you came from: how Vietnam drama Monsoon ignites the battle for belonging’ at: https://www.theguardian.com/…/vietnam-drama-monsoon-battle-…

#culture #belonging #identity #home

Desk Notes · Publisher's Diary

Mike Dynamo on S P A C E.. here’s a clip

Something cool happened. This was at the virtual event, SF Zine Festival. This was on Tuesday.

Michael Bridgett, Jr., aka ‘Mike Dynamo,’ talked about making S P A C E. And what it is. And why we do it.

I loved watching it live-streaming and ‘being there’, ambiently, to admire his wittiness and eloquence. Cool that we could do this, from our distant perches in Southeast Asia’s Cambodia and Vietnam. Yeah. Quite neat. Seeing Mike sharing about S P A C E—and especially the Book of Feelings project, something that he, me and a few others I’m working with are exploring together now, was cool. I love working with Mike in S P A C E. I feel lucky that I get to. Check out one of his written pieces, it’s called  ‘Continuous Partial Attention’, and it’s over at this page.

Below is the segment of the recording where you can hear him.

Some things that friends of S P A C E both near and far have said about the above…

  • Awesome! he did a great presentation of S P A C E  🙂 —CS
  • Thanks for sharing Michael’s presentation. I love the way he talked about your process in the development of mak[ing] S P A C E. This is wonderful. —DM
  • This is great! Definitely put a smile on my face. —ND

***

About Michael Bridgett, Jr.

Michael “Mike Dynamo” Bridgett is a vocalist/emcee and charismatic currently performing with live hip hop band, Hypnotic Fist Technique and 90’s cover project 99 Boyz in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Mike also writes about media and cultural analysis for fun as well as playing and connecting over video games. Read more, including links to his works in music and writing, at this post.

***

About SF Zine Festival

‘Cyber Fest will run for three weeks in September, from the 6th through the 26th. We have selected 150 exhibitors for Cyber Fest who represent diverse communities, perspectives, genres, skills, and experiences. Learn more about exhibitors here. You’ll be able to watch live broadcasts of festival programs on our YouTube and Facebook pages. Check out our full schedule!’ –Organizers of SF Zine Festival

'S' is for Sincerity · Found in the Field · In real life · The Muse

Issue #86

S P A C E | Đà Lạt • ‘Tìm Mình Trong Thế Giới’ is the next in our weekly e-zine series. It is set to release on Tuesday.

DK Director Dipika Kohli made the drawing on the cover this week. The drawing’s title is: Chúc Ngủ Ngon & Chào Buổi Sáng / Good Night & Good Morning.

A line artist for many years, Kohli has rekindled her old style of drawing by putting pencil to page again. This [cover] drawing is part of a series of more than fifty new pencil and colored pencil works. These were created in quiet moments, on the spot, in several cafes and brightly lit atelier spaces she discovered while in ‘The Great Lockdown’ (so far) in Đà Lạt, Việt Nam. Kohli had plenty of time alone to write, draw, and reflect, whilst also working on a new book, End of the Rainbow (Kismuth Books / forthcoming 2020).

This  effort has come out of the slowing down, a natural outcome  resulting from the first and second waves of covid19-related measures to maintain social distancing, and self-isolating, in the era of this, the Great Lockdown, so far. Kohli has been in the Central Highlands since April—and continues to discover and make. In bursts, that is. And only when inspired by the chance encounter and surprisingly enriching dialogues with the people in the places where she goes. S P A C E is a weekly zine. It is created by Design Kompany, which was started in 2004 in Seattle and today is based in Phnom Penh. DK are intrigued about how to design the space for an aesthetic moment to happen, on the spot, for unexpected and random connexion, with the people, objects, and places where they go, in S P A C E.

You can order this week’s issue.

Here’s a link.

http://gum.co/space-dalat-tmttg

Thanks! ;)

Papers

DK: “My community, these days, more than ever, is ‘Papers'”

‘What is it that you do to stay motivated to keep writing, DK?’

I work with a small group of no more than 4 at a time in a project I love called ‘Interactive Papers.’ We are going to open a new circle in August.

Conversations take place each week with a fresh writing prompt that is based on earlier dialogues, and things people share, and research that I do, personally. It’s fun; a week at a time, asynchronously and in the cloud.

 

Staying focused

Sometimes I get distracted and start googling things like ‘how to write a novel’ and ‘tips’ and these listicles come up and all this ‘bestseller’ stuff and people tooting their horns without realizing that a new piece, something that is innovative, that hasn’t been seen before, but could cut a new cloth and shapeshift a different paradigm, is not the kind of thing you write to a template, or a formula. So I immediately back out of those pages and go back to my solid relationships, in the e-circles of email, S P A C E, zoom chats, Dropbox, and ‘Papers’.

Why? Because I just… disagree with the internet ‘besticle’ shite. I made up ‘besticle,’ but you see what I mean, right? More, better, more gooder money I am so cool and I wrote 5069 books already and they are all so popular and they have all changed everyone’s lives, like everyone. Getter richer. (That’s what it sounds like, to me, reading these ‘pieces.’) Where is the ‘back’ button? Out, out, out. I’m different I guess. I write because I actually like relationships, communication, and most importantly, communicating such that a relationship can flourish into a wildly pure aesthetic of a quality human connexion. I guess that’s lofty and idealistic. So?

That’s what I like.

So I write where I write. In ‘Papers.’ I like the interactive components, in our different technological spaces. It adapts based on the inputs, like a fuzzy logic machine. I really do have more to say about this, but I’ll save it for those who opt-in, via an application.

Applications are open now for an August circle of no more than 4, for ‘Papers.’ I’m currently accepting applications through the end of July.

See what it is, at this link for ‘Papers’.

 

'S' is for Sincerity · Found in the Field · Innovation Consulting + Design Thinking · Publisher's Diary

Dear I

That was cool, getting in touch and sharing, and hearing from you. Thanks! Been fun, conversing as we do, now and then, all this time.

When we met, I was in one of my many, many borrowed rooms assembling this issue of S P C, (left), which was the first of the series from Latvia, Poland, and Slovakia.

So many cool people, and connexions, and conversations happened on those roads, and I was grateful for the opportunity to get there, HT AM!, and to enjoy them. A different world now, right? Difficult to move about so freely. Guess I got lucky, going when I did.

Something told me… why not just go now ? Some timing though, really. Those were places that sort of left quite the impression. I was a little surprised with myself to prepone my trip by like a year (the writers’ residency I’ve been invited to be part of in Ventspils at the International Writers’ and Translators’ House was due to happen in November 2020). Not sure when I can get back for that, or if, so yeah. Glad to have gone and met you and others ! Lucky timing. (HT, another friend whose first initial is I…)

Who knew we would all be dealing with lockdowns in various spots around the world and a pandemic, at this time ?

I’m in Vietnam.

Currently in Vietnam..

Well, here I am, doing exactly the same work as I was when we had met. Good people are around me, here, too, and I’m lucky as heck to get to assemble new writings from their points of view, and images, too, which some have shared (like this cover!), and this time, some cool stuff: spatial organic design. I’ll put together all the credits, for sure, on the day we launch, and share more about each of our contributors, then. ;)

That’ll come out on 30 June, with the issue, ‘Start with Something Simple.’

Always happy to reconnect with you, I.

[Moving the rest of this to a protected-page.. I’ll post it tomorrow. Will send passcode then!]

 

'S' is for Sincerity · Papers

An art of the moment

Fascinating insights this week as I review all my notes, in one sitting (thank you, desk!) from a three-month period of time in one place. That is to say, DK did not move (naturally, right?) in March, April and May. Instead, we hunkered down in one point in the Central Highland of Vietnam.

Going to be sharing about the learnings, gleanings, insights and beautiful beginnings of extraordinary things, soon. In Papers.

It will be confidential, and only relevant to those who join in. That is, nothing is going to be put there if it’s not somehow part of the spheres of interest of those who join. Which is why it’s so fun. [deleted]

Papers is my online conversation space, now, pretty much exclusively.

And it’s also exclusive, just four guests at a time.

The point? A place to go to share ideas, bounce things off of others, and connect. Deeply, not trivially (as R. Pirsig put it so insistently, and endearingly, in Lila). Because we need this. We need quality conversation space and not just massive 1:many thingies.

I don’t really like 1:N. Partly why I’m not doing this blog so much, these days. I used to! Wow, did I ever. I blogged every day in 2006, I think. Jeez, though. That’s just a… lot of stuff… And I don’t feel like sharing now with the big vast internet. Most of it is a mess. Rather than nondescript ‘N’, I made Specific ‘N’, as in 16N, a project on hiatus. Had thought about doing a virtual version, but that’s just… anti-thematic to ‘N’. So I’ll just wait until I feel like it. If at all.

But what is the point of Papers you ask ? To help people realize their own projects. I think a lot of people stall [deleted]…. done; at least, that’s what I’ve seen. So I like to give people structure—a scaffolding—something to build onto. A formal form. I know how to do this, because of my past life in architecture and journalism and design and moving around the world on my two feet.

And I can point to things, say, ‘Why not try…’

It works.

If it didn’t, why would anyone join, anything, ever, that I do? Yet I really love that there are 600+ people in our FB community (sorry I haven’t been putting anything there, ever), or some 300 some on Instagram (ditto). Meaning… there are people around or who used to be around who wanted to know how DK could help.. them… accomplish stuff? I think… for me, that’s it. I make Papers to keep some conversations going, sure, but also, to help people figure out how to figure things out.

So those people (and I do invite quite carefully, mind), can  get places… so they can… ‘Break on Through!’…

Speaking of breakthroughs

Because I certainly have, using these methods, in my own work here at DK and at other things I’m up to, too. Yeah, and so, given all that, I’m ready to include a few more voices for July.

At the time of this writing, we have two spots, for July.

 

Gift issue

Anyone who applies *today* will get a free copy of this week’s issue of S P C.

It launches today !

It’s ‘Continuous Partial Attention!’

HT Michael Bridgett, Jr. Working with MB is a great pleasure for us, as always. And it starts with things like Papers, to get the ball rolling on getting more and more deep into these layers of connexion. We are filtering all he time, based on.. sincerity! What else matters, lol.

'S' is for Sincerity · Desk Notes · Experiments in Expression · Miscellany · Stories

Wine, pistachios, my balcony and Zoom

I’m just gonna tell you what it was like. Being out here, where I am. Over… lockdown.

Being known to someone and seeing that person or set of people regularly: that’s been absent, these last four months. It’s a curious and intriguing opportunity, though. To find out things, totally solo, with no agenda, no history with anyone, and even kind of forgetting about the old histories. Which is liberating, too.

 

Up

My balcony hotel room on the fifth floor was a gift, for three solid months. I am lucky. I think my favorite part was the amazing wifi. I also had a view of the sky, and some stars, on the days before rainy season got going in full swing. Part of why I left there, finally. Also, you were allowed to move around again. And so, me being me, I got in a taxi, then a bus, then another bus. [deleted]

The only things missing are the balcony, wine and the pistachios. Also my Zoom kind of broke. A bit of a story, but… I prefer it this way. [deleted] I’m happy writing. And, a lot. And zining, of course. Setting things up for 23 June and 30 June‘s issues. They’re called ‘Continuous Partial’ and ‘Start with Something Simple.’

 

Also, I was playing new music, while talking to old, old friends on Zoom and asking after them, also just snacking away on pistachios, because these are good. And it felt quite cozy, too, because this reminded me of a different moment, in another hemisphere, and another decade. Seattle. And with pistachios, that time, too. Also, water. I didn’t have wine, then. I was just so happy, that day. Played some of my favorite music, enjoying the simplicity of it. Knowing what feels good, and setting things up. (HT… well, you know who you are… it’s been more than a decade since we met, wow. I suppose that’s how it goes sometimes.)

It was good, then, and it is good, now.

The next things are coming up now. Wineless, pistachio-less, and balcony-less and even kind of zoomlessly… but what that does is… it…

Makes…

S P A C E.

HT Guests of ‘Papers‘. Thanks for being there and sharing so, so much. I appreciate it! <3