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Title: Structuring interactivity : space and time in relational art
Author: Smith, Craig
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths, University of London
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2006
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This thesis describes the concepts of space, time and interactivity in Relational Art. Relational Art is an interdisciplinary art practice described by the art critic and curator Nicolas Bourriaud in his book Relational Aesthetics (1998/2002). For Bourriaud, Relational Art consists of a location (space) in which viewers endure a physical encounter with the artist and artworks exhibited (time). Bourriaud describes this encounter as `interactivity; ' a term borrowed from digital aesthetics and 20'h Century performance art to describe `viewer-participation' with artworks. This thesis tests the capacity of Bourriaud's Relational Aesthetics to provide a theory of `interactivity. ' The thesis is divided into three parts. Part One includes a critical reading of Bourriaud's Relational Aesthetics and the concept of space in Relational Art practices. In Part One, Bourriaud's `space of encounter' is compared to the `Literalist' artwork described in Michael Fried's "Art and Objecthood" (1968) as well as James Meyer's concept of the 'Mobile Site' (2000). Both Fried and Meyer depict the use of `location' in contemporary artworks. Part Two of this thesis is a demonstration of Bourriaud's concept of time in Relational Aesthetics. Bourriaud describes `time' as that which is `lived through' by the artist, artwork and viewer. The thesis demonstrates this concept of time through the design and performance of an artwork produced specifically for this thesis. Entitled: PartnerWork, this performance artwork consists of two persons continuously exercising in a hotel gymnasium for an `endured' period of nine hours. In Part Three, the thesis proposes a set of criteria for recognizing 'interactivity' in Relational Art practices, including the example of PartnerWork. Interactivity is determined to be 'structured' through successive stages of participation, and is described as having the capacity to alter the formal structure of an artwork.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available