post_moot 2KX / poetry + performance: a convocation
Miami University (Oxford, Ohio), 22–25 April 2010
Meetings, encounters, events, various types of collaboration between people, games, festivals, and places of conviviality, in a word all manner of encounter and relational intervention thus represent, today, aesthetic objects likely to be looked at as such, with pictures and sculptures regarded here merely as specific cases of a production of forms with something other than a simple aesthetic consumption in mind.
—Nicolas Bourriaud, Relational Aesthetics (les presses du réel, 2002), 28–29
Nicolas Bourriaud’s account of new forms of aesthetic practice is simple enough: after Pierre Bourdieu and Jacques Rancière, he identifies a range of “outer-directed” art practices that have emerged since the 90s in alternative venues. While originating in conceptual art, site-specific sculpture, installation, and performance from the 60s and 70s, these new forms translate the earlier ones into modes of social interaction. We are no longer speaking of “genre” per se, as with the position of painting and sculpture above. The aesthetic becomes the location of open interaction that connects artwork and community—to become a model, even instigator, of sociality. The open forms of formerly distinct genres—conceptual art, site-specific sculpture, installation, and performance—are further dismantled and recombined toward a horizon of social engagement as art practice.