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The project explores what potentials can be released through an artistic practice that empowers recipients to autonomous aesthetic action. It develops a system of freely usable sculptural elements that serve as catalysts and analytical instruments of creative situations, and uses a praxeological inventory of methods to investigate the collaborative production of aesthetic meaning.
notion that an artwork is only completed in the gaze of the viewer is a
well-known topos of aesthetics. The authoritarian figure of the artist
who creates a materially unchangeable work, however, is not
fundamentally affected by this idea. My project is guided by the
conviction that art can increase its capacities for innovation and
enrich itself with complexity if it offers artistic forms that break
open this mode and shift the participation of the recipients towards an
actual co-production visible in the work itself. For this, the project
uses the term ‘political form’. It aims to demonstrate
empirically and to analyse theoretically how and with which aesthetic,
epistemological and social consequences such a joint creation of
meaning can succeed.
this end, it develops, in a first phase, an extensive set of
‘performative objects’: three-dimensional, modular elements
that might freely be copied, used, moved, combined, and rearranged
without any directives. In a second, collaborative phase, this
potential will be practically tested and documented in workshops with
partners from different disciplines such as fine arts, design, dance,
architecture, or social sciences who are invited to interact, in their
individual approach, with the performative material I provide for.
Participatory observation and qualitative in-depth interviews will
reflect on the question: How do ‘performative objects’
function as catalysts for sculptural acts, and which parameters guide
the aesthetic decisions in this process?
project operates from a praxeological perspective. Important impulses
are given by theoretical proposals which discuss aesthetic meaning as
the result of practical processes and emphasise the embodiment of
aesthetic experience, as well as by concepts that situate objects as
social agents in an interdependent network of actions, like the
actor-network theory, the idea of quasi-objects, boundary objects, or
the affordance of things.
combining theoretical framing, artistic practice, and empirical
control, the project pursues three complementary objectives: (1) It
develops and tests an innovative object-based methodology for
instigating and analysing creative action. (2) It provides fundamental
insights into the process of a collaborative production of aesthetic
meaning and (3) poses programmatic questions on an alternative economy
of art and on the emancipative potential, but also the possibly
exclusive mechanisms of participatory practice.
project unfolds in three interrelated modules: The artistic work
on ‘performative objects’ (STUDIO) and the corresponding
theoretical analyses (SENSOR), which will be documented on the website
icaros.org in the form of an (object) index and a (text) archive; and, as the centre of the study, a
series of explorative workshops with invited participants, the results
of which will be made public, if possible, as exhibitions,
performances, or lectures (LABORATORIES).
→ Complete research programme (EN, PDF)
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