Ok...here it is, articulated waaaay better than I did: We're calling audience-participatory (faux-collab) art "the spectacle" as well as "situations" in this instance.Referring to Guy Debord (co foun…

Ok...here it is, articulated waaaay better than I did: We're calling audience-participatory (faux-collab) art "the spectacle" as well as "situations" in this instance.

Referring to Guy Debord (co founder of the Situationist International): (author: Claire Bishop): ..."it is invariably against the backdrop of his critique of capitalist 'spectacle' that debates on participation come to be staged. The spectacle - as a social relationship between people mediated by images - is pacifying and devisive, uniting us only through our separation from one another." [and this is why I don't like it, (usually). What good does it do? Is this what art should be? An elitist, separatist (painfully disconnected!) excuse for poorly produced reality tv?]

Guy: "The specialization of the mass spectacle constitutes the epicentre of separation and noncommunication. ... The spectacle is by definition immune from human activity, inaccessible to any projected review or correction. It is the opposite of dialogue. It is the sun that never sets on the empire of modern passivity."

Now, let me clear up my position on that last sentence. I like what Guy is saying but we come to opposite conclusions. His conclusion? - THIS is what elitism looks and smells like. Let me continue with what Claire says, " Debord advocated the construction of "situations" These, he argued, were a logical development of Brechtian theatre" (discordant theatrical narrative to make the viewer think...as in, actively mentally participate, not physically nor as spectacle...), "but with one important difference: they would involve the audience function disappearing altogether in the new category of viveur. Rather than simply awakening critical consciousness, as in the Brechtian model, 'constructed situations' aimed to produce new social relationships and thus new social realities."

And here is what I say to all of this: Why is it, exactly, that artists think they are the be-all end-all of the world? Are they all only children? You have to wonder. Guy's "new social reality"? What that fuck is that? Everybody has their own social reality and it is snotty and elitist of "artists" to think they know better...to think they have the answers or purpose to go out and "awaken" everyone. They don't understand shit. Sticking them (the "participants") in situations where they manipulate their perceptions? - that's neither democratic nor good art. And this, this democracy, is the basis for how said artists typically define their work.

Chris Burden, artist of the 70's, did shit like getting shot, nailing himself to the hood of a car and having someone drive around. That's fun. That's the kind of "spectacle" I want to be part if. I believe he called his pieces "happenings." It doesn't depend on me...or what the artist assumes about me and my personhood -- which necessarily makes or brakes the art that I am taking issue with. It is, however, democratic (who wouldn't love to see such a crazy person acting so crazy) [side note: he teaches at UCLA now...I think]. He used people as artistic tools (what I seem to have a problem with)....someone had to pull the trigger...right? He uses people as tools, as collaborators, as part of the process necessary to what HE has to say, politically or otherwise. HE still said it. The product doesn't depend on these collaborators. Am I making myself clear?...I seem to have gotten drunk. Artists are fucking lazy.

ashley
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Marc Saleme

to Ashley
show details 5:08 PM (2 hours ago)
That is a good set of points. And what the social practice art community--most of whom fucking hate that term and will throw their milkshake at you if you call them that--is achieving is more multi-layered.

The experience of the social interaction/engagement is genuine and in real-time. (For the good artist. There are a lot of posers, just like in any art community) The only difference between "social practice art" and plain old life is that this sort of artist
1. spends more time thinking about novel modes of social engagement (which is both an interesting effect of and comprises the art itself)
2. documents the work for a greater public art community. These artists are constantly struggling to achieve less intrusive methods of documentation, but as you can imagine, there's only so much they can do. Some of them do it clandestinely. And then the trick is how to make yourself forget about the documentation during the course of interaction. But I don't believe it's all that hard, actually. In any case, the discussion about the documentation's ruination of the raw artwork is pretty hot and heavy amongst these "types". If you ever want to insult one of them in the worst way imaginable, compare their work to that of "the spectacle" as described above. You've never seen anybody blush so fast with pure unadulterated rage. But they're such nice people all the rest of the time. ;)

The aspect of the art (or interactions, rather, depending on who you're talking to) being genuine means that the primary and time-based audience is thoroughly moved and touched in ways static art never could ever hope to do, and the ideas or memes are more thoroughly implanted in people's minds, and the ideas spread like viruses. When's the last time a painting has done that? Well I'm personally very moved by Jenny Saville and Egon Schiele, but with social practice or whatever you don't want to call it, the sensation is more pervasive and inescapable.

The artist him/herself is moved and changed by inputs and thought patterns from the organic Other, rather than by a system including only him/herself locked away from people and merely imagining them when it's necessary to do so.

I don't know... I've been thinking about street theater lately.

It's the last form of real artistic expression available today!

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