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o!hes/ J JOseph euys//NiCOlos OuiouO/ J


Pe!e uge
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COlleC!iVe PC!iOns//Oo Cule//Guy DebOO/ J Jeemy
Delle//Umbe!O CO//Hol FOs!e//OOuoO Glisson![ J
GOup No!eio JFlix Guo!!oi/ JThOmos HisChhOn/ J
Cos!en HOlle/ J Pllon KopOw J JLos ong Losen/ J
Jeon-LuC NonCy J JNOlly Nesbi JHons UliCh Cbis![ J
HliO Ci!iCiCo/ J AOion Pipe/ J JoCques RonCie/ J
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DOCumen!s Ol COn!empOtoty At!
lnrecentdecadesartsts haveproressivelyexpandedth

undariesofar
they have souht to enae with an increasinly pluralistic environm
Teachin,curatinandunderstandinofartand visual cultureare likewis
lonerroundedintraditionalaestheticsbutcentredonsinificantideas,to

andthemesraninfromtheeverydaytotheuncanny,thepsychoanalytic
thepolitical.
TheDocumentsofContemporaryArtseriesemeres from thiscontext.
volume focuses on a speciIc subector body ofwritinthat has been of
inIluenceincontemporaryartinternationally.Fditedandintroducedbyasch
artist,criticorcurator,eachofthesesourcebooksprovidesaccesstoapluralit
voicesandperspectivesdefininasinificantthemeortendency.
ForoveracenturytheWhitechapelCalleryhasofferedapublicplatform
art and ideas. ln the same spirit, each uest editor represents a distinct
diverseapproach- ratherthanoneinstitutionalpositionorschoolofthou
and hasconceivedeachvolumetoaddressnotonlyaprofessionalaudience
allinterestedreaders.
Scricscditor.lwona6lawick
ditorialAdvisory6oard. kocrConovcr,Ncil Cummins,mmaDcxtcr,MarkFrancis
Commissionincditor:IanFarr
INTRCDUCTICN//01U
THCRTICAL FRANWCRK5//01
ARTI5T5' WRITING5//094
CRITICAL AND CURATCRIAL PC5ITICN5//16
ICGRAPHICAL NCT5//J9
ILICGRAPHY//200
INDX//204
ACKNCWLDGNNT5//20
THCRTICAL FRANWCRK5
Umbe!O CO The POe!iCs O! !he Cpen WOk, 192//020
ROlonO o!hes The Deo!h O! !he Au!hO, 19//041
Pe!e uge The Nego!iOn O! !he Au!OnOmy O! A!
by !he AVon!-goOe, 1974//04
Jeon-LuC NonCy The InOpeo!iVe COmmuni!y, 19//064
OOuoO Glisson! POe!iCs O! Relo!iOn, 1990//071
Flix Guo!!oi ChoOsmOsis: An !hiCO-Aes!he!iC
PooOigm, 1992//079
JoCques RonCie POblems onO Tons!Omo!iOns
in Ci!iCol A!, 2004//03
ARTI5T5' WRITING5
Guy DebOO TOwoOs o 5i!uo!iOnis! In!eno!iOnol,
1967//09
.
Allon KopOw NO!es On !he limino!iOn O! !he
AuOienCe, 19//102
HliO Ci!iCiCo DonCe in Ny xpeienCe, 196~//106
Lygio Clok onO HliO Ci!iCiCo Le!!es 19~9//110
GoCielo ConeVole POjeC! !O !he xpeimen!ol
A! 5eies, ROsoiO, 19//117
JOseph euys onO Dik 5ChwoZe RepO! O! o Doy's
POCeeOings o! !he DUOOU OI OC ODOCOCy,
1972/[120
JOseph euys I Am 5eoChing O ielO ChooC!e,
1973//126
COlleC!iVe AC!iOns Ten AppeoonCes, 19//127
AOion Pipe NO!es On unk, III, 1936//130
GOup No!eiol Cn DemOCocy, 1990//136
Oo Cu!e 1OISIOC!OIO!O/ A JOuney !Om he os
O he Wes, 199//13
Cos!en HOlle The ouOOuin/OuOewijn xpeimen:
A De!iOeoe, NOn-oolis!iC, Loge-5Cole GOup
xperimen in DeVio!!On, 2000//144
Jetemy Dellet The o!!le O! CtgteoVe, 2002//14
Ritkti! TitoVonijo NO GhOs!s in !he Woll, 2004//149
ThOmos HitsChhOtn 24h OuCoul!, 2004//164
CRITICAL AND CURATCRIAL PC5ITICN5
NiCOlos OuttiouO Relo!iOnol Aes!he!iCs, 1998//10
Lots ong Lotsen 5OCiol Aes!he!iCs, 1999//172
NOlly Nesbi!, Hons UltiCh Cbtis!, Ritkti! TitoVonijo
Who! is o 5!o!iOn?, 2003//184
Hol Os!et Cho! ROOms, 2004//19
C!Oire BishOp
InIrOOUCIOnJ JVewers Os PrOOUCers
The point ofdeparture for the selection of texts in this readeris the socal
dimensionofparticipation - rather than activation ofthe individualviewerin
so-called 'interactive' art andinstallation.Thelatter traectory has been well
rehearsedelsewhere. the explosionofnewtechnoloiesand thebreakdownof
medium-specificartinthe 960sprovidedmyriadopportunitiesforphysically
enaintheviewerinaworkofart.Lessfamiliaristhehistoryofthoseartistic
practices since the 960s that appropriate socal forms as awayto brin art
closer to everyday life. intanible experiences such as dancin samba Hlio
Diticica) or funl Adrian Piper), drinkin beer Tom Marioni), discussin
philosophy lan Wilson) or politics oseph Beuys), oranizin a arae sale
Martha Rosler), runnin a caf Allen Ruppersber, Daniel Spoerri, Cordon
Matta-Clark),ahotel Alihiero Boetti, Ruppersber)oratravelaencyChristo
and eanne-Claude). Althouh the photoraphic documentation of these
proects implies a relationship to performance art, theydiffer in strivin to
collapse the distinction between performer and audience, professional and
amateur,productionandreception.Theiremphasis isoncollaboration,andthe
collectivedimensionofsocialexperience.
Thesesocially-orientedproectsanticipatemanyartisticdevelopmentsthat
proliferated since the 990s, but they also form part of a loner historical
traectory. The most important precursors for participatory art took place
around 920. The Paris 'DadaSeason' of April 92 was a series of
manifestationsthatsouhttoinvolvethecity'spublic,themostsalientbeinan
excursion tothechurchofSaintulien le Pauvre which drew more thanone
hundredpeopledespitethepourinrain.Amonthlater,Dadaartistsandwriters
held a mocktrial oftheanarchistauthorturned nationalist MauriceBarrs, in
which members of the public were invited to sit on the ury. Andr Breton
coined the phrase 'Artificial Hells' to describe this new conception of Dada
eventsthatmovedoutofthecabarethallsandtooktothestreets.Attheother
extremefrom thesecollaborative yet hihly authored) experiences were the
Sovietmassspectaclesthatsublatedindividualismintopropaandisticdispla
ocollectivity.TheStorminoftheWinterPalace920),forexample,washeld
on the third anniversary ofthe Dctober Revolution and involved over 8,000
performers in restain themomentous events thathad led to the Bolshevik
victory.Thecollective fervour ofthesetheatrical spectacleswasparalleled by
newproletarianmusicsuchastheHooterSymphonies.celebrationsofmachinic
//lNTRODUCTlON
noisefactory sirens,motors,turbines,hooters,etc)performed byhundreds of
participants, directed by conductors sinallin from the rooftops. These two
approaches continue to be seen throuhout the multiple instances of
participatoryartthatdevelopin theirwake. anauthoredtraditionthatseeksto
provokeparticipants,andadeauthoredlineaethataimstoembracecollective
creativity, one is disruptive and interventionist, the other constructive and
ameliorative. lnbothinstances,the issue ofparticipationbecomesincreasinly
inextricablefromthequestionofpoliticalcommitment
Dne of the first texts to elaborate theoretically the political status of
participation ates from 984, by the left-win Cerman theorist Walter
Benamin.Hearuedthatwhenudinawork'spolitics,we shouldnotlookat
the artist's declaredsympathies, but at the position that the work occupies in
the productionrelationsofits time.Referrindirectlyto the example ofSoviet
Russia,Benamin maintained thatthe workofart should actively intervene in
and provide a model for allowinviewers to be involved inthe processes of
production. 'this apparatusis better,the moreconsumersitis abletoturninto
producers- thatis,themorereadersorspectatorsintocollaborators'.Bywayof
example hecitestheletters pae ofa newspaper, but his ideal lies in theplays
of his contemporary, the Cerman dramatist Bertolt Brecht. As Benamin
explains,Brechtiantheatreabandonsloncomplexplotsinfavourof'situations'
thatinterruptthenarrativethrcuhadisruptiveelement,suchasson.Throuh
this technique ofmontaeanduxtaposition,audienceswereledtobreaktheir
identification withthe protaonistsonstaeand beincitedtocriticaldistance.
Ratherthanpresentintheillusionofactiononstaeandfillintheaudiences
with sentiment, Brechtiantheatrecompels the spectatortotakeupaposition
towardsthisaction.
Bytoday'sstandards,manywould arue thatthe Brechtian model offers a
relativelypassivemodeofspectaorship,sinceitreliesonraisinconsciousness
throuh the distance of critical thinkin By contrast, a paradim ofphjsical
involvement- takinitslead from AntoninArtaud'sTheatre of Cruelty amon
others souht to reduce the distance between actors and spectators. This
emphasis on proximity was crucial to myriad developments in avantarde
theatreofthe960s,andwasparalleledbyupheavalsinvisualartandpedaoy.
ln this framework,physicalinvolvementis consideredanessentialprecursorto
socialchane.Todaythisequationisnolesspersistent,butitstermsareperhaps
less convincin.The idea ofcollectivepresencehasforbetterorwose)been
scrutinizedanddissectedbynumerousphilosophersonatechnicallevel,most
contemporary art is collectively produced even if authorship often remains
resolutelyindividual), participationisusedbybusiness as atoolfor improvin
efficiency and workforce morale, as well as bein all-pervasive in the mass-
iShop/ /ViewetSOSPtoducetS/ /ll
mediaintheformofrealitytelevision.Asanartisticmedium,then,participation
isaruablynomoreintrinsicallypoliticaloroppositionalthananyother.
Despite this chanin context, we can nevertheless draw attention to
continuities between the participatory impulse of the 1960s and today.
Recurrently, calls foranartofparticipationtendtobealliedtooneorallofthe
followinaendas.The firstconcernsthedesiretocreate anactive subect, one
whowillbeempoweredbytheexperienceofphysicalorsymbolicparticipation.
The hope is that the newly-emancipated subects of participation will find
themselves abletodeterminetheirownsocial andpoliticalreality.Anaesthetic
ofparticipationthereforederivesleitimacyfromadesired)causalrelationship
betweetheexperienceofaworkofartand individualjcollective aency.The
second arument concerns authorship. The esture of cedin some or all
authorialcontrolisconventionallyreardedasmoreealitariananddemocratic
than the creationofaworkby a sinle artist,while shared productionis also
seen to entail the aesthet benefits of reater risk and unpredictability.
Collaborative creativity is therefore understood both to emere from, and to
produce, a more positive and non-hierarchical social model. The third issue
involves a perceived crisis in community and collective responsibility. This
concernhasbecomemoreacutesincethefall ofCommunism,althouhittakes
its lead from a tradition of Marxist thouht that indicts the alienatin and
isolatineffects ofcapitalism.Dneofthemainimpetusesbehindparticipatory
art has therefore been a restoration of the social bond throuh a collective
elaborationofmeanin.
Thesethree concerns - activation, authorship, community - arethe most
frequently cited motivations for almost all artistic attempts to encourae
participation in art since the 1960s. lt issiniIcant thatallthreeappeari nthe
writin ofCuy Debord, co-founder ofthe Situationist lnternational, since it is
invariablyaainstthebackdropofhiscritiqueofcapitalistspectacle'thatdebates
on participation come to be staed. The spectacle - as a social relationship
betweenpeoplemediatedbyimaes- ispaciinanddivisive,unitinusonly
throuhourseparationfromoneanother
.
The specialization of the mass spectacle constitutes . . . the epicentre of
separationandnoncommunication
Thespectacle isbydefinitionimmune from human activity, inaccessibletoany
proected revieworcorrection.ltistheoppositeofdialoue.. q .| ltisthe sun that
never sets onthe empireofmodern passivity.
lf spectacle denotes a mode ofpassivity and subuation that arrests thouht
l2/ /NTRODUCTON
and preventsdeterminaticncfcne'sreality, thenitispreciselyasaninuncticn
tc act! vitj that Debcrd advccated the ccnstructicn cf 'situaticns' These, he
arued,werealcicaldevelcpmentcfBrechtiantheatre,butwithcneimpcrtant
differencetheywculdinvclvetheaudiencefuncticndisappearinaltcetherin
the new catecry cf vivcu: cne whc lives). Rather than simply awakenin
criticalccnscicusness,asinthe Brechtianmcdel,'ccnstructedsituaticns'aimed
tcprcducenewsccialrelaticnshipsandthusnewsccialrealities.
The ideacfccnstructedsituaticns remainsan impcrtantpcintcfreference
fcr ccntempcrary artists wcrkin with live events and pecple as privileed
materials. lt is, fcr example, frequently cited by Nicclas Bcurriaud in his
RcIational Acsthctics 998),accllecticncfthecreticalessaysthathascatalyzed
much debate arcund the status cfccntempcraryparticipaticn ln parallelwith
thisdebate,andperhapsaddressinthesensecfunrealizedpcliticalpctentialin
the wcrk that Bcurriaud describes, a subsequent eneraticn cf artists have
beun tc enae mcre directly with specific sccial ccnstituencies, and tc
intervene critically in participatcry fcrms cf mass media entertainment.The
texts in this readerhave been selected with the develcpment cf this wcrk in
mind.Theaimhasbeentcprcvideahistcricalandthecreticallineaefcrrecent
scciallyccllabcrative art, presentin a variety cf pcsiticns that will allcw
students and researchers tc think mcre widely abcut the claims and
implicaticnscftheartisticinuncticntcparticipate.
The bcck is divided intc three secticns. The first cffers a selecticn cf
thecreticalframewcrksthrcuhwhichtcccnsiderparticipaticn.ltbeinswith
keystructuralisttexts byUmbertcFccand Rcland Barthes, which ccncernthe
new rcle cfthe viewer in relaticn tc mcdern art, music and literature. lt is
fcllcwedbyPeterBrer'sclassicMarxistcritiquecfbcurecisartasafailuretc
fuse art and sccial praxis.ean-Luc Nancy, addressin the impasse cfMarxist
thecry in the 980s, attempts tc rethink pclitical subectivity cutside the
ccnventicnal framewcrk cf activaticn. He pcsits a ccmmunity that is
'incperative' cr 'unwcrked' dscuv:c), fcunded nct cn the absclute
immanence cfman tc man fcrexample, the 'bein-in-ccmmcn' cfnaticns,
ccmmunities cr lcvers), but cn the presence cf that which impedes such
immanence, that is, cur ccnscicusness cf death. Cilles Deleuze and Flix
Cuattari have prcvided the fcundaticn fcr several ccntempcrary thecries cf
pclitical acticn, mcst nctably Michael Hardt and Antcnic Neri's influential
mpirc 2000),cnecfthekeytextscftheanti-lcbalizaticnmcvement.(mpirc
is availablecnline,andtherefcrehasnct beenincludedin thisreader,themcst
relevant passae is secticn 4.8 cn the multitude.) Tenyears pricr tc mpirc,

dcuard Clissant used Deleuze and Cuattari as the thecretical basis cf his
'pcetics cf relaticn', an arument fcr the creative subversicn cf cclcnialist
iShop/ /ViewetSOSPtoducetS//
culturebythosesubuatedto itslanuae. uattari's Chaosmos!s l992)and
Rancire'sMala!sc dans I'cstht!quc(2uu4) bothofferatripartitehistoryofart's
development, and both arue for a culminatin phase in which art has an
interal relation to other spheres. for uattari the ethical, for Rancire the
political.
Section two comprises artists writins, the selection of which has been
partially determined by the desire to present informative texts relatin to
substantial works of art. Another desire was to show a rane of different
approaches to the documentation and analysis of these often elusive and
ephemeral proects. The chosen texts represent a variety of proposals for
recordin process-based participation on the pae. the manifesto format
Debord,Kaprow,Beuys),theproectdescriptionCarnevale,Hller,Hirschhorn),
thedetailedloofeventsSchwarzeonBeuys),reflectionsaftertheeventPiper,
Cufer, Deller),dialouesin theformofcorrespondenceDiticicaand Clark),and
a retrospective survey in the form of a third-person narrative Tiravania).
Limitations of space have prevented a fuller presentation of the Collective
Actions roup, whose methodical approach to documentation erased the
boundary betweencollaboration,eventand reflection. theparticipants in each
work were invited to document their response to it. !cn Appca:anccs, for
example, isaccompanied by lon, detaildtextsbytheartistllyaKabakovand
thepoetVsevolodNekrasov.
The final section presents a selection of recent curatorial and critical
positions.ltbeinswithexcerptsfromBourriaud'sRclational Acsthct!cs, partof
which formed the cataloue essayforhisroup exhibition7rac l995).Lars
Ban Larsen's 'Social Aesthetics' l999) is an attempt to present connections
betweentoday'sparticipatorypracticeand historical precursors of the l960s,
here with a focus on Scandinavia. Dne of the most memorable curatorial
estures of the present decade was ltop!a btat!on Venice Biennale, 2008),a
collaborativeexhibitionwhoseproectdescriptiondrawsaconnectionbetween
activatedspectatorshipand activism. Thefinalessayinthebook, byHalFoster,
is more cautious, and reIlects on the limitations of the participatory impulse.
Thescope of this readertherefore ranes fromthe l950s to the present day,
althouh there are important examples of social participation in the historic
avant-arde, it is not until the eve of the sixties that a coherent and well-
theorized body of work emeres. Situationism in France, Happenins in the
UnitedStates,and Neo-Concretism inBrazil.
Manwritinsoutsidethedisciplineofarthistorycouldhavebeenaddedto
this antholoy, particularly texts that draw attntion to the history of
participationintheatre,architectureandpedaoy.lmportantworkremainsto
be done inconnectinthese histories to participation in visual art. Rancire's
Shop/ /VewetSOSPtoducetS/ /
unpublishedessay'TheFmancipatedSpectator'2004)hasbeuntodoprecisely
this task, drawin links between the history of theatre and education, and
questionin theories thatequatespectaclewith passivity.Hearuesthat the
oppositionof'active'and'passive' isriddledwithpresuppositionsaboutlookin
andknowin,watchinandactin,appearanceandreality.This isbecausethe
binary of activejpassive always ends up dividin a population into those with
capacityonone side, and thosewithincapacityontheother.As such, itisan
alleoryofinequality.Drawinanaloieswiththehistoryofeducation,Rancire
aruesthatemancipation should ratherbethepresuppositionof cquali] the
assumption thateveryone has the same capacity for intellient response to a
book,a playoraworkofart.Ratherthan suppressin this mediatinobectin
favourofcommunitarianimmediacy,Rancirearuesthatitshouldbeacrucial
third term which both parts refer to and interpret. The distance that this
imposes, he writes, is not an evil that should be abolished, since it is the
preconditionofanycommunication.
Spectatorship is notthe passivity that has to beturned into activity. lt is our
normal situation. We learnand teach,weact and knowas spectators who link
whattheyseewihwhattheyhave seenandtold,doneanddreamt.Thereisno
privileedmediumasthereisnoprivileedstartinpoint
lncallinforspectatorswhoareactiveas inrcrprcrc>, Rancire impliesthatthe
politics of participation miht best lie, not in anti-spectacular stains of
community or in the claim that mere physical activity would correspond to
emancipation,butinputtintoworktheideathatweareallequallycapableof
inventinourowntranslations.Unattachedtoaprivileedartisticmedium,this
principle would not divide audiences into active and passive, capable and
incapable,butinsteadwouldinviteusalltoappropriateworksforourselvesand
makeuseoftheseinwaysthattheirauthorsmihtneverhavedreamedpossible.
ScclorcxamplcCcrmanoclant,Ambicntc/Artc daI Futurismo aIa ody (Vcniccdiioni
L 6icnnalc di Vcncia, I977 6ascd on Ambicntc/Artc cxhibition, I97G Vcnicc 6icnnalc)
Nicholasdclivicr,ct al., lnstaIIation Art in thc Ncw MiIIcnium (London.ThamcsandHudson,
200J); Clairc6ishop,InstaIIation Art. A CriticaI isto(London- TatcFublishin,200J).
2 SccAndrc6rcton,'ArtilicialHclls,InauationolthcI92I DadaScason'(I92I), trans.Matthcw
S.Vitkovsky inOctobcr, I0J, Summcr 200J, IJ9 'Dadacvcntsccrtainlyinvolvca dcsircothcr
thantoscandalic.Scandal,lorallitslorcc(oncmaycasilytraccitlrom6audclairctothcprcscnt),
wouldbcinsullicicnttoclicitthcdclihtthatoncmihtcxpcctlromanartilicialhcll.Oncshould
alsokccpinmindthcoddplcasurcobtaincdin"takintothcstrcct"or"kccpinonc'slootin",
sotospcak 6yconoininthouhtwithcsturc,Dadahaslcltthcrcalmolshadowstovcnturc
l/ /NTRODUCTON
ontosoI|dround
J Foradcta|Icdcr|t|caIcommcntarysccFrant|sckDcak,'kuss|anMassSpcctacIcs',Drama Rcvicw,
voI. I9, no.?,]uncI97J, 7-22
1 Foral|rst-handaccountolthcsccvcntsscckcncFlpMIcr7hc Mind and Iacc ol oIshcvism
(London andNcwYork: FutnamsandSonsLtd, I929) l81
J WaItcr 6cnam|n, 'Thc Author as Froduccr', |n 6cnam|n, ScIcctcd Writins, voI. 2, part 2,
I9JI-J1 (Cambr|dc,Massachusctts: Harvard Un|vcrs|tyFrcss, 200J) 777
G ThcFrcnch pIaywr|ht andd|rcctorAnton|nArtauddcvcIopcd thctcrm'Thcatrc olCrucIIy' |n
thcIatcI9J0s. Hcuscd|t todcnotca Iypc ol r|tuaI|st|cdramathat a|mcd, throuh tcchn|caI
mcthods (sound, I|ht|n, csturc), to cxprcss stark cmot|ons and thcrcby dcscns|t|c thc
aud|cncc,aIIow|nthcmtoconlrontthcmscIvcs.SccArtaud,7hcatrc and Its DoubIc (ondon.
CaIdcrand6oyars, I970)
7 OnapoI|t|caI Icvc part|c|pat|on|s|ncrcas|nIycons|dcrcdapr|v|Iccdmcd|umlor6r|t|shand
EU ovcrnmcnt cuIturaI lund|n poI|c|cs scck|n to crcatc thc |mprcss|on ol soc|aI |ncIus|on
Scc Frano|s Matarasso, usc or Omamcnt? 7hc SocaI lmpact ol Particpation in thc Arts
(LondonComd|a,I997) |n6r|ta|n,Matarasso`srcporthasbccnkcytothclormuIat|onolNcw
Lbours lund|nlorthc arts;loracocnt cr|t|qucol |ts cIa|ms,sccFaoIa McrI, 'EvaIuat|nthc
Soc|aIlmpactolFart|c|pat |on|nArtsAct|v|t|cs.ACr|t|caIkcv|cwolFrano|sMatarasso'susc or
Omamcnt?. IntcmationaI(ouma| oI CuIturaI PoIicy, voI.8, no I,2002, I07-I8
8 Cuy Dcbord, c|tcd |n Tom McDonouh, cd., Cuy Dcbord and thc Situationist lntcmationaI
(Cambr|dcMassachusctts:ThcMlTFrcss,2002) I1J.
9 CuyDcbord,Socicty ol thc SpcctacIc |I9G7) (NcwYork:Zonc6ooks, I997) I7
I0 ScclorcxampIcMatth|cuLaurcttc's7hc Crcat xchanc|2000), atcIcv|s|onprorammc|nwh|ch
thcpubI|ccxchancoodsolprorcss|vcIyIcssvaIucwcckbywcck,andFh|ICoII|ns,7hc Rctum
ol thc RcaI|200J), wh|ch|nvoIvcdaprcssconlcrcncclorlormcrstarsolTurk|shrcaI|tytcIcv|s|on
II ScclorcxampIcFaoIoFrc|rc,Pcdaoy ol thc Opprcsscd(London:Fcnu|n, I970), Auusto6oaI,
7hcatrc ol thc Opprcsscd (ondo: FIuto Frcss, I979), Oskar Hanscn, 7owards Opcn Form
(WarsawFoksaICaIIcryFoundat|onjWarsawAcadcmyolF|ncArtsMuscum,200J).
I2 |acqucskanc|rc,'ThcEmanc|patcdSpcctator',unpubI|shcdconlcrcnccpapcr,Franklurt,uust
2001, http:jjthcatcr.kc|n.orj
IJ 6c th|sad|sparacmcntolthcspcctatorbccauschcdocsnoth|n,wh|Icthcpcrlormcrsonstac
dosomcth|n- orthc convcrsc cIa|m that thoscwhoactarc|nlcr|ortothoscwhoarcabIcto
I00I. contcmpIatc |dcas, and havc cr|t|caI d|stancc on thc worId. Thc two pos|t|ons can bc
sw|tchcdbuthcstructurcrcma|ns thcsamcScc kanc|rc, 'ThcEmanc|patcdSpcctator'.
I1 A s|m|Iar arumcnt lor consumpt|on as crcat|vc |s put lorward by M|chcI dc Ccrtcau |n 7hc
Practicc ol tcryday liIc (I980) L|tcraryvar|antsol th|s |dca can bc lound |n koIand 6arthcs
'DcatholthcAuthor'(I9G8) and'FromWorI:toTcxt'|I97I), and|n|acqucsDcrr|da's|dcaolthc
'Countcrs|naturc',Pararaph, voI.27, no2, |uIy2001, 7-12.
iShp/ /ViewetSOSPtoducetS/ /l7
THCRTICAL RANWCRK5
UmOe!O CO The POe!iCs O! !he Cpen WOX/ /020
RO!ond o!hes The Deo!h O! !he AU!hO/ /041
Pe!e uge The Nego!iOn O! !he AU!OnOmy O! A!
Oy !he AVon!gode / /04
Jeon-LUC NonCy The InOpeo!iVe COmmUni!y/ /09
dOUod G!issont POe!iCs O! Re!o!iOn/ /07
!ix GUoUoi ChoOsmOsis: An !hiCO-Aes!he!iC
'
Poodigm/ /079
JoCqUes RonCie POO!ems ond Tons!Omo!iOns
in Ci!iCo! A![ /03
UmDertO ECO
The POetiCs Of the Open WOrkJ Jl92
lru|unscmorcunUmccrroLcosonco]rncponccrso]rcuJcrrcsponscrnco.The
DpenWcrk(I52) uJJrcsscsrncopcn-cnJcJunJu|curo@nururco]moJcrnmusc,
|rcrururcunJurr,ponrnro rncwJcrmp|curonso]rns ncwmoJco]ucsrncrc
rcccpron]orsoco|ounJpcJuo, unJ]orncw]ormso]communcuron.
A number cf recent pieces cf instrumental music are linked by a ccmmcn
feature. theccnsideraleautcncmylefttctheindividualperfcrmerintheway
he chccses tc play the wcrk. Thus, he is nct merely free tc interpret the
ccmpcser'sinstructicnsfcllcwinhiscwndiscreticnwhich in facthappensin
traditicnalmusic),buthemustimpcsehisudmentcnthefcrmcfthepiece,as
whenhedecideshcwlcntchcldanctecrinwhatcrdertcrcupthescunds.
all thisamcuntstc anactcfimprcvised creaticn. Herearescme cfthe best-
kncwnexamplescftheprccess.
. ln |uvcrsrick X/, by Karlheinz Stcckhausen, the ccmpcser presents the
perfcrmera sinlelaresheetcfmusic paperwitha seriescfnctercupins.
The perfcrmerthen hastc chccse amcnthesercupins,firstfcrthe cne tc
startthepieceand,next,fcrthesuccessiveunitsinthecrderinwhichheelects
tc weld them tcether. ln this type cf perfcrmance, the instrumentalist's
freedcmisafuncticncfthe'narrative'structurecfthepiece,whichallcwshim
tc'mcunt'thesequencecfmusicalunitsinthecrderhechccses.
2.lnLuciancBeric's5cqucncc]or5o|oF|urc,theccmpcserpresentstheperfcrmer
a text which predetermines the sequence and intensity cfthe scunds tc be
played. Buttheperfcrmerisfreetc chccse hcw lcntc hcld a ncte insidethe
fixed framewcrk impcsed cn him, which in turn is established by the fixed
patterncfthemetrcncme'sbeat.
8. HenriPcusseurhascfferedthefcllcwindescriptincfhispiece5cumc:
comisnctscmuchamusicalccmpcsiticnasafieldcfpcssibilities,anexplicit
invitaticntcexercisechcice.ltismadeupcfsixteen secticns. Fachcfthesecan
be linked tc any twc cthers, withcut weakenin the lcical ccntinuity cf the
musicalprccess.Twccfitssecticns,fcrexample,areintrcducedbysimilarmctifs
afterwhichthey evclve in diverentpatterns,anctherpaircfsectics, cn the
20//THEORETCAFRAEWORK
contrary,tcndstodcvcloptowardsthcsamcclimaxSinccthcpcrformcrcanstart
orfinishwithanyoncscction,aconsidcrablc numbcrofscucntialpcrmutations
arcmadcavailablctohimFurthcrmorc,thctwoscctionswhichbcinonthcsamc
motif can bc playcd simultancously, so astoprcscnt amorccomplcxstructural
polyphony.tisnotoutofthc ucstionthatwcconccivcthcscformalnotationsas
a markctablc product if thcy wcrc tapc-rccordcd and thc purchascr had a
sufficicntlysophisticatcdrcccptionapparatus,thcnthccncralpublicwouldbcin
apositiontodcvclopaprivatc musicalconstructof itsownand ancwcollcctivc
scnsibilityinmattcrsof musical prcscntationanddurationcouldcmcrc
4. ln PicrrcBoulcz's!nrJ5onuru]orIuno, thc firstscctionAnrpnonc,Iormunr
I) ismadcupoftcndiffcrcntpicccsontcncorrcspondinshcctsofmusicpapcr.
Thcsccanbcarrancdin diffcrcntscqucnccs likcastackofIilincards,thouh
not all possiblc pcrmutations arc pcrmissiblc. Thc sccond part Formunr 2,
!nropc) is madc up of four parts with an intcrnal circularity, so that thc
pcrformcr can commcncc with any onc of thcm, linkinit succcssivcly to thc
othcrs until hc comcs round full circlc. No maor intcrprctativc variants arc
pcrmittcdinsidcthcvariousscctions,butoncofthcm,Iurcnrnsc.opcnswitha
prcscribcdtimcbcat,whichisfollowcdbycxtcnsivcpauscsinwhichthcbcatis
lcft to thc playcr's discrction. A furthcr prcscriptivc notc is cvinccd by thc
composcr's instructions on thc manncr of linkin onc piccc to thc ncxt for
cxamplc,sunsrcrcnr,cncnuncrsunsnrcrrupron, andsoon.
What is immcdiatcly strikin in such cascs is thc macroscopic divcrcncc
bctwccn thcsc forms of musical communication and thc timc-honourcd
traditionofthcclassics.Thisdiffcrcncccanbcformulatdinclcmcntarytcrms
asfollows. aclassicalcomposition, whcthcritbcaBachfuuc,VcrdisAJu,or
Stravinsky's krc o] 5prn
,
posits an asscmblac of sound units which thc
composcrarrancdinacloscd,wcll-dcfincdmanncrbcforcprcscntinittothc
listcncr. Hc convcrtcd his idca into convcntional symbols which morc or lcss
oblicd thc cvcntual pcrformcr to rcproducc thc format dcviscd by thc
composcrhimsclf, whcrcasthcncwmusicalworks rcfcrrcdtoabovcrccctthc
dcIinitivc, concludcd mcssac and multiply thc formal possibilitics of thc
distribution of thcir clcmcnts.Thcyappcal to thc initiativc of thc individual
pcrformcr,andhcnccthcyoffcrthcmsclvcsnotasfinitcworkswhichprcscribc
spccificrcpctitionalonivcnstructuralcoordinatcsbutas'opcn'works,which
arc brouht to thcir conclusion by thc pcrformcr at thc samc timc as hc
cxpcricnccsthcmonanacsthcticplanc.
Toavoidanyconfusionintcrminoloy,itisimportanttosccithathcrcthc
dcfinition of thc 'opcn work', dcspitc its rclcvancc in formulatin a frcsh
Eco/ /ThePoe!icSo!!heOpenWotk//2l
dialectics between the work of art and its performer, still requires to be
separatedfromotherconventionalapplicationsofthisterm.Aesthetictheorists,
forexample,oftenhaverecoursetothenotionsof'completeness'and'openness'
inconnectionwithaivenworkofart.Thesetwoexpressionsrefertoastandard
situationofwhichweareallawareinourreceptionofaworkofartweseeitas
the endproductof an author'sefforttoarranea sequenceof communicative
effects in such away thateach individual addressee canrefashiontheoriinal
composition devised by the author. The addressee is bound to enter into an
interplayofstimulusand response whichdependson his unique capacityfor
sensitive reception of the piece. ln this sense theauthorpresents a finished
product with the intention that this particular composition should be
appreciatedandreceivedinthe sameformashedevisedit.As hereactstothe
play of stimuli and his own response to their patternin, the individual
addressee is bound to supply his own existential credentials, the sense
conditionin which is peculiarly his own, a defined culture, a set of tastes,
personal inclinations and preudices Thus, his comprehension of the oriinal
artefactisalways modified by his particular andindividualperspective.lnfact,
theformoftheworkofartainsitsaestheticvaliditypreciselyinproportionto
the number of different perspectives from which it can be viewed and
understood.Theseive ita wealthofdifferentresonancesandechoeswithout
PdlIlu llS 0Ilud cSScuCc. d I0d0 lIdI|C Slu, 0u lBc 0lBcI Bduu, Cdu 0c
viewed inonlyone sense, and, ifitistransfiured intosomefantasticmeanin
byanimainativedriver, itmerelyceasestobernurparticulartrafficsinwith
thatparticularmeanin.Aworkofart,therefore,isacompleteandc|oscJform
in its uniqueness as a balanced oranic whole, while at the same time
constitutin an opcn product on account of its susceptibility to countless
differentinterpretationswhichdonotimpineonitsunadulterablespecificity.
Hence, every reception of a work of art is both an nrcrprcruron and a
pcr]ormuncc of it, because in every reception the work takes on a fresh
perspectiveforitself.
Nonetheless,itisobviousthatworkslikethoseofBerioandStockhausenare
'open' inafarmoretaniblesense. lnprimitivetermswecansaythatheyare
quiteliterally'unfinished'.theauthorseemstohandthemontotheperformer
more or less like the components of a construction kit. He seems to be
unconcernedaboutthemanneroftheireventualdeployment.Thisisalooseand
paradoxical interpretation of the phenomenon, but the most immediately
strikin aspect of these musical forms can lead to this kind of uncertainty,
althouhtheveryfactofouruncertaintyisitselfapositivefeature itinvitesus
to consider the contemporary artist feels theneedtowork in this kind of
direction,totrytoworkoutwhathistoricalevolutionofaestheticsensibilityled
22//THEORETCAFRAEWOR
up to it and which factors in modern culture reinforced it We are then in a
positiontosurmisehowtheseexperiencesshouldbeviewedinthespectrumof
atheoreticalaesthetics.
Pousseur has observed that the poetics of the 'open' worktendstoencourae
acts of conscious freedom' onthe partof the performerand place him atthe
focalpointof a networkof limitlessinterrelations, amon whichhe chooses to
setup his own form without beininfluenced by an external ncccss which
definitivelyprescribestheoranizationof theworkinhanl.Atthispointone
could obect with reference to the wider meanin of 'openness' already
introduced in this essay)thatanyworkofart,evenifitisnot passedontothe
addressee in an unfinished state, demands a free, inventive response, if only
becauseitcannotreallybeappreciatedunlesstheperformersomehowreinvents
it in psycholoical collaboration with the author himself et this remark
representsthetheoreticalperceptionofcontemporaryaesthetics,achievedonly
afterpainstakinconsiderationofthefunctionofartisticperformance,certainly
anartistofafewcenturiesaowasfarfrombeinawareoftheseissues.lnstead
nowadaysitisprimarilytheartistwhoisawareofitsimplicationslnfact,rather
than submit to the 'openness' as an inescapable element of artistic
interpretation,hesusumesitintoapositiveaspectofhisproduction,recastin
thewoksoastoexposeittothemaximumpossible'openn'.
Theforceofthesubectiveelementintheinterpretationofaworkofartany
interpretation implies aninterplaybetweenthe addresseeandtheworkasan
obective fact was noticed by classical writers, especially when they set
themselves to consider the fiurative arts. ln the 5opnsr Plato observes that
painters suest proportions not by followin some obective canon but by
udin'theminrelationtotheanlefromwhichtheyareseenbytheobserver'.
Vitruviusmakesadistinctionbetween'symmetry'and'eurhythmy',meaninby
thislattertermanadustmentofobectiveproportionstotherequirementsofa
subective vision. The scientific and practicaldevelopmentof the technique of
perspective bears witness to the radual maturation of this awareness of an
interpretativesubectivitypittedaainsttheworkofart.etitisequallycertain
thatthisawarenesshasledtoatendencytooperateaainstthe'openness'ofthe
work,tofavourits 'closinout'.Thevariousdevicesofperspectivewereustso
many different concessions to the actual location of the observer in order to
ensurethathe lookedatthefiureinrncon|possc|crnrwu thatis,theway
the authorof the work had prescribed,by providinvariousvisual devicesfor
theobserver'sattentiontofocuson.
Letusconsideranotherexample.lntheMiddleAesthererewupatheory
of alleory
which posited the possibility of readin the Scriptures (and
Eco//ThePoe!icSo!!heOpenWotk/ /2
erossertbbertooee,)6z
eventuallypoetry, fiurative arts) notust in theliteral sensebutalso inthree
other senses the moral, thealleoricaland theanaoica.Thistheoryiswell
knownfromapassaeinDante,butitsrootsobacktoSaintPaul'vidcmusnunc
pcrspccu|umnucnmutc.tuncuutcmjuccudjuccm`)['Fornowweseethrouh
a lass, darkly, but then face to face' and it was developed by Saint|erome,
Auustine,Bede,ScotusFriena,HuhandRichardofSaintVictor,Alainof Lille,
Bonaventure,Aquinasandothers inschawayastorepresentacardinalpoint
of medieval poetics. A work in this sense is undoubtedly endowel with a
measure of 'openness' The readerof the textknows that every sentence and
everytropeis'open'toa multiplicityof meaninswhichhemust huntforand
find. lndeed, accordinto how he feels atone particular moment, the reader
miht choose a possible interpretative keywhich strikes him asexemplaryof
this spiritual state. He will usc the workaccordin to the desired meanin
causinittocomealiveaain,somehowdifferentfromthewayhevieweditat
anearlierreadin).However,inthispeofoperation,'openness'isfarremoved
from meanin'indefiniteness'ofcommunication,'infinite'possibilitiesofform,
andcompletefreedomofreception.Whatinfactismadeavailableisaraneof
riidlypre-established and ordained interpretative solutions, and these never
allowthereadertomoveoutsidethestrictcontroloftheauthor.Dantesumsup
theissueinhisthirteenthLetter
We shll consider the followin lines in orderto make thistype of treatment
clearer ln cxtu lsrocl dc cpto, domusucoc dc populocurcuro,uctu cstudcu
suncticutocius,lsroclpotcstuscus.[Whenlsraelwentoutofypt,thehouseof
|acobfromapeopleofstranelanuae,|udhws hissanctuary,andlsraelhis
dominionowifweustconsidertheliteralmeanin,whatismeanthereisthe
departureofthechildrenoflsraelfromFyptatthetimeofMoses.lfweconsider
the alleory, what is ment is ou human redemption throuh hrist. lf we
consider the moral sense, what is meant is the conversion of the soul from the
tormentandaonyofsintoastateofrace.Finally,ifweconsiderthenaoical
sense, what is meant is the release of the spirit from the bondae of this
corruptiontothefreedomofeternallory.
lt isobviousatthispointthatallavailablepossibilitiesofinterpretationhave
been exhausted.The reader can concentrate his attentionon one senserather
thanonanother, inthelimitespaceofthis four-tiered sentence, buthemust
always follow rulesthat entail a riid univocality.Themeaninofalleorical
fiuresandemblemswhichthemedievalreaderislikelytoencounterisalready
prescribed by his encyclopaedias, bestiaries and lapidaries. Any symbolism is
obectively defined and oranized intoa system. Underpinnin this poetics of
Eco//ThePoe!icSo!!heOpenWotk//2
thenecessaryandtheunivocalisanorderedcosmos,ahierarchyofessencesand
laws which poetic discourse can clarify at several levels, but which each
individualmustunderstandintheonlypossibleway,theonedeterminedbythe
creative|ccs.Theorderofaworkofartinthisperiodisamirrorofimperialand
theocraticsociety.Thelawsovernintextualinterpretationarethelawsofan
authoritarianreimewhichuidetheindividualinhiseveryaction,prescribin
theendsforhimandofferinhimthemeanstoattainthem.
tis notthatthesolutionsofthealleorical passaearequantitatively
more limited than themun possible solutionsofa contemporary'open'work.
As shall tryto show,itisadifferentvisionoftheworldwhichlies underthese
differentaestheticexperiences.
fwelimitourselvestoanumberofcursoryhistoricallimpses,wecanfind
one strikin aspect of 'openness' in the 'open form' of Baroque. Here it is
precisely the static and unquestionable definitiveness of the classical
Renaissanceformwhichisdenied.thecanonsofspaceextendedroundacentral
axis,closedinbysymmetricallinesandshutanleswhichcaoletheeyetoward
thecentre in such awayasto suest anideaof'essential' eternity rather than
movement.Baroqueformisdynamic ittendstoanindeterminacyofeffectin
its play of solid and void, liht and darkness, withits curvature, its broken
surfaces,itswidelydiversifedanlesofinclination),itconveystheideaofspace
beinproressvelydilated. tssearchforkineticxctmentandillusoryeffect
leads to a situation where the plastic mass in the Baroque work of art never
allows a privileed, definitive,frontal view, rather, it induces the spectatorto
shift his position continuously in order to see the work in constantly new
aspects, as if itwere in a state ofperpetual transformation. Now ifBaroque
spiritualityistobeseenasthefirstclearmanifestationofmodernculture and
sensitivity, it is because here,forthefirsttime, man opts out ofthe canon of
authorizedresponsesandfindsthatheisfaced(bothinartandinscience)bya
world in a uid statewhich requires correspondincreativityonhis part.The
poetictreatisesconcernin'muruvu','wit','uuJczus',andsoonreallystrainto
o furtherthan theirapparently Byzantineappearance they seekto establish
thenewman'sinventiverole.Heisnolonertoseetheworkofartasanobect
whichdrawsonivenlinkswithexperienceandwhichdemandsto beenoyed,
nowhesees itasa potentialmysterytobesolved,aroletofulIil,a stimulus to
quickenhisimaination.Nonetheless,even theseconclusionshavebeencodified
bymoderncriticismandoranizedintoaestheticcanons. lnfact,itwouldberash
to interpretBaroquepoeticsasaconscioustheoryofthe'openwork'.
Between classicism and the Fnlihtenment, there developed a further
concept which is ofinterestto us in thepresentcontext.The concept of'pure
poetry' ained currency for theveryreason thateneral notions and abstract
2//THEORETCAFRAEWORK5
canons fcll out out fashion, whilc thc tradition of Fnlish cmpiricism
incrcasinlyarucdinfavour ofthcfrccdom'ofthcpoctandsctthcstacfor
thccominthcoricsofcrcativity.FromBurkc'sdcclarationsaboutthccmotional
powcrofwords,itwasashortstcpto Nvalis'vicwofthcpurccvocativcpowcr
ofpoctryasanartofblurrcdscnscandvaucoutlincs.Anidcaisnowhcltobc
allthcmorcoriinalandstimulatininsofarasit'allowsforarcatcrintcrplay
and mutual convcrcncc of conccpts, lifc-vicws and attitudcs. Whcn a work
offcrs a multitudc of intcntions, a plurality of mcanin, and abovc all a widc
varictyofdiffcrcntwaysofbcinundcrstoodandapprcciatcd,thcnundcrthcsc
conditionswccanonlyconcludcthatitis ofvital intcrcstandthtitisa purc
cxprcssionofpcrsonality.

To closcourconsidcrationofthcRomanticpcriod,itwillbcuscfultorcfcrto
thc Irst occasion whcn a conscious poctics of thc opcn work appcars. Thc
momcntislatc-ninctccnth-ccnturySymbolism,thctcxtisVcrainc'sIocriuc.
comsiucovonrrourcnosc,
crpourcloprrc|'impoir
plusvouccrpussolulcons|oir
sonscncnluiuipsccrui
posc.
Musicbcforccvcrythnclsc,
and,tothatcnd,prcfcrthcuncvcn
morcvaucandmorcsolublcinair
withnothininitthatishcavyor stil
Mallarms prorammaticstatcmcntiscvcn morc cxplicitand pronounccd
inthiscontcxt'Nommcrunocjcrc'csrsupprimcr|cs rrois uorrs dc |ojouissoncc
dupocmc,uicsroircduconncurdcdcvincrpcuopcu.lcsu@crcr. . . voi|olcrvc'
Tonamcan obcctis to supprcssthrcc-fourthsof thccnoymcntof thc pocm,
whichiscomposcdofthcplcasurcofucssinlittlcbylittlc.tosucst. . . thcrc
isthc drcam).Thc importantthinistoprcvcnta sinlcscnscfromimposin
itsclf at thc vcry outsct of thc rcccptivc proccss. Blank spacc surroundin a
word,typoraphicaladustmcnts,andspatialcompositioninthcpacscttinof
thcpoctictcxt allcontributctocrcatcahaloofindcfnitcncssandtomakcthc
tcxtprcnantwithinfinitcsucstivcpossibilitics.
Thisscarchforsu@csrvcncss isadclibcratcmovcto'opcn'thcworktothc
frccrcsponscofthcaddrcsscc.Anartisticworkthatsucstsisalsooncthatcan
bc pcrformcd with thc full cmotional and imainativc rcsourccs of thc
intcrprctcr. Whcncvcr wcrcad poctry thcrc is a proccssbwhich wc tryto
adaptourpcrsonalworldtothccmotionalworldproposcdbythctcxt.Thisisall
ECo/ /ThePoe!icSo!!heOpenWotk/ /27
the more true of poeticworks that are deliberatelybased on suestiveness,
sincethetextsetsouttostimulatetheprivateworldoftheaddresseesothathe
can draw om inside himselfsome deeper response that mirrors the subtler
resonancesunderlyinthetext.
A stron current in contemporary literature follows this use ofsymbol as a
communicativechannelfortheindefinite,opentoconstantlyshiftinresponses
and interpretative stances. lt is easy to think ofKafka's work as 'open'. trial,
caste,waitin,passinsentence,sickness,metamorphosisandtorture- noneof
thesenarrativesituationsistobeunderstoodintheimmediateliteralsense.But,
unliketheconstructionsofmedievalalleory,wherethesuperimposedlayersof
meanin are riidly prescribed, in KaIka there is no confirmation in an
encyclopaedia, no matchin paradim in the cosmos, to provide a keyto the
symbolism. Thevariousexistentialist,theoloical, clinical and psychoanalytic
interpretations of Kafka's symbols cannot exhaust all the possibilities of his
works.Theworkremainsinexhaustiblein so farasitisopen',because initan
ordered worldbased onuniversallyacknowleded laws isbeinreplacedbya
worldbasedonambiuity,bothintheneativesensethatdirectionalcentresare
missinandinapositivesense,becausevaluesanddomaareconstantlybein
placedinquestion.
Fvenwhenitisdifficulttodeterminewhetheraivenauthorhadsymbolist
intentinsorwasiminateffects fambivlencerindeterminacy,thereisa
schoolofcriticismnowadays whichtendstoviewallmodernliteratureasbuilt
uponsymbolicpatterns.W.Y.Tindall,inhisbookontheliterarysymbol,offers
an analysis of some of the reatest modern literary works in order to test
Valry's declaration that 'l n' u pus Jc v:scns J'un rcxrc' 'there isno true
meaninofatext').Tindalleventuallyconcludesthataworkofartisaconstruct
which anyoneatall, includinitsauthor, can putto anyusewhatsoever,ashe
chooses. This type of criticism views the literary work as a continuous
potentialityof'openness' inotherwords, an indefinite reserveofmeanins.
ThisisthescopeofthewaveofAmericanstudiesonthestructureofmetaphor,
orofmodernworkon'typesofambiuity'offeredbypoeticdiscourse.
Clearly,theworkofamesoyceisamaorexampleofanopen'mode,since
itdeliberatelyseekstoofferanimaeoftheontoloicalandexistentialsituation
ofthecontemporaryworld.The'WanderinRocks'chapterinU|sscs amounts
to a tiny universe that can be viewed from different perspectives the last
residueofAristoteliancateorieshas nowdisappeared.oyceisnotconcerned
withaconsistentunfoldinoftimeoraplausiblespatialcontinuuminwhichto
stae his characters' movements. Fdmund Wilson has observed that, like
Proust'sorWhitehead'sorFinstein'sworld,'oyce'sworldisalwayschaninas
itisperceivedbydifferentobserversandbythematdifferenttimes.

2/ /THEORETCAFRAEWORK5
ln Iinncguns Wukc we are faced with an even more startlin process of
openness' thebookismouldedintoacurvethatbendsbackonitself,likethe
Finsteinian universeThe openin word ofthe first pae is the same as te
closinwordofthelastpae ofthenovel.Thus,theworkisinitc inonesense,
butinanothersenseitisunlmrcd.Fachoccurrence,eachwordstandsinaseries
ofpossible relations withall the others in the textAccordintothe semantic
choicewhichwemakeinthe caseofoneunit,sooesthewayweinterpretall
theotherunitsinthetext.Thisdoesnotmeanthatthebooklacksspecificsense.
lfoyedoesintroducesomekeys intothetext,itispreciselybecausehewants
the work to be read in a certain sense. But this particular sense' has all the
richnessofthe cosmositself.Ambitiously,theauthorintendshisboolto imply
thetotalityofspaceandtime,ofallspacesandalltimesthatare possible.The
principal tool for this all-pervadin ambiuity is the pun, the cu|cmcour, by
whichtwothreeoreventendfferentetymoloical rootsarecombinedinsuch
a waythatasinleword cansetupa knotofdifferentsub-meanns,eachof
which in turn coincides and interrelates with other local allusions, which are
themselves'open'tonewconfiurationsandprobabilitiesofinterpretaton.The
readerofInncguns Wukcisina positionsimilartothatoftheperson listenin
topost -dodecaphonicserialcompositionasheappearsinastrikindefinitionby
Pousseur.'Sincethephenomenaarenolonertiedtooneanotherbyaterm-to-
term determination,t upto the ltenerto plce hmelfdelbertely n the
midstofaninexhaustiblenetworkofrelationshipsandtochooseforhimself,so
tospeak his ownmodesofapproach, his referencepointsandhisscale,and to
endeavourto use asmanydimensionsashepossiblycanatthe sametime and
thus dynamize, multiply and extend to th utmost deree his perceptual
faculties
Norshouldweimainethatthetendencytoward opennessoperatesonlyat
the level of indefinite suestion and stimulation of emotional response. ln
Brecht's theoretical work on drama, we shall see that dramatic action is
conceived astheproblematic exposition ofspecific points oftension. Havin
presentedthesetensionpontsbyfollowinthewell-knowntechniqueofepic
recitation, which does not seekto influencethe audience, butrathertooffera
series of facts to be obsed, employin the device of 'defamiliarization'),
Brecht's playsdonot,inthestrictsense,devsesolutions atall. ltisuptothe
audiencetodrawits own conclusions from whatithas seenonstae.Brecht's
playsalsoendinasituationofambiuitytypically,andmorethananyother,his
Cu|lco),althouhitisnolonerthemorbidambiuousnessofahalf-perceived
infinitude or an anuish-laden mystery but the specific concreteness of an
ambiuity in social intercourse, a conflict of unresolved problems taxin the
inenuityofplaywriht,actorsandaudiencealike.Heretheworkis'open'inthe
ECo/ /ThePoe!cSO!!heOpenWork/ /2
samesensethatadebateis'open'.Asolutionisseenasdesirableandisactually
anticipated,butitmustcomefromthe collectiveenterpriseof theaudience.ln
this case the 'openness' is converted into an instrument of revolutionary
pedaoics.
lnallthephenomenawehavesofarexamined,lhaveemployedthecateoryof
'openness' to defne widelydifferin situations, but onthe whole thesortsof
works taken into consideration are substantially different from the post-
Webernianmusicalcomposerswhomlconsideredattheopeninofthisessay.
From the Baroque to modern Symbolist poetics, there has been an ever-
sharpeninawarenessofthe conceptof the work susceptibleto many different
interpretations. However, the examples considered in the precedin ection
propose an 'openness' based on the rncorcricu|, mcnru| collaboration of the

consumer, who must freely interpret an artistic datum, a product which has
alreadybeenoranizedinitsstructuralentiretyevenifthisstructureallowsfor
anindefinitepluralityofinterpretations).Dntheotherhand,acompositionlike
5cumc,byPousseur,representsafreshadvance. Somebody listenintoawo
by Webern freely reoranizes and enoys a series of interrelations inside the
context of the sound system offered to him in that particular already fully
producedcomposition.Butinlisteninto5cumcitheauditorisrequiredtodo
someofthisoranizinandstructurinofthemusicaldiscourse.Hecollaborates
withthecomposerinmuking thecomposition.
Noneofthisarumentshouldbeconceivedaspassinanaestheticudment
on the relative validity of the various types of works under consideration.
However, itisclearthatacomposition such as5cumciposesacompletelynew
problem. ltinvites us to identify insidethecateoryof 'open' works afurther,
more restricted classification of works which can be defined as 'works in
movement', because they characteristicallyconsistofunplanned orphysically
incompletestructualunits.
lnthepresentculturalcontext,thephenomenonof the'workinmovement'
iscertainlynotlimitedtomusic.Thereare,forexample,artisticproductswhich
displayanintrinsicmobility,akaleidoscopiccapacityto suest themselves in
constantlyrenewed spectstotheconsumer.Asimpleexampleisprovidedby
Calder's mobiles or by mobile compositons by other artsts elementary
structureswhichcanmoveinthe airand assume differentspatialdispositions.
Theycontinuouslycreatetheirownspaceandtheshapestolli
lfwe turntoliteraryproductiontotryto isolateanexampleof a 'work in
movement', weareimmediatelyoblied totakeintoconsiderationMallarm's
Livrc, a colossal and far-reachin work, the quintessence of the poet's
production. Heconceived itas theworkwhich would constitute not only the
0/ /THEORETCALFRANEWORK5
calcf his activities but alsc the end cal cf the wcrld 'lc mondccxstcpour
utoutr u un |vrc. [The wcrld exists tc end up in a bcck Maarm never
finishedthebcck,althcuhhewcrkedcnitatdifferentpericdsthrcuhcuthis
life.Butthere are skechesfcrtheendinwhichhave recentlybeenbrcuhttc
lihtbytheacutephilclcicalresearchcf|acquesSchrer
The metaphysical premises fcrMallarmslvrc are encrmcus and pcssibly
questicnablelwculdprefertcleavethemasideincrdertc ccncentratecnthe
dynamicstructurecfthisartisticcbectwhichdeliberatelysetscuttcvalidatea
specific pcetic principle. 'Un |vrc nc commcncc n nc]nt, toutuu p|us]ut-|
scmt|unt`|'Abcckneitherbeinsncrends,itcnlypretendstcdcscTheLvrc
wasccnceivedasa mcbileapparatusnctust inthemcbileand 'cpensensecf
accmpcsiticnsuchasUncoupJcdcs. . . |AInrowo]tncDcc. . + ,whererammar,
syntax and typesettin intrcduced a plurality cf elements, pclymcrphcus in
theirindeterminaterelaticntceachcther.
Hcwever,Malarm'simmenseenterprise wasutcpian: itwas embrcidered
withevermcredisccncertinaspiraticnsandinenuities,anditisnctsurprisin
thatitwasneverbrcuhttcccmpleticn.We donctkncwwhether,hadthewcrk
beenccmpleted,thewhcleprcectwculdhavehadanyrealvalue. ltmihtwell
haveturnedcuttcbeaubicusmysticalandesctericincarnaticncfadecadent
sensitivity that had reached the extreme pcint cf its creative parabcla. l am
inclined tc this seccnd view, but itiscertainly interestintc find atthee
threshcld cf the mcdern pericd such a vicrcus prcramme fcr a wor n
movcmcnt, and this is a sin that certain intellectual currents circulate
imperceptiblyuntiltheyareadcptedandustifiedasculturaldatawhichhavetc
beinteratedcranicallyintcthepancramacawhclepericd.
lneverycentury,thewaythatartistic fcrmsare structuredreflectsthewayin
which science cr ccntempcrary culture views reality. The clcsed, sinle
ccncepticninawcrkbyamedievalartistreIlectedtheccncepticncftheccsmcs
asahierarchycffixed, pre-crdainedcrders.Thewcrkasapedacicalvehicle,
asamcnccentricandnecessaryapparatus(incrpcratinariidinternalpattern
cfmetreandrhymes)simplyreflectsthesyllcisticsystem,alciccfnecessity,
a deductive ccnscicusness by means cf which reality cculd be made manifest
step by step withcut unfcreseen interrupticns, mcvin fcrward in a sinle
directicn,prcceedinfrcmfirstprinciplescfsciencewhichwereseenascneand
thesamewiththefirstprinciplescfreality.Thecpennessanddynamismcfthe
Barcquemark, infact, theadventcfa new scientific awareness: the tuct|c is
replacedby thevsuu|(meanin thatthesubectiveelementccmestcprevail)
andattenticnisshiftedfrcmthecsscncctctheuppcuruncccfarchitecturaland
pictcrial prcducts. lt reIlects therisin interest in a psyhclcy cf impressicn
ECo/ /The Poe!icSo!!he OpenWotk/ /
andsensation inshort,anempiricismwhichconvertstheAristotelianconcept
ofrealsubstanceintoa seriesofperceptionsbytheviewer.Dntheotherhand,
byivinuptheessentialfocusofthecompositionandtheprescribedpointof
viewforitsviewer,aestheticinnovationswereinfactmirrorintheCopernican
vision of the universe. This definitively eliminated thenotionofeocentricity
and itsallied metaphysical constructs. ln the modern scientific universe, as in
architecture and inBaroque pictorial production,thevariouscomponentparts
areallendowedwithequalvalueanddinity,andthewholeconstructexpands
towardatotalitywhichisclosetotheinfinite.

ltrefusestobehemmedinbyany
ideal normative conception othe world. lt shares in a eneral ure toward
discoveryandconstantlyrenewed contactwith reality.
ln its own way, the 'openness' that we meet in the decadent srain of
Symbolismreflectsaculturalstrivintounfoldnewvistas.Forexample,oneof
Mallarm'sproectsforamultidimensional,deconstructiblebookenvisaedthe
breakindownoftheinitialunitintosectionswhichcouldbereformulated and
which could express new perspectives by bein deconstructed into
correspondinly smaller units which were also mobile and reducible. This
proect obviously suests the universe as it is conceived by modern, non-
Fuclideaneomeries.
Hence, itisnotoverambitioustodetectin the poeticsof the'open'work-
andevenlesssointhe'workinmovement'- moreorlessspecificovertonesof
trends in contemporary scientific thouht. For example, it is a critical
commonplacetorefertothespatio-temporalcontinuuminordertoaccountfor
thestructureof theuniversein|oyce's works. Pousseurhasoffereda tentative
definitionofhis musicalworkwhichinvolves the term'fieldof possibilities'.l n
fact,thisshowsthathei spreparedtoborrowtwoextremelyrevealintechnical
terms fromcontemporaryculture.The notion of 'Iield is provided by physics
and implies a revised vision of the classic relationship positedbetween cause
andeffectasariid,one-directionalsystem.nowacomplexinterplayofmotive
forcesisenvisaed,aconfiurationof possibleevents,acompletedynamismof
structure. The notion of 'possibility' is a philosophical canon which relects a
widespread tendency in contemorary science, the discardin of a static,
sylloistic view of order, and a correspondin devolution of intellectual
authoritytopersonaldecision,choiceandsocialcontext.
lf a musical pattern no loner necessarily determines the immediately
followinone,ifthereisnotonalbasiswhichallowsthelistenertoinferthenext
steps in the arranement of the musical discourse from what has physically
preceded them, this is ust part of a eneral breakdown in the concept of
causation. The two-value truth loic which follows the classical uur-uur, the
disunctive dilemma betweenrc and]u|sc, a factand its contradictory, isno
2/ /THEORETCAFRAEWORK5
lcnerthe cnlyinstrumentcfphilcscphical experiment Multi-valueloicsare
ncw ainin currency, and these are quite capable cf inccrpcratin
indcrcrmnuc asavalidsteppinstoneintheccnitiveprccess.lnthiseneral
intellectual atmosphere,thepcetics cfthe cpen wcrk is peculiarly relevant: it
pcsitsthewcrkofartstrippedofnecessaryand fcreseeableccnclusions,wcrks
in which the performer's freedcm functicns aspartcfthe disconrnuqwhich
contemporaryphysicsreccnizes,nctasanelementcfdisorientaticn,butasan
essentialstaeinallscientificverificaticnproceduresandalscastheverifiable
patterncfeventsinthesubatcmicwcrld.
Frcm Mallarm's livrc tc the musical compositicns which we have
considered, there is a tendency tc see every executicn cf the wcrk cfart as
divorced from its ultimate definiticn. Fvery perfcrmance cxp|uins the
ccmpcsiticn but dces nct cxnuusr it. Fvery perfcrmance makes the wcrl an
actuality,butisitsel onlyccmplementarytcallpcssibleotherperfcrmancesof
thewcrk.lnshcrt,wecansaythateveryperfcrmanceoffers usacompleteand
satisinversicncfthewcrk,butatthesametimemakesitincompletefcrus,
becauseitcannctsimultaneouslyiveallthectheratisticscluticnswhichthe
wcrkmayadmit.
Perhapsitisnoaccidentthatthesepceticsystemsemereatthesamepericd
asthephysicists'principlecfcomp|cmcnrur!,whichrulesthatitisnctpossible
tc indicate the different behavicur patterns cf an elementary particle
simultanecusly.Tc describethesedifferentbehaviourpatterns,differentmodc|s,
which Heisenber hasdefinedasadeuate when prcperlyutilized, are putto
use, but, since they ccntradict one ancther, they are therefcre also
ccmplementary.Perhapsweareinapcsiticntstatethatfcrthesewcrksofart
an inccmplete kncwlede cfthe system is in fact an essential feature in its
formulation. Hence cne could arue, with Bchr, thatthe dataccllected in the
ccursecfexperimental situaticns cannctbeatheredin oneimaebutshculd
beccnsideredasccmplementary,sincecnlythesumcfallthephenomenacculd
exhaustthepossibilitiesofinfcrmation.
Abcve l discussed the principle cf ambiuity as moral dispcsition and
prcblematicccnstruct.Aain,mcdernpsychcloyand phenomenclcyusethe
term'perceptiveambiuities', whichindicatestheavailabilityofnewccnitive
pcsiticnsthatfall shortcfccnventionalepistemolcicalstances and thatallow
thecbservertcconceivethewcrldinafreshdynamicscfpctentialitybeforethe
fixativeprccesscfhabitandfamiliaritycomesintcplay.Husserlcbservedthat
eachstateofccnsciousnessimliestheexistenceofahorizonwhichvarieswith
themcdicationcfitsconnectionstoetherwithctherstates, andalscwith its
cwnphases cfduration. . . lneachexternal percepticn,fcrinstance, thesides cf
Eco//ThePoe!icSo!!heOpenWot /
the obects which are actually ccc|vc0 suest to the viewer's attention the
unperceived sides which, at the present, are viewed only in a non-intuitive
mannerandareexpectedtobecomeelementsofthesucceedinperception.This
processissimilartoacontinuousproectionwhichtakesonanewmeaninwith
each phase of the perceptive process Moreover, perception itself includes
horizonswhichencompassotherperceptivepossibilities,suchasapersonmiht
experience bychanin deliberately the direction of his perception byturnin
hiseyesoneway insteadofanother,orbytakinastepforwardorsideways,and
so forth.
Sartrenotesthattheexistentobectcanneverbereducedtoaivenseriesof
manifestations,because eachofthese is boundto stand in relationship with a
continuously alterin subect. Not only does an obect present different
Acscnuttungcnorprofiles)butalsodifferentpointsofviewareavailablebyway
ofthesameAcscnurtung.lnordertobedefined,theobectmustberelatedback
tothe total series ofwhi

h,by virtue ofbein one possible apparition, itisa


member. ln thiswaythetraditionaldualismbetweenbeinandappearanceis
replacedbyastraihtpolarityoffiniteandinfinite,whichlocatestheinfiniteat
theverycoreofthefinite.Thissortof'openness' isattheheartofeveryactof
perception.ltcharacterizeseveymomentofourconitiveexperience.ltmeans
that each phenomenon seems to be 'inhabited' bya certainpowcr inother
words,'theabilitytomanifestitselfbyaseriesofrealorlikelyanifestations
The problem ofthe relationship of a phenomenon to its ontoloical basis is
altered by the perspective of perceptive 'openness' to the problem of its
relationship to the multiplicity of different-order perceptions which we can
derivefromit.
ThisintellectualpositionisfurtheraccentuatedinMerleau-Ponty.
How can anythin ever present itself truly to us since its synthesis is never
completed How could l ain the experience of the world as l would of an
individualactuatinhisown existence, sincenoneoftheviewsorperceptions l
haveofitcan exhaustitandthehorizonsremain foreveropen. . . Thebeliefin
thinsandintheworldcanonlyexpresstheassmptionofacompletesynthesis.
lts completion, however, is made impossible by the very nature of the
perspectivestobeconnected,sinceeachofthemsendsbacktootherperspectives
throuhitsownhorizons. . . The contradictionwhichwefeelexistsbetweenthe
world'srealityanditsincompletenessisidenticaltotheonethatexistsbetween
the ubiquity of consciosness and its commitment to afield ofpresence. This
ambiuousnessdoesnotrepresentanimperfectioninthenatureofexistenceor
4/ /THEORETCAFRAEWORK5
n hat cf ccnsccusness t s its very detcn . cnsccusness, which is
ccmmcnlytakenasanetremelyenlihtenedreicn,iscntheccntrary,thevery
reicncfindeterminaticn.
'

Thesearethescrtscfprcblemswhichphencmenclcypickscutatthevery
heart cfcur existential situaticn. lt prcpcses tc the artist, as well as tc the
philcscpherandthepsychclcist,aseriescfdeclaraticnswhicharebcundtcact
as a stimulus tc his creative activity in the wcrld cf fcrms. 'lt is therefcre
essential fcr an cbect and alsc fcr the wcrld tc present themselves tc us as
cpen. . . andasalwaysprcmisinfuturepercepticns
ltwculdbequitenaturalfcrustcthinkthatthisflihtawayfrcm the cld,
sclid ccncept cf necessity and the tendency tcward the ambiucus and the
indeterminate reflect acrisiscfccntempcrary civilizaticn. Dn the ctherhand,
we miht see these pcetical systems, in harmcny with mcdern science, as
expressinthepcsitive pcssibiliycfthcuhtand acticn madeavailabletcan
individual whc is cpen tc the ccntinucus renewal cf his life patterns and
ccnitive prccesses. Such an individual is prcductively ccmmitted tc the
develcpment cf his cwn mental faculties and experiential hcrizcns. This
ccntrastistcc facileand Manichaean. Durmainintenthas beentc pick cut a
number cfanalcies which reveal a reciprccal play cfprcblems in the mcst
disparate areas cf ccntempcrary culture and which pcint tc the ccmmcn
elementsinanewwaycflcckinatthewcrld.
Whatisatstakeisaccnverencecfnewcanonsandrequirementswhichthe
fcrms cfart reIlectbywaycfwhatwecculdtermsrrucru| nomo|ogics. This
neednctccmmitustcassemblinaricrcusparallelism- itissimplyacasecf
phencmena like the 'wcrk in mcvement' simultanecusly reIlectin mutually
ccntrastedepistemclcicalsituaticns,asyetccntradictcryandnctsatisfactcrily
reccnciled. Thus, the ccncepts cf 'cpenness' and dynamism may recall the
terminclcycfquantum physics. indeterminacy and disccntinuity. But at the
sametimetheyalscexemplifyanumbercfsituaticnsinFinsteinianphysics.
Themultiplepclaritycfaserialccmpcsiticnin music,wherethelisteneri s
nct faced by an absclute ccnditicnin centre cfreference, requires hi m tc
ccnstitute his cwn system cfauditcry relaticnships. He must allcw such a
centretc emerefrcmthe scund ccntinuum.Hereare nc privileed pcintscf
view,andallavailableperspectivesareequallyvalidand richinpctential.Ncw,
this multiple pclarityis extremely clcse tc the spatic-tempcral ccncepticn cf
the universe which we cwe tc Finstein. The thin which distinuishes the
Finsteinianccnceptcftheuniversefrcmquantumepistemclcyispreciselythis
faith in te tctality cf the universe, a universe in which disccntinuity and
indeterminacycan admittedly upset uswiththeirsurpriseappariticnsbuti n
ECo//ThePoe!icSo!!he OpenWotk//
fact,touseFinstein'swords,presupposenotaodplayinrandomameswith
dice but the Divinity of Spinoza, who rules the world accordin to perfectly
reulatedlaws. ln this kindofuniverse,relativity means theinfinitevariability
ofexperienceaswellastheinfinitemultiplicationofpossiblewaysofmeasurin
thinsandviewintheirposition.Buttheobectivesideofthewholesystemcan
befoundintheinvarianceofthesimpleformaldescriptionsofthedifferential
equations) which establish once and for all the relativity of empirical
measurement.
This is not the place to pass udment on the scientific validity of the
metaphysical construct implied by Finstein's system. But there is a strikin
analoybetweenhisuniverseand the universeoftheworkin movement.The
od in Spinoza, who is made into an untestable hypothesis by Finsteinian
metaphysics, becomes a coent reality for the work of art and matches the
oranizinimpulseofitscreator.
The possclircs which the work's openness makes available always work
withina iven]cldo]rclurions. As in the Finsteinian universe, in the work in
movement'wemaywelldenythatthereisasinleprescribedpointofview.But
t

isdoesnotmeancompletechaosinitsinternalrelations.Whatitdoesimply
isanoranizinrulewhichovernstheserelations.Therefore,tosumup,wecan
say that the 'work in movement' is the possibility of numerous different
personalinterventions,butitisnotan amorphousinvitationto indiscriminate
participation. The invitation offers the performer the opportunity for an
orientedinsertionintosomethinwhichalwaysremainsthewor
ldintendedby
the author.
ln other words, the author offers the interpreter, the performer, the
addressee,aworkcccomplcrcd.Hedoesnotknowtheexactfashoninwhich
hisworkwill be concluded, but he isaware thatoncecompleted the workin
questionwillstillbehisown.ltwillnotbeadifferentwork, and,attheendof
theinterpretativedialoue,aformwhichisnsformwillhavebeenoranized,
eventhouhitmayhavebeenassembledbyanoutsidepartyina
particularway
that hecouldnoth
aveforeseen.Theauthoris theone who proposedanumber
of possibiliies which had already been rationally oranized, oriented and
endowedwthspecficatonsforproperdevelopment.
Berio's 5cqucncc, which is played by different flutists, Stockhausen's
luvicrsrckXl, orPosseur'sMoclcs,whichareplayedbydiffeentpianistsor
performed twice overby the same pianists), will neverbequitethe same on
differentoccasions.Yettheywillneverberatuitouslydifferent.Theyaretobe
seenastheactualizationofaseriesofconsequenceswhosepremisesarermly
rootedintheoriinaldataprovidedbytheauthor.
//THEORETCAFRAEWORK
This happens inthemusicalworkswhichwehavealreadyexamined,andit
happens also in the plastic artefactswe considered. The common factor is a
mutabilitywhich isalwaysdeployedwithinthe specific limitsofaiventaste,
or of predetermined formal tendencies, and is authorized by the concrete
pliabilityofthematerialofferedfortheperformer'smanipulation.Brecht'splays
appearto elicitfreeand arbitrary response onthepartoftheaudience.et they
are also rhetorically constructed in such a wayas to elicit a reaction oriented
toward,andultimatelyanticipatin,aMarxistdialecticloicasthebasisforthe
wholeIeldofpossibleresponses.
Alltheseexamplesof'open'worksandworksinmovement'havethislatent
characteristic,whichuaranteesthattheywillalwaysbeseenasworks'andnot
ust as a conlomeration of random components, ready to emere from the
chaos in which they previously stood and permitted to assume any form
whatsoever.
Now, a dictionary clearly presents us with thousands upon thousands of
words which we could freely use to compose poetry, essays on physics,
anonymouslettersorrocerylists.lnthissensethedictionaryisclearlyopento
the reconstitution of its raw material in anyway thatthemanipulatorwishes.
Butthisdoesnotmakeita 'work'.The'openness'anddynamismofanartistic
work consist in factors which make it susceptible to a whole rane of
interations.They provide itwithoraniccomplementswhich theyraft into
thestructuralvitalitywhichtheworkalreadypossesses,evenifitisincomplete.
This structural vitality is still seen as a positive property of the work, even
thouhitadmitsofallkindsofdifferentconclusionsandsolutionsforit.
Theprecedinobservationsarenecessarybecause,whenwespeakofaworkof
art, ourWestern aesthetictraditionforces us to take'work' in the sense of a
personal production which may wellvary in the ways itcan be received but
whichalways maintainsa coherentidentityofitsownandwhichdisplaysthe
personal imprint that makes i t a specific, vital and sinificant act of
communication. Aesthetic theory is quite contentto conceive of a variety of
differentpoetics,butultimatelyitaspirestoeneraldefinitions,notnecessarily
domaticorsucspcccuctctutis,whicharecapableofapplyinthecateoryof
the'workofart'broadlyspeakintoawholevarietyofexperiences,whichcan
rane from the Dvnc Cocd to, say, electronic composition based on the
differentpermutationsofsoniccomponents.
We have, therefore, seen that ) 'open' works, in so far as they are n
movcmcnt,arecharacterizedbythe invitation to mukc tncworktoether with
theauthorand thati)onawiderlevel asa succnus inthespcccs 'work in
movement')thereexistworkswhich,thouhoranicallycompleted,are'open'
EcO/ /ThePOe!cSO!!heOpenWOtk/ /7
tc a ccntinucus eneraticn cf interal relaticns which the addressee must
unccverandselectin hisactcfperceivinthetctalitycfinccminstimuli.(iii)
Lvc@wcrkcfart,eventhcuhitispcducedbyfcllcwinanexplicitcrimplicit
pceticscfnecessity,iseffectivelycpentcavirtuallyunlimitedranecfpcssible
readinseachcfwhichcausesthewcrktcacquirenewvitalityintermscfcne
particulartaste,crperspective,crperscnalpcr]crmuncc.
Ccntempcraryaestheticshasfrequentlypcintedcutthislastcharacteristicc
cvcwcrkcfart.Acccrdintc LuiiPareyscn.
The wcrkcfart . isafcrm, namelycfmcvement,thathasbeen ccncluded cr
wecanseeitasaninfinite ccntainedwithinfiniteness. . Thewcrktherefcrehas
infiniteaspects,whicharenctust'partscrframentscfit,becauseeachcfthem
ccntainsthetctalitycfthewcr,andrevealsitacccrdintc aivenperspective.
Sc the variety cf perfcrmances is fcunded bcth in the ccmplex factcr cf the
perfcrmer's individualityandinthatcfthewcrktcbeperfcrmed . . . Theinfinite
pcintscfviewcftheperfcrmersandtheinfiniteaspectscfthewckinteractwith
eachcther,ccmeintcuxtapcsiticnandclarieachctherbyareciprccalprccess,
insuchawaythataivenpcintcfviewiscapablecfrevealinthewhclewcrk
cnly if it rasps it in the relevant, hihly perscnalized aspect. Analccusly, a
sinleaspectcfthewcrkcancnlyrevealthetctalitycfthewcrinanewlihtif
it is prepared tc wait fcr the riht pcint cf view, capable cf raspin and
prcpcsinthewcrkinall itsvitality.
ThefcrecinallcwsPareyscntcmcve cntctheasserticnthat
allperfcrmances are defnitive inthe sensethat eachcneisfcrtheperfcrmer,
tantamcunt tc the wcrk itself, eually, all perfcrmances are bcund tc be
prcvisicnal in the sense that each perfcrmerkncws that he must always trytc
deepen his cwn interpretaticncfthewcrk. ln scfarastheyare definitive,these
interpretaticns are parallel, and each cfthem is such as tc exclude the cthers
withcutinanywayneatinthem.
This dcctrine can be applied tc all artistic phencmena and tc artwcrks
thrcuhcuttheaes. Butitisusefultc haveunderlinedthat ncwisthepericd
whenaestheticshas paid especial attenticn tc the whclencticn cf'cpenness
and scuht tc expand it. lna sense these requirements, which aesthetics has
referredwidelytceverytypecfartisticpcducticn,arethesameasthcsepcsed
bythepceticscfthe'cpenwcrk'inamcredecisiveandexplicitfashicn.Yetthis
dces nctmeanthattheexistencecf'cpen'wcrksand cf'wcrksinmcvement'
addsabsclutely ncthin tc curexperience, because everythin in thewcrld is
/ /THEORETCAFRAEWORK5
already implied and subsumed byeverythinelse, frcmthe beinnincftime
inthesamewaythatitncwappearsthateverydisccveryhasalreadybeenmade
by te Chinese. Here wehave tc distinuish between the thecretical level cf
aestheticsasaphilcscphicaldisciplinewhichattemptstcfcrmulatedefiniticns
and thepractical level cfpceticsas prcrammaticprcects fcrcreaticn.While
aesthetics brins tc liht cne cf the fundamental demands cf ccntempcrary
culture,italscrevealsthelatentpcssibilitiescfacertaintypecfexperiencei n
every artistic prcduct, independently cf the cperative criteria which presided
cverits mcmentcfincepticn.
The pcetic thecry cr practice cf the 'wcrk in mcvement senses this
pcssibility as a specificvccaticn. lt allies itself cpenly and selfccnscicusly tc
currenttrendsinscientificmethcdandputs intcacticnand taniblefcrmthe
very trend which aesthetics has already ackncwleded as the eneral
backrcund tc perfcrmance.These pceticsystemsreccnize cpenness' as tnc
fundamentalpcssibilitycfthe ccntempcraryartistcr ccnsumer.The aesthetic
thecretician, in his turn, will seeaccnfirmaticncf his cwn intuiticns inthese
practicalmanifestaticns, theyccnstitutethe ultimaterealizaticncfareceptive
mcdewhichcanfuncticnatmanydifferentlevelscfintensity.
Certainlythisnew receptivemcdevis-a-visthewcrkcf artcpensup amuch
vaster phase in culture and inthis sense is nct intellectually ccnfined tc the
prcblemscfaesthetics.Thepceticscfthe'wcrkin mcvement'andpartly that
cfthe'cpen'wcr)setsinmcticnanewcyclecfrelaticnsbetweentheartistand
hisaudience,anewmechanicscfaestheticpercepticn,adifferentstatusfcrthe
artisticprcductinccntempcraryscciety.ltcpensanewpaeinscciclcyandin
pedacy, aswellasanewchapterinthe hiscrycfart. ltpcsesnewpractical
prcblemsbycranizinnewccmmunicativesituaticns.lnshcrt,itinstallsanew
relaticnshipbetweenthe conrcmp|urion andtheuri|izutoncfawcrkcfart
Seen in thesetermsand aainstthebackrcundcfhistcricalinuencesand
culturalinterplaywhichlinksartbyanalcytcwidelydiversifiedaspectscfthe
ccntempcrarywcrldview,thesituaticncfarthasncwbeccmeasituaticninthe
prccess cf develcpment.Farfrcm beinfullyacccunted fcrandcatalcued, it
deplcys and pcses prcblems in several dimensicns. ln shcrt, it is an 'cpen'
situaticn,nmovcmcnr.Awcrkinprcress.
Hcrcwc must climinatc apossiblcmisundcrstandinstraihtaway:thc practical intcrvcntion
ol a 'pcrlormcr` (thc instrumcntalist who playsa piccc ol mus or thc actor who rccitcs a
passac)isdillcrcntlromthatolanintcrprctcrinthcscnscolconsumcr(somcbodywholooks
atapicturc,silcntlyrcadsapocm,orlistcnstoamusicalcompositionpcrlormcdby omcbody
clsc). For thc purposcs ol acsthcti analysis, howcvcr, both cascs can bc sccn as dillcrcnt
manilcstations ol thc samc intcrprctativc attitudc. Evcry 'rcadin', 'contcmplation' or
Eco/ /!hePoe!icSo!!heOpenWotk/ /
'cnoymcnI'olaworkolarIrcprcscnIsaIaciIorprivaIc lormol 'pcrlormancc
? HcnriFousscur,'LnuovascnsiDiIiIamusicaIc',luC0u/I! mu5!Cul!, ?(May1958)?5.
3 ForIhccvoIuIionol prc-komanIicandkomanIicpocIsinIhisscnsc,sccLAnccschi,Au/0|I0m!0
8d 8/8I0u0m!u d8ll0/8. ?ndcd.(FIorcncc:VaIIccchi,1959).
4 Scc W.Y. TindaII,!08 (!/8Iur) o)m00l (Ncw York. CoIumDia UnivcrsiIy Frcss, 1955). For an
anaIysisolIhcacsIhcIicimporIanccolIhcnoIionolamDiuiIy,sccIhcuscluIoDscIaIionsand
DiDIioraphicaIrclcrcnccsinCiIIoDorlIcs,II d!V8u!8 d8ll8 0/! (Turin: Einaud 1959)51 ll.
5 EdmundWiIson,Ax8l'5 C05/l8 (London:CoIIins,FonIanaLiDrary, 1951)178.
5 Fousscur,` nuovascnsiDiIiIamusicaIc`.?5.
7 ].Schcrcr.(8 '(!vr8' d8 MulluIm0 r8m!0I85 8C08rC085 5uI d85 d0Cum8u/5 !u0d!l) (Faris.CaIIimard,
1957).SccinparIicuIarIhcIhirdchapIcr,'FhysiqucduIivrc.
8 WcrncrHciscnDcr,0)5!C5 0ud 0!l0500) (London.AIIcnandUnwin,1959)ch.3.
9 NicIs 6ohr, in his cpisIcmoIoicaI dcDaIcwiIh EinsIcin; scc F.A. SchIipp, cd.,Al08I/ L!u5/8!u.
|0!l05008-C!8u/!5/ (EvansIon, 111. LiDrary ol Livin FhiIosophcrs, 1949) EpisIcmoIoicaI
Ihinkcrs connccIcd wiIh quanIum mcIhodoIoy havc rihIIy warncd aainsI an incnuous
IransposiIion ol physicaIcaIcoricsinIo Ihc licIds ol cIhicsandpsychoIoy (lor cxampIc,Ihc
idcnIilicaIion ol indcIcrminacy wiIh moraI lrccdom; scc F. Frank, 858u/ K0l8 0] C!8uC8,
OpcninAddrcss Io IhcScvcnIh|nIcaIionaIConrcssolFhiIosophy,Vcnicc,ScpIcmDcr1958).
Hcncc,iIwouIdnoIDcusIilicdIoundcrsIandmylormuIaIionas makinana

aIoy DcIwccn
Ihc sIrucIurcs ol Ihc work ol arI and Ihc supposcd sIrucIurcs ol Ihc worId. lndcIcrminacy,
compIcmcnIariy, nonauaIiy arc nomud85 0] 08!u in hc phyiaI worId, uI 555]0I
d85CIl0!u iI in a convcnicnI way. Thc rcIaIionshipwhich conccrns my cxposiIion is noI Ihc
supposcd ncxus DcIwccn an 'onIoIoicaI'siIuaIion and a morphoIoicaI lcaIurc in Ihc work ol
arI,DuIIhc rcIaIion DcIwccn anopcraIivc proccdurclorcxpIaininphysicaI proccsscsand an
opcraIivc proccdurc lorcxpIaininIhcproccsscsolarIisIicproducIionand rcccpIion. InoIhcr
words,IhcrcIaIionshipDcIwcc

a5C!8u/!]C m8/00d0l0y anda08/!C5.


10 EdmundHusscr|,M0d!/0/!0u5 C0/05!8uu85, Mcd.?, par. 19(Faris: Vrin, 1953)39 cIransIaIion
olIhispassacisDyAnncFaDrc-Lucc.
11 ]can-FauI SarIrc,LL/8 8/ I8 u00u/ (Faris.CaIIimard,1943)ch. i.
1? Mauricc McrIcau-FonIy, Phcnomcno|oic dc Ia crccton (Faris. CaIIimard,1945)381-3.
13 Ibd., 384.
14 On Ihis'ccIaIcmcnI muIIidirccIionncl dcssIrucIurcs', sccA.6oucourcchIicv, 'FroDImcsdc Ia
musiqucmodcrnc',Nouvclc rcvuc lran;aisc (DcccmDcr]anuary1950-51).
15 LuiiFarcyson,stctca: tcoria dcla Iormativta, ?ndcd.(6oIonaZanichci,1950)194ll.,and
incncraIIhcwhoIcolchapIcr8,'LcIIura,inIcrprcIaioncccriIica`.
UmDcrIo Eco, U8u 08I/0 (MiIan: 6ompiano, 195?); Irans. Anna Canconi, !08 U8u W0rk
(CamDridc,MassachuscIIs.HarvardUnivcrsiIyFrcss,1989)1-?3
40//THEORETCAFRAEWORK5
ROIOnO BOrhes
The DeOIh O Ihe AUIhOJ JI96
ko|und8urrncs'snorrcssu 'IncDcurno]rncAurnor'( |958)snou|ddcu||tcrcud
u|onsdc'Irom Workro!cxr'(|97|)usnskcsrurcmcnronrncdcurnuruwork's
mcunn s nor dcpcndcnr on uurnoru| nrcnron tur on rnc ndvduu|ponr o]
ucrvcrcccpron.8urrncswusconccmcdprmur|wrn|!crururcturnsnsnrsurc
unu|oous ro mucn conrcmporur urr o] rns pcrod, purrcu|ur| works rnur
cmpnuszcrncvcwcr'sro|cnrncrcomp|cron.
lnhisstory5urrusnc Balzac, describinacastrato disuised asa woman, writes
the followin sentence: 'This was woman herself, with her sudden fears, her
irrationalwhims, herinstinctiveworries,herimpetuousboldness,herfussins,
andherdelicioussensibilityWhoisspeakinthus?lsittheheroofthestorybent
onremainininorantofthecastratohiddenbeneaththewoman?lsitBalzacthe
individual,furnishedbyhispersonalexperiencewithaphilosophyofWoman?ls
it Balzac the author professin 'literary' ideas on femininity? ls it universal
wsdom? Romanticpsycholoy? We shallneverknow,fortheoodreason that
wrtnisthedestrutionofeveryvoice,ofeverypointoforiin.Wrtns tht
neutral, composite, oblique space where our subect slips away, the neative
whereallidentityislost,startinwiththeveryidentityofthebodywritin.
Nodoubtithasalwaysbeenthatway.Assoonasafactisnururcdnoloner
withaviewtoactindirectlyonrealitybutitransitively,thatistosayfinally
outsideofanyfunctionotherthanthatoftheverypracticeofthesymbolitself,
ths dsconnection occurs thevoicelosesits orin, theauthorentersntohs
owndeath,writinbeins.Thesenseofthisphenomenon,howeverhasvaried,
inethnoraphicsocietiestheresponsibilityforanarrativeisneverassumedby
a person but by a mediator shaman or relator whose 'performance' - the
masteryofthenarrativecode maypossiblybeadmiredbutneverhis'enius'
The authorisa modernfure, a productof our society in so far as, emerin
from the Middle Aes with Fnlish empiricism, French rationalism and the
personalfathoftheReformaton,tdscoveredtheprestieofthendvdual,of,
asitismorenoblyput,the'humanperson'.ltisthusloicalthatinliteratureit
should bethispositivism,theepitome and culmination ofcapitalist ideoloy,
which has attached the reatest importance to the 'person'of the author. The
uurnorstill reins, in histories of literature, bioraphies of writers, interviews,
maazines,asintheveryconsciousnessofmenof letters anxioustounitetheir
personandtheirworkthrouhdiariesandmemoirsTheimaeof literatureto
Ot!heS//TheDeO!ho!!heAu!hot//4
befoundinordinarycultureistyrannicallycentredontheauthor,hisperson,his
life, his tastes, his passions, while criticism still consists for the mostpart in
sayinthatBaudelaire'sworkisthefailureofBaudelairetheman,VanCoh'shis
madness,Tchaikovsky'shisvice.Thecxp|unuron ofawork is alwayssouhtin
themanorwomanwhoproducedit,asifitwerealwaysintheend,throuhthe
moreorless transparentalleoryofthefiction,thevoiceofasinleperson,the
uurnor'confidin'in us.
Thouh the sway oftheAuthor remains powerful the newcriticism has
often done no more than consolidate it), it oes without sayin that certain
writers have lon since attempted to loosen it ln France, Mallarm was
doubtless the first to see and to foresee in its full extent the necessity to
substitutelanuaeitselfforthepersonwhountilthenhadbeensupposedtobe
its owner.For him, forustoo, it is lanuae which speals, not theauthor, to
writeis,throuhaprerequisiteimpersonalitynotatalltobeconfusedwiththe
castratin obectivity of the realist novelist), to reach that point where only
lanuae acts, 'performs', and not 'me'. Mallarms entire poetics consists in
suppressinthe authorintheinterestsofwritinwhichis,aswillbeseen,to
restore theplaceofthe reader).Valry,encumberedbyapsycholoyoftheFo,
considerablydilutedMallarm'stheorybut, histasteforclassicismleadinhim
toturntothelessons ofrhetoric, he never stopped callinintoquestion and
deridintheAuthor,hestressedthelinuisticand,asitwere,'hazardous'nature
of his activity, and throuhout his prose works he militated in favour ofthe
essentiallverbalconditionofliterature,inthefaceofwhichallrecoursetothe
writer'sinteriorityseemedtohimpuresuperstition.Prousthimself,despitethe
apparentlypsycholoical characterofwhatarecalled his unulscs, was visibly
concernedwiththetaskofinexorablyblurrin,byanextremesubtilization,the
relationbetweenthewriterandsaracters,byminofthenarratornothe
whohasseenandfeltnorevenhewhoiswritin,buthewhosonrowrrc
the youn man inthenovel - but,i nfacthowold isheand who is he wants
to write butcannot the novel ends when writin at last becomes possible),
Proustavemodernwritinitsepic.Byaradicalreversal,insteadofputtinhis
lifeintohisnovel,asissooftenmaintained,hemadeofhisverylifeaworkfor
whichhisown bookwasthemodel,so thatitiscleartous thatCharusdoesnot
imitateMontesquieu but that Montesquieu in hisanecdotal,historicalreality
- is nomore thana secondary frament,derived fromCharus.Lastly,too no
furtherthanthisprehistoryofmodernitySurrealism,thouh unabletoaccord
lanuaeasupremeplacelanuaebeinsystemandtheaimofthemovement
bein, romantically, a direct subversion ofcodes - itself moreover illusory. a
codecannotbedestroyed,only'playedof'),contributedtothedesacrilizationof
the imae of the Author by ceaselessly recommendin the abrupt
42/ /THEORETCAFRAEWORK5
disappointment of expectations of meanin the famous surrealist olt'), by
entrustinthe handwiththetaskofwritinasquicklyas possiblewhatthehead
itself is unaware of automatic writin), by acceptin the principle and the
experience of several people writin toether. Leavin aside literature itself
suchdistinctionsreallybecomininvalid),linuisticshasrecentlyprovidedthe
destruction ofthe Authorwith a valuable analyticaltool byshowin that the
whole ofthe enunciation is an empty process, functionin perfectly without
there bein any need for it to be filled with the person ofthe interlocutors.
Linuistically, the author is never more than the instance writin,ust as I is
nothin other than the instance sayin /: lanuae knows a 'subect not a
'person',andthissubectemptyoutsideoftheveryenunciationwhichdefines
it,sufficestomakelanuae'holdtoether',suffices,thatistosay,toexhaustit.
Theremoval ofthe Author one could talkhere with Brechtofaveritable
'distancin',theAuthordiminishinlikeafiurineatthefarendoftheliterary
stae) isnotmerelyanhistorical fact oranactofwritin, itutterlytransforms
themoderntextor- which isthesamethin- thetextishenceforthmadeand
readinsuchawaythatatallitslevelstheauthorisabsent).Thetemporalityis
different.TheAuthor,whenbelievedin,isalwaysconceivedofasthepastofhis
own book. bookandauthorstandautomaticallyonasinle linedividedintoa
tc]orc andanu]rcr. TheAuthoristhouhttonoursn thebook, which is to say
that he exists before it, thinks, suffers, lives for it, is in the same relation of
antecedencetohisworkasafathertohischild. lncompletecontrast,themodem
scriptorisbornsimultaneouslywiththetext,isinnowayequippedwithabein
precedin or exceedin the writin, is not the subect with the book as
predicate, thereisnoothertimethanthatoftheenunciationandevery textis
eternally written ncrc und now. The fact is or, itfollows) thatwrtncan no
lonerdesinateanoperationofrecordin,notation,representation,'depiction'
astheClassicswouldsay),rather,itdesinatesexactlywhatlinuists,referrin
to Dxford philosophy, callaperformative, arareverbalformexclusivelyiven
in thefirstperson and in the present tense) in which the enunciation has no
othercontentcontainsnootherproposition)thantheactbywhichitisuttered
- somethinliketheIdcclurcofkinsorthelsnofveryancientpoetsHavin
buriedtheAuthor,themodernscriptorcanthusnolonerbelieve,asaccordin
to the pathetic view of his predecessors, that this hand is too slow for his
thouhtor passion andthatconsequently, makina law ofnecessity,hemust
emphasizethisdelayandindefinitely'polish'hisform.Forhim,onthecontrary,
thehand,cutofffromanyvoice,bornebyapureestureofinscriptionandnotof
expression),tracesaheldwithoutoriin- orwhich,atleast,hasnootheroriin
thanlanuaeitself,lanuaewhichceaselesslycallsintoquestionalloriins.
We knownowthatatextisnotalineofwordsreleasinasinle'theoloical'
Ot!heS/ /TheDeO!ho!!heAu!hot/ /4
meanin (te'messae' oftheAutor-Cod) buta multi-dimensional space in
whichavarietyofwritins,noneofthemoriinalblendandclash.Thetextisa
tissueofquotationsdrawnfrom the innumerablecentresofculture.Similarto
Bouvard and Pcuchet, those eternal copyists, at once sublime and comic and
whose profound ridiculousness indicates precisely the truth, of writin, the
writercanonlyimitateaesturethatisalwaysanterior,neveroriinal.Hisonly
poweristomixwritins,tocountertheoneswiththeothers,insuchaway
as
nevertorestonanyoneofthem.Didhewishtocxprcssnmsc(,heouhtatleast
toknowthattheinner'thin'hethinksto'translate'isitselfonlyaready-formed
dictionary, its words only explainable throuh other words, and so on
indeInitely,somethinexperiencedinexemplaryfashionbytheyounThomas
deuincey, hewhowas soood at Creekthatin ordertotranslateabsolutely
modernideasandimaesintothatdeadlanuae,hehad,soBaudelairetellsus
(in IuruJsArticcls), 'created for himselfan unfailindictionary, vastly more
extensiveandcomplexthanthoseresultnfromtheordnarypatienceofpurely
literarythemes'.SucceedintheAuthor,thescriptornolonerbearswithinhim
passions, humours, feelins, impressions, but rather this immensedictionary
fromwhichhedrawsawritinthatcanknownohalt:lifeneverdoesmorethan
imitatethebook,andthebookitselfisonlyatissueofsins,animitationthatis
lost,inInitelydeferred.
Dnce the Author is removed, the claim to decipher a text becomes quite
futile.ToiveatextanAuthoristoimposealimitonthattext,tofurnishtwith
ahnalsinihed,toclosethewritin.Suchaconceptionsuitscriticismverywell,
thelatterthenallottinitselftheimportanttaskofdiscoverintheAuthor(orits
hypostases:society,history,psyche,liberty)beneaththework whentheAuthor
hasbeenfound,the textis'explained'- victorytothe critic.Hencethereisno
surprisenthefactthat,historically,thereinoftheAuthorhasalsobeenthat
oftheCritic,noraaininthefactthatcriticism(beitnew)istodayundermined
alon ith the Author. n the multiplicity of writin, everythin is to be
JscntunlcJ, nothinJccipncrcJ, thestructurecan be followed, 'run' (like the
thread of a stockin) at every point and at every level, but there is nothin
beneath: the space of writin is to be raned over, not pierced, writin
ceaselesslypositsmeaninceaselesslytoevaporateit,carryinoutasystematic
exemptionofmeanin.ln preciselythiswayliterature(itwould bebetterfrom
now ontosaywrirn),by refusintoassina'secret',an ultimatemeanin,to
the text (and to the world as text), liberates what may be called an anti
theoloicalactivity,anactivitythatis truly revolutionarysinceto refuse to hx
meanin is,inthe end,torefuseCodand his hypostases- reason, science,law.
Let us come back to the Balzac sentence. No one, no 'person', says it its
source,itsvoice, isnotthetrueplaceofthewritin,which is readin. Another-
9//THEORETCAFRAEWORK
ver precise - example will help to make this clear recent research .-P.
Vernant)

has demonstrated the constitutively ambiuous nature of Creek


traedy its texts bein wovenfrom words with double meanins that eac
chracter understandsunilaterallythis perpetualmisunderstandinis exactly
the 'traic); there is, however, someone who understands each wod in its
duplicity and who, in addition, hears the very deafness of the characters
speakininfrontofhim this someonebeinpreciselythe readerorhere the
listener). Thus is revealed the total existence of writin: a text is made of
multiplewritins,drawnfrommanyculturesandenterinintomutualrelations
ofdialoue,parody,contestation,butthereisoneplacewherethismultiplicity
isfocusedandthatplaceisthereader,not,aswashithertosaid,theauthor.The
reader is the space on which all the quotations that make up a writin are
inscribedwithoutanyofthembeinlost atexts unityliesnotin its oriinbut
initsdestination.Yethisdestinationcannotanylonerbepersonal.thereader
iswithouthistory,bioraphy,psycholoy, heissimplythatscmccncwhoholds
toetherinasinlefieldallthetracesbywhichthewrittentextisconstituted.
Which is why it is derisory to condemn the new writin in the name of a
humanism hypocritically turned champion of the reader's rihts. Classic
criticismhasnevepaidanyattentiontothereaderforit,thewriteristheonly
personinliterature.We arenowbeinnintoletourselvesbefoolednoloner
by the arroant antiphrastical recriminations ofood society in favour of the
very thin it sets aside, inores, smothers or destroys, we lnow that to ive
writinitsfuture,itisnecessaryD overthrowthemyth thebirthofthereader
mustbeatthecostofthedeathoftheAuthor.
Scc|can-F|crrcVcrnanI, w|Ih FicrrcVidaINaqucI. M)/0c c/ l00dlc cu C8Cc 0uCIcuuc (Faris
197?),cspcciaIIypacs 19-40; 99-131. [TransIaIorj
koIand 6arIhcs, 'L morI dc 'auIcur,M0u/0l0, V(Fari, 1958) Irans. 'Thc DcaIh ol IhcAuIhor', in
koIand6arIhcs,- Mu5C - JcX/, cd.andIrans.SIcphcn HcaIh(NcwYorkHiII&Wanjondon
FonIana
,
1977)14?-8.
Ot!S/ /TheDeO!ho!!heAu!hot/ /4
Peer BurQer
The NeQOOn Of Ihe AUIOnOmy Ol AI
Dy Ihe AVOn-QOOeJ J2002
In]ormcd c tnc Irunk]urt 5cnoo| o] crtcu| tncoi, Ictcr rcr's Theory ofthe
Avant-arde(974)dccrcsucourcosmodc|o]urttnutsproduccdundconsumcd
c ndvduu|s. Hs n]ucntu| rcudn o] tnc nstorc uvunt-urdc (Dudu,
Constructvsmund5urrcu|sm)usunuttcmptto]uscurtwtnsociu|pruxis, toctncr
wtn tnc cnurt rcproduccd cc|ow, provdc u ponunt contcxtuu|zuton ]or
contcmporuico||ucorutvcurt.
lnscholarlydiscussionuptonow,thecateory'autonomy'hassufferedfromthe
imprecisionofthevarioussubcateories thouhtofasconstitutinaunity inthe
conceptoftheautonomousworkofart.Sincethedevelopmentoftheindividual
subcateories is not synchronous, it may happen that sometimes courtly art
seemsalreadyautonomous,whileatothertimesonlyboureoisartappearsto
have that characteristic. To make clear that the contradictions between the
various interpretations result from the nature of the case, we will sketch a
historical typoloy that is deliberately reducedtothree elements pupose or
function, production, reception), because the point here is to have the
nonsynchronisminthedevelopmentofindividualcateoriesemerewithclarity.
A.SacralArtexample.theartoftheHihMiddleAes)servesascultobect.
lt is wholly interated into the social institution 'reliion'. t is produced
collectively, as a craft. The mode of reception also is institutionalized as
collective.
CourtlyArtexample: theartatthecourtofLouislV)alsohasaprecisely
definedfunction.ltisrepresentationalandservestheloryoftheprinceandthe
self-portrayal ofcourtlysociety. Courtlyartispartofthelifepraxisofcourtly
society, ust as sacral art is part of the life praxis of the faithful. Yet the
detachment from the sacral tie is a first step in the emancipation of art.
Fmancipation' is bein used here as a descriptive term, as referrin to the
process by which art constitutes itself as a distinct social subsystem.) The
difference from sacral art becomes particularly apparent in the realm of
production.theartistproducesasanindividualand developsaconsciousnessof
the uniquenessofhis activity. Reception,onthotherhand,remainscollective.
Butthecontentofthecollectiveperformanceisnolonersacral,itissociability.
C Dnlytothe extentthatthe boureoisie adoptsconceptsofvalueheldby
thearistocracydoes boureois arthave arepresentationalfunction. When itis
enuinelyboureois, thisartisthe obectificationoftheself-understandinof
4/ /THEORETCAFRAEWORK5
the boureois class Production and reception of the selfunderstandin as
articulatedinartarenolonertiedtothepraxisoflifeHabermascallsthisthe
satisfactionofresidualneeds,thatis,ofneedsthathavebecomesubmered in
thelife praxis ofboureois society Notonlyproductionbut receptionalsoare
nowindividualactsThesolitaryabsorptionintheworkistheadequatemodeof
appropriationofcreations removedfromthe life praxis ofthe boureois
, even
thouhtheystill claim to interpretthat praxis lnAestheticism, finally, where
boureoisartreachesthestaeofself-reflection,this claim is noloner made
Apartness from the praxis of life, which had always been the condition that
characterized the way art functioned in boureois society, now becomes its
conten The typoloy we have sketched here can be represented in the
accompanyintabulationtheverticallinesinboldface [substitutedbyboldface
text below refer to a decisive chane in the development, the broken ones
[substitutedbyitalicizedtexttoalessdecisiveone)
SacralArt CourtlyArt 8oureolsArt
lurposeor cultobect rcrcscntu!unul
Iunctlon ubcct 0tltl 00utg005
50l-uud0t5ludug
lroductlon collectlvecraIt uddul inJIviJul
8eception collectlve(sacral) cullcctivc (:ucublc) uddul
Thetabulationallowsoneto noticethatthedevelopmentofthecateoieswas
not synchronous Production by the individual that characterizes art i n
boureoissocietyhasitsoriinsasfarbackascurtlypatronaeButcourtlyart
still remains interal to the praxis oflife, althouhas compared with the cult
function,therepresentationalfunctionconstitutesasteptoward amitiationof
claimsthatartplay adirectsocialroleThereceptionofcourtlyartalsoremains
collective,althouhthecontentofthe collective performance haschaned As
reardsreception,itisonlywithboureois artthatadecisivechanesetsin:its
receptionisonebyisolatedindividualsThenovelisthatliteraryenreinwhich
the new mode of reception finds the form appropriate to it The advent of
boureois art is also the decisive turnin point as reards use or function
Althouh indifferent ways, bothsacral and courtlyartare interal to the life
praxisoftherecipient.Ascultand representationalobects,worksofartareput
to a specific use This requirement no loner applies to the same extent to
boureois ar ln boureois art, the portrayal of boueois selfunderstandin
occursinaspherethatliesoutsidethepraxisoflifeThecitizenwho,ineveryday
life, has been reduced to a partial function meansends activity) can be
discoveredinartas'humanbein'Here,onecanunfoldtheabundanceofone's
utget/ /TheNegO!iono!!heAu!onomyo!At!by!heAVOn!gOtde/ /47
talents,thouhwiththe provisothatthissphereremainstrictly separatefrom
thepraxisoflife.Seeninthisfashion,theseparatinofartfromthepraxisoflife
becomesthedecisivecharacteristicoftheautonomyofboureoisartafactthat
the tabulation does not brin out adequately).Toavoid misunderstanins, it
mustbeemphasizedonceaainthatautonomyin this sense definesthestatus
ofart in boureois society but that no assertions concernin the contents of
works are involved. Althouh art as an institution may be considered fully
formed towards the end ofthe eihteenth century, the development of the
contents ofworks is subect to a historical dynamics, whose terminal point is
reachedinAestheticism,whereartbecomesthecontentofart.
The Furopean avant-arde movements can be defined as an attack on the
statusofartin boureoissociety.Whatisneatedisnotan earlierformofarta
style)butartasaninstitution thatisunassociatedwiththelife praxisofmen.
Whentheavant -ardistesdemandthatartbecomepracticalonceaain,theydo
notmeanthatthecontents ofworks ofartshouldbesociallysinificant.The
demandisnotraisedatthelevel ofthecontentsofindividualworks.Rather,it
directsitselftothewayartfunctionsinsociety,aprocessthatdoesas muchto
determinetheeffectthatworkshaveas doestheparticularcontent.
The avant -ardistes view its dissociation from the praxis of life as the
dominant characteristic of art in boureois society. Dne of the reasons this
dissociation was possible is that Aestheticism had made the element that
definesartasaninstitutiontheessentialcontentofworks.lnstitutionandwork
contentshadtocoincidetomakeitloicallypossiblefortheavant-ardetocall
artintoquestion.Theavant-ardistesproposedthesublationofart- sublation
in the Heelian sense ofthe term. art was not to be simply destroyed, but
transferredtothepraxisoflifewhereitwouldbepreserved,albeitinachaned
form.The avant-ardistes thus adopted an essential element ofAestheticism.
Aestheticismhadmadethedistancefromthepraxisoflifethecontentofworks.
ThepraxisoflifetowhichAestheticismrefersandwhichitneatesisthemeans
endsrationalityoftheboureoiseveryday. Now, itisnottheaimoftheavant-
ardistes to interate art into tns praxis. Dn the contrary, they assent to the
aestheticists' reection of the world and its means-ends rationality. What
distinuishesthemfromthe latteristheattemptto oranizeanewlifepraxis
fromabasisinart.lnthisrespectalso,Aestheticismturnsouttohavebeenthe
necessarypreconditionoftheavant-ardisteintent.Dnlyanartthecontentsof
whoseindividualworksiswhollydistinctfrom thebad)praxisoftheexistin
societycanbethecentrethatcanbethestartinpointfortheoranizationofa
newlifepraxis.
Withthe help ofHerbertMarcuse's theoreticalformulationconcerninthe
twofold characterofart in boureoissociety, the avant-ardiste intentcan be
4//THEORETCAFRAEWORK5
understood with particular clarity. All those needs that cannot be satisfiedin
everydaylife,becausetheprincipleofcompetitionpervadesallspheres,canfind
ahome in art, because art is removed from the praxis oflife. Values such as
humanity,oy, truth,solidarityare extruded fromlife,asitwere, and preserved
inart. lnboureoissciety,arthasacontradictoryrole. itproects the imaeof
abetterorderandtothatextentprotestsaainstthebadorderthatprevails.But
byrealizintheimaeofabetterorderinfiction,whichissemblance5cncn)
only,itrelievestheeistinsocietyofthepressureofthoseforcesthatmakefor
chane. They are assined to confinement in an ideal sphere. Where art
accomplishesthis,itis'affirmative'inMarcuse'ssenseoftheterm.lfthetwofold
characterofartinboureoissocietyconsists inthefactthatthedistancefrom
thesocialproductionandreproductionprocesscontainsanelementoffreedom
andanelementofthenoncommittalandanabsenceofanyconsequences,itcan
beseenthattheavant-ardistes'attempttoreinterateartintothelifeproess
isitselfaprofoundlycontradictoryendeavour. Forthe relative)freedomofart
vis-a-visthepraxisoflifeisatthesametimetheconditionthatmustbefulfilled
ifthereistobeacriticalconitionofreality.Anartnolonerdistinctfromthe
praxisoflifebutwhollyabsorbedinitwilllosethecapacitytocriticizeit,alon
withitsdistance.Durinthetimeofthehistoricalavant-ardemovements,the
attempttodoawaywiththedistancebetweenartandlifestillhadallthepathos
of historical proressiveness on its sde. But in the meantime, the culture
industryhasbrouhtabouttefalseeliminationofthedistancebetweenartand
life, and this also allows one to reconize the contradictoriness ofthe avant-
ardisteundertakin.
ln what follows, we will outline how the

intent to eliminate art as an


institution found expression in the three areas that we used above to
characterize autonomous art. purpose or function, production, reception.
lnsteadofspeakinoftheavant-ardistework,wewillspeakofavant-ardiste
manifestation. A dadaist manifestation does not have work character but is
nonethelessanauthenticmanifestationoftheartisticavant-arde.Thisisnotto
implythat theavant-ardistesproducednoworks whateverand replacedthem
byephemeralevents.Wewillseethatwhereastheydidnotdestroyit,theavant-
ardistes profoundlymodifiedthecateoryoftheworkofart.
Df the three areas, the inrcndcd purposc or]uncrion of the avant-ardiste
manifestion is most difficult D define. ln the aestheticist work ofart, the
disointureoftheworkandthepraxisoflifecharacteristicofthestatusofartin
boureois society has become the work's essential content. lt is only as a
consequence ofthis fact thattheworkofart becomesits own end in the full
meaninoftheterm. lnAestheticism,thesocialfunctionlessnessofartbecomes
manifest.Theavant-ardisteartistscountersuchfunctionlessnessnotbyanart
utget//TheNegO!iOnO!!heAu!OnOmyO!At!by!heAVOn!Otde/
/4
that would have consequences within the existin society, but rather by the
principleofthesublationofartinthepraxisoflife.Butsuchaconceptionmakes
itimpossible to define the intended purpose ofart. Foranart that has been
reinteratedintothepraxisoflife,noteventheabsence ofasocialpurposecan
beindicated,aswasstillpossibleinAestheticism.Whenartandthepraxisoflife
are one, when thepraxis is aestheticand artis practical,art's purpose can no
lonerbediscovered,becausetheexistenceoftwodistinctspheresartandthe
praxisoflife)thatisconstitutiveoftheconceptofpurposeorintendedusehas
cometoanend.
WehaveseenthattheproJuctonoftheautonomousworkofartistheactof
an individual. The artist produces as individual, individuality not bein
understood as the expression of somethin but as radically different. The
concept of enius testifies to this. The quasitechnical consciousness of the
makeabilityofworksofartthatAestheticism attains seems onlyto contradict
this. Valry, for example, demystifies artistic enius by reducin it to
psycholoical motivationsontheone hand, and theavailabilitytoitofartistic
meansontheother.Whilepseudo-romanticdoctrinesofinspirationthuscome
to be seen as the self-deception ofproducers, the view ofart forwhich the
individual is the creative subect is let stand. lndeed, Valry's theorem
concernin the force of pride orucil) that sets offand propels the creative
process renews once aain the notion of the individual character of artistic
production central to art in boureois society. ln its most extreme
manifestations,theavant-arde'sreplytothisisnotthecollectiveasthesubect
ofproduction but the radical neation ofthe cateory ofindividual creation.
WhenDuchampsinsmass-producedobectsaurinal,abottledrier)andsends
them to art exhibits, he neates the cateory of individual production. The
sinature,whoseverypurposeitistomarkwhatisindividual inthework,that
itowesitsexistencetothisparticularartist,isinscribedonanarbitrarilychosen
mass product, because all claims to individual creativity are to be mocked.
Duchamp's provocation notonly unmasks theartmarketwherethe sinature
means more than the quality of the work, it radically questions the very
principle of art in boureois society accordin to which the individual is
consideredthecreatoroftheworkofart.Duchamp'sReadymadesarenotworks
ofartbut manifestations. Notfromthe form-contenttotalityofthe individual
obectDuchamp sins can oneinferthe meanin, butonly from the contrast
between mass-producedobectontheone hand, andsinatureandartexhibit
on the other. lt is obvious that this kind of provocation cannot be repeated
indefinitely.The provocation depends on what it turns aainst. here, itis the
ideathattheindividualisthesubectofartisticcreation. Dncethesinedbottle
drier has been accepted as an obect that deserves a place in a museum, t

e
0//THEORETCAFRAEWORK5
provocationnolonerprovokes,itturnsintoitsopposite.lfanartisttodaysins
a stove pipe and exhibits it, that artist certainly does not denounce the art
marketbutadaptstoit.Suchadaptationdoesnoteradicatetheideaofindividual
creativity,itaffirms it,andthereasonisthefailureoftheavant-ardisteintent
tosublateart.Sincenowtheprotestofthehistoricalavant-arde aainstartas
institution is accepted as urr, the esture of protest of the neo-avant-arde
becomes inauthentic. Havin been shown to be irredeemable, the claim to be
protestcan no lonerbemaintained.Thisfactaccountsforthe arts-and-crafts
impressionthatworksofthe avant-arde notinfrequentlyconvey.
The avant-arde notonlyneates the cateoryofindividualproductionbut
also that of individual rcccpron. The reactions of the public durin a dada
manifestationwhereithasbeenmobilizedbyprovocation,andwhichcanrane
fromshoutinto fsticuffs,arecertainlycollectivein nature.True, these remain
reactions,responsestoaprecedinprovocation.Producerandrecipientremain
clearlydistinct,howeveractivethepublicmaybecome.Civentheavant -ardiste
intentiontodowaywithartasaspherethatisseparatefromthepraxisoflife,
itisloicaltoeliminate theantithesisbetweenproducerandrecipient.ltis no
accident thatbothTzara's instructions for the makin ofa Dadaist poem and
Breton's for the writinofautomatictexts have the characterofrecipes.This
representsnotonlyapolemicalattackontheindividualcreativityoftheartist,
therecipeistobetakenquiteliterallyas suestinapossibleactivityon the
part of the recipient. The automatic texts also should be read as uides to
individual production. Butsuch production is nottobeunderstood as artistic
production, but as part of a liberatin life praxis. This is what is meant by
Breton's demand that poetry be practiced prurucr 0 pocsc). Beyond the
coincidenceofproducerandrecipientthatthisdemandimplies,thereisthefact
thattheseconceptslosetheirmeanin:producersandrecipientsnolonerexist.
All thatremains isthe individual who usespoetryasan instrumentforlivin
one'slifeasbestonecan.ThereisalsoadanerheretowhichSurrealismatleast
partly succumbed, and that is solipsism, the retreat to the problems of the
isolatedsubect.Bretonhimselfsawthisdanerandenvisaeddifferentwaysof
dealinwithit.Dneofthemwasthelorificationofthespontaneityoftheerotic
relationship.Perhapsthestrictroupdisciplinewasalsoanattempttoexorcise
thedanerofsolipsismthatsurrealismharbours.
ln summary, we note that the historical avant-arde movements neate
thosedeterminationsthatareessentialinautonomousart. thedisunctionofart
andthepraxisoflife,individualproduction,andindividualreceptionasdistinct
from the former.Theavant-arde intends theabolitionofautonomousart,by
which itmeansthatartisto be interated intothepraxisoflife.This has not
occurred, and presumablycannotoccur, inboureois society unless itbe as a
utget//TheNegO!ono!!heAu!onomyo!At!by!heAVOn!gOtde//
falsesublationofautonomousart.Pulpfictionandcommodityaestheticsprove
thatsuchafalsesublationexists.Aliteraturewhoseprimaryaim itisto impose
aparticularkindofconsumerbehaviouronthereaderisinfactpractical,thouh
not in the sense the avantardistes intended. Here, literature ceases to bean
instrumentofemancipationandbecomesoneofsubection.Similarcomments
couldbemadeaboutcommodityaestheticsthattreatformasmereenticement,
desined to promptpurchasers to buy whattheydo not need. Here also, art
becomespractical butitisanartthatenthralls.This briefallusion will show
thatthetheoryoftheavant-ardecanalsoservetomakeusunderstandpopular
literature and commodity aesthetics as forms of a false sublation of art as
institution.lnlatecapitalistsociety,intentionsofthehistoricalavant-ardeare
bein realized butthe result has been a disvalue. Civen the experience ofthe
false sublation ofautonomy, one will need to ask whethera sublation of the
autonomy statuscanbedesirableatall, whetherthedistancebetweenartand
thepraxisoflifeisnotrequisiteforthatfreespacewithinwhichalternatives to
whatexistsbecomeconceivable.
[IooInoIc14|nsourcc]OnIh|s,sccIhccssaybykWarn|n,'k|Ius,MyIhosundc|sII|chcsSp|cI',
|n!8r0r !Iud p!8l. r0bl8m8 d8r M)/h8ur828p/!0u. cd.Fuhrmann(Mun|ch.W|IhcImF|nkVcrIa,
1971) ?11-39.
?
[15 HccI aIrcady rcIcrrcd Io Ihc novcI as 'Ihc modcrn m|ddIc-cIass cp|c` |A5/h8/!k. cd.
6asscnc,voI.|I 6crI|njWc|mar19b5] 45?.)
3 1b On Ihc probIcm oI Ihc IaIsc subIaI|on oI aI |n Ihc prax|s oI I|Ic, scc | Habcrmas,
/mk/uud8I d8r U]]8u/l!chk8l( Uu/8r5uchuu8u 2u 8!u8r Ku/80rl8 d8r b!ir8rl!ch8u C858ll5chu]/
(Ncuw|cd6cr|n,19b8)18, 17bI.
4 17] Scc F. 6rcr, 'FunkI|on und 6cdcuIun dcs 0_8ll bc| FauI VaIc', |n K0muul5/!5c!85
]uhrbuch, 1b(19b5)149-b8.
5 [18ExampIcsoIncoavanI-ard|sIcpa|nI|nsandscuIpIurcsIobcIound|nIhccaIaIoucoIIhc
cxh|b|Iummluu Cr8m8| Lur0p0!5ch8 Avuu/ur08 90-9/0.cd.C. Adr|an|(Tub|ncn,1973).
b [19]Tr|sIan Tzara, 'Fou Ia|rc un pomc dada|sIc', |nTara, (umpl5/8r!85 prccrdc85 d85 58p/
muu!]85/05 dudu (pIacc oI pubI|caI|on noI |vcn, 19b3) b4. Andrc 6rcIon, 'Man|IcsIc du
suraI|smc'(19?4),|n6rcIon,Muug85/05 du 5Itrrcull5m8 (Far|s.Idccs?3,19b3)4?I.
7 [?0 On Ihc SurrcaI|sIs` conccpI|on oIroupsand Ihc coIIccI|vc cxpcr|cnccsIhcysouhIand
parI|aIIy rcaI|zcd, scc EI|sabcIh Lcnk, 8r 5pr!u8ud8 HuI2l55 Audrc br8/0u5 p08/!5ch8r
Mu/8r!ul!5mu5 (Mun|ch, 1971)57II.,73I.
8 [?1 OncwouIdhavcIo|nvcsI|aIc Io whaIcxIcnI, aIIcr IhcOcIobcrrcvoIuI|on,Ihc kuss|an
avanI-ard|sIcssuccccdcdIoadcrcc,bccauscsoc|aIcond|I|onshadchancd,|nrcaI||nIhc|r
|nIcnIIorc|nIcraIcarI|nIhcprax|soII|Ic.6oIh6ArvaIovandS.TrcIakovIurnIhcconc

pIoI
arIas dcvcIopcd |n bourco|ssoc|cIyaroundanddcIIncarIqu|IcsIra|hIIorwardIyassoc|aIIy
uscIuIacI|v|Iy.`ThcpIcasurcoIIransIorm|nIhcrawmaIcr|aI|nIoaparI|cuIar,soc|aIIyuscIuI
2/ /THEORETCAFRAEWORK5
lorm,conncctcdtothcsk|IIandthc|ntcns|vcscarchlorthcsu|tabIclorm thoscarcthcth|ns
thc sIoan art lor a|I should mcan (S. Trctakov, 'D|c Kunst |n dcr kcvoIut|on and d|c
kcvoIut|on|ndcrKunst',|nTrctakov,Uc Ar0c/ dcS oC0r(]/S/cllcrS, cd.H.6ochnckc(kc|nbckbc
Hamb: kowoh|t, 1971)13.'6as|nh|mscIlonthctcchn|qucwh|ch|scommontoaIIsphcrcs
ol I|lc,thcart|st |s|mbucd w|th thc |dcaol su|tab|I|ty. lt |snotby subcct|vctastc that hc w|Il
aIlowh|mscIltobcu|dcdashcworksonh|smatcr|aIbutby thcobcct|vctasksol product|on`
(6. Arvatov, 'D|c Kunst |mSystcmdcrprolctar|schcn uItur', |nArvatov, KuuS/ uud |Iuduk/uu,
15).W|ththcthcoryolthcavant-ardcasapo|ntoldcparturc,andw|thconcrctc|nvcst|at|ons
asu|dc,oncshouIdaIsod|scussthcprobIcmol thccxtcnt(andol thck|ndsolconscqucnccs
lorthc art|st|c subccts) to wh|ch art as an |nst|tut|on occup|cs a pIacc |n thc soc|cty ol thc
soc|aI|st countr|cs thatd|llcrs lrom|ts pIacc|nbourco|ssoc|cty.
9 [22| Scc Chr|sta 6rcr, JcX|uuul)Sc ulS Idculuckr/k. Zur Kc2c/uu w/cu 0SSSC0cr
Uu/cI0ul/uuSl/cIu/uI (Franklurt:Athcnat|m,1973).
10 j2J| SccW.F.Hat|,KIl/Ik dcI WuIcudS/!c/k (FranklurtSuhrkamp,1971).
Fctcr 6rcr, J0cuIlc dcr AVuu/uIdc (Franklurt am Ma|n:SuhrkampVcrIa, 1974); trans. M|chacl
Shaw,J0cur) 0]/0c AVuu/-uIdc (M|nncapoI|s: Un|vcrs|tyolM|nncsotaFrcss, 1984)47-54
utget/ /TheNegO!ono!!heAu!onomyo!At!by!heAVOn!gOtde/ /
JeOn-LUC NOnCy
The InOperOI!Ve COmmUnIyl96
A numbcr f psr-Marxisr rhcrics f cmmunirj cmcrcd in rhc I80s. Frcnch
ph!lsphcr ]can-Iuc Nancj, wr! rin ! n a Hc!dccr!an and Dcr!dcan rrad! t!n,
arucs fr an undcrsrand!n f cmmun!rj fundcd nr n rhc !mmancncc f
!nd!v!duals bc!n-!n-cmmn, bur n an 'unwo1!n' dsoeuvrement) f
rcrhcmcss bi+uhr abur bj rhar wh!ch prcscnrs a l!m!r r cmmun!t} - rhar
!s, dcarh. Nancj's cmplcx rcxr has bccn rcfcrcnccd bj a numbcr f w1rcrs n
parr!c!parrj arr {Ccrc 8akcr, M! wn Kwn, Iamcla M. Icc, ]css!ca Mian).
The ravest and most painful testimony of the modern world, the one that
possibly involves all other testimonies to which this epoch must answer by
virtue ofsome unknown decree ornecessity,forwe bear witness also tothe
exhaustionofthinkinthrouhHistory),isthetestimonyofthedissolution,the
dislocation, orthe conIlaration ofcommunity. Communism, as Sartre said, is
theunsurpassablehorizonofourtime',anditissoinmanysenses- political,
ideoloical and strateic. But not least important amon these senses is the
followin consideration, quite forein to Sartre's intentions. the word
'communism'standsasanemblemofthedesiretodiscoverorrediscoveraplace
of community at once beyond social divisions and beyond subordination to
technopoliticaldominion,and therebybeyondsuchwastinaway of liberty,of
speech or of simple happiness as comes about whenever these become
subuatedtotheexclusiveorderofprivatization,andfinally,moresimplyand
even more decisively, a place from which to surmount the unravellin that
occurs with the death of each one of us - that death that, when no loner
anythin more than the death ofthe individual,carries an unbearableburden
andcollapsesintoinsinificance.
More or less consciously, more or less deliberately, and more or less
politically,theword'communism'hasconstitutedsuchanemblem whichno
doubtamountedtosomethinotherthanaconcept,andevensomethinother
thanthemcnngofaword.Thisemblemisnolonerincirculation,exceptina
belated way for a few, for still others, thouh very rare nowadays, it is an
emblem capable of inferrin a fierce but impotent resistance to the visible
collapse ofwhat it promised. lfit is nolonerincirculation, this is not only
becausethe States thatacclaimedithaveappeared,forsometime now,asthe
aentsofitsbetrayal.Batailleinl988:'TheRevolution'sminimalhopehasbeen
describedasthedeclineoftheState.butitisinfacttherevolutionaryforcesthat
4//THEORETCAFRAEWORK
the
presentworldisseeinperishand,atthesametime,everyvitalforcetoday
ha
sassumed the form ofthe totalitarianState')

The schemaofbetrayal, aimed


atpreservinanoriinarycommunistpurityofdoctrineorintention,h
ascome
tobeseenaslessandlesstenable.Notthattotalitarianismwasalreadypresent,
as such, in Marx. thiswouldbe acrudepropositiononethatremainsinorant
of
the strident protest aainst the destruction of community that in Marx
continuouslyparallels theHeelianattemptto brin aboutatotality, and that
th
wartsordisplacesthisattempt.
Butthe schema ofbetrayal is seento be untenable in that itwas the very
basis of the communist ideal that ended up appearin most problematic.
namely,humanbeinsdefinedasproducersonemihtevenadd.humanbeins
dc]incdatall), andfundamentallyastheproducersoftheirownessencein the
formoftheirlabourortheirwork.
Thattheusticeandfreedom- andtheequality- includedinthecommunist
idea or ideal have in effect been betrayed in so-called real communism is
somethinatonceladenwiththeburdenofanintolerablesufferin(alonwith
other,nolessintolerableformsofsufferininIlictedbyourliberalsocieties)and
atthesametime politically decisive not only in thata political stratey must
favour resistance to this betrayal, but because this stratey, as well as our
thouhtineneral,mustreckon withthepossibilitythatanentire societyhas
beenfored,docilelyanddespitemorethanoneforumofrevolt,inthemouldof
thisbetrayal- ormoreplainly,atthemercyofthisabandonment.thiswouldbe
inoviev's question, rather than, Solzhenitsyn's). But these budens are still
perhapsonlyrelativecomparedwiththeabsoluteweihtthatcrushesorblocks
allour'horizons'.thereis,namely,noformof

communistopposition- orletus
say rather 'communitarian' opposition, inordertoemphasizethatthe word
shouldnotberestricted in this contexttostrictlypoliticalreferences- thathas
notbeenorisnotstillprofoundlysubuatedtotheoalofanumuncommunity,
that is, to theoal ofachievina community of beins producin in essence
their own essence as their work, and furthermore producin precisely this
essenceuscommung. Anabsoluteimmanenceofmantoman- ahumanism-
and of community to
community - a communism - obstinately subtends,
whateverbetheirmeritsorstrenths,allformsofoppositionalcommunism,all
leftistandultraleftistmodels,andallmodelsbasedontheworkers'council.n
asense,allventuresadoptinacommunitarianoppositionto'realcommunism'
have by now run theircourse or been abandoned,but everythin continues
alon its way as thouh, beyond these ventures, it were no loner even a
questionofthinkinaboutcommunity.
Yet it is pecisely the immanence of man to man, or it is mun, taken
absolutely, considered as the immanent bein parexcellence,that constitutes
NOn/ /ThenopetO!Ve Commun!y/ /
the stumblin block to thinkin ofcommunity. A community presupposed as
havintobeoneo]numunccnspresupposesthatiteffect,or thatitmusteffect,
assuchandinterally,itsownessence,whichisitselftheaccomplishmentofthe
essence of humanness. What can be fashioned by man Fverythin. Nature,
human society, humanity', wrote Herder. We are stubbornly bound to this
reulative idea, even when we consider that this 'fashionin' is itselfonly a
'reulative idea'.) Consequently, economic ties, technoloical operations and
political fusion into a cod or under a lcudcr) represent or rather present,
exposeandrealizethisessencenecessarilyinthemselves.Fssenceissettowork
in them, throuh them, itbecomes itsownwork. This iswhatwe havecalled
'totalitarianism',butitmihtbebetternamed 'immanentism',as lonaswe do
not restrictthe termto 'desinatin certain types ofsocieties or reimes but
raherseeinittheeneralhorizonofourtime,encompassinbothdemocracies
andtheirfraileuridicalparapets.
lsitreallynecessarytosaysomethinabouttheindividualhereSomeseeinits
invention and in the culture, if not in the cult built around the individual,
Furope's incontrovertible merit ofhavin shown the world the sole path to
emancipationfromtyranny,andthenormbywhichtomeasureallourcollective
orcommunitarianundertakins.Buttheindividualismerelytheresidueofthe
experience of the dissolution of community. By its nature - as its name
indicates, it is the atom, the indivisible - the individual reveals that it is the
abstract result of a decomposition. lt is another, and symmetrical, fiure of
immanence:theabsolutelydetachedfor-itself,takenasoriinandascertainty.
Buttheexperiencethrouh which this individual haspassed,sinceHeelat
least, and throuh which he passes, it must be confessed, with staerin
opinionatedness)issimplytheexperienceofthis:thattheindividualcanbethe
oriin andthecertaintyofnothinbutitsowndeath.Andonceimmortalityhas
passed intoitsworks,anopcrutvc immortalityremainsitsownalienationand
renders its death still more strane than the irremediablestranenessthatit
already'is'.
Still,onecannotmakeaworldwithsimpleatoms.Therehastobeaclnumcn.
Therehastobeaninclinationoraninclininfromonetowardstheother,ofone
bytheother,orfromonetotheother.Communityisatleasttheclnumcnofthe
'individual'. Yet there is no theory, ethics, politics or metaphysics of the
individualthatiscapable'ofenvisainthisclnumcn,thisdeclinationordecline
of the individual within community. Neither 'Personalism' nor Sartre ever
manaed to do anythin more than coatthe most classical individual-subect
withamoralorsocioloicalpaste.theynevernclncdit,outsideitself,overthat
edethatopensupitsbein-n-common.
/ /THEORETCAFRAEWORK
Aninconsequentialatomism,individualismtendstoforetthattheatomisa
world.This iswhy the question ofcommunity is so markedlyabsentfrom the
metaphysicsofthesubect,thatistosay from the metaphysisoftheabsolute
foritself- beitinthe form ofthe individual orthetotalState - which means
alsothemetaphysicsoftheucso|urcineneral,ofbeinasabsolute,asperfectly
detached, distinctand closed. beinwithoutrelation.This absolutecan appear
in the form ofthe ldea,Historythe lndividual, theState, Science, theWork of
Art, and so on. lts loic will always be the same in as much as it is without
relation.Asimple and redoubtableloicwill always implythatwithin its very
separationtheabsolutelyseparate encloses, ifwe cansaythis,more thanwhat
issimplyseparated.Whichistosaythattheseparationitselfmustbeenclosed,
thatthe closure must not onlyclosearound a territory while still remainin
exposed, at its outer ede, to another terrtory, with which t thereby
communicates),butalso,inordertocompletetheabsolutenessofitsseparation,
around the enclosure itself The absolute must be the absolute of its own
absoluteness,or notbeatall. lnotherwords. tobeabsolutelyalone, it is not
enouh that l be so, l must also be alone beinalone - and this ofcourse i s
contradictory.Theloicoftheabsoluteviolatestheabsolute.l timplicatesi ti na
relationthatitrefusesandprecludesbyitsessence.Thisrelationtearsandforces
open,fromwithinandfromwithoutatthesametime,andfromanoutsidethat
is nothin other than the reection ofan impossible interiority, the 'without
relation'fromwhichtheabsolutewouldconstituteitself.
Fxcludedbytheloicoftheabsolute subectofmetaphysicsSelf,Will,Life,
Spirit,etc.),communitycomes perforcero curnro this subectbyvirtueofthis
sameloic.Theloicoftheabsolutescrsrnrcuron:butthis,obviously,cannot
makeforarelationbetweentwoorseveralabsolutes,nomrethanitcanmake
an absolute of the relation. lt undoes the absoluteness of the absolute. The
relationthe community) is,ifits,nothinotherthanwhatundoes, initsvery
principle - and at its closure or on its limit - the autarchy of absolute
immanence.[. .
The solidarityofthe individual with communismat theheartofa thinkinof
immanence, while nelectin ecstasy, does not however entail a simple
symmetry. Communism- as,forexample,intheenerousexuberancethatwill
notletMarxconcludewithoutpointintoareinoffreedom,onebeyondthe
collectivereulationofnecessity, inwhichsurplusworkwouldnolonerbean
exploitative work, but rather art and invention - communicates with an
extremity ofplay, ofsovereinty, evenofecstasyfrom whichtheindividualas
suchremainsdefinitively removed. Butthis linkhas remained distant, secret,
andmostoftenunknowntocommunismitselfletussay,tolendconcreteness,
NOn//ThenopetO!VeCommun!y/ /7
unknowntoLenin,StalinandTrotsky),exceptinthefuluratinburstsofpoetry,
paintinandcinemaattheverybeinninoftheSovietrevolution,orthemotifs
thatBenaminallowedasreasonsforcallinoneselfaMarxist,orwhatBlanchot
tried to brin across or propose rather than sinify) with the word
'communism' 'Communism. that which excludes and excludes itself from
everycommunityalreadyconstituted').Butaaineventhisproposalinthefinal
analysis wentunreconized, not only by 'real' communism, but also, onclose
inspection,bythosesinular'communists'themselves,whowereperhapsnever
able to reconize until now at least) either where the metaphor or the
hyperbole)beanandendedintheusaetheymadeoftheword,or,especially,
what other trope - supposin itwere necessary to chane words - or what
effacementoftropesmihthavebeenappropriatetorevealwhathauntedtheir
useoftheword'communism'.
By the usaetowhich thiswordwas put,theywere able to communicate
withathinkinofart, ofliterature,and ofthouhtitself- otherfiures orother
exienciesofecstasy- buttheywerenottrulyabletocommunicate,explicitly
andthematicallyevenif'explicit'and'thematic'areonlyveryfrailecateories
here),withathinkinofcommunity.Drrather, theircommunicationwith such
athinkinhasremainedsecret,orsuspended.
Theethics,thepolitics,thephilosophiesofcommunity,whentherewereany
andthere always are, eveniftheyarereducedto chatter aboutfraternityorto
laboriousconstructions around 'intersubectivity'),havepursueltheirpathsor
theirhumanistdeadendswithoutsuspectinforan instantthatthesesinular
voices were speakin about community and were perhaps speakin about
nothinelse,withoutsuspectinthatwhatwastakenfora'literary'or'aesthetic'
experiencewasentrenchedntheordealofcommunity,wasatripswithit.Do
weneedto bereminded,to takeafurtherexample,whatBarthes'firstwritins
wereabout,andsomeofthelateronesaswell )
Subsequently, these same voices that were unable to communicate what
perhapswithoutknowinit,theyweresayin,wereexploited- andcoveredup
aain - by clamorous declarations brandishin the fla of the 'cultural
revolutions'andbyallkindsof'communistwritin'or'proletarianinscriptions'.
The professionalsofsocietysawin themandnotwithoutreason,eveniftheir
viewwasshortsihted)nothinmorethanaboureoisParisianorBerlinerform
ofI|ctkult,orelse merely the unconsciousreturnofa'republicofartists', the
conceptofwhich had been inauurated two hundred years earlierby the|ena
romantics. ln one way or another, it was a matterofa simple, classical and
domaticsystemoftruth.anart.orathouht)adequatetopoliticstotheform
or the description of community), a politics adequate to art. The basic
presuppositionremainedthatofacommunityeffectuatinitselfintheabsolute
//THEORETC
_
FRAEWORK5
cfthewcrk,creffectuatinitselfas wcrk.Fcrthisreascn,andwhateveritmay
haveclaimedfcritself,thismcdernityremained initsprincipleahumanism.
We willhavetcreturntcthequesticncfwhatbrcuhtabcut- albeitatthe
ccstcfacertainnavetcrmisccncepticn- theexiencycfaliterarexprience
cfccmmunitycrccmmunism.Thisiseven,inasense,thecnlyquesticn.Butthe
termscfthisquesticnallneedtcbetransfcrmed,tc be putback intcplayin a
spacethatwculdbedistributedquitedifferentlyfrcmcneccmpcsedcfall-tcc-
facile relaticns fcr example, sclitude cf the writerjccllectivity, cr
culturejscciety, cr elitejmasses - whether these relaticns be prcpcsed as
cppcsiticns,cr,inthespiritcfthe'cultural revcluticns',asequaticns).And fcr
thistchappen,thequesticncfccmmunitymustfirstcfallbe putback intcplay,
fcrthenecessaryredistributicncfspacedependsupcn itBefcreettintcthis,
andwithcutrescindinanycftheresistantenercsitycrtheactiverestlessness
cf the wcrd 'ccmmunism' and withcut denyin anythin cf the excesses tc
whichitcanlead,butalscwithcutfcrettineithertheburdenscme mcrtae
thatccmes alcnwith itcrtheusuryithasnctaccidentally)suffered,wemust
allcwthatcommunsmcannclcnerbetheunsurpassablehcrizcncfcurtime.
Andifinfactitnclcnerissuchahcrizcn,thisisnctbecausewehave passed
beycndanyhcrizcn.Rather,everythinisinflectedbyresinaticn,asifthenew
unsurpassable hcrizcn tcckfcrm arcund the disappearance,the impcssibility,
crtheccndemnaticn cfccmmunism. Such reversalsare custcmary, theyhave
never altered anythin. lt is the norzons themselves that mustbe challened.
heultimate limitcfccmmunity, crthe limitthatisfcrmedbyccmmunity,as
such, traces an entirely different line.This is why, even as we establish that
ccmmunismisnclcnercurunsurpassablehcrzcn,wemustalscestablish,ust
as fcrcefully, that a ccmmunist exiency cr demand ccmmunicates withthe
esturebymeanscfwhchwemustcfartherthanapcssiblehcrizcns.
Thefirsttasinunderstandinwhatisatstakehereccnsistsinfccusincnthe
hcrizcn ccnnJ us.This meansquesticninthe breakdcwn inccmmunitythat
suppcsedly enendered the mcdern era. The ccnscicusness cf this crdeal
belcns tc Rcusseau, whc fiured asoccr thatexperienced crackncwleded
the lcsscrderadaticncfaccmmunitarian and ccmmunicative)intimacy- a
scciety prcducin, cfnecessity, the sclitaryfiure, but cne whcse desire and
intenticn was tc prcduce the citizen cfa free scvereinccmmunity. Whereas
pclitical thecreticians precedin him had thcuht mainly in terms cf the
instituticn cf a State, cr the reulaticn cf a scciety, Rcusseau, althcuh he
bcrrcwedareatdealfrcmthem,was perhapsthefirstthinkercfccmmunity,
crmcreexactly,thefirsttcexperiencethequesticncfsccietyasanuneasiness
directed tcwards the ccmmunity, and as the ccnscicusness cf a perhaps
NOn/ /ThenopetO!iVeCommuni!y/ /
irreparable)ruptureinthiscommunity.Thisconsciousnesswouldsubsequently
beinheritedbytheRomantics,andbyHeelin!ncIncnomcno|oo]5prr:the
lastfireofspirit,before the assumptionofallthe fiures andofhistoryinto
absoluteknowlede,isthatwhichcleaves communitywhichforHeelfiures
thesplitinreliion).Untilthisdayhistoryhasbeenthouhtonthebasisofalost
community onetobereainedorreconstituted.
Thelost,orbroken,communitycanbeexemplifiedinallkindsofways,byall
kindsofparadims. thenaturalfamily,theAtheniancity,theRomanRepublic,
the first Christian community, corporations, communes or brotherhoods -
always it is a matterofa lost ae in which community was woven oftiht,
harmoniousandinfraniblebondsandinwhichaboveallitplayedbacktoitself,
throuh its institutions, its rituals and its symbols, the representation, indeed
thelivinofferin,ofitsownimmanentunity,intimacyndautonomy. Distinct
fromsocietywhichisasimpleassociationanddivisionofforcesandneeds)and
opposedtoempirewhichdissolvescommunitybysubmittinits peoplesI its
armsandtoitslory),communityisnotonlyintimatecommunicationbetween
its members, but also its oranic communion with its own essence. t is
constituted not only by a fairdistribution oftasks and oods, or by a happy
equilibriumofforcesandauthorities. it is made up principallyofthe sharin,
diffusion orimprenationofanidentitybya pluralitywherein each member
identifies himself only throuh the supplementary mediation of his
identification with the livin body of the community. n the motto of the
Republic,urcmgdesinatescommunity. themodelofthefamilyandoflove.
But it is here that we should become suspicious of the retrospective
consciousness of the lost community and its identity whether this
consciousness conceives of itself as effectively retrospective or whether,
disreardintherealitiesofthepast,itconstructsimaesofthispastforthesake
of an ideal or a prospective vision). We should be suspicious of this
consciousness first ofallbecause it seemsto have accompanied theWestern
worldfromitsverybeinnins.ateverymomentinitshistory,theDccidenthas
iven itself over to the nostalia for a more archaic community that has
disappeared, and to deplorina loss of familiarity, fraternityand conviviality.
Dur history beinswiththe departureofUlyssesandwith the onsetofrivaly,
dissension and conspiracy in his palace. Around Penelope, who reweaves the
fabricofintimacywithoutevermanaintocompleteit, pretenderssetup the
warrinandpoliticalsceneofsociety- pureexteriority.
But the true consciousnesss of the loss of community is Christian. the
community desired or pined for by Rousseau, Schleel, Heel, then Bakunin,
Marx,WanerorMallarmisunderstoodascommunion,andcommuniontakes
place, initsprincipleasinitsends,attheheartofthemysticalbodyofChrist.At
0//THEORETCAFRAEWORK
the
sametimeasitisthemostancientmythoftheWesternworld,community
mihtwellbethealtoethermodernthouhtofhumanity'spartakinofdivine
life.
the thouht of a human bein penetratin into pure immanence.
Christianityhashadonlytwodimensions,antinomicaltooneanother; thatof
theJcusucsconJtus, inwhichtheWestern disappearanceofthedivineisstill
enulfed, and that of the od-man, Jcus communs, brother of humankind,
invention of a familial immanence of humanity, then of history as the
immanenceofsalvation.)
Thus,thethouhtofcommunity or the desire for it mihtwellbe nothin
other than a belated invention that tried to respond to the harsh reality of
modern experience. namely, that divinity was withdrawin infinitely from
immanence, that the od-brother was at bottom nmsc(the Jc ucsconJrs
thiswas Hlderlin's insiht), and that the divine essence ofcommunity- or
communityastheexistenceofadivineessence- wastheimpossibleitself.Dne
nameforthishasbeenthedeathofCod.thisexpressionremainsprenantwith
thepossibilityifnotthenecessityofaresurrectionthatrestores bothmanand
CodI acommonimmanence. NotonlyHeel, butalso Nietzschehimself,at
leastinpart,bearwitnesstothis.)Thediscourseofthe'deathofCod'alsomisses
thepointthatthe'divine'iswhatitisifit'is')onlyinasmuchasitisremoved
from immanence, or withdrawn from it - within it, one miht say, yet
withdrawnfromit. Andthis,moreover,occursintheveryprecisesensethatitis
not becausethere isa'divine' thatitssharewould be subtracted from imma-
nence,butonthecontrary,itisonlytotheextentthatimmanenceitself,hereor
therebutisitlocalizable sit notratherthisthatlocalizes,thatspaces), is
subtractedfrom immanencethattherecanbeomethinlikethe 'divine'.And
perhaps, in the end, it will no loner be necessary to speak ofthe 'divine'.
Perhapswewillcometoseethatcommunity,death,love,freedom,sinularity
are namesforthe 'divine' notustbecause they substitutefor it and neither
sublate nor resuscitate it under another form - but equally because this
substitutionisinnowayanthropomorphicoranthropocentricandiveswayto
nobecomin-humanofthe'divine'.Communityhenceforthconstitutesthelimit
ofthehumanaswellasofthedivine.ThrouhClortheodscommunion- as
substance andact,theactof communicated immanentsubstance - has been
definitivelywithdrawnfromcommunity.)
The modern, humanist Christian consciousness ofthe loss of community
thereforeivesevery apearance ofrecuperatinthetranscendental illusion of
reason when reason exceeds the bounds ofall possible experience, which is
basically the experience of concealed immanence. Communq nus nor rukcn
p|ucc,orrather, ifitisindeedcertainthathumanityhasknownorstill knows,
outsideofthe industrialworld)socialtiesquitedifferentfromthosefamiliarto
NOn//The nopetO!VeCommun!y//l
us, community has nevertaken place alon the lines ofour proections of it
accordintothesedifferentsocialforms.ltdidnottake placefortheCuayaqui
lndians, it did not take place in an ae ofhuts, nor did it take place in the
Heelian'spiritofapeople'orin the Christianuupc. NoCcsc||scnu]r hascome
alon to help the State, industry and capital dissolve a prior Ccmcnscnu]r. lt
wouldundoubtedlybemoreaccuratetosay, bypassinallthetwistsandturns
taken by ethnoloical interpretation and all the miraes of an oriin or of
'byonedays',thatCcsc||scnu]r - 'socie',thedissociatinassociationofforces,
needsandsins- hastakentheplaceofsomethinforwhichwe havenoname
or concept, somethin thatissued atoncefroma much more extensive com-
municationthanthatofameresocialbondacommunicationwiththeods,the
cosmos, animals, the dead, the unknown) und from muchmore piercin and
dispersedsementationofthissamebond,ofteninvolvinmuchharshereffects
solitude, reection, admonition, helplessness) than what we expect from a
communitarianminimuminthesocialbond.5occqwas notbuiltonthe ruins
of a communq. lt emered from the disappearance or the conservation of
somethin - tribes orempires - perhaps ust as unrelated to what we call
'community' astowhatwecall'society'.Sotatcommunity,farfrombeinwhat
society has crushed or lost, iswnur nuppcns ro us - question, waitin, event,
imperative- nrncwukco]sccq.
Nothin,therefore,hasbeenlost,andforthisreasonnothinislost.Wealone
arelost,we uponwhomthe'socialbond'relations,communication),ourown
invention,nowdescendsheavilylikethenetofaneconomic,technical,political
andcultural snare. Fntanled in its meshes,wehave wrun for ourselvesthe
phantasmofthelostcommunity.
What this community has 'lost' - the immanence and the intimacy of a
communion - is lost only in the sense that such a 'loss' is constitutive of
'community'itself.
ltisnotaloss: onthecontrary,immanence,ifitweretocomeabout,would
instantlysuppresscommunity,orcommunication,assuch.Deathisnotonlythe
exampleofthis,itisitstruth.lndeath,atleastifoneconsidersinitwhatbrins
aboutimmanencedecompositionleadinbacktonature- 'everythinreturns
totheroundandbecomespartofthecycle'- orelsethe paradisal versions of
thesame 'cycle')and ifone forets what makes italways irreduciblysnu|ur,
there is no loner any community or communication: there is only the
continuousidentityofatoms.
Thisiswhypoliticalorcollectiveenterprisesdominatedbyawilltoabsolute
immanence have as their truth the truth of death. lmmanence, communal
fusion,containsnootherloicthanthatofthesuicideofthecommunitythatis
2//THEORETCAFRAEWORK
overned by it Thus the loic of Nazi Cermany was not only that of the
exterminationoftheother,ofthesubhumandeemedexteriortothecommunion
ofbloodandsoilbutalso,effectively,theloicofsacrificeaimedatallthosein
the'Aryan' communitywho did notsatisthe criteria ofpurcimmanence,so
muchsothat- itbeinobviouslyimpossibletosetalimitonsuchcriteria- the
suicide of the Cerman nation itself miht have represented a plausible
extrapolationoftheprocess:moreover,itwouldnotbefalsetosaythatthisreally
tookplace, withreardtocertain aspectsofthespiritualrealityofthis nation
Theoint suicideordeathoflovers isoneofthe mythico-literaryfiures of
this loicofcommunion in immanence.Faced with this fiure, one cannottell
which - thecommunionorthelove - servesas amodelforthe otherin death
lnreality,withtheimmanenceofthetwolovers,deathaccomplishestheinfinite
reciprocity of two aencies impassioned love conceived on the basis of
Christian communion, and community thouht accordin to the principle of
love.TheHeelianStateinitsturnbearswitnesstothis,foralthouhitcertainly
isnotestablishedonthebasisoflove- foritbelonstothe sphereofso-called
obective spirit- itnonethelesshasas itsprnp|cthe realityoflove,thatisto
saythefact'ofhavininanotherthemomentofone'sownsubsistence'. lnthis
State, each memberhas histruth in theother, which istheStateitself,whose
realityisnevermorepresentthanwhenits members ive theirlives in awar
that the monarch - the effective presence-to-self of the Subect-State - has
aloneandfreelydecidedtowae.
Doubtlesssuch immolationforthesakeofcommunity- andby it,therefore
- couldand canbefullofmeanin,on theconditionthatthis 'meanin'bethat
of a community, and on the furtherconditio that this community not be a
'communityofdeath'as hasbeen the case since at leastthe FirstWorldWar,
therebyustiinall refusals to 'dieforone'scountry') Now the communityof
humanimmanence,manmadeequaltohimselfortoCod,tonature,andtohis
ownworks,isonesuchcommunityofdeaths orofthedeadThefullyrealized
personofindividualisticorcommunistichumanismisthedeadperson. lnother
words,death, in suchacommunity,isnottheunmasterableexcessofInitude,
but the infinite fulfilmentofanimmanent life it is death itself consined to
immanence, it is in the end that resorption of death that the Christian
civilization,asthouhdevourinitsowntranscendence,hascometoministerto
itselfintheuiseofasupremeworkSinceLeibniztherehasbeennodeathin
ouruniverse. in one way oranother an absolute circulation ofmeanin of
values,ofends,ofHistory)fillsorreabsobsallfiniteneativity,drawsfomeach
finitesinulardestinyasurplusvalueofhumanityoraninfinitesuperhumanity.
Butthispresupposes,precisely,thedeathofeachandallinthelifeoftheinfinite.
Cenerationsofcitizensand militants, ofworkersandservantsoftheStates,
NOn/ /ThenopetO!iVe Communi//
haveimainedtheirdeathreabsorbedorsublatedinacommunity,yettocome,
thatwouldattainimmanence.Butbynowwehavenothinmorethanthebitter
consciousness of the increasin remoteness of such a community, be it the
people,thenationorhesocietyofproducers.However,thisconsciousness,like
thatofthe'loss'ofcommunity,issuperfcial.lntruth,deathisnotsuba ted.The
communion to come does notrowdistant, itisnot deferred. itwas neverto
come,itwouldbeincapableofcominaboutorforminafuture.Whatformsa
future,andconsequentlywhattrulycmesabout,isalwaysthesinulardeath-
whichdoesnotmeanthatdeathdoesnotcomeaboutinthecommunity. onthe
contrary, l shall cometo this. Butcommunionisnotwhat comesodeath, no
morethandeathisthesimpleperpetualpastofcommunity.
Millionsofdeaths,ofcourse,are]usr]cJbytherevoltofthosewhodie.they
are ustified as a reoinder to te intolerable, as insurrections aainst social,
political, technical, military, reliious oppression. But these deaths are not
suc|urcJ: nodialectic,nosalvationleadsthesedeathstoanyotherimmanence

thanthatof. . . deathcessation,ordecomposition,whichformsonlytheparody
orreverseofimmanence).Yet themodernaehasconceivedtheustificationof
deathonlyintheuiseofsalvation or the dialectical sublation ofhistory.The
modern ae has struled to c|osc rnc crc|c of the time of men and their
communities in an immortal communion in which death, finally, loses the
senselessmeaninthatitouhttohave- andthatithas,obstinately.
We are condemned, or rather reduced, to search for this meaninbeyond
meaninofdeathelsewherethanincommunity. Buttheenterpriseisabsurdit
istheabsurdityofathouhtderivedfromtheindividual)Deathisindissociable
fromcommunity,foritisthrouhdeaththatthecommunityrevealsitself- and
reciprocally. lt is not by chance that this motifofa reciprocal revelation has
preoccupiedthouhtinformedbyethnoloyaswellasthethinkinofFreudand
Heideer,andatthesametimeBataille,thatistosayinthetimeleadinfrom
the Firstto the SecondWorldWar.
Themotifoftherevelation,throuhdeath,ofbein-toetherorbeinwith,
and ofthe crystallizationofthe communityaround thedeathofits members,
rnur s ro su, urounJ rnc '|oss' (rnc mpossc|!j) o] rncr mmuncncc and not
aroundtheirfusionalassumptioninsomecollectivehypostasis,leadstoaspace
of thinkin incommensurable with the problematics of sociality or
intersubectivityincludintheHusserlianproblematicofthealtereo)within
which philosophy, despite its resistance, has remained captive. Death
irremediably exceeds the resources of a metaphysics of the subect. The
phantasm ofthis metaphysics, the phantasm that Descartes almost) did not
darehavebutthatwasalreadyproposed inChristiantheoloy,isthe phantasm
ofadeadmanwhosays,likeVilliers'MonsieurWaldemar,'lamdead'- eosum
4/ /THEORETCAFREWORK5
. . . mortuus. lfthecannotsaythatitisdead,iftheIdisappears, in effect in s
death, in that death that is precisely what is most proper to it and most
inalienablyitsown,itisbecause theIissomethinotherthanasubect.Allof
Heider's researchinto'bein-forortoward)-death'wasnothinotherthan
anattempttostatethis.isnot- umnot- asubect.Althouh,whenitcameto
thequestion ofcommunityas such,the sameHeideeralsowentastraywith
hisvisionofapeopleandadestinyconceivedatleastinpartasasubect, which
proves no doubt that Dasein's 'bein-toward-death' was never radically
implicatedin itsbein-with- in Mtscn and thatit isthis implicationthat
remainstobethouht.)
Thatwhich is notasubectopens up and opensontoacommunitywhose
conception, in turn, exceeds the resources of a metaphysics of the subect.
Community does not weave a superior,immortal ortransmortal life between
subects no more than it is itself woven of the inferior bonds of a
consubstantialityofbloodorofanassociationofneeds),butitisconstitutively,
totheextentthatitisamatterofa'constitution'here,calibratedonthedeathof
thosewhomwe call, perhapswronly,its 'members'inas much as itisnota
question of an oranism). But it does not make a work of this calibration.
Communitynomoremakesaworkoutofdeaththanitisitselfawork.Thedeath
uponwhichcommunityiscalibrateddoesnotopthedeadbein's passae
into some communal intimacy, nor does ommunity, for its part, op the
transfiurationofitsdeadintosomesubstanceorsubect bethesehomeland,
native soil or blood, nation, a delivered or fulfilled humanity, absolute
phalanstery, family,ormystical body. Communityiscalibrated ondeathason
thatofwhichi ti spreciselyimpossible to o otherthan a work of
death,assoonasonetriestomakeaworkofit).Communityoccursinorderto
acknowledethis impossibility, or more exactly - for there is neitherfunction
norfinalityhere- theimpossibilityofmakinaworkoutofdeathisinscribed
andacknowlededas'community'.
Communityisrevealedinthedeathofothershenceitisalwaysrevealedto
others.Communityiswhattakesplacealwaysthrouhothersandforothers.lt
is not the space ofthe os - subects and substances that are at bottom
immortal - but of the 's, who are always os or else are nothin). l f
communityisrevealedinthedeathofothersi ti sbecausedeathitselfisthetrue
communityof'sthatarenotos.ltisnotacommunionthatfusesthecos into
ano orahiher. ltisthecommunityofos.Theenuinecommunityof
mortalbeins,ordeathascommunity,establishestheirimpossiblecommunion.
Communitythereforeoccupiesasinularplace. itassumestheimpossibilityof
itsownimmanence,theimpossibilityofacommunitarianbeinintheformof
asubect.lnacertainsensecommunityacknowledesandinscribes- thisisits
NOn/ /ThenOpetO!iVeCOmmuni!y//
peculiaresture- theimpossibilityofcommunity.Acommunityisnotaproect
offusion,orin some eneralwayaproductive oroperativeproet- noris ita
pro]cctatall(onceaain,thisisitsradicaldifferencefrom'thespiritofapeople',
which from Heel to Heideer has fiured the collectivity as proect, and
fiuredtheproect,reciprocally,ascollective- whichdoesnotmeanthatwecan
inorethequestionofthesinularityofa'people').
Acommunityisthepresentationtoitsmembersoftheirmortaltruth(which
amounts to sayin that there is no community ofimmortal beins. one can
imaine either a society or a communion of immortal beins, but not a
community). ltisthepresentationofthefinitudeandthe irredeemableexcess
thatmakeupfinitebein. itsdeath,butalsoitsbirth,andonlythecommunity
canpresentmemybirth,andalonwithittheimpossibilityofmyrelivinit,as
wellastheimpossibiliofmycrossinoverintomydeath. . . .
Community means, consequently, that there is no sinular bein withou
anothersinularbein, and thatthere is, therefore,whatmihtbecalled, ina
rather inappropriate idiom, an oriinary or ontoloical 'sociality' that in its
principleextendsfarbeyondthesimplethemeofmanasasocialbein(thezoon
poltkonissecondarytothiscommunity).For,ontheonehand,itisnotobvious
that the community of sinularities is limited to 'man' and excludes, for
example,the 'animal'(eveninthecaseof'man'it is notu]ortorcertainthatthis
communityconcernsonly'man'andnotalsothe'inhuman'orthe'superhuman',
or,for example,iflmaysaysowithandwithoutacertainWtz, 'woman'.after
all, the difference befween the sexes is itselfasinularity in the difference of
sinularities).Dnthe otherhand,ifsocialbeinisalwayspositedasapredicate
ofman, community would sinifyon the contrary the basis forthinkinonly
somethin like 'man'. But this thinkin would at the same time remain
dependentuponaprincipaldeterminationofcommunity,namely,thatthere is
nocommunion ofsinularitiesinatotalitysuperiorto themand immanentto
theircommonbein.
ln placeofsucha communion, thereiscommunication.Whichistosayin
verypreciseterms,thatfinitudeitselfsnothin;itisneitheraround,noran
essence,norasubstance. Butitappears, itpresentsitself,itexposesitself,and
thus it cxsts as communication. ln order to desinate this sinular mode of
appearin,thisspecificphenomenality,whichisnodoubtmoreoriinarythan
anyother(foritcouldbethattheworldappearsto thecommunity,nottothe
individual), we would need to be able to say that finitude co-uppcurs or
compcurs,(com-purut)andcanonlycompcur:inthisformulationwewouldneed
to hear that finite beinalways presents itself'toether', hence severally, for
finitudealwayspresentsitselfinbein-in-commonandas thisbeinitself,and
//THEORETCAFRAEWORK5
it always presents itselfat a ncurn and before theudment fthe law of
community,or,moreoriinarily,beforetheudmentofcommunityas law.
Communication consists before all else in this sharin and i n this
compearance com-pururon)offinitude. that is,inthedislocation and inthe
interpellationthat reveal themselvestobeconstitutive ofbein-in-common-
preciselyinas much as beinin-common is not a common bein.The finite
beinexistsfirstofallaccordintoadivisionofsites,accordintoanextension
purrcs cxrru purrcs - suchthateachsinularityisextendedinthesense that
Freudsays. 'Thepsycheisextended').ltisnotenclosedinaform- althouhits
wholebeintouchesaainstitssinularlimit- butitiswhatitis,sinularbein
sinularityofbein),onlythrouhitsextension,throuhthearealitythatabove
all extroverts it in its vey bein - whatever the deree or the desire of its
'eoism'- andthatmakesitexistonlybycxposnr unoursJc. Thisoutside
isinits turn nothinotherthan the expositionofanotherareality, ofanother
sinularity thesameother.Thisexposure,orthisexposin-sharin,ivesrise,
fromtheoutse,toamutualinterpellationofsinularitiespriortoanyaddress
in lanuae thouh it ives to this latter its first condition of possibility).
Finitudecompears,thatistosayitisexposed.suchistheessenceofcommunity.
Undertheseconditions,communication is notabond.Themetaphorofthe
'socialbond'unhappilysuperimposesupon'subects'thatistosay, obects)a
hypothetical reality that of the 'bond') uon which some haveattempted to
conferadubious'intersubective'naturethatwould havethevirtueofattachin
these obects to one anotherThis would be the economic link or thebond of
reconition.Butcompearanceisofamoreoriinaryorderthanthatofthebond.
ltdoesnotsetitselfup,itdoes notestablishitself, itdoesnotemereamon
alreadyivensubectsobects).ltconsistsintheappearanceoftheccrccnas
such. you unJ l between us) - a formula in which the unJ does not imply
uxtapositionbutexposition.Whatisexposedincompearanceisthefollowin,
andwe mustlearntoreaditinall its possible combinations. 'youarejandjis)
entirelyotherthan)l''ro[c(s)r][rouruurrc quc]mo').Draain,moresimply.
ousnurcsmc'roporruco').
Dnlyinthiscommunicationaresinularbeinsiven- withoutabondunJ
withoutcommunion, equallydistantfrom any notion ofconnectionoroinin
from the outside and from any notion ofa common and fusional interiority.
Communication is the constitutive fact of an exposition to the outside that
definessinularity.lnits bein, as itsveybein, sinularityis exposedtothe
outside. By virtue of this position or this primordial structure, it is at once
detached,distinuishedand communitarian.Communityisthepresentatinof
thedetachmentorretrenchment)ofthisdistinctionthatis notindividuation,
butfinitudecom pea rin.[. . }
NOn/ /ThenopetO!iVeCommuni!y/ /7
This iswhy community cannot arise from the domain ofwork. Dne oes not
produce it, one experiences or one is constitute by it as the experience of
finitude. Community understood as a work or throuh its works would
presupposethatthecommonbein,assuch,beobectiIableandproduciblein
sites,personsbuildinsdiscoursesinstitutions,symbols. inshortinsubects).
Productsderived from operations ofthis kind, howeverrandiosetheymiht
seektobeandsometimesmanaetobe,havenomorecommunitarianexistence
thantheplasterbustsofMarianne.
CommunitynecessarilytakesplaceinwhatBlanchothascalledunworkin
referrinto that which before orbeyondthework,withdrawsfromthework,
and which, nolonerhavinto do eitherwithproductionorwithcompletion,
encountersinterruption,framentation,suspension.Communityismadeofthe
interruption of sinularities, or of the suspension that sinular beins urc.
Communityisnottheworkofsinularbeins,norcanitclaimthemasitsworks,
ustascommunicationisnotaworkorevenanoperationofsinularbeins,for
community is simply their bein their bein suspended upon its limit.
Communicationistheunworkinofworkthatissocialeconomic,technicaland
institutional.[. . .
Thepolitical,ifthiswordmayservetodesinatenottheoranizationofsociety
butthe disposition ofcommunityas such, the destination ofits sharin must
notbetheassumptionortheworkofloveorofdeath.ltneedneitherfind,nor
reain,noreffectacommuniontakentobelostorstilltocome.lfthepoliticalis
notdissolved in the sociotechnical elementofforces and needs inwhich, i n
effecti tseemstobedissolvinunderoureyes)i tmustinscribethesharinof
communi. The outline ofsinularity would be 'political' - as would be the
outline of its communication and its ecstasy. 'Political' would mean a
communityorderinitselfto theunworkinofits communication, ordesined
to this unworkin: acommunity consciouslyunderointheexperienceofits
sharin.Toattainsuchasinifcationofthe'political'doesnotdepend,orinany
case not simply, on what is called a 'political will'. t implies bein already
enaed inthecommunity,thatistosay, underoin inwhatevermanner the
experienceofcommunityas communication. itimplies writin. We must not
stop writin, or lettin the sinular outline of our beinin-common expose
itself
NotonlywillthishavebeenwrittenafterBataille,butalsotohimustashe
wroteto us becauseonealwayswritesro- communicatintoustheanuish
of community writin from a solitude prior to any isolation invokin a
communitythatnosocietycontains or precedes,even thouheverysocietyis
implied init.
/ /THEORETCAFRAEWORK5
The reasons forwritinabookcan be brouhtbackto thedesire to modify the
existin relations between a man and his fellow beins These relations are
udedunacceptableand are perceivedas anatrocious miseryeoresataile,
Ucuvc Cum!c:. vol,
Dr else, it iscommunity itself- thouh its nothin, ris not a collective
subect- thatneverstops, inwritin, sharinitself.
Theanuishwhichyoudonotcommunicatetoyourfellowbeinisinsomeway
scornedand mistreated.thasonlyto theweakestextentthepowerto reflectthe
lorythatcomesfromthe depthofthe heavens[U.C. b
lnM Morncr,Hlne,themother,writestoherson
admiremyselfforwritintoyoulikethis,andmarveltothinkthatmy letteris
worthyofyou(U.C
But this hand that writes is dn, and throuh this death promised to it, it
escapesacceptedlimitsbywritin(U.C.
lwouldsay,rather.itexposestheselimits,itneverpassesbeyondthem,nor
passes beyond community But at every instant sinular beins share their
limits,shareeachotherontheirlimits.Theyescapetherelationshipsofsociety
'mother' and 'son', 'author' and 'reader', 'public fiure' and 'private fiure',
'producer'and 'consumer'),buttheyareincommunity,andareunworked
havespokenofacommunityas existin Nietzschebrouhthisaffirmationsto
this, but remained alone . . . The desire to communicate is born in me out of a
feelin of community bindin me to Nietzsche, and not out of an isolated
oriinality.[U.C. b
Wecanonlyofarther.
NOn//ThenopetO!iVeCommuni!y//
Ccorcs6ataIc,UccC0mpl8/cS. voI. 1 (Far|s:CaI|mard,190)33?; hcrcaIIcr'U.
? Cons|dcrcd|ndcta|I,taIn|ntoaccountthcprcc|sch|stor|caIconuncturcoIcach|nstancc,th|s
|snotr|orousIycxactasrcards,IorcxampIc,thcHunar|anCounc|IoI1955,andcvcn morcso
thc IcIt oISoI|dar|ty |n FoIand. Nor|s |t absoIutcIy cxact as rcards aII oIthc d|scourscs hcId
today onc m|ht, |n th|s rcspcct aIonc, uxtaposc thc s|tuat|on|sts oI not so Ion ao w|th
ccrta|naspcctoIHannahArcndt`sthouht andaIso,as stranc orprovocat|vcasthcm|xturc
m|ht appcar ccrta| propos|t|ons advanccd by lyotard 6ad|ou, EIIuI, Dclcuzc, FasoI|n| and
kanrc.Thcsc thouhts occur, aIthouh cach onc cnacs |t |n |ts own part|cuIarway(and
somct|mcs whcthcr thcyknow |t or not), |n thc waI:c oIa Marx|st cvcnt that I w|II tryto
charactcr|c bcIow and that s|n|I|cs Ior us thc br|n|n |nto qucst|on oI commun|st or
commun|tar|an human|sm(qu|tcd|IIcrcntIromthcqucst|on|nonccundcrtakcnbyAIthusscr
|nthcnamcoIaMarx|stsc|cncc).Th|s|saIsowhysuchpropos|t|onscommun|catcw|thwhatl
shaInamc,tcntat|vcIyand|nsp|tcoIcvcIyt|n,`I|tcraIcommun|sm`.
3 Iootnotc5|nsourccj'lccommun|smcsanshcr|tac`,10vlI0C0mll0, 1958,Cummu, 3j4(1975)3?.
4 5jForthcmomcnt,Ict\b rcta|ns|mpIythat'I|tcraturc`,hcrc,mustabovcaIInotbctakcn|nthc
scnsc6ata|IIcavctothcword whcnhcwrotc, IorcxampIc(|n h|scr|t|qucoIluucI LXpc!cuCc
and Cult)]: l havc comc to rcaI|zc throuh cxpcr|cnccthat thcscbooks Icad thosc who rcad
thcm|ntocompIaccncy.Thcy pIcasc most oItcnthoscvauc and |mpotcntm|ndswho want to
lIcc and sIccpandSullS_ thcmscIvcs w|th thc cscapc prov|dcd by I|tcraturc` (. 8: 583). Hc
aIso spokcoIthc 'sI|d|n|nto|mpotcnccoIthoutthatturnsto I|tcraturc`(|b|d.).
5 8 Scc|can-luc Nancy, 'laur|d|ct|on du monarquc hccI|cn', |n Kc0uc lc p0lllq!Ic (Far|s:
CaI|Icc, 1981).TransIatcd|nJ0c bll0 l0 IcScuCc (StanIord:StanIordUn|vcrs|tyFrcss, 1993).
5 9SccFh|I|ppclacouc-labarthc,'TransccndcnccEnds|nFoI|t|cs`,trans.F.Caws,|nJ)p0up0).
MmcSlS, 0l0S0p0), I0l/lCS, cd. C. Fynsk (Harvard Un|vcrs|ty Frcss, 1989) ?57-300, and C.
CrancI,'Fourquo|avo|rpubI|cccIa|nc l'uuvcISll0 (TouIousc:E.k., 198?).
?4j ln th|s scnsc, thc compcarancc oIs|nuIar bc|ns |s antcr|or cvcn to thc prcI|m|nary
cond|t|on oIIanuac that Hc|dccr undcrstandsasprc I|nu|st|c'|ntcrprctat|on`|AuSlcuu),
towh|cIrcIcrrcd thc s|nuIar|tyoIvo|ccs |n 'Shar|nVo|ccs`, |n JuuS]0mlu l0c Hcmcucu/c
C0ulcXl, cdCayIcOrm|stonand AIan D.Schr|It (AIbany: SUNY Frcss, 1989).Contrarytowhat
th|scssaym|ht Icad onc to th|nk, thc shar|noIvo|ccsdocs not Icad to ommun|ty, on thc
contrary, |t dcpcnds on th|s or||nary shar|n that commun|ty |s. Or rathcr, th|s 'or||nary`
shar|n|tscII|snoth|nothcrthana'shar|noIvo|ccs`,butthc'vo|cc`shouIdbcundcrstoodnot
asI|nu|st|corcvcnprcI|nu|st|c,butascommun|tar|an.
8 ?5j l do not |ncIudcthcpoI|t|caI hcrc. ln thc Iorm oIthcStatc,orthcFarty(|InotthcStatc
Farty),|t|ndccdsccmstobcoIthcordcroIawork. 6ut |t|spcrhapsatthchcartoIthcpoI|t|caI
tatcommun|tar|anunwork|nrcs|sts.
|can-luc Nancy, (u C0mmuuuul0 00S0cuvI0c (Far|s: Chr|st|an 6ouro|s, 1985); cd.and trans. Fctcr
Connor,10c lu0pcut!vc C0mmuult) (M|nncapoI|s: Un|vcrs|Iy oIM|nncsotaFrcss, 1991)1-4;7-15;
?89, 31 40-1.
70//THEORETCAFRAEWORK5
g
OOUOrO C!issOnI
POC!Cs O RC!oOnJ JI990
ln]|ucnccJcDc|cuzcunJCuuttur'sAThousandPlateaux( |98O),wncnuJvocutcs
un nccssunt sucvcrson o] powcr vu 'Jctcrrtoru|zn' csturcs, tnc Ircncn
Curcccun uutnorEJouurJC|ssuntpoctcu||urucs]ortncuctvcupproprutono]
co|onu|cu|turcc tncco|onzcJ,purtcu|ur|ontnc|cvc|o]|unuuc.Incontrustto
tnc cu|turu|| unnconccpt o] ncrtuJc, C|ssunt's Poetics ofRelation (I99O)
uJvocutcsuunt unJcrstooJusJvcrscunJ]|uctuutn.
Fnantq, FxiIc
Roots make the commonalityoferrantryand exile,forin both instances roots
arelackin.We mustbein with that.
Cilles Deleuze and Flix Cuattari criticized notions of the root and even,
perhaps,notionsofbeinrooted.Therootisunique,astocktakinalluponitself
and killin all around it. ln opposition to this they propose the rhizome, an
enmeshed rootsystem,anetworkspreadineitherin theroundorinthe air,
withnopredatoryrootstocktakinoverpermanently.Thenotionoftherhizome
maintains,therefore,theideaofrootednessbutchallenesthatofatotalitarian
root. Rhizomatic thouht is the principle behind what l call the Poetics of
Relation, inwhicheachand every identity isextended throuh a relationship
withtheDther.
These authors extol nomadism, which upposedly liberates Bein, i n
contrast,perhaps,toasettledwayoflife,withitslawbasedupontheintolerant
root. Already Kant, at the beinnin of Crtquc o] Iurc kcuson, had seen
similaritiesbetween skeptics and nomads, remarkin also that, from time to
time, 'they break the social bond'. He seems thus to establish correlations
between, onthe one hand, a settledwayoflife, truth and society and, on the
other,nomadism, skepticismandanarchy.This parallelwithKantsueststhat
therhizomeconceptappearsinterestinforitsanti-conformism,butonecannot
inferfromthisthatitissubversiveorthatrhizomaticthouhthasthecapacity
to overturn the order of the world - because, by so doin, one reverts to
ideoloicalclaimspresumablychallenedbythisthouht.
Butis the nomad not overdetermined by the conditions of his existence
Ratherthantheenoymentoffreedom,isnomadismnotaformofobedienceto
continencies that are restrictiveTake, forexample,circularnomadism. each
timeaportionoftheterritoryisexhausted,theroupmovesaround.ltsfunction
isto ensure thesurvival ofthe roup bymeans ofthis circularity.This is the
GliSSOnt/Poe!icSo!RelO!ion/ /7
nomadism practisedby populations that move from one partofthe forest to
another,bytheArawakcommunitieswhonaviatedfromislandtoislandinthe
Caribbean,by hiredlabourers in theirpilrimaefrom farm tofarm, by circus
peoplein theirpererinationsfromvillaetovillae,allofwhomaredrivenby
somespecificneedtomove, inwhichdarinoraressionplaynpart.Circular
nomadismisanot-intolerantformofanimpossiblesettlement.
Contrastthiswithinvadinnomadism,thatoftheHuns,orexample,orthe
Conquistadors, whose oal was to conquer lands by exterminatin their
occupants.Neitherprudentnorcircularnomadism,itspares noeffect. lt is an
absoluteforwardproection.anarrowlikenomadism.Butthedescendantsofthe
Huns, Vandals or Visioths, as indeed those of the Conquistadors, who
established their clans, settled down bitby bit, meltin into their conquests.
Arrowlikenomadismisadevastatindesireforsettlement.
Neither in arrowlike nomadism nor in circular nomadism are roots valid.
Before itiswonthrouhconquest,what'holds'theinvaderiswhatliesahead,

moreover,onecouldalmostsaythatbeincompelledtoleadasettledwayoflife
wouldconstitutetherealuprootinofacircularnomad.Thereis,furthermore,no
pain ofexile bearin down, nor is there the wanderlust oferrantry rowin
keener.Relationtotheearthistooimmediateortooplunderintobelinkedwith
any preoccupation with identity - this claim to or consciousness ofa lineae
inscribed inaterritoy. ldentitywillbeachieved whencommunitiesattemptto
leitimate theirrihtto possession of aterritory throuhmyth or the revealed
word. Such an assertion can predate its actual accomplishmentby quite some
time.Thus,anoftenandloncontestedleitimacywillhavemultipleformsthat
laterwilldelineatetheafflictedorsoothindimensionsofexileorerrantry.
ln Western antiquitya man in exile does notfeel he is helplessorinferior,
because hedoes not feelburdened with deprivation- ofanationthatforhim
doesnotyetexist.ltevenseems,ifoneistobelievethebioraphiesofnumerous
CreekthinkersincludinPlatoandAristotle,thatsomeexperienceofvoyain
andexileisconsiderednecessaforabein'scompletefulfilment.Platowasthe
firsttoattempttobase leitimacynotoncommunitywithinterritoryas itwas
beforeandwouldbelater)butontheCityin therationalityofitslaws.Thisata
timewhen hiscity,Athens,wasalreadythreatenedbya'final'dereulation.
ln this period identification iswitha culture conceived ofas civilization),
not yet with a nation. The pre-Christian West alon with pre-Columbian
America,Africaofthetimeofthereatconquerors,andtheAsiankindomsall
sharedthismodeofseeinandfeelin.Therelayofactionsexertedbyarrowlike
nomadismandthesettledwayoflifewere firstdirected aainsteneralization
thedriveforanidentiinuniversalaspractisedbytheRomanFmpire).Thus,
theparticularresistsaeneralizinuniversalandsoonbeetsspecificandlocal
72/ /THEORETCAFREWORK
senses ofidentity, in concentric circles provinces then nations). The idea of
civilization,bitbybit,helpsholdtoetheropposites,whoseonlyformeridentity
existedintheiroppositiontotheDther.
Durin this period of invadin nomads the passion forselfdefinition first
appears in the uise ofpersonal adventure. Alon the route oftheir voyaes
conquerors established empires that collapsed at their death. Their capitals
wentwheretheywent.RomeisnolonerinRome,itiswhereverlam.'Theroot
is notimportant.Movementis.Theideaoferrantry, stillinhibited in theface of
this
mad reality this too-functionalnomadism,whoseendsitcould not know,
does not yet make an appearance. Centre and periphery are equivalent.
Conquerorsarethemovin,transientrootoftheirpeople.
The West, therefore, is where this movement becomes fixed and nations
decla themselves in preparation for their repercussions in the worl This
fixin, this declaration, this expansion, all require that the dea of the root
radually take on the intolerant sense that Deleuze and Cuattari, no doubt,
meanttochallene.ThereasonforourreturntothisepisodeinWesternhistory
isthatitspreadthrouhoutthe world.The model came in handy. Mostofthe
nationsthatainedfreedomfromcolonizationhavetendedtoformaround an
idea ofpower the totalitarian drive of a sinle, unique root - ratherthan
aroundafundamentalrelationhipwiththeDther.Culture'sself-conceptionwas
dualistic, pittin citizen aainst barbarian. Nothin has ever more solidly
opposed the thouht of errantry than this period in human history when
Westernnationswereestablishedandthenmadetheirimpactontheworld.
Atfirstthisthouhtoferrantry,buckinthecurentofnationalistexpansion,
wasdisuised'within'verypersonalizedadventures- ustastheappearanceof
Western nations had been preceded by the ventures ofepirebuilders.The
errantryofatroubadourorthatofRimbaudisnotyetathorouh,thickopaque)
experience of the world, but it is already an arrant, passionate desireto o
aainstaroot.The realityofexiledurinthisperiodis felt as atemporary)lack
thatprimarilyconcerns, interestinlyenouh, lanuae.Western nationswere
establishedon thebasisoflinuisticintransience,and theexile readily admits
thathe suffers mostfromthe impossibilityofcommunicatin in his lanuae.
The root is monolinual. For the troubadour and for Rimbaud errantry is a
vocationonlytoldviadetour.ThecallofRelationisheard,butitisnotyetafully
presentexperience.
However, and this is an immense paradox, the reat foundin books of
communities,theDldTestament, theIluJ, theCJssc, theCnunsons JcCcsrc,
thelslandic5uus,theAcncJortheAfricanepics,wereallbooksaboutexileand
oftenabouterrantry.This epicliterature isamazinly prophetic. lttells ofthe
community but, throuh relatin the community's apparent failure or in any
GliSSOn /Poe!icS O!RelO!iOn/ /7
case its bein surpassed, it tells oferrantry as atemptation the desire to o
aainst the root) and, frequently, actually experienced. Within the collective
booksconcerninthesacredandthenotionofhistoryliestheermoftheexact
opposite of what they so loudly proclaim. When the very idea of territory
becomes relative, nuances appear in the leitimacy of territorial possession.
Tese are books about the birth of collective consciousness, but they also
introducetheunrestandsuspensethatallowthe individualtodiscoverhimself
there,whenever he himselfbecomes the issue.TheCreekvictory in theI|uJ
dependsontrickery UlyssesreturnsfromhisDdysseyandisreconizedonlyby
his do the Dld Testament David bears the stain ofadultery and murder, the
Cnunson Jc o|unJ is the chronicle ofa defeat, the characters in the5uusare
brandedbyanunstemmablefate,andsoforth.Thesebooksarethebeinninof
somethinentirelydifferent from massive,domtic and totalitarian certainty
despite the reliious uses to which they will be put). These are books of
errantry,oinbeyondthepursuitsandtriumphsofrootednessrequiredbythe
evolutionofhistory.
Some ofthese books aredevotedentirely tothesupremeerrantry,as in the
Fyptian Bookofthe Dead. Thevery book whose function is to consecrate an
intransientcommunityisalreadya compromise, qualiin its triumph with
revelatorywanderins.
ln both L'ntcnton poctquc octc Intcnton) and
Lc Dscours unt||us
CurttcunDscoursc)- ofwhichthe presentworkisareconstituted echoora
spiral retellin - l approached this dimension of epic literature. l bean
wonderinifwe did notstill need such foundinworkstoday,onesthatwould
use a similardialectics ofreroutin, assertin, for example, political strenth
but,simultaneously,the rhizome ofamultiplerelationshipwith theDtherand
basineverycommunity'sreasonsforexistenceonamodernformofthesacred,
whichwouldbe,allinall,aPoeticsofRelation.
This movement, therefore one amon others, equally important, in other
partsofthe world), has ledfroma primordial nomadismto the settledwayof
lifeofWesternnations,thentoDiscoveryandConquest,whichachievedafinal,
almostmysticalperfectionintheVoyae.
ln the courseofthisourney,identity, atleast as faras the Western peoples
whomadeupthereatmaorityofvoyaers, discoverersandconquerorswere
concerned,consolidatesitselfimplicitlyat first 'my root is the stronest')and
then is explicitly exported as a value 'a person's worth is determined by his
root').Theconqueredorvisitedpeoplesarethusforcedintoalonandpainful
quest after an identity whose first task will be opposition to the denaturin
processintroducedbytheconqueror.Atraicvariationofasearchfor identity.
Formorethantwo centurieswholepopulationshavehadtoasserttheiridentity
74//THEORETCAFRAEWORK5
inoppositiontotheprocessesofidentificationorannihilationtrieredbythese
invaders.Whereasthe Western nation isfirstofallan 'opposite forcolonized
peoples identitywill beprimarily 'opposed to' - thatis, a limitation from the
beinnin.Decolonizationwillhavedoneitsrealworkwhenitoesbeyondthis
limit.
Thedualityofself-perception(oneiscitizenorforeiner)hasrepercussions
on one's idea of the Dther (one is visitor or visited, one oes or stays, one
conquersorisconquered).ThouhtoftheDthercannotescapeitsowndualism
until the time when differences become acknowleded. From that point on
thouht of the Dther 'comprehends' multiplicity, but mechanically and still
takin the subtle hierarchies of a eneralizin universal as its basis.
Acknowledindifferencesdoesnotcompeloneto beinvolved inthe dialectics
oftheirtotality. Dne couldet away with: 'l can acknowledeyourdifference
andcontinuetothinkitisharmfultoyou.lcanthinkthatmystrenthliesinthe
VoyaelammakinHistory)andthatyourdifferenceismotionlessandsilent
Anotherstepreainstobetakenbeforeonereallyentersthedialecticoftotality.
And, contrary to the mechanics of the Voyae, this dialectic turns out to be
drivenbythethouhtoferrantry.
Let us suppose that the quest for totality, startin from a non-universal
contextofhistoriesoftheWest,has passed throuhthefollowinstaes
- thethinkinofterritoryandself(ontoloicaldual)
- thethinkinofvoyaeandother(mechanical,multiple)
- thethinkinoferrantryandtotality(relational,dialectical).
We will aree that this thinkin oferrantry, this errant thouht, silently
emeres from the destructurin of compact ational entities that yesterday
were still triumphantand,at the same time, from difficult, uncertain births of
newformsofidentithatcallto us.
lnthiscontextuprootincanworktowardsidentity,andexilecanbeseenas
beneficial, when these are experienced as a search for the Dther (throuh
circular nomadism) rather than as an expansion of territory (an arrowlike
nomadism). Totality's imainary allows the detours that lead away from
anythintotalitarian.
Frrantry,therefore,doesnotproceedfromrenunciationnorfromfrustration
reardina supposedlydeteriorated(deterritorialized) situation oforiin, itis
not a resolute act of reection or an uncontrolled impulse of abandonment.
Sometimes,bytakinuptheproblemsoftheDther,itispossibletofindoneself.
Contemporaryhistoryprovidesseveral strikinexamples ofthis, amonthem
FrantzFanon,whosepathledfromMartiniquetoAleria.Thatisverymuchthe
imae of the rhizome, promptin the knowlede that identity is no loner
completelywithin therootbutalsoinRelation.Becausethethouhtoferrantry
GliSSOn!/ /PoecSo!RelO!ion/ /7
is alsc the thcuht cfwhat is relative, the thin relayed as well as the thin
related.The thcuhtcferrantryisa pcetics, whihalways infersthatat scme
mcmentitistcld.ThetalecferrantryisthetalecfRelaticn.
lnccntrasttcarrcwlikencmadismdisccverycrccnquest),inccntrasttcthe
situaticn cfexile, errantry ives-cn-and-with the neaticn cfevery pcle and
every metrcpclis, whetherccnnected crncttcaccnquercr'svcyainact.We
have repeatedlymenticnedthatthe firstthinexpcrtedby the ccnquercrwas
hislanuae.Mcrecver,thereatWesternlanuaesweresuppcsedlyvehicular
lanuaes, which cften tcck the place cf an actual metrcpclis. Relaticn, in
ccntrast, is spckenmultilinually. Ccinbeycndtheimpcsiticns cfeccncmic
fcrces and cultural pressures,Relaticnrihtfullycppcsesthetctalitarianismcf
anymcnclinualintent.
At this pcint we seem tc be far remcved frcm the sufferins and
precccupaticnscfthcsewhcmustbearthewcrld'sinustice.Theirerrantryis,
in effect, immcbile. They have never experienced the melanchcly and
extrcvertedluxurycfuprcctin.Theydcncttravel.Butcnecftheccnstantscf
curwcrld isthatakncwledecfrcctswill beccnveyed tc themfrcmwithin
intuiticnscfRelaticnfrcmncwcn.Travellinisnclcnerthelccuscfpcwerbut
rather a pleasurable, if privileed time. The cntclcical cbsessicn with
kncwledeiveswayheretctheencymentcfarelaticn,initselementaryand
cften caricatural fcrm this is tcurism. Thcse whc stay behind thrill tc this
passicnfcrthewcrldsharedbyall.Drindeed theymaysufferthetcrmentscf
internalexile.
wculd nct describe the physical situaticn cf thcse whc suffer the
cppressicn cfan Dtherwithin theircwnccuntry, such as the blacks in Scuth
Africa, as internal exile. Becausethe scluticn hereisvisible and the cutc

me
determined,fcrcealcnecancppcsethis.lnternalexilestrikesindividualslivin
wherescluticnsccncernintherelaticnshipcfaccmmunitytcitssurrcundins
arenct,crat leastnctyet, ccnsentedtc bythisccmmunityasawhcle.These
scluticns,precaricuslycutlinedasdecisicns,arestill theprercative cfcnlya
few whc as a result are marinalized. lnternal exile is the vcyae cut cfthis
enclcsure. lt is a mcticnless and exacerbated intrcducticn tc the thcuht cf
errantry. Mcst cften it is diverted intc partial, pleasurable ccmpensaticns in
whichtheindividualisccnsumed.lnternalexiletendstcwardmaterialccmfcrt,
whichcannctreallydistractfrcmanuish.
Whereasexilemayercdecne'ssensecfidentity,thethcuhtcferrantry-
thethcuhtcfthatwhichrelates- usuallyreinfcrces this sense cfidentity.lt
seems pcssible, at least tc cne cbserver, that the persecuted errantry, the
wanderincfthe|ews,mayhavereinfcrcedtheirsensecfidentityfarmcrethan
theirpresentsettlin in the land cfPalestine Beinexiled|ews turned intca
7/ /THEORETCAFRAEWORK5
vocationoferrantry,theirpointofreferenceanideallandwhosepowermay,in
facthavebeenunderminedbyconcretelandaterritory),chosenandconquered
This,however,ismereconecture.Because,whileonecancommunicatethrouh
errantry'simainaryvision,theexperiencesofexilesareincommunicable.
Thethouhtoferrantryisnotapoliticalnorisitinconsistentwiththewillto
identity,whichis,afterall, nothinotherthan the search for afreedomwithin
particularsurroundins. lfit is at variance with territorial intolerance, orthe
predatoryeffectsoftheuniquerootwhichmakesprocessesofidentificationso
difficulttoday),thisisbecause,inthePoeticsofRelation, onewhoiserrantwho
isnolonertraveller,discovererorconqueror)strivestoknowthetotalityofthe
world yet already knows he will neveraccomplish this - and knows that is
preciselywherethethreatenedbeautyoftheworldresides
Frrant,hechallenesanddiscardstheuniversal thiseneralizinedictthat
summarizedtheworldassomethinobviousandtransparent,claiminforitone
presupposedsenseandonedestiny.Heplunesintotheopacitiesofthatpartof
theworldtowhichhehasaccess.Ceneralizationistotalitarian. fromtheworld
itchoosesonesideofthereports,onesetofideas,whichitsetsapartfromothers
andtriestoimposebyexportinasamodel.The thinkinoferrantryconceives
oftotalitybutwillinly renouncesanyclaimstosumituportopossessit.
The foundin books have tauht us that the sacred dimension consists
always ofoindeeperintothemysteryoftheroot,shadedwithvariationsof
errantry. ln reality errant thinkin is the postulation of an unyieldin and
unfadinsacredWe rememberthatPlato,whounderstoodthepowerofMyth,
hadhopedtobanishthepoets,thosewhoforceobscurity,farfromtheRepublic.
He distrusted the fathomless word. Are we not returnin here, in the
unforeseeablemeandersofRelation,tothisabyssalword?Nowhereisitstated
thatnow,inthis thouhtoferrantry,humanitywill notsucceedi ntransmutin
Myth'sopacities which wereformerly the occasionforsettinroots)and the
diffracted insihtsofpoliticalphilosophy,therebyreconcilinHomerandPlato,
HeelandtheAfricanriot.
But we need to fiure out whether or not there are othersucculencies of
Relation in other parts ofthe world and already at work in an underround
manner) that will suddenly open up other avenues and soon help to correct
whatever simplifyin, ethnocentric exclusions may have arisen from such a
perspective.[. . . |
Dictatc, Dccrcc
[ . . . | Summarizinwhatweknowconcerninthevarietiesofidentity,we arrive
atthefollowin.
GlSSOn\/ /Poe!cSoRelO\on/ /77
koorJcnr!j
- isfoundedinthedistantpastinavision,amythofthecreationoftheworld,
- issanctifiedbythehiddenviolenceofafiliationthatstrictlyfollowsfromthis
foundinepisode
;
- is ratified by a claim to leitimacythatallowsa community to proclaim its
entitlementtothe possessionofaland,whichthusbecomesaterrtory;
- is preserved bybeinproectedontootherterritories, makintheir
conquestleitimate- andthrouhtheproect ofadiscursiveknowlede. Root
identitytherefore rooted the thouhtofselfand ofterritoryand set in motion
thethouhtoftheotherandofvoyae.
kc|uron Jcnr!j
- is linednottoacreationoftheworld buttotheconscious
a
ndcontradictory
experienceofcontacts amoncultures;
- isproducedinthechaoticnetworkofRelationandnotinthehiddenviolence
offiliation;
- doesnotdeviseanyleitimacyas itsuaranteeofentitlement,butcirculates,
newlyextended;
- does not think ofa land as a territory from which to proect toward other
territoriesbutasaplacewhereoneives-on-and-withratherthanrasps.
Relation identity exults the thouht oferrantry and of totality. The shock of
relatin,hence,hasrepercussionsonseverallevels.Whensecularculturescome
into contactthrouh their intolerances, the ensuin violence triers mutual
exclusionsthataeofasacrednatureandforwhichanyfuturereconciliationis
hardtoforesee.Whenaculturethatisexpresslycomposite,suchastheculture
ofMartinique,istouchedbyanother(French)that'enteredinto'itscompositio
and continues to determine it, not radically but throuh the erosion of
assimilation,theviolenceofreactionisintermittentandunsureofitself.Forthe
Martinican it has no solid rootstock in any sacred territory or filiation. This,
indeed,isacaseinwhichspecificityisastrictrequirementandmustbedefined
as closely as possible. For this composite culture is fraile in the extreme,
wearindownthouhcontactwithamaskedcolonization.
[
^ ^
.
|
[
douardCIissanI,Poriquedclokclo|ion(Faris.
[
diI|onsCaIIimard, 1990)Iran.6cIsyWin,Poerics
o)kclo|ion [looInoIcsnoIincIudcd(AnnArDor:UnivcrsiIyol M|chianFrcss,1997)11-?1; 143-4.
7/ /THEORETCAFRAEWORK5
F!ix CUOOri
LOCOSUOSIS LlOCO/OSlOOlC PooOQmJ JI992
Chaosmosis An FthicoAesthetic Paradim (|99/) s rnc lusr took wrrrcn t
IrcncnpscnounulsrunJpnlosopncrIclx Cuurrur.lnrncrurns ro ucsrncrcsus
rncmoJcl]oruncwcrncultcnuvouropposcJrocuprulsri:ronulr. IorCuurrur,
urrsuproccsso]'tccomn':uuJ unJpurrulluuronomouszonco]ucrvrrnur
worksuunsrJscplnuitounJurcs,crwncnsnscpurutlc]rom rsnrcruron
nrncsoculclJ.Chaosmosissunmporrunrrc]crcncc]orrnc]nulcssunNcolus
8ourruuJ'sRelationalAesthetics
[. | Artistic cartoraphies have always been an essential element of the
framework of every society. But since becomin the work of specialized
corporatebodies,theymayhaveappearedtobesideissues,asupplementofthe
soul,afrailesuperstructurewhosedeathisreularlyannounced.Andyetfrom
therottoes ofLascauxto Soho,takininthe dawnofthe cathedrals,they have
never stopped bein a vital element in the crystallization of individual and
collectivesubectivities.
Fabricated in the socius, art, however, is only sustained by itself. This is
ecauseeachwork produced possesses adoubleInality. to insert itselfintoa
socialnetworkwhichwilleitherappropriateorreectit,andtocelebrate,once
aain, the Universe ofartas such, precisely because it is always in danerof
collapsin.
What confers it with this perennial possibility ofeclipse isits function of
rupturinwithforms and sinifications circulatintrivially inthesocialfield.
Theartistand,moreenerally,aestheticperception,detachanddeterritorialize
a sement ofthe real in such a way as to make it play the role ofa partial
enunciator. Art confers a function of sense and alterity to a subset of the
perceived world. The consequence of this quasi-animistic speec effect of a
workofartisthatthe subectivityoftheartistandthe 'consumer'is reshaped.
lnshort,itisamatterofrarefyinanenunciationwhichhastooreatatendency
to become entanled in an identificatory seriality which infantilizes and
annihilatesit.Theworkofart, for thosewhouseit,isanactivityofunframin,
ofrupturinsense,ofbaroqueproliferationorextremeimpoverishment,which
leadstoa recreation and a reinvention ofthe subectitself. Anew existential
support will oscillate on the work of art, based on a double reister of
reterritorialization refrain function) and resinularization. The event of its
encountercanirreversiblydatethecourseofanexistenceandeneratefieldsof
GuOOt/ /ChOoSmoSS:AE!hco-AeS!he!cPOtOdgm/ /7
thepossible'farfromtheequilibria'ofeverydaylife.
Viewedfromtheanleofthisexistentialfunction- namely,in rupturewith
sinification and denotation - ordinary aesthetic cateorizations lose a lare
part of their relevance. Reference to 'free fiuration', 'abstraction' or
'conceptualism' hardly matters What isimportantistoknow ifaworkleads
effectivelyto amutant production of enunciation.Thefocus ofartisticactivity
alwaysremainsasurplus-valueofsubectivityor,inotherterms,thebrininto
liht of a neentropy at the heart of the banality of the environment - the
consistency of subectivity only bein maintained by self-renewal throuh a
minimal,individualorcollective,resinularization.
The rowth in artistic consumption we have witnessed in recent years
shouldbeplaced,nevertheless,inrelationtotheincreasinuniformityofthelife
of individuals in the urban context. lt should be emphasized that the quasi-
vitaminicfunctionofthisartisticconsumptionisnotunivocaltcanmoveina
direction parallel to uniformization, or play the role of an operator in the
bifurcation of subectivity (this ambivalence is particularly eident in the
influenceofrockculture).Thisisthedilemmaeveryartisthastoconfront'too
with the flow', as advocated, for example, by the Transavantarde and the
apostles ofpostmodernism, or to wor forthe renewal of aesthetic practices
relayed byotherinnovativesementsoftheSocius,attheriskofencounterin
incomprehensionandofbeinisolatedbythemaorityofpeople.
Dfcourse,it'snotatall clearhowonecanclaimtoholdcreativesinularity
and potential social mutations toether. And it has to be admitted that the
contemporary Socius hardly lends itselfto experimentationwith this kind of
aestheticandethico-politicaltransversality. ltnonethelessremainsthecasethat
the immense crisis sweepin the planet - chronic unemployment, ecoloical
devastation, dereulationofmodes ofvalorization,uniquelybased on profitor
State assistance - open the field up to a different deployment of aesthetic
components. lt doesn't simply involve occupyin the free time of the
unemployed and 'marinalized' in community centres ln fact it is the very
productionsofscience,technoloyandsocialelationswhichwilldrifttowards
aestheticparadimslt'senouhtorefertothelatestbookbyya Prioine and
lsabelleSteners, where theyevoke the necessityofintroducinintophysicsa
'narrativeelement'asindispensabletoaenuineconceptionofevolution.
Todayoursocietieshavetheirbacksupaainstthewall;tosurvivetheywill
have to develop research, innovation and creation still further - the very
dimensions which imply an awareness ofthe strictlyaesthetic techniques of
ruptureandsuture.Somethinisdetachedandstartstoworkforitself, ustasit
can work for you ifyou can 'alomerate' yourselfto such a process. Such
requestionin concerns every institutional domain; forexample, the school.
0//THEORETCAFRAEWORK5
HowdoyoumakeaclassoperatelikeaworkofartWhatarethepossiblepaths
toitssinularization,thesurceofa'purchaseonexistence'forthechildrenwho
compose itAndonthe reisterofwhat oncecalled'molecularrevolutions',
theThirdWorld concealstreasureswhichdeservetobeexplored.
A systematic reection ofsubectivity in the name ofa mythical scientific
obectivitycontinuestorein in theUniversity. lntheheyday ofstructuralism
the subect was methodically excluded from its own multiple and
heteroeneous material of expression. lt is time to e-examine machinic
productions of imaes, sins ofartificial intellience,etc.,as new materials of
subectivity. ln the Middle Aes, art and technique found refue in the
monasteriesandconventswhichhadmanaedtosurvive.Perhapsartiststoday
constitutethefinallinesalonwhichprimordialexistentialquestionsarefolded.
Howarethenewfieldsofthepossibleointo befitted out Howaresounds
andformsointobearranedsothatthesubectivityadacenttothemremains
inmovement,andreallyalive
Thefutureofcontemporarysubectivityisnottoliveindefinitely underthe
reime of self-withdrawal, of mass-mediatic infantilization, of inorance of
differenceandalterity- bothonthehumanandthecosmicreister.ltsmodes
ofsubectivationwilletoutoftheirhomoenetic'entrapment'onlyifcreative
obectives appearwithin their reach.Whatisatstake hereis thefinalityofthe
ensemble of human activities. Beyond material and political demands, what
emeres is an aspiration for individual and collective reappropriation ofthe
production ofsubectivi. ln this way the ontoloical heteroenesis ofvalue
becomes the focus of political concerns which at present lack the site, the
immediaterelation,theenvironment,therecontitutionofthesocialfabricand
existential impact of art . . . And at the end of a slow recomposition of
assemblaes of subectivation, the chaosmic explorations of an ecosophy -
articulatin between them scientific, political, environmental and mental
ecoloies - ouht to be able to claim to replace the old ideoloies which
abusively sectorized the social, the private and the civil, and which were
fundamentally incapable of establishin transversal unctions between the
political,theethicalandtheaesthetic.
lt should, however, be clear that we are in no way advocatin an
aestheticizationoftheSocius,for,afterall,promotinanewaestheticparadim
involvesoverthrowincurrentformsofartasmuchasthoseofsociallife lhold
out my hand to the future. My approach will be marked by mechanical
confidenceorcreative uncertainty,accordintowhetherlconsidereverythin
tobeworked outinadvanceorevethintobethere for thetakin- thatthe
world can be rebuilt from otherUniverses ofvalue and that otherexistential
Territoriesshouldbeconstructedtowardsthis end.Theimmenseordealswhich
GuO!!Oti/ /ChOoSmoSiS:AE!hicoAeS!he!icPOtOdigm/ /l
theplanetisointhrouh suchasthesuffocationofitsatmosphere- involve
chanes in production, ways of livin and axes of value. The demoraphic
explosion which will, in a few decades, see the population ofLatin America
multiplybythreeandthatofAfricabyfivedoesnotproceedfromaninexorable
bioloicalmalediction.Thekeyfactors initareeconomicthatis,theyrelateto
power) and in the final analysis are subective - cultural, social and mass
media tic. The future of the Third World rests primarily on its capacity to
recaptureitsownprocessesofsubectivationinthecontextofasocialfabricin
the process of desertification ln Brazil, for example, Wild West capitalism,
savae an and police violence coexist with interestin attempts by the
Workers'Partymovementatrecomposinsocialandurbanisticpractices.)
Amon the fos and miasmas which obscure our ]n Jc m|lcnurc, the
questionofsubectivityisnowreturninasaleitmotivltisnotanaturaliven
any more than air or water. How do we produce it, capture it, enrich it, and
permanentlyreinventitinawaythatrendersitcompatiblewith Universesof

mutant value? How do we work for its liberation, that is, for its
resinularization? Psychoanalysis,institutionalanalysis,film,literature,poetry,
innovative pedaoies,townplanninand architecture- allthedisciplineswill
havetocombinetheircreativitytowardofftheordealsofbarbarism,themental
implosionand chaosmic spasms loomin onthe horizon, andtransformthem
intorichesandunforeseenpleasures,thepromisesofwhich,forallthat,areall
tootanible.
Iootnotc2 insourcc]'Formankindtoday, thc6i6an andthccvoIutionoIthcUnivcrscarc
part oIthc worId in thc samc wayas, in prior timcs, thc myths oIoriinnrrclcrcmpscr
I'rcmir(Faris: ard, I988) 6J.
2
|8| Amonthcmanyworkson institutionaI pcdaoy. scc kcncLaIittc,Unc)oumcdonsunc
cIossccooporivc: Icdsrrcrrouv(FarisSyrs,I98J).
8 j1| OnthcnctworksoIsoIidaritysubsistinamonstthosc'dcIcatcd'bymodcityinthcThird
VorId: Scrc laouchc, Lo Plonrc dcs nouos ssoi sur I'oprs-dvcloppcmcnr (Faris: La
Dccouvcrtc,I99I).
1 jJ| |acqucsVaIin(dc|'lNED),TronsvcrsoIcsScicnccJCuIrurc,no.9, |uncI99I |29. rucMarsouIin,
7J0I2 Faris).Lopopulorionmondiolc,IopopuIorion)ronoisc(Faris:LaDccouvcrtc, I99I).
Fcix Cuattari, Choosmosc (Faris
[
ditions CaIiIcc, I992); trans. FauI 6ains and |uIian FcIanis,
Choosmosis.AnrhicoAcsrhcricPorodim(lndianapoIis: lndianaUnivcrsityFrcss, I99J) I80-J.
2/ /THEORETCAFRAEWORK5
JOCqUes ROnCire
POD!ems OnO TOnsfOmO!Ons !n C!!COI AJ J2004
!ncIrcncnpn|osopncr]ucqucskunccrcnuswrrrcncxrcnsvc|onrncrc|uronsnp
ccrwccn ucsrncrcs undpo|rcs us u partaedusensible rncsnurnJdvson o]
wnursvsc|c,suuc|cundrnnkuc|c.lnrnscxrrucrom Malaisedansl'esthtique
(2OO4), kunccrc uddrcsscs rnc |mrurons o]dducrc crrcu| urr, us wc|| us rnc
spccrucu|urzurono]rc|uronu|urrrnursccksro rcpurrncsocu|cond.
ln its most eneral formula, critical art intends to raise consciousness ofthe
mechanismsofdominationinordertoturnthespectatorintoaconsciousaent
inthetransformationoftheworld.Weknowthedilemmathatweihsuponthis
proect. Dn the one hand, understandin alone can do little to transform
consciousnessandsituations.Theexploitedhaverarelyhadtheneedtohavethe
laws ofexploitationexplainedto them. Becauseit'snotamisunderstandinof
theexistinstateofaffairsthatnurturesthesubmissionoftheoppressed,buta
lackofconhdenceintheirowncapacitytotransformit.Now,thefeelinofsuch
a capacity assumesthat theyarealready enaed in a political process that
chanes the confiuration ofa iven situation donnccs scnsc|cs), and which
constructstheformsofaworldtocomewithintheexistinworld.Dntheother
hand, the work of art that 'makes you understand', and that breaks up
appearances, thereby killsthestranenessofanappearanceofresistance that
bearswitnesstothenon-necessaryorintolerblecharacterofaworld.Critical
art that invites you to see he sins of Capital behind everyday obects and
behavioursrisks inscribin itselfinto theperpetuationofaworldwhere the
transformation ofthinsintosinsredoubles theveryexcessofinterpretative
sinsthatmakeallresistancedisappear.
lnthisviciouscircleofcriticalartweenerallyseeproofthataestheticsand
politics can't o toether. lt would be more fair, however, to reconize the
plurality ofways in which theyare linked. Dn the one hand, politics isnot a
simplesphereofactionthatcomesafterthe'aesthetic'revelationofthestateof
thins. lt has itsownaesthetic. its ways ofdissensually inventinscenesand
characters,ofmanifestationsandstatementsdifferentfromtheinventionsofart
andsometimesevenopposedtothem.Dntheotherhand,aestheticshasitsown
politics,orratheritsown tensionbetween two opposedpolitics. between the
loicofartthatbecomeslifeatthepriceofabolishinitselfasart,andtheloic
of art that does politics on the explicit condition of not doin it at all. The
difficultyofcriticalartisnotthatofhavintoneotiatebetweenpoliticsandart.
ROncite/ /PtoUlemSOndTtOnS!otmO!ionSinCti!icOlP!/ /
ltishavintoneotiatetherelationbetweenthetwoaestheticloicsthatexist
independently of it, because theybelon to the loic ofthe aesthetic reime
itself. Critical art mustneotiate thetensionthat pushes art towards 'life' and
which,conversely,separatesaestheticsensorialityfromotherformsofsensible
experience.tmustborrowtheconnectionsthatprovokepoliticalintelliibility
from the blurry zone between art and other spheres. And itmust borrow the
senseofsensibleheteroeneitythatfeedsthepoliticaleneries ofrefusal from
theisolationoftheworkofart.lt'sthisneotiationbetweentheformsofartand
those of non-art that permits the formation of combinations of elements
capableofspeakintwice.fromtheirrea
dabilityandfromtheirunreadability.
Therefore,thecombinationofthesetwo forcesnecessarilytakestheformof
a realinment ofheteroeneous loics. lfcollae has been one ofthe reat
chnques of modern ar it is because its technical forms obey a more
fundamentalaesthetico-political loic.Collae,inthemosteneralsenseofthe
term, is the principle ofa 'third' aesthetic politics. Prior to mixin paintins

newspapers, oilcloth or clock parts, it mixes the straneness ofthe aesthetic


experiencewiththebecomin-lifeofartandthebecominartofordinarylife.
Collae can be carried out as a pure encounter ofheteroeneities, testifyin
wholesaletotheincompatibilityoftwoworlds.lt'sthesurrealistencounterof
theumbrellaandthesewinmachine,showintheabsolutepowerofdesireand
dreams aainst the reality of the everyday world, but usin its obects.
Conversely, collae can be seen as evidence ofthe hidden link between two
apparently opposed worlds: thus do the photomontaes of |ohn Heartfield,
revealinthe realityofcapitalistold in the throatofAdolfHitler,or thoseof
MarthaRoser, mixinphotoraphs ofthehorrorofVietnam withadvertisin
imaesofAmericancomfortlnthiscase,it'snotanylonertheheteroeneityof
the two worlds that should nourish a sense of the intolerable but, on the
contrary,themakinevidentofthecausalconnectionthatlinksonetotheother.
Butthepoliticsofcollae findsitsbalancinpointwhereitcancombinethe
two relations and play on the line of indiscernability between the force of
readability of sense and the force of straneness of non-sense. So do, for
example,thestoriesofcauliflowersinBrecht'sArruroU.Theyplayanexemplary
double ame between denouncin the law of the market and usin ways of
deridin hih art borrowed from the market debasement of culture. They
simultaneouslyplayonthereadability
ofanalleoryofNazipowerasthepower
of capital, and on a buffoonery that reduces all rand ideals, political or
otherwise, to the insinificant business of veetables. Behind this rand
discourse, thesecretofthemarketis thus equated with its absence ofsecret,
with its triviality or radical non-meaninor non-sense. But this possibility of
playin simultaneouslyon sense and on non-sense assumes another, which is
4//THEORETCAFRAEWORK5
thatonemayplayatonceontheradicalseparationbetweentheworldofartand
thaofcauliflowersund onthe permeabilityoftheborderthatseparatesthem.
lt'snecessarythatthecauliflowersbewithoutanyrelationtoartorpoliticsand
thattheybealreadylinked, thattheborderbealwaysthereyetalreadycrossed.
ln fact, when Brecht tries to put veetables in the service of critical
distanciation, they already have a lon artistic history Think of their role in
impressioniststill lifes.Thinkalsooftheway inwhichanovelist,

milela,in
LccnrrcdcIurscc||o]Iurs,alsotrans.!ncIutundrnc!nn,l8J4),elevated
veetables ineneral- andcabbaesi nparticular- tothedinityofartisticand
politicalsymbols.Thisnovel,writtenustafterthefalloftheParisCommune,is
in effect constructed onthe polarity o
ftwo characters. on the one hand, the
revolutionary who returns from deportation to the new Paris des Halles and
findshimselfcrushedbytheaccumulationofcommoditiesthatmaterializesa
newworldofmass consumption, ontheotherhand,theimpressionistpainter
whosinsanepicofcabbaes,ofthenebeauty,opposintheironarchitecture
of Les Halles and the piles of veetables that it shelters to the old beauty
henceforthdeprivedoflife, symbolized bytheneihbourinothicchurch.
ThisBrechtiandoubleamewiththepoliticalandtheapoliticalcharacterof
cauliflowers is possible because there already exists a relationship between
politics,thenewbeautyandmarketdisplays.Wecaneneralize themeaninof
thisveetablealleory.Criticalart- artwhich playsontheunionandtensionof
differentaestheticpolitics- ispossiblethankstoamovementoftranslationthat
has, fora lon time now, crossed the border in both directions between the
worldofartandtheprosaicworldofthecommodity.There'snoneedtoimaine
a 'postmodern' rupture blurrin the border thaseparated hih art from the
forms ofpopular culture. The blurrin ofboundaries is as old as modernity'
itself. Brechtian distanciation is clearly indebted to surrealist collaes that
brouhtintothedomainofartthe obsolete consumeroodsfrom thearcades,
the maazine illustrations, or the outmoded cataloues. But the process oes
backmuchfurther.The momentwhenhihartisconstituted- bydeclarinits
own end, accordin to Heel - is also the moment when it started to be
banalized in maazinereproductionsand becorrupted in thebookshoptrade
and in the'industrial' literatureofnewspapers. But this is also the time when
commoditiesstartedtotravel intheoppositedirection,tocrosstheborderthat
separatesitfromtheworldofart,to repopulateandre-materialize thisartthat
Heelbelievedtohaveexhausteditsforms.
This iswhatBalzacshows us in l||usonspcrducsLosrl||usons, !83J),The
dilapidated and muddy stalls of the Caleries d bois, where the fallen poet
LuciendeRubemproestosell his proseand his soulamonthetradeofthe
StockFxchaneandofprostitution,instantlybecometheplaceofanewpoetry.
ROncte/ /PtoUlemSOndTtOnS!otmO!onS nCt!cOlAt!/ /
afantasticalpoetrymadefromtheabolitionoffrontiersbetweentheordinaryof
themarketandtheextraordinaryofart.Thehetereneoussensiblefromwhich
artoftheaestheticaefeedscanbefoundanywhere,andespeciallyonthevery
terrainfromwhichthepuristswanted to eliminateit.Anycommodityoruseful
obectcan,bybecominobsoleteand unfitforconsumption,become availableto
artindifferentways,separateorlinked. asanobectofdisinterested pleasure,a
bodyencodedwithastory,oraswitnesstoastranenessimpossibletoassimilate.
Whilesomededicatedart-lifetothecreationoffurnitureforanewworld,
and others denounced the transformation of art products into the dcor of
aestheticized commodities, others seized this double movement that blurred
thesimpleoppositionoftworeataestheticpolitics. ifartproductsdonotcease
to cross into the domain of commodities, then commodities and functional
oodsdonotstopcssintheboderintheotherdirection,leavinthesphere
ofutilityandvaluetobecomehierolyphscarryintheirhistoryontheirbody,
ormutedisaffectedobectscarryinthesplendourofwhatnolonerbearsany
proectorwill.Thisiswhattheidlenessofthe]unoLuJovscouldcommunicate
toallobsoletefunctionalobectsandadvertisinimaery.This'dialecticalwork
inthins'thatrendersthemavailabletoartandforsubversion- bybreakinthe
uniform run oftime, byintroducina temporality within another, bychanin
thestatusofobectsandtherelationshipbetweenexchanesinsandartforms
- iswhatWalterBenamindiscovered in his readinofAraon's lcIusun Jc
IursIursIcusunr,l926)whichtransformedashopofoldwalkinsticksinthe
Passae de Dpera into a mytholoical landscape and leendary poem. And
'alleorical'art, which so manycontemporaryartists claim, inscribes itselfin
thislon-termfiliation.
ltisbecauseofthiscrossinofthebordersandstatuschanesbetweenart
and non-artthatthe radical straneness oftheaestheticobectand theactive
appropriation of the common world have been able to come toether and
constitute the 'third way' of a micro-politics of art, between the opposed
paradimsofartbecominlifeandartasresistantform.Thisprocessunderpins
theperformancesofcriticalart,andcanhelpustounderstanditscontemporary
transformations and ambiuities. lf there is a political question about
contemporary art, it is not to be rasped in the rid of the opposition
modernpostmodern. lt is in the analysis ofthe chanesaffectin this 'third'
politics, the politics founded on a ame of exchanes and displacements
betweentheworldofartandthatofnon-art.
The politics ofthe mixofheteroeneous elements tooka dominant form,
fromdadaismuptothediverseformsofanti-establishmentartinthel960s.the
polemical form. The ame of exchanes between art and non-art served to
construct collisions between heteroeneous elements, dialectical oppositions
/ /THEORETCAFREWORK5
between formandcontent,thatthemselvesdenounced socialrelationsandthe
placewasallocatedforartthereThestichomythicform thatBrechtave to a
discussioninverseonthematterofcauliflowersdenouncedthehiddeninterests
behind fine words. Dadaist canvases lued with bus tickets, clock parts and
otheraccessories ridiculed the pretensionsofan artcutofffrom life.arhol's
introduction of soup cans and Brillo boxes into the museum denounced hih
art'spretensionstoisolationWolfVostell'sblendinofcelebrityimaesandwar
imaes showed thedark side of the American dream, KrzysztofWodiczko's
proections of homeless fiures onto American monuments denounced the
expulsion of the poor from public space, Hans Haacke's little labels placed
alonsidemuseumworksrevealedthem to beobectsoffinancial investment,
and so on. Heteroeneouscollaeenerallytakes the form ofa shock, which
reveals one world hidden beneath another capitalist violence behind the
happiness ofconsumption, marketinterests and violentclass strule behind
theapparentserenityofart.Art'sself-criticismthus blended with criticism of
themechanismsofstateandmarketdomination.
This polemical function of the shock of the heteroeneous is always
mentioned intheleitimationofworks, installationsanlexhibitions.However,
the continuity of this discourse conceals sinificant transformations that a
simpleexamplecanallowustorasp.ln2000,inParis,anexhibitioncalled8rur
Jc ]onJ cou No) put l970s and contemporary works on view.
Amonst the former were Martha Roser's photomontaes from the series
8rnnrnc WurHomcl967-72), uxtaposinadvertisinimaesofdomestic
American happiness with imaes ofthe warinVietnam. Nearbywasanother
workdevotedto the hiddensideofAmericanhappiness. MadebyWan Du, it
comprised two elements. on the left, the Clinton couple, represented as two
mannequinsfromawax museum, on the other, another kind ofwaxfiure. a
sculptureofCourbet'sl'CrncJumonJcIncCrno]rncWor|J, l866),which,
asweknow,explicitlypresentsthefemalesexualorans.Thetwoworksplayed
ontherelationshipbetweenanimaeofhappinessorreatnessand itshidden
side ofviolence or profanity. Butthecurrency ofthe Lewinsky affairwas not
enouhtoconferpoliticalstakestotherepresentationoftheClintoncouple.To
be precise,currencywasoflittleimportance.Wewerewitnessintheautomatic
functioninofcanonicalproceduresofdeleitimation.thewaxfiurethatturns
the politician into a puppet, sexual profanation that is the little dirty
hiddenjexposedsecretofallformsofsublimity.Theseproceduresalwayswork.
Buttheyworkbyturninonthemselves,likethedenirationofpowerineneral
takintheplaceofpoliticaldenunciation.Drrather,theirfunctionisto makeus
sensitivetowardsthisautomatic-nessitself,ofdeleitimizintheproceduresof
deleitimation at the same time as deleitimizin their obect. Humorous
ROncite/ /PtoblemSOndTtOnS!otmO!ionSin Cti!icOlAr!//7
distancethenreplacesprovocativeshock.
l've chosen this sinificant example but you could cite many others that
witness, beneath the apparentcontinuity ofmechanisms and oftheirtextual
leitimations,
thesameslideofyesterday'sdialecticalprovocationstowardsnew
fiures ofthe composition of the heteroeneous. And you could rane these
multipleslidinsunderfourmaortypesofcontemporaryexhibionstheame,
theinventory,theencounterandthemystery.
First of all the omc, which is to say a double-ame. Flsewhere l have
mentioned an exhibition presented at Minneapolis under the title Lc!'s
n!cr!n, and renamed, in Paris, Au-Jcld Ju spcc!oclc.' The American title
alreadyplayedadoubleame, winkintowardsacriticismofthecn!cr!onmcn!
industry and also towardspop'>denunciation oftheseparation betweenhih
artandapopularcultureofconsumption.TheParisiantitleintroducedafurther
turn. Dn the one hand, the reference to Cuy Debord's book jLo 5occ!c Ju
spcc!oclc| reinforcedtheriourofthecritiqueofcn!cr!onmcn!.Butontheother
hand, it recalled that his antidoteto spectacle's passivityisthefree activityof
theame.Thisplayonthetitlesbrinsusback,ofcourse,totheundecidability
oftheworksthemselves.The menaerie ofCharles Rayor the hue football-
tableofMaurizioCattelancouldindifferentlysymbolizepopderision,acritique
ofmarketcn!cr!onmcn!,orthepositivepowerofames.Andalltheconviction
oftheexhibitioncuratorswasneededinordertoprovetousthatmana,adverts
anddiscosoundsas reprocessed bytheotherartistsofferedusaradicalcritique
ofthealienatedconsumptionofleisurebytheirveryreduplication.Ratherthan
aSchilleriansuspensionoftherelationsofdomination,theamesinvokedhere
mark the suspension of meanin in the collaes presented. Their value as
polemic revelations has becomeundecidable.And it's the production ofthis
undecidabilitythatisattheheartoftheworkofmanyartistsandexhibitions.
Wherethecriticalartistoncepaintedclashinimaesofmarketdominationor
imperialistwar,thecontemporaryvideoartistlihtlyJc!oumcsvideo-clipsand
mana, where iant puppets once made contemporary history into an epic
spectacleballsandtoys now'interroate'ourwaysoflife.Aredoublinofthe
spectacles,propsand icons ofordinary life, flimsily displaced,no lonerinvites
ustoreadsinsinobects inordertounderstandtheurisdictionsofourworld.
They claim both to sharpen our perception of the play of sins, our
consciousness ofthefrailityoftheprocedures forthereadinofthosesins,
and ourpleasureatplayinwiththeundecidable.Thevirtuethattheseartists
mostwillinlyreclaimforthemselvestodayishumour.well,humourasaflimsy
displacementthatit's possible notevento notice in theirwayofpresentina
sequenceofsinsoranassemblaeofobects.
Theseproceduresofdeleitimation,passedfromacriticaltoaludicreister,
//THEORETCAFRAEWORK
become, if pushed, indistinuishable from those produced by power and the
media,orbythemarket'sownformsofpresentation.Humouritselfbecomesthe
dominant mode ofexhibitin commodities, and advertisinincreasinlyplays
on the undecidability ofa product's use value and its value as a support for
imaes or sins. The only remainin subversion is, then, to play on this
undecidability to suspend, in a society workin towards te accelerated
consumptionofsins, the meaninoftheprotocolsofreadinthosesins
Consciousness of this undecidability favours a displacement of artistic
propositions towards the second form, that ofthe nvcn!oQ. The meetin of
heteroeneousobectsnoloneraimstoprovokeacritical shock, nortoplayon
theundecidabilityofthissholThesamematerials,imaesandmessaesthat
were interroated accordin to the rules of an art of suspicion are now
summoned tothereverse operation to repopulatethe world ofthins,to re-
seize their collective historical potential that critical art dissolved into
manipulable sins. Assemblin heteroeneous materials becomes a positive
memory, in a double form. Primarily it's an inventory of historical traces.
obects,photoraphsorsimplylistsofnamesthatwitnessasharedhistoryora
sharedworld.FouryearsaoinParis,anexhibitioncalledvold- LcmonJcJons
lo!c!cthussetouttorecapitulatethetwentiethcentury.Throuhphotoraphic
displays and diverse installations, itwasaboutatherin experiences, about
makin displays ofany old obects, names or anonymous faces speak, about
bein introduced into these welcomin mechanisms. The visitor was frst
welcomedbythesinofaameRobertFilliou'spatternofmulticoloureddice),
thenwalkedthrouhaChristianBoltanskiinstallation,LcsADonncsJu!clcpnonc,
comprisindirectoriesfromdifferentyearsandcountriesthatyoucould,ifyou
liked,takeofftheshelvesandbrowseonthetablesplacedatyourdisposaThen
asound installationbyDnKawarathatevoked,for him,someof'thelastforty
thousandyears one by'. Hans-PeterFeldmannthenpresented photoraphs of
onehundredpeopleaedfromonetoonehundredyears old. Peter Fischli and
DavidWeiss's display ofphotoraphs undervitrines exposed a vsDlc WorlJ
resemblinholidayphotosfrom familyalbums,whileFabrice Hybert showeda
collectionofbottlesofmineralwater,etc.
ln this loic, the artist is at once an archivist ofcollective life and the
collector,witnesstoasharedability.Becausetheinventory,whichevidencesthe
potentialofobects'andimaes'collectivehistory,bybrininclosertheartof
the sculptor and that of the ra-and-bone man, shows in this way the
relationship between the inventive estures of art and the multiplicity of
inventionsoftheartsofdoinandartsoflivinthatconstituteasharedworld.
DlY,collectin,lanuaeames,propsformanifestations,etc.Theartisttakesit
uponhimselftomakevisible,inart'sreservedspace,theseartsofdointhatexist
ROncite//PtOblemSOndTtOnS!OtmO!iOnSinCti!icOlt/ /
throuhoutsociety.Throuhthisdoublevocationoftheinventory,criticalart's
politicalpolemicalvocation tens tobecomeasocialcommunitarianvocation.
This slippae is shown by the third form. l've called it the cncoun!cr. You
coulalsocalitthe nv!o!on.Theartist-colectorinstitutesaspaceofreception
to enae the passer-by in an unexpected relationship. Thus Boltanski's
instalationinvitesthevisitortotakeadirectory from the shelvesand sitat a
table to consult it. A little further alon in the same exhibition, Dominique
Conzalez-Foersterinvitedustotakeavolumefromapileofpocketbooksandto
sitdownandreadthemonacarpetdepictinadesertislandtypicalofchildren's
dreams. ln another exhibition, Rirkrit Tiravana put at the visitor's disposal
packets of food, campin as and cookin pans so that he could prepare a
Chinese soup for himself, sitdownand enae in discussionwith the artistor
withothervisitors.Paraleltothesetransformationsintheexhibitionspaceare
many forms ofintervention i nurban space. a modified sin in a bus shelter
transformsthenecessityofeverydaylifeintoanadventurePierreHuyhe), an
illuminated text in Arabic or a loudspeaker in Turkish reverses the relations
betweenthe localandtheforeinensHaanin), anempty pavilion isoffered
tothe socialdesiresofthe residentsofaneibouroodCroupAl2).Relational
artthusintendstocreatenotonlyobectsbutsituationsandencounters.Butthis
toosimpleoppositionbetween obects andsituationsoperates ashort-circuit.
What is at stake is the transformation of these problematic spaces that
conceptualarthad opposedtoart's obectsjcommodities. Yesterday's distance
towards commodities is now inverted to propose a new proximity between
entities,the institutionofnewformsofsocialrelations.Artnolonerwantsto
respondto theexcessofcommoditiesandsins,buttoalackofconnections.As
theprincipletheoristofthisschoolwrites.'byofferinsmalservices,theartist
repairstheweaknessesinthesocialbond'.
The loss ofthe 'social bond', and the dutyincumbentonartiststoworkto
repairit,are thewordsontheaenda.Butanacknowledementofthislosscan
bemoreambitious.lt'snotonlytheformsofcivilitythatwewillhavelost,but
theverysenseoftheco-presenceofbeinsandthinsthatconstitutesaworld.
This is what the fourth type proposes to mend, the ms!ci. Applyin it to
cinema, |ean-Luc Codard honoured this cateory that, since Mallarm,
desinates a certain way oflinkinheteroeneous elements. inthelatter, for
example, thepoet'sthouht, the stepsofadancer,the unfoldinofa fan,the
foamofawaveorthemovementofacurtainliftelbythe wind, inCodard,the
roseofCormcn,aBeethovenquartet,thefoamofwavesonthebeachevokin!nc
Wovcs by Virinia Woolf, and the sure of bodies in love. This sequence of
PrcnomCormcnthatl'msummarizinreallyshowsthepassaefromoneloicto
another.Thechoiceofelementsput into relationineffectrestoresatraditionof
0/ /THEORETCAFRAEWORK
dc!oumcmcn! the Andalusian mcuntains beccme aweekend beach, rcmantic
smulersbeccmecrazyterrcrists,thediscardedflcwercfwhichDcncssins
iscnlyaplasticrcse,andMicaelamassacresBeethcveninsteadcfsininBizet
arias. Butthedc!ourncmcn!nclcnerhasthefuncticncfapcliticalcritique cf
hihart.Dntheccntrary,iteffacesthepicturesqueimaerytcwhichthecritique
appealsincrdertclettheBizetcharactersberebcrnasthe pureabstracticncf
a Beethcvenquartet.lt makesypsies and tcreadcrs disappear in the meltin
musiccfimaesthatunites, inthesamebreath,the sondcfstrins,cfwaves
and cf bcdies. ln cppcsiticn tc the dialectical practice that accentuates the
heterceneity cf elements tc prcvcke a shcck, bearin witness tc a reality
markedbyantacnisms,mysteryemphasisesthekinshipcfthehetercenecus.
ltccnstructsaamecfanalciesinwhichtheywitnessaccmmcnwcrld,where
themcstdistantrealitiesappearas ifcutfrcmthesamesensiblefabricandcan
alwaysbelinkedbywhatCcdardcallsthe'fraternitycfmetaphcrs'.
'Mystery'wasthecentralccnceptcfsymbclism.Andcertainly,symbclismi s
cnceaaincnhe aenda.Bythatl ' mnctreferrintccertain spectacularand
slihtly nausecus fcrms, like the resurrecticn cf symbclist mythclcy and
WanerianfantasiescfthetctalwcrkcfartinMatthewBarney'sCrcmos!crcycle
( l7-). l'm thinkincfthemcre mcdest, scmetimes imperceptible way in
which assemblaes cfcbects, imaes and sin presented by ccntempcrary
installaticnshave,cverthelastfewyears,slidthelciccfprcvccativedissensus
intc thatcfa mystery thatbearswitnesstc a ccpresence. Flsewhere l have
menticnedthephctcraphs,videcsandinstallaticnscfthe exhibiticn'Mcvin
Pictures', presented at the Cuenheim Museum in New Ycrk in 00. lt
affrmed ccntempcray art's ccntinuity with an artistic radicality bcrn inthe
l70sasacritiquecfbcthartisticautcncmyanddcminantrepresentaticnsBut
- inthe imae cfVanessa Beecrcft's videcspresentin nude and inexpressive
female bcdies in themuseum space, in the phctcraphs cfSamTaylcr-Wccd,
RinekeDikstracrCrecryCrewdscnshcwinbcdiescfambiucus identityin
undefined spaces, cr i n Christian Bcltanski's dark rccm with lihtbulbs
illuminatinwalls ccvered inancnymcus phctcraphs - the interrcaticn cf
perceptual sterectypes, which was always invcked, slid tcwards a ccmpletely
differentinterestinthevauebcrdersbetweenthefamiliarandthestrane,the
real and the symbclic, that fascinated painters at the time cf symbclism,
metaphysical paintin and maicrealism. Hcwever, cnthe upper level cfthe
museum,avidecinstallaticnbyBillViclawasprcectedcntcfcurwallscfadark
rccm. flames and delues, slcw prccessicns, urban wanderins, a wake, cr
castincffaship,simultanecuslysymbclizinthefcurelementsandthewhcle
cyclecfbirth, life, death and resurrecticn.Theexperimental artcfvidecthus
cametcmanifestthelatenttendencycfmanymechanismscftcdaythatmimic,
ROncite//PtoblemSOnd TtOnS!otmO!ionSinCti!icOlAt!//
intheirownways,thereat frescoesofhuman destinythatthe symbolistand
expressionistperiodhad alikinfor.
Df course these cateorizations are schematic. Contemporary exhibitions
andinstallationsconferonthecouple'toexhibitjtoinstall'severalrolesatonce,
they play on the fluctuatin border between critical provocation and the
undecidabilityofitsmeanin,betweentheformofanexhibitedworkandthat
of the appointed space of interaction. The mechanisms of contemporary
exhibitionsoftencultivatethispolyvalenceorsubmittoitseffect.Theexhibition
voila thuspresentedaninstallationbyBertrandLavier,5ollcJcsMor!n,which
athered toether about fifty paintins, from the collections of provincial
museums, that had as their only shared element the name of their author,
Martin - the most common surname in France. The initial idea set this
installation in relation toa questionin ofthe meanins ofaworkand ofthe
sinature that is characteristic of conceptual art. But in this new memorial
contextittookonanewmeanin,attestinto the multiplicityofmoreorless
inoredpictorialabilities,andinscribinalostworldofpaintininthememory
ofthecentury.Thismultiplicityofmeaninsattributedtothesamemechanisms
is sometimes presented as bearin witness to art's democracy, refusin to
disentanle a complexity of standpoints and a fluidity of borders that
themselvesreflectthecomplexityofaworld.
The contradictoryattitudes shown by the mainaesthetic paradims today
express a more fundamental undecidability about the politics of art. This
undecidabilityisnottheeffectofapostmodernturn.ltisconstitutive.aesthetic
suspensionletsitselfbeinterpretedintwoways.Thesinularityofartislinked
tothe identification ofits autonomous forms with the forms oflife and with
possiblepolitics.Thesepossiblepoliticsareonlyeverrealizedinfullattheprice
of abolishin the sinularity of art, the sinularity of politics, or he two
toether.Beinconsciousofthisundecidabilitytoday leadstoopposedfeelins.
insome,amelancholywithreardtothesharedworldthatartcarriedwithin
itself, if this had not been betrayed by political enrolment or commercial
compromises, inothers,anawarenessofits limits, thetendencytoplayonthe
limitationofitspowersandtheveryuncertaintyofitseffects.Buttheparadox
of our present is perhaps that this art, so uncertain ofits politics, miht be
invitedtoahiherdereeofinterventionbytheverydeficitofpolitics proper.
lt's as if the shrinkin of public space and the effacement of political
inventivenessinatimeofconsensusaveasubstitutivepoliticalfunctiontothe
mini-demonstrationsofartists,totheircollectionsofobectsandtraces,totheir
mechanismsofinteraction,totheirprovocationsns!uorelsewhere.Knowin
ifthese'substitutions'canrecomposepoliticalspaces,oriftheymustbecontent
toparodythem,iscertainlyoneofthequestionsoftoday.
2/ /THEORETCAFRAEWORK
]nonLttdovisiisasIaIucdcscribcdbySchiIIcrinIhcIilIccnIholhisLcrrcrsonrhcAcsrhcric
ducoriono]Mon (1794)and which is kcy Io kancirc'scIucidaIionol Ihc acsIhcIic cimc ol
arI. For a luIcrdiscussion scc|acqucs kancirc, 'ThcAcsIhcIic kcvoIuIion and iIs OuIcomcs',
NcwLc)rkcvicw,MarchjApriI?00?.[TransIaIor]
? SIichomyIhic,lomsqchomorhio diaIouc inaIIcrnaIc Iincs ol vcrsc, usuaIIyin dispuIaIion
FromCrcckdrama.[TransIaIor]
3 Cl.|acqucskancirc,LcDcsrindcsimocs(Faris laFabriquc,?003)33.
4 kclcrcnccis madchcrcIoMichcIdcCcrIcau'sbookLcsArrsdc]oirc(Faris:UCE,1980).
NicoIas6ourriaud,srhriqucrlorionnclIc(ionlcsprcsscsdurccI, 1998)37.
5 |acqucskancirc,cDcsrindcsimocs, o.745.
|acqucs kancirc, 'FrobIcms and TranslormaIions in CriIicaI ArI,MoIoisc dons l'csrhriquc (Faris
EdiIionsCaIiIcc,?004)55-84.TransIaIcd byCIairc6ishop,assisIcdbyFabIoL?lucnIc,?005.
ROncte//PtoblemSOndTtOnS!otmO!ionSnCti!cOlP!/ /
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PrOCeeOnQs O he DUIOOU OI !IOC OIOCIOCy/ J20
JOseph BeUys Am 5eOrChnQ FOr FeIO ChOrOCerJJ2b
COIIeCVe ACOns Ten AppeOrOnCesJJ27
AOrOn Pper NOes On FUnk, \J J 30
CrOUp NOerOI On DemOCrOCy J J 3b
EOO CUler 1IOISIOC!OIO!O/ A JOUrney frOm he LOs
O he WesQJ3
COrsen HOIIer The BOUOOUnJBOUOewjn Lxpermen.
A DeIDerOe, NOn-FOOIsC, LOrQe-5COIe CrOUp
Lxpermen n DeVOOnJ J44
Jeremy DeIIer The BOIe Of OrQreOVeJJ4
Rrkr TrOVOnjO NO ChOss n he WOIIJ J 49
ThOmOs HrsChhOrn 24h FOUCOUIJ b4
CUy DeDOrO
TOwOrOs O 5UOIOns nIenOIOnOIJ J I9b7
5nor!lDc]orcoDonJonnvsuol or!]orlm onJ l!cro!urc,6uDcDorJou!lincJnis
!ncoro] 'cons!ruc!cJs!uo!ons'- por!cpo!orcvcn!susncxpcrmcn!olDcnovour
!o Drcok !nc spcc!oculor DnJ o] cop!olsm. Cons!ruc!cJ s!uo!ons, n wncn !nc
ouJcncc s on oc!vc por!cpon!, novc Dccn on onon pon! o] rc]crcncc ]or
con!cmpororor!s!sworknw!nlvccvcn!s.
Dur central purpcse is the ccnstructicn cf situaticns, that is, the ccncrete
ccnstructicncftempcrarysettins cflifeand their transfcrmaticn intc ahiher,
passicnatenature.Wemustdevelcpaninterventicndirectedbytheccmplicated
factcrs cftwcreatccmpcnents in perpetualinteracticn: thematerialsettincf
lifeandthebehavicursthatitincitesandthatcverturnit.
Durprcspectsfcracticncntheenvircnmentlead,intheirlatestdevelcpment,
tctheideacfaunitaryurbanismUnitaryurbanismfirstbeccmesclearintheuse
cf the whcle cf arts and techniques as means cccperatin in an interal
ccmpcsiticn cfthe envircnmen This whclemustbeccnsidered infinitely mcre
extensive than the cld influence cfarchitecture cn the traditicnal arts, cr the
currentcccasicnalapplicaticntc anarchicurbanismcfspecializedtechniquescr
cfscientific investiaticns such asecclcy. Unitary urbanism must ccntrcl, fcr
example,theaccusticenvircnmentaswellasthedistributicncfdifferentvarieties
cfdrinkcrfccd.ltmusttakeupthecreaticncfnewfcrmsandtheJc!oumcmcn!
cfkncwnfcrmscfarchitectureandurbanism- aswellastheJc!oumcmcn!cfthe
cldpcetryandcinema.lnteralart, abcutwhichscmuchhasbeen said, cancnly
materialize at the level cfurbanism. But it can nc lcnerccrrespcnd with any
traditicnal definiticnscfthe aesthetic. lneachcfits experimentalcities,unitary
urbanism will wcrk thrcuh a certain number cf fcrce fields, which we can
tempcrarilydesinatebythestandardexpressicnJis!ric!.Fachdistrictwillbeable
tc lead tc apreciseharmcny,brckencfffrcmneihbcurinharmcnies, crrather
willbeabletcplaycnamaximumbreakinupcfinternalharmcny.
Seccndly, unitary urbanism is dynamic, i.e in clcse tcuch with styles cf
behavicur.Themcstreducedelementcfunitaryurbanismisnctthehcusebutthe
architectural ccmplex, which is the unicn cf all the factcrs ccnditicnin an
envircnment, cr a sequence cf envircnments ccllidin at the scale cf the
ccnstructed situaticn.Spatialdevelcpment musttaethe affective realities that
the experimental city will determine intc acccunt. Dne cf cur ccmrades has
prcmctedathecrycfstatescfminddistricts,acccrdintcwhicheachquartercf
//AT5T5'WTNG5
acitywouldtendtoinduceasinleemotion,towhichthesubectwillconsciously
exposeherselfor himself. ltseems thatsuchaproect draws timelyconclusions
from an increasin depreciation of accidental primary emotions, and that its
realizationcouldcontributetoacceleratinthischane.Comradeswho callfora
newarchitecur,afree architecture,mustunderstand thatthisnewarchitectue
will not play at first onfree, poetic lnes and forms - in the sense that today's
lyrical abstractpaintinusesthesewords- butratherontheatmosphericeffects
ofrooms, corridors, streets, atmospheres linked to the behaviours they contain.
Architecturemustadvancebytakinasitssubectemotionallymovinsituations,
more than emotionally movin forms, as the material it works with. And the
experiments dran from this subect will lead to unknown forms.
Psychoeoraphical research, 'study oftheexact laws and precise effects ofthe
eoraphcal envronment, conscously oranzed or not,acdrecy on the
affective deportmentofindividuals', thus takes onitsdoublemeaninofactive
obseation oftoday's urban areas and the establishment ofhypotheses on the
structure of a situationist city. Psychoeoraphy's proress depends to a reat
extentonthestatisticalextensionofitsmethodsofobservation,butprincipallyon
experimentationthrouhconcreteinteentionsinurbanism.Until thisstae,the
obective truth ofeven thefirstpsychoeoraphicaldata cannotbe ensured.But
even ifthese data should turn out to be false, they would certainly be false
solutionstoaenuineproblem.
Dur action on deportment, in connection with other desirable aspects of a
revolutionincustoms,ca

bedefineds
ummarilyastheinventionofanewspecies
ofames.Themosteneralaimmustbetobroadenthenon-mediocreportionof
life,toreduceitsemptymomentsasmuchasposible.ltmaythusbespokenofas
an enterprise of human life's quantitative increase, more serious than the
bioloical processes currentlybeinstudied.Fventhere, itimpliesa qualitative
increasewhosedevelopmentsareunforeseeable.Thesituationistamestandsout
from the standard conception ofthe ame by the radical neation ofthe ludic
featuresofcompetitionandofitsseparationfrom thestreamoflife. lncontrast,
thesituationistamedoesnotap

eardistinctfroamoralchoice,decidinwhat
ensures the future rein of freedom and play. This is obviously linked to the
certaintyofthecontinualandrapidincreaseofleisure,atalevelcorrespondinto
thatofourerasproductiveforces.ltisequallylinkedtothereconitionofthefact
thatabattleoverleisureistakinplacebeforeoureyeswhoseimportanceinthe
class strule has not been sufficientl
yanalyzed.To this day, the rulinclass is
succeedin in makin use of the leisure that the revolutionary proletariat
extracted from it by developin a vast industrial sector of leisure that is an
unrivaled instrument for bestializin the proletariat throuh by-products of
mystifyin ideoloy and boureois tastes. Dneofthe reasons for the American
Debotd/ /TowOtdSO5!uO!onS!n!etnO!onOl/ /7
workinclass'sincapacitytobecomepoliticized should likelybe souhtamidst
thisabundanceoftelevisedbaseness.Byobtaininthrouh collective pressure a
sliht rise in the price of its labour above the minimum necessary for the
productionofthatlabour,the proletariatnotonlyenlares its owerofstrule
butalsowidenstheterrainofthestrule Newformsofthis strulethenoccur
parallel withdirectly economicandpoliticalconflicts.Revolutionarypropaanda
can be said until now to have been constantly dominated in these forms of
struleinall countries where advanced industrial development has introduced
them.Thatthe necessarytransformationofthe base couldbedelayedby errors
and weaknessesatthelevelofsuperstructureshasunfortunately been provenby
someofthetwentiethcentury'sexperiences.Newforces mustbehurled intothe
battleoverleisure,andwewilltakeupourpositionthere.
Ahrstattemptatanewmannerofdeportmenthasalreadybeenachievedwith
what we have desinated the Jcvc, which is the practice of a passionate
uprootin throuh the hurried chane of environments, as well as a means of
studyinpsychoeoraphyandsituationistpsycholoy.Buttheapplicationofthis
willtoludiccreationmustbeextendedtoallknownformsofhumanrelationships,
and must, for example, influence the historical evolution of emotions like
friendship and love. Fverythinleadstothe beliefthatthe main insihtofour
researchliesinthehypothesisofconstructionsofsituations.
Aman'slifeisasequenceofchancesituations,and ifnoneofthemisexactly
similarto another, attheleastthesesituationsare, in theirimmensemaority,so
undifferentiated and so dull that they perfectly present the impression of
similitude. The corollary of this state of affairs is that the sinular, enchantin
situationsexperienced in lifestrictlyrestrainand limit thislife.Wemusttryto
construct situations, i.e. collective environments, ensembles of impressions
determininthequalityofamoment.lfwetakethesimpleexampleofaatherin
ofaroupofindividualsforaiventime, andtakinintoaccountacquaintances
andmaterialmeansatourdisposal,wemuststudywhicharranementofthesite,
whichselectionofpaticipants,andwhichincitementofeventssuitthe desired
environment.Surelythe powersofasituationwillbroadenconsiderablyintime
and in spaceih the realizations of unitary urbanism or the education of a
situationisteneration.Theconstructionofsituationsbeinsontheothersideof
themoderncollapseoftheideaofthetheatre. ltiseasytoseetowhatextentthe
veprincipleofthetheatre- non-intervention - isattachedtothealienationof
the old world. lnversely, we see how the most valid of revolutionary cultural
explorationshavesouhttobreakthespectator'spsycholoicalidentificationwith
thehero,soastoincitethisspectatorintoactivitybyprovokinhiscapacitiesto
revolutionize his own life. The situation is thus made to be lived by its
constructors.The role ofthe 'public', ifnot passiveatleastawalk-on,mustever
JJ AT5T5'WTNG5
diminish, while the share ofthose who cannot be called actors but, in a new
meaninoftheterm,'livers willincrease.
etussaythatwehavetomultiplypoeticobectsandsubectsunfortunately
sorareatpresentthatthemosttriflinofthemassumesanexaeratedemotional
importance)andthatwe have tooranizeamesofthese poeticsubects amon
these poetic obects. There is our entire proramme, which is essentially
ephemeral. Dur situations will be without a future, they will be places where
people are constantly comin and oin. The unchanin nature of art, or of
anythin else, does notenter into ourconsiderations, which are in earnest.The
ideaofeternityisthebasestoneamancouldconceiveofreardinhis acts.
Situationist techniques have yet to be invented, but we know that a task
presents itselfonly where the material conditions necessary for its realization
already exist, orare at least in the process offormation. We must beinwith a
small-scale, experimental phase. Undoubtedly we must draw up blueprints for
situations, like scripts, despite their unavoidable inadequacy at the beinnin.
Therefore, we will have to introduce a systemofnotation whoseaccuracywill
increase as experiments in construction teach us more.Wewill haveto hnd or
conhrm laws, like those that make situationist emotion dependent upon an
extremeconcentrationoranextremedispersionofactsclassicaltraedyprovidin
anapproximateimaeofthehrstcase,and the Jcvcofthesecond). Besides the
directmeansthatwillbeusedtoward preciseends,theconstructionofsituations
will require, inits affirmative phase, anewimplementationofreproductivetech
noloies. We could imaine, for example, live televisual proections of some
aspects ofonesituation intoanother, brinin about modihcations and interfer
ences.But,moresimply,cinematic'news' reels mihthnallydeservetheirnameif
weestablishanewdocumentaryschool dedicated to hxinthemostmeaninful
momentsofasituationfororarchives,beforethedevelopmentoftheseelements
hasledtoadifferentsituation.Thesystematicconstructionofsituationshavinto
enerate previously non-existent feelins, the cinema will discover its reatest
pedaoical roleinthediffusionofthesenewpassions.
Situationisttheoryresolutelyassertsanon-continuousconceptionoflife.The
ideaofconsistencymustbetransferredfromtheperspectiveofthewholeofalife
- whereitisareactionarymystihcationfoundedonthebeliefinanimmortalsoul
and,inthelastanalysis,onthedivisionoflabour- totheviewpointofmoments
isolated from life, and ofthe construction ofeach moment by a unitary use of
situationistmeans. lnaclasslesssociety, it mihtbesaid,therewillbenomore
painters,onlysituationistswho,amonotherthins,makepaintins.
ife's chiefemotional drama, after the never-endinconflictbetweendesire
and reality hostiletothatdesire,certainlyappearstobethe sensationoftime's
passae. The situationist attitude consists in countin on time's swift passin,
Debotd/ /TowOtdSO5!uO!onS!n!etnO!onOl{ /
unlike aestheticprccesses which aim at the fixin cfemcticn.The situaticnist
challene tc the passae cfemcticns and cftime will be its waer cn always
ainin rcund cn chane, cn always cin further in play and in the
multiplicaticncfmcvinpericds. Dbvicusly, it is nct easy fcr us at this time tc
makesuchawaer,hcwever,even werewe tclcseitathcusandtimes,there is nc
ctherprcressiveattitudetcadcpt.
The situaticnist mincrity was first fcrmed as atrend within thelettristleft
win, thenwithin the Lettrist lnternaticnal, which it eventually ccntrclled.The
same cbective impulse is leadin several ccntempcrary avant-arde rcups tc
similarccnclusicns.Tcetherwe mustdiscardallthe relicscfthe recentpast.We
deem that tcday an areement cn a unified acticn amcn the revcluticnary
culturalavant-ardemustimplementsuchaprcramme.Wedcncthavefcrmulas
ncrfinalresults inmind.We aremerelyprcpcsinanexperimentalresearchthat
willccllectivelyleadinafewdirecticnsthatweareintheprccesscfdefinin,and
in cthers thathaveyet tc e defined. The very difficulty cfarrivinat the first
situaticnistachievements is prccfcfthe newness cfthe realm we are enterin.
Whataltersthewayweseethestreetsismcreimpcrtantthanwhatalterstheway
we see paintin. Dur wcrkin hypctheses will be reccnsidered at each future
upheaval,whereveritmayccme frcm.
We will be tcld, chiefly by revcluticnary intellectuals and artists whc fcr
reascns cf taste put up with a certain pcwerlessness, that this 'situaticnism' is
quitedisareeable,thatwehavemade ncthincfbeauty,thatwewculdbebetter
cffspeakincfCide,andthatnccneseesanyclearreascntc beinterested inus.
Pecplewillshyawaybyreprcacinusfcrrepeatinanumbercfviewpcintsthat
havealreadycaused tcc muchscandal,andthat express the simpledesiretc be
ncticed. They will beccme indinant abcut the ccnduct we have believed
necessarytcadcptcnafewcccasicnsincrdertckeepcrtcreccvercurdistances.
We reply.itisnctaquesticncfkncinwhetherthisinterestsycu,butrathercf
whetherycuycurselfcculdbeccmeinterestinundernewccnditicnscfcultural
creaticn Revcluticnary artists

d intellectuals, ycur rcle is nct tc shcut that
freedcmisabusedwhenwerefusetcmarchwiththeenemiescffreedcm.Ycudc
ncthavetcimitatebcurecisaestheteswhctrytcbrineverythinbacktcwhat
has already been dcne, because the already-dcne dces nct make them
unccmfcrtable. Ycu kncwthat creaticn isneverpure.Ycur rcle is tcsearch fcr
what will ive rise tc the internaticnal avant-arde, tc cin in the ccnstructive
critiquecfitsprcramme,andtccallfcritssuppcrt.
0ur Immcdiatc Tasks
Wemustsuppcrt,alcnside thewcrkers'partiescrextremisttendenciesexistin
withintheseparties, the necessitycfccnsiderin accnsistentideclcical acticn
l00// AT5T5'WTNG5
forfihtinonthelevelofthepassions,theinfluenceofthepropaandamethods
of late capitalism to concretely contrast, at every opportunity, other desirable
ways of life with the reflections of the capitalistwayoflife to destroy, by all
hyperpolitical means, the boureois idea ofhappiness.Atthe same time, takin
into account the existence amon the rulin social class ofelements who have
always cooperated, throuh boedom and need ofnovelty, in that which fnally
entails the disappearance of these sieties, we must ure persons who hold
certain ofthe vast resources thatwe lacktoive us the means tocarry out our
experiments, throuh an account analoous to what miht be employed in
scientificresearchandmihtbequiteprofitableaswell.
We must introduce everywhere a revolutionary alternative to the rulin
culturecoordinatealltheenquiriesthatarehappeninatthismomentwithouta
eneral perspective, orchestrate, throuh criticism and propaanda, the most
proressiveartistsandintellectualsofall countriestomakecontactwithuswith
aviewtoaointaction.
We mustdecare ourselves ready to resume discussion on the basis of this
platformwithall thosewho,havintakenpart inapriorphaseofouraction,are
aaincapableofreoininus.
We must advance the keywords of unitary urbanism, of experimental
behaviour,ofhyperpoliticalpropaanda,andoftheconstructionofenvironments.
Thepassionshavebeeninterpretedenouhthepointnowistodiscoverothers.
|nrcnch,vivers, aIhcaIricaIpun.TypicaIIy, Ihcwordmcans 'rakc or 'pIayboy, andwasIhus
commonIyIinkcdwiIhIhcdubiousmoraIiIyolIhcIhcaIricaIworId;hcrc,DcbordassinsiIancw
mcaninIhaIrccaIIsiIsrooIsinvvre,Io Iivc[TransIaIorj
CuyDcbord,kopporrsurloconsrrucriondessiruorionsersurlescondirionsdel'oronisorionerdeocrion
delorendencesiruorionnisreinremo|ionole(Faris. |nIcrnaIionaIcIcIIrisIc, ]uy1957)lirsIprcscnIcd by
Cuy Dcbord Io Ihc loundin conlcrcncc ol Ihc SiIuaIionisI |nIcrnaIionaI aI Cosio d'Arroscia,|Iy
1957; IransIaIcd in Cu, Debord ond rhe Siruo|ionisr Inremorionol. Texrs ond Documenrs, cd.
Tom
McDonouh(Cambridc,MassachuscIIs:ThcM|TFrcss,?00?)44-50.
Debotd/ /TowOtdSO5i!uO!onS!n!eO!ionOl//0
A!!On KOptOw
NOes On he L!iminOiOn Of he AUOienCeJ Jl9
!nccmcrcncco]HoppcnnsnNcwYork n !nclo!cl950swosnpor!orcsponsc
!o !nccs!urol cxprcssonsm o]]ockson Pollock's pon!ns. Allon oprowsoun!
]om !nc Hoppcnns o ncn!cncJ cxpcrcncc o] !nc cvcrJo, n wncn vcwcrs
wcrc]ormoll]iscJw!n !ncspocc-!mco]!ncpcr]ormoncconJ !ncrcDlos!!ncr
Jcn!tos 'ouJcncc'.
Althouh the Assemblaes' and Fnvironments' free style was directly carried
into the Happenins, the use of standard performance conventions from the
verystarttended totruncatetheimplicationsoftheart.The Happeninswere
presented to small, intimate atherins of people in lofts, classrooms,
ymnasiumsand someoftheofIbeatalleries,whereaclearinwasmadefor
theactivities.Thewatcherssatveryclosetowhattookplace,withtheartistsand
their friends actin alon with assembled environmental constructions. The
audience occasionally chaned seats as in a ame of musical chairs, turned
aroundtoseesomethinbehindit,orstoodwithoutseatsintihtbutinformal
clusters. Sometimes, too, the event moved in and amonst the crowd, which
produced some movement on the latter's part. But, however Ilexible these
techniqueswereinpractice,therewasalwaysanaudienceinoneusuallystatic)
spaceandashowiveninanother.
This proved to be a serious drawback, in my opinion, to the plastic
morpholoy ofthe works, forreasons parallel to those which make alleries
inappropriateforAssemblaesand Fnvironments. Butitwasmoredramatically
evident.Theroomsenframedtheevents,andtheimmemorialhistoryofcultural
expectationsattachedtotheatricalproductionscrippledthem.ltwasrepeatedly
clearitheachHappeninthatin spiteoftheuniqueimaeryand vitalityofits
impulse, the traditional stain, if it did not suest a 'crude' version ofthe
avant-arde Theatre of the Absurd, at least smacked of niht club acts, side
shows, cock fihts and bunkhouse skits. Audiences seemed to catch these
probably unintended allusions and so took the Happenins for charmin
diversions,buthardlyfor artorevenpurposiveactiviy. Nihtclub acts canof
course be more than merely divertin, but their structure of 'rammar' is
unusuallyhackneyedand,assuch,isdetrimentaltoexperimentationandchane.
Unfortunately,thefactthattherewaatouhnuttocrackintheHappenins
seems to have struck very few of its practitioners. Fven today, the maority
continues to popularize an art of 'acts' which often is well-done enouh but
02// AT5T5'WTNG5
fulfilsneitheritsimplicationsnorstrikesoutinunchartedterritory.
Butfor those who sensedwhatwas at stake, the issues beanto appear t
would take anumberofyears to work them outbytrial and error, forthereis
sometimes,thouhnotalways,areatapbetweentheoryandproductionBut
raduallyanumberofrules-of-thumbcouldbelisted. [ . . . |
F) I!]ollows !no! ouJcnccs snoulJ Dc clmno!cJ cn!rcl All the elements
people,space,theparticularmaterialsandcharacteroftheenvironment,time-
can in this way be interated. And the last shred of theatrical convention
disappears.Foranyoneonceinvolvedinthepainter'sproblemofunifyinafield
ofdiverentphenomena,aroupofinactivepeopleinthespaceofaHappenin
isustdead space. t isnodifferent from adeadarea ofredpaintonacanvas
Movements call up movements in response, whether on a canvas or in a
Happenin.AHappeninwithonlyanempathicresponseonthepartofaseated
audienceisnotaHappeninbutstaetheatre.
Then,onahumanplane,toassemblepeopleunpreparedforaneventandsay
that they are 'participatin' ifapples are thrown at them or they are herded
aboutistoaskverylittleofthewholenotionofparticipation.Mostofthetime
the response of such an audience is half-hearted or even reluctant, and
sometimestheeactionisviciousandthereforedestructivetotheworkthouh
suspectthatinnumerousinstacesofviolentreactiontosuchtreatmentitwas
caused by the latentsadism in the action, which they quite rihtly resented).
After afew years, inanycase, 'audience response'provesto be so predictably
pure clich thatanyone serious about the problem should nottolerate it, any
more than the painter should continue theuse ofdripped paint as astamp of
modernity when it has been adopted by every lampshade and Formica
manufacturerinthecountry.
l think that it is a mark of mutual respect that all persons involved in a
Happeninbewillin and committedparticipantswhohaveaclearideawhat
theyaretodo.Thisissimplyaccomplishedbywritinoutthescenariorscore
forall and discussinitthorouhlywith them beforehand. ln this respectit is
notdifferentfromthepreparationsforaparade,afootballmatch,aweddinor
reliious service. tis not even ifferent froma play. The one bi difference is
thatwhileknowledeoftheschemeisnecessary,professionaltalentisnot,the
situationsinaHappeninarelifelikeor,iftheyareunusual,aresorudimentary
thatprofessionalismisactuallyuncalledfor.Actorsarestae-trainedandbrin
overhabitsfromtheirartthatarehardtoshakeoff,thesameistrueofanyother
kindofshowmanortrainedathlete.Thebestparticipantshavebeenpersonsnot
normallyenaedinartorperformance,butwhoaremovedtotakepartinan
activitythatisatoncemeaninfultotheminitsideasyetnaturalinitsmethods.
KOptow/ /No!eSon!heEliminO!iono!!heAudience//0
Thereisanexception,however,torestrictintheHappeninstoparticipants
only.When aworkisperformed ona busy avenue, passersbywill ordinrily
stopandwatch,ustastheymihtwatchthedemolitionofabuildinTheseare
nottheatre-oersandtheirattentionis olytemporarilycauht inthe course of
their normal affairs. They miht stay, perhaps become involved in some
unexpected way, ortheywill more likely moveonafter a few minutes. Such
personsareauthenticpartsoftheenvironment.
Avariantofthisisthe personwhoisenaedunwittinlywithaperformer
in some planned action. a butcher will sell certain meats to a customer-
performer without realizin that he is a prt of piece havin to do with
purchasin,cookin,andeatinmeat.
Finally,there is this additional exceptiontothe rule.A Happenin may be
scoredfor)us!wo!cnn. Persons will do othinelse.Theywillwatchthns,
eachother,possiblyactionsnotperformedbythemselves,suchasabusstoppin
to pi up commuters. This would not take place in a theatre or arena, but
anywhere else. lt could be an extremely meditative occupation when done
devotedlyust'cute'whendoneindifferetly.lnamorephysicalmood,theidea
ofcalled-forwatchincouldbecontrastedwithperiodsofaction.Bothnormal
tendencies toobserveand actwould now beenaed ina responsible way. At
thosemomentsofrelativequiettheobserverwouldhardlybeapassivemember
ofan audience hewould becloser to the role ofa Creek chorus, without its
specificmeaninnecessarily,butwithits requiredplaceintheoverallscheme.
Atothermomentstheactiveandobservinroleswouldbeexchaned,sothatby
reciprocation the whole meanin ofatchin would be altered, away from
somethin like spoon-feedin, towards smethin puposive, possibly intense
j
^ . . |
AIIanaprow,Assembloes,nvimnmentsondBoppenins(NcwYork:HarryN.ADrams,1955)187-8;
195-8.
1// AT5T5'WTNG5
H!iO OiiCiCO
DOnCC in Ny LxpCriCnCC {DiOry LnriCsJJ l9b
No occoun! o] collcc!vc proJuc!on onJ rcccp!on n or! s complc!c w!nou!
rc]crcncc!o!ncworkonJwr!ns o]!nc8i0zlonor!s!Hclo0!cco.8!ncmJ-
l950,0!ccowoscolloDoro!nw!npor!cpon!s]rom!ncsomDoscnoolso]!ncko
]ovclos!oproJuccJsrup!vccvcn!sDoscJorounJJoncnn paranolcopcs(scc
]oo!no!cDclow). !nccmpnosswosonoDonson losso]scl]nsocol]uson.
Beforeanythinelsel needtoclarifymyinterestindance,inrhythm,whichin
myparticularcasecame fom avitalnecessity for disintellectualization. Such
intellectual disinhibition, anecessaryfreeexpression,wasrequired since l felt
threatenedby an excessivelyintellectualexpression.Thiswas thedefinitestep
towardsthesearhformyth,forareappraisalofthismythandanewfoundation
in myart. Personally, itwas therefore an experience ofthe reatest vitality -
indispensable, particularly in the demolition of preconceived ideas and
stereotypification, etc. As we will see later, there was a converence of this
experiencewiththeformthatmyarttookinthePoronolc' andallthatrelates
to this sincethePoronolcinfluencedand chaned thetraectoryoftheNuclc,
Pcnc!Dlcs and 8Jcs).Moreover,itwas the beinninofadefnitive social
experience, lamstillunawareofthedirectionwhichthiswilltake.
Dance is por cxccllcncc the search for a direct expressive act, it is the
immanence of the act. Ballet dance, on the contrary, is excesively
intellectualized throuh the presence of choreoraphy that searches to
transcend this act. However, the 'Dionysian' dance, which is born out ofthe
nteriorrhythmofthecollective,exteriorizesitselfasacharacteristicofpopular
roupins,nations,etc.lnthese,improvisationreins,asopposedtooranized
choreoraphy in fact the freer the improvisation the better. lt is as if an
immersionintorhythmtakesplace,afluxwheretheintellectremainsobscured
byaninternalmythicalforcethatoperatesatanindividualandcollectivelevel
infact,inthisinstanceonecannotestablishadistinctionbetweenthecollective
andtheindividual).Theimaesaremobile,rapid,inapprehensible- theyarethe
opposite of the static icon that is characteristic ofthe so-called fine arts. ln
reality, dance, rhythm, is the actual aesthetic act in its essential raw state -
impliedhereisthedirectiontowardsthediscoveryofimmanence.Suchanact,
theimmersionintorhythm,isapurecreativeact,itisanart.ltisthecreationof
theactualact,ofcontinuity,andalso,likeallactsofcreative expression,itisa
producerofimaes.Actually,formeitprovidedanewdiscoveryoftheimae,a
Oi!iccO/ /DOnceinNyEXpetience/ /l0
ecreationofthe imae, encompassinunavoidablytheaestheticexpressionin
mywork.
The collapse of social preconceived ideas, ofseparations ofroups, social
classes etc would be inevitable and essential in the realization ofthis vital
experience. l discovered here the connection between the collective and
individual expression - the mostimportant step towards this - which is the
ability not to aclowlede abstract levels, such as social 'layers', in order to
establishacomprehensionofatotality.Theboureoisconditioninwhichlhad
beensubmittedtosincelwasbornundiditselfasifbymaic- l shouldmention,
infact,thattheprocesswasalreadyunderwayevenbeforelwasaareofit.The
unbalance that was entailed by this social dislocation, from e continuous
discreditinofthestructuresthatruleourlifeinthissociety,specificallyherein
Brazil,wasboth inevitable and chared with problems.These,farfrombein
overcome,renewthemselveseveryday.lbelievethatthedynamicsofthesocial
structureswereatthismomentrevealedtomeinalltheircrudity,intheirmost
immediateexpression,preciselyduetomyprocessofdiscreditintheso-called
social layers. Not that l consider their existence but that, for me, they have
becomeschematic,artificial, as ifall ofasuddenl azed from avantae point
onto their map, their scheme, bein 'external' to them. Marinalization,
naturallyanalreadypresentcharacteristicoftheartist,hasbecomefundamental
forme.Thispositionrepresentsatotal'aclofsocialplace',atthesametimeas
bein the discoveryofmyown'individualplace'asatotal man in theworld, as
a'social bein' in thetotal sense,asopposed to beinincluded in aparticular
sociallayeror'elite'- noteven in the artisticmarinalelite,butthatexistsl
spealofthe trueartists,andnotofthenoD!ucsofart).No,the processhere is
more profound: it is a process in society as a whole, in practical life, in the
obectiveworldofbein,inthesubectivelivedexperience- itwouldbethewill
for an interal position, social in its most noble meanin, free, total. What
interestsme isthe'totalactofbein',which iswhatl experimentwithhere -
not partial total acts, buta 'ttal actoflife',irreversible, anunbalanceforthe
equilibriumofbein.
Theoldpositionwithreardstotheworkofarthasstanated- eveninthose
works thattodaydonotdemand spectatorparticipation,whattheypropose is
not atranscendentalcontemplationbuta'bein'intheworld.Dancetoodoes
not propose an 'escape' from this immanent world, but reveals it in all its
plenitude - what for Nietzsche would be the 'Dionysian drunkenness' is in
reality the 'expressive lucidity of the act's immanence', an act itself not
characterizedbyanypartialitybutbyits totalityassuch- atotalexpressionof
the self. Would this not be the philosopher's stoneofart The Por0nolc for
instance,whenitdemandsparticipationthouhdance,is amereadaptationof
0//ART5T5'WRTNG5
this structure andvice-vesa with reard to this structure in dance - this is
simply atransformation ofthis 'total act ofthe self'.The esture, the rhythm,
take on a new form which is determined by the demands ofthe 's
structure, beinthatpuredance isatrace ofthis structural participation- itis
notaquestionofdetermininvaluelevelsintermsofoneoranotherexpression,
sincetheyarebothpuredanceanddancenthe)totalexpessions.
What has been conventionally described as 'interpretation' also suffers a
transformationtoday- itisnotaquestionofrepeatin,insomecases,ofcourse,
acreationasonforexample),ivinitreaterorlesserexpressionaccordin
totheinterpreter.Todayaninterpretercanreachsuchanimportantlevel that
the actual son or any otherform)issurpassed. lt is not acase of individual
'celebrty',althouhthsalsooccurs,butofarealexpressivevalorzation.lnthe
old days 'celebrity status' served the purpose of immortalizin interpreters
accordin to their creation based upon famous works in opera and theatre).
Todaythe issue isdifferent.eveniftheworksthatareinterpretedarenotreat
creations, fantastic musicals in the field of popular music for example) the
interpreterreachesahihexpressivelevel - asinersuchas NatKinColefor
example, creates a 'vocal expressive structure' that is independent from the
sons he interprets. This is a creation that is not simply interpretative but
pertains to a hihlyexpressivevocalist.Anacto such as Marilyn Monroe for
example,dueto herall-encompassininterpretativepresence,possessesabove
all else a creative quality, which is structurally expressive. Her presence in
certainmediocrefilmsmakesthesefilmsuncommonlyinterestin,afactthatis
duetoheractionasinterpreter.Whatisinteretinhereisthevocalizationof
Nat and the interpretative act of Marilyn, independent ofthe quality ofthe
interpreted score or script, even if these possess, of course, a value that is
relativeandnotabsoluteasbefore.
10 ApriI 1966 continuation)
The experience ofdanceofsamba) therefore ave methe exact ideaofwhat
creationthrouhthecorporalactmaybe,acontinuoustransformability.Dnthe
otherhandhowever,itrevealedwhatlcallthe'bein'ofthins,thatis,thestatic
expression of obects, their expressive immanence, which in this case is the
immanenceofthecorporalexpressiveact,whichtransformsitselfcontinuously.
The opposite, the non-transformability, is not exactly the fact of 'not
transforminoneselfintimeandspace'butintheimmanencethatisrevealed
in its structure, foundin within the world, in the obective space that it
occupies,tsuniqueplace,andthistooisa-structure.lcannotconsider
today the as a structure that is kinetically-transformable by the
Oi!icicO/ / /DOnceinNyEXpetienc/ /07
spectatorbutneithercanlconsideritasitsopposite,thatis,thethinsor,better
still, the obects thatorc create adifferent relation with obective space. they
'dislocate' the environmental space away from obvious, already own,
relations. Here isthe key to whatl will call 'environmental art'. the eternally
mobile, th transformable, which is structured by both the action of the
spectatorandthatwhichissatic.Thelatterisalsotransformableinitsownway,
dependinontheenvironmentinwhichit is participatinasastructure ltwill
be necessarytocreate 'environments' for theseworks - the actual concept of
'exhibition'in
itstraditionalsense,is chaned, sinceto'exhibit'such workdoes
notmakesensethiswouldbealesserpartialinterest)- s
tructural spacesthat
arefreebothtotheparticipationandtothecreative inventionsofspectators.A
pavilion, one of those used these days for industrial exhibitions how more
interestinthey are than anaemic little art shows ),would be ideal fors
uch a
purpose - itwould beanopportunityfor atrulyefficientexperiencewiththe
people, throwin them into the creative participatory notion, away from the
'elite exhibitions' so fashionable today. This experienceshould rane from the
'ivens' that have already been produced, the 'livins' that structure as if
archtecturalltheroutestobetraced,tothe'transformableivens'thatdemand
whateverinventiveparticipationfromthespectatorbeitDdressandunfoldor
dance) and the 'ivens tobe made', that is, the raw material thatwould be
suppliedsothateach person canconstructor createwhatevertheylike, since
motivation,thestimulus,isbornfromthesimplefactof'beinthereforthat'.
The execution of such a plan is complex, demandin riorous prior
oranization, and obviously a team.Thevaried and multiple cateories tobe
exploredelsewherelwillexplainwhatlconsidertobethestructuralcateories
in this new concept of mine, 'environmental art') in fact bein and indeed
requirin the collaboration of various a
rtists with differn deas,
s
olely
concentrated
onthiseneralideaofa 'total participatorycreation - to which
would be added works created throuh the anonymous participation ofthe
spectators,whoactuallywouldbebetterdescribedas'participants'.
Thc Poi0nol (a san Icrm mcan|n 'an anImaIcd sIIuaI|on and suddcn conIus|on andjor
a|IaIIon bcIwccn pcopIc') wcrc sIrancIy wc|hIcd capcs madc Irom unusuaI IabrI IhaI
cncouracdwcarcrsIomovcanddancc,andlorcdac|rcuIarrcIaIIonsh|pbcIwccnwaIchcrand
wcarcr.
2 HcIIo O|IIcIca uscd cncrIcIcrms IhaI dclIncd roups oIworks such as Ihc Poi0nols HIs
Nclcus |nsIaIIaI|ons compr|scd ' lIoaI|n pancIs' (acryI|c on wood) IhaI hun lrom IaIIIccd
sIrucIurcs.EachpancIwouIdconIa|naparI|cuIarvar|aIIon|noIou,ycIIowororancbcInIhc
prcdomInanIIoncs.W|IhNIcoNC(1960)Ihcv|cwcracsIhrouhIhcsIrucIurc,d|rccIIyor
|nd|rccIIy Ihrouh Ihc mIrror pIaccd on Ihc lIoor. WIIh Cr0ndc Nclco (1960) Ihc vIcwcrIs
0// ATl5T5'WlTNG5
|nvIc IowaI IhrouhIhc IonI d|llcrcnI|aI|o sIcpp|n on IhcravcI IhaIsurroundsIhc
sIrucIurc.Thcl|rsI|nIhcscr|csolPeneri0blesIhaI|I|c|cawouIddcvcIopwasPN (19b0)Hcrc
Ihcv|cwcrcnIcrsanorancjycIIow caD|n w|Ih sI|d|nwaIIs, I|IcraIIy cnIcr|n |nIo coI.Thc
Penerroblesva |n maIcr|aI and compIcx|IyThcy rcma|n |n Ihc arI|sI`s rcpcrIo|rc IhrouhouI
h|sIrans|I|onlromconccrnsw|IhcoIour|nIohIsIaIc19b0cxpcr|mcnIs,wh|chhcwouIddclInc
cnv|ronmcnIaI arI.8olides couId Dc IooscIy IransIaIcdas 'lIrcDaIIs` Ihcyarc cncraIIy vcsscIs
IhaI vary rcaIIy |n d|mcns|ons, maIcr|aIs and luncI|ons. O|I|c|ca`s carIy 8olides wcrc Doxcs
madc ol wood, andjorIass conIa|n|n p|mcnI or laDr|c IhaI wouId Dc man|puIaIcd Dy Ihc
v|cwcrsuchas8ox-8olide9(19b4)andCloss8olide l(19b3).8olidessoonacqu|rcdarcadymadc
cIcmcnIsuchas |nCloss8olide0.BomoeroMolevich(19b5)|nwh|ch IwoDoIIIcs(onc opaquc
ycIIow,IhcoIhcr IransIuccnI)wouIdDcpIaccd s|dcDy s|dc. [TransIaIor]
3 lnIcrprcIcr |s hcrcuscd as IhcIcrm lor a mus|c|an who pIays or s|ns a soncomposcd Dy
somconccIsc[TransIaIor|
HcI|oO|I|c|ca,'Dancc|nmyExpcr|cncc`,D|arycnIry, 1?NovcmDcr 19b5; rcpr|nIcd|nF|uc|rcdo,L,
apc,L. SaIomao,V.,cds,loiricico:Aspii I Ci0nde Lobi1nro (k|o dcanc|ro. kocco, 198b)
7?-5and'conI|nuaI|on 10Apr| 19bb`(bd.) 75-bTransIaIcdDyM|chacIAsDury,?00b.
Oi!icicO/ /DOnceinNypetience/ /l0
LygiO C!Ork OnO H!iO OitiCiCO
LeersJ Jl96~9
lo 0mcco ondLo Clorksnorcdon n!cnsc or!s!cdolouc !nrounou!!ncr
corccrs.xccrp!so]!ncrcorrcspondcnccDclow!rocc!nccvolu!ono]!ncr!nnkn,
]romn!croc!vcsculp!uroloD]cc!s !oroupcvcn!s!no!oddrcsscdcx!crnolrclo!ons
(0mcco)ond n!cnorpscnolocols!o!cs(Clork). ForDo!n or!s!s, okc!crmwos
vivncias,orlvcdcxpcncncc.!ncDod'sncn!cncdscnsoijprcscnccosou!ncn!c,
mmcdo!c, ondrcss!on!!odcolocolcop!urc
26 0cobcr 1968
DearestHiCaetaCric,

[. . .
SinceComnnondojWolkn,968,thecbectfcrmehaslcstitssinihcance,and
ifl still use it, it isscthat itbeccmes a mediatcrfcrparticipaticn. With the
senscriallcves,fcrexample,itivesthemeasurecftheactandthemiraculcus
character cf the esture, with its spcntaneity, which seems tc have been
fcrctten.lnallthatldc,therereallyisthenecessitycfthehumanbcdy,scthat
it expresses itself cr is revealed as in a hrst [primary experience. Fcr me it
dcesn'tmatterwhether l amavant-ardecrplaced within new thecries. l can
cnlybewhatlamandlstillintendtcprcducethcsehlmsinwhichmanisatthe
centrecftheevent.Fcrme,thestcnesthatlccmeacrcss,crtheplasticbas,are
cne and the same. theyaretherecnlytc expressaprcpcsiticn.l dcn't seewhy
we shculd neate the cbect simply because we have ccnstructed it. lt is
impcrtantthatitshculdbeexpressive.lflfeelinmylifetcdaythestatethatycu
feelanddehneashallucinatcry,itisbecausethrcuhtheseprcpcsiticnslhave
learnttc feel these same mcments, and ifl had nctdcne sc, perhaps l wculd
haveneverdisccveredthesesamemcmentsthatarefantastic.Whatlwantistc
avcidschematizinanythin,andeachdayeatanew'pear',tcsee ifit'sccdcr
nct.Maric's[ Pedrcsaterm,asalwaysisexcellent,butfcrmeitisnctabcutthe
mcmentcfchancebutthe'fruit'cfthemcment.Fruitinthefruitsense, suchis
the avcurand the sensuality cfeatin, cflivinthis mcment. l alsc fcundit
very ccd when ycu said thatalready in the rudimentaryelementthe cpen
structuresareliberateddespitethefactthatweuseitpreciselybecausewenc
lcnerbelieveintheaesthetic ccncept.Atthe end ycurtext is splendid with
reardtcthepceticlivedexperiencevvcnopoc!coandthesubectivechare,
cnlyldcnctbelieve,aslmenticnedabcve,inthemarinalitycfwhcprcpcses,
0//AT5T5'WTNG5
what'sreatisthisdiversitycfpcsiticns,sinceas lcnasthereisccntradicticn
andneaticnthereisalscccnfirmaticncfareality.
j4 4 4 ]
ThcusandcfkissestcthisnewHlicCaetaCric
Clark
8 Novcmbcr 1968
Lyia,myDear
j. . . ]
Ycur letter, as always, was fantastic. This issue cf bein deflcwered by the
spectatcristhemcstdramaticthin. infacteverycneis,sincebeycndtheacticn
thereisthemcment-ccnscicusnesscfeachacticn, evenifthisccnscicusnessis
mcdified later cn, cr inccrpcrates cther lived experiences jvvcncos]. This
business cf participaticn is really terrible since it is what is actually
inccnceivablethatmanifestsitselfineachperscn,ateachmcment,asiftakin
pcssessicn. like ycu, l alsc felt this necessity cf killin the spectatcr cr
participatcr, which is a ccd thin since itcreates an intericr dynamic with
reardtctherelaticn.Ccntrarytcwhathasbeenhappeninalctlately,itshcws
that there is nc aestheticizaticn cf participaticn. the macritycreates an
academicismcftherelaticncrcftheideacfspectatcrparticipaticn,tcsuchan
extentthatithasleftmewithdcubtsabcuttheideaitself.Thectherdaywith
[MricSchemberldiscussedthis issuealctcverhere. hethinks in factthat
thereisnc participaticn, crthisissue, whichisperhapsduetchisexaerated
eneralizaticnwithreardtc this.What lthinkis thatthe fcrmalaspectcfthis
issuewascverccmescmetimeac,bythe'relaticninitself',itsdynamic,bythe
inccrpcraticn cf all the lived experiences cf precaricusness, by the ncn-
fcrmulated,andscmetimeswhatappearstcbeparticipaticnisameredetailcf
it,becausetheartistcannctinfactmeasurethisparticipaticn,sinceeachperscn
experiences it differently. This is why there is this unbearable experience
[ vivcncia| cfcurs, cfbeindecwered, cfpcssessicn, as ifhe, the spectatcr,
wculd say. 'Whcare ycu? Whatdcl care ifycucreated this crnctWell,l am
heretcmcdifyeverythin,thisunbearableshitthatprcpcsesdullexperiences,
crccdcnes,libidincus,fuckycu,andallcfthisbecauseldevcurycu,andthen
l shit ycu cut, what is cfinterest cnly l can experience and ycu will never
evaluatewhatl feel andthink,thelustthatdevcursme.'Andtheartistccmes
cutcfitintatters. Butitisccd.ltisnct,ascnecculdimaine,aquesticn cf
mascchism, it's ust the true nature cfthe business. lt's funny, scmethin l
experiencedthectherdayhas,tcacertainextent,arelaticntcallcfthis,l'mnct
sure ifycu'll aree. the idcl, theartist perscnwhc uses himselfin crder tc
ClOtk/Oi!icicO/ /Le!!etS/ /
express. Caetano [Veloso forexample, when he sins and does all ofthat, is
totalldevoured,inanalmostphysicalsense.oncecominoutfrom Chacrinha
[music show recorded for TV, l saw in the corridors millions of students,
adolescents, in an incredible fury, rabbin himto ask for autoraphs,but in
realityitwas not onlythat The true, profoundmeaninofall ofthatwas ofa
veritablecoitus- Caetanoreactedpassively,rclox [oriinallyin Fnlish,asyou
would say, butthe whole thinscaredme profoundly,suchacollectivefuryin
contrast with the noble and delicate intentions of Caetano. a poet, ultra-
sensitive,allofasuddenisthrownintoanarenaofwildbeasts,butbeastsnotin
the senseofanimals from which you havetodefend yourselfphysicallymore
thanpsycholoically,buthumanbeasts,like meandyou,childrenalmost,each
oneproectintheir ownpsycholoical chare inaterriblemanner.Somethin
worsehappened atthatcrapsonfestival,durinthe SoPaulo preliminaries
that l watched on TV, the fury of the oranized fan-clubs in the audience
functioned as acclamation, equal but in reverse, but ultimately booin and
applausebecomeidentifiedwithdevourin.Theaudiencescreamed,booedlike
l have never seen before, to the point that it was no lonerpossible to sin.
Whenthesonwasselectedtooontothenextstae,thenitwasevenworse.
itwasasiftheintellectualintentionofdestructionbecameconsciousofitself.lf
Caetano had been at people's reach he would have been destroyed in a
horrendous manner. eveone shoutedqueer,queer,queer,andthrewobects,
bitsofwood at him andthe Mutantes [ poprockband inspired by theBeatles
and psychedelia and then they turned their backs to the stae. Then the
Mutantesalsoturnedtheirbacksto the audienceandCaetanostoppedsinin
andsaidthemostdramaticandprofoundthinslhaveeverseen,notduetothe
wordsthemselvesbutinthesenseoftheirclosureandwhattheyrepresentedat
thatmoment.ltwas incredible,anddoyouknowwhatitremindedmeofThe
scene withAbel Cance's Napoleon in frontofthetribunal withthat|rovclln
thatCancemade,imitatinthemovementofthesea,rememberThisiswhatis
terrible.thedisunctionbetweenthealways noble,etc.,intentionsoftheartist
andthefuryoftheparticipatoryrelation. l believethatthatmoment revealed
manythinsforme,especiallythe'wellnourished'appearanceofpeople,ofthe
destructive fury, as if that moment of lack of repression was a chance for
destruction,whichtoanextentitalways is. Butitisaoodtestofthevalidityof
the proposition. to not accept passively is more important than to accept
everythin, and in this dynamic ofthe relation new possibilities arise which,
evenifpainful,areessential. l believethatperhapsinVeniceyouexperienced
this in relationto thework-spectator-creator, and thewilltokill him, to push
aside people's unbearable lust; this is important withinthedialectics ofthe
issue. because ivin does not push aside the takin, on the contrary, it
2//AT5T5'WTNG5
stimulatesit, in aneroticway too.As Marcusewouldsay,itliberates the Fros
that is repressed by repressive activities. the rclox in participation is a on-
repressiveactivity,whichconfusesan liberatestrulyunpredictableforces,and
inthis,lbelieve,youbaseyourselfonyourownexperience,whichisalsohihly
revolutionary,thisisthereatcurrentissue.
l believethatourreainnovationispreciselytheformofparticipation,thatis,
itsmeanin,whichiswherewedifferfromwhatisproposedinsuper-civilized
Furopeorin the USA. we have here afar rouherscene, perhaps, becausewe
have reached these issues in a more violent manner. Forexample, yourblack
with white line phase, or even the one before that, even the breakinofthe
frame,thistypeofpaintincontainsasucncrsdramaticalitythatdidnotoccur
even inArentina,since theArentines,toacertainextent,are morecivilized,
moreFuropeanthanus.Brazilisaformofsynthesisofthepeoples,races,habits,
where the Furopean speaks but does not speak so loudly, except in the
universalist,academicfields,whicharenotthoseof'culturalcreation'butthose
ofclosure. Creation, even inTarsila [doAmaral and especiallyinDswaldode
Andrade, possesses a subective chare that differs extremely from the
rationalism of the Furopean, this is our 'thin', that Cuy Brett was able to
understand so well and that the Furopeans will have to swallow, in factwith
appetitesincetheyarefedupwitheverythinanditlooksas ifthatsaturated
civilizationisdryin theirimaination.
[.
|
Kiiiisses,
Hlio
14 Novcmbcr 1968
DearHlio
[.
|
Asfarastheideaofparticipationisconcerned,asalwaystherearewcoor!s|s
who cannot really express themselves throuh thouht, so instead they
illustratetheissue.Formethisissuedoesineedexistandisveryimportant.As
yousay,itisexactlythe'relationinitself'thatmakesitaliveandimportant.For
example,thishasbeentheissueinmyworksincethesixties,ifweobackeven
furtherto l955, lproducedthe maquetteforthehouse. 'buildyourownlivin
space. Butitisnotparticipationforparticipation'ssake and it isnotafact of
sayin,like|ulio| LeParc'sroup[CRAV.Croupederecherched'artvisueldoes,
thatartisanissuefortheboureoisie.ltwouldbetoosimplean linea.There
isnodepth in this simplicityand nothinistrulylinear.Theyneate precisely
ClOtk/O!!!c!cO/ /Le!!etS/ /
what is impcrtant thcuht.l thinkthatncwwe arethcse whc prcpcse, and
thrcuh the prcpcsiticn there shculd be thcuht, and when the spectatcr
expressesthisprcpcsiticn,heisinrealityatherinthecharacteristiccfawcrk
cfartcfall times. thcuhtandexpressicn.Andfcrmeallcfthisisccnnected.
Frcmthecpticn,theact,tcimmanenceasameanscfccmmunicaticn,andthe
lackcfanymyth extericrtc man and mcre sc, in myfantasy, itccnnects itself
withtheanti-universewherethinsaretherebecauseithappensnow.ltwculd
be perhapsthefirstcccasicninwhich ccnscicusness cftheactualabscluteis
achieved inthe ncw.Ancther thinthat l am very impressed with is tcday's
ycuth whc, like us,want tc ive themselves meaninfrcm theinsidetcwards
the cutsideascppcsed tc, asithas always been,frcm thecutsidetcwards the
inside.True participaticn is cpenand we will never be able tc kncwwhatwe
ivetc the spectatcr-authcr. ltispreciselybecause cfthisthatlspeakcfawell,
frcminsidewhichascundwculdbetaken,nctbytheycu-wellbutbythecther,
inthesensethathetrcwshiscwnstcne. . . Myexperiencecfdeflcwerinisnct
quite the same as ycurs. lt is nct myselfwhc isdeflcwered but the prcpcsal
itself.Andwhenlcryabcutthisphencmencnitisnctbecauselfeelwcundedin
my perscnal interity, but because they ruin everythin and l have tc start
ccnstructin the wcrk all cver aain. 0n the ccntrary, l dcn't even put cn my
msksandclcthes,butlhcpescmecnewill ccmealcnandivemeanintcthe
fcrmulaticn.Andthemcrediversethelivedexperiencesare,themorcopcns!nc
propos!on and it is therefcre mcre impcrtant. ln fact, l think that ncw l am
prcpcsinthesametypecfissuethatbefcrewasstillachievedviathecbect.
the empty-full, the fcrm and its cwn space, the cranicity . . . 0nly ncw, with
thesenewsenscrialmasks,itismanwhcdisccvershimselfinallhisplenitude,
andevenwhenhefillstheplasticbaswhatisimpcrtantncwisalsctcmake
themask)hefeelsthatheiscastinhimselfinthesensethatheexhalestheair
andthebatakesshape).Thissamespacethatccmescutcfhim,ashebeccmes
ccnscicuscfhiscwnbcdilyspacethatcesbeycndhim,takesafcrmthatwculd
filltheactualspacearcundhim.lfcrinstance,feelthatafterfcrmulatinthese
lareplasticbaswithmycwnluns, whenlyindcwncntheflccrinmyflatl
cculdtcuch,witha simpleesture,the ceilin, whichisnc less than6metres
hih. . . lt is as if l had created an e cf space that belcns tc me and that
embraces me. lt wculd be the mcst cranic 8rco!nc w!n mc [ l966 yet less
illustrative Manwhenputtincnthesemasksturnshimselfintcanauthentic
beast,sincethemaskishisappendix,nctlikethefirstcneswheretherewasin
factarcolmosk.Theyturnthemselvesintcmcnsterslileelephantscrencrmcus
birdswithreatcrcps.Mcreandmcre[MricPedrcsa'ssentencefuncticnsfcr
my wcrk 'manasthecbectcfhimself'.Asycu see, participaticnisincreasinly
reater.Therenc lcneristhecbecttc expressanyccnceptbutthespectatcr
l 4//ATl5T5'WlTNG5
whcreaches,mcreandmcreprcfcundly,hiscwnself.He,man,isncwa'beast'
andhedialcueisncwithhimself,tctheextentcthecranicityandalscthe
maicthatheisabletcbcrrcwfrcmwithinhimself.AsfarasCaetanc'sprcblem
isccncerned,itisdifferentsinceheisaffectedasaperscnbutisonJolheisthe
cppcsite cfmyself, whc nc lcner pc

sesses anythin, nct even as a creative


artistwhcprcvideswhatisstillatctalceuvrethatinheendismyself.Fachday
llccse mcrecfmyapparentperscnality,enterinntc theccllectiveinseachcf
a dialcue and acccmplishin myselfthrcuh the spectatcr. And the crises,
whentheyarrive,appearinamcrebrutalanner,muchmcrepainful,yetthey
passbyquickerthanefcre. . .
[ . .
Thcusandcfkissesanddcwrite
Clark
27 )unc 1969
Lyia,mylcve
[. 4
Ycurletter
lvemuchlikedtheideasandincrediblerelaticnsccncerninycu,thatlwrcte
abcutinanctherpartcftheencrmcustextthatl prepared fcrthesympcsiuml
menticned. l'lltranslatea secticn and l amsureycu willlcveit, since, in fact
afterlwrcte it,ldisccveredinMacuse'smcstrecentbcckachapterinwhichhe
prcpcses a 'biclcical scciety' thatwculd be unrepressed and based upcn a
direct chain cf ccmmunicaticn, the same thin l had thcuht abcut when
writinabcutycurissues,seebelcwinaceainpassaecfthetext.
'. . . the mcst recent experiences cf Lyia Clark have led her tc fascinatin
prcpcsalsas she disccvered thatcertainlyher ccmmunicaticn willhavetcbe
mcre cfan n!roJuc!on tc a practice that she calls ccllulor Frcm perscn tc
perscn,thisisanimprcvisedccrpcraldialcuehatcanexpandintcatctalcnon
creatinscmethincfanollcncompossnDolocolcn!!crwhatlwculdcalla
crcproc!cc.' The idea cf creatin such relaticns ces beycnd that cfa facile
participaticn,suchasinthemanipulaticncfcbectsthereisthesearchfcrwhat
cculd be described as a Dolocol r!uol, where interperscnal relaticns are
enriched and establishacommunco!on o]row!n atan cpen level. l say cpen
level,becauseitdcesnctrelatetcancbect-basedccmmunicaticn,cfsubect-
cbect, but tc an interperscnal practice that leads tcwards a truly cpen
ccmmunicaticn ame-ycurelaticn,rapid,briefastheactualact,ncccrrupted
benefit,cfinterest,shculd beexpected- cbservaticns suchasthisisncthin
crwhatisitabcut?,etc.,shculdbeexpectedanintrcducticnasinitiaticnis
ClOtk/O!!ic!cO/ /Le!!etS//
necessaryTheelementsthatareusedinallcftheseprccess-basedexperiences,
avitalprccess,arethcsethatareapartcfitinsteadcfbeinisclatedcbects
theyareoJcrsnu!o!ol...
[

AKissfcrycu,
Hlic
BIiCoeroCrio - composiIc namc Ior HcIio OiIicica, CacIano VcIoso and kocrio DuarIc,
sucsIinIhaIHcIiowasaIIhaImomcnIimmcrscd inhisidcasandacIiviIicsrcspccIivcIywiIh
Ihc sincrjcomposcrand Ihc raphic dcsincrjpocIjcomposcr TransIaIor]. ForIurIhcr rcadin
onIhccoIIaboraIionbcIwccnOiIicica,VcIos, DuarIc andoIhcrs scc Tropiclio.AkevoIurionin
8roziIion Curttre, cd. CarIos 6asuaIdo(Chicao. MuscumoIConIcmporaryArIjSoFauIo. Csac
NaIIy,?005).
? ThcmodcrnisIpocIOswaIdodc Andradc(1890-1954) was Ihc auIhor oIpoIcmicaI IcxIs on
6raziIian cuIIuraI idcnIiIywhich inlIucnccd Ihcsc arIisIs, parIicuIarIy his noIion oI'cuIIuraI
cannibaIism'inIhc'AnIhropophaiIcManiIcsIo' pubIishcdinkevisrodeAnrropooio,No 1 (So
FauIo, May 19?8), IransIaIcd in Dawn Ads,Arrin LorinAmericoTheModem ro, l820-l980
(NcwHavcn.YaIcUnivcrsiIyFrcss, 1989).
3 'FIa`:sIanmcaninapproximaIcIy'conIcxI`.TransIaIor
4 'Crc'IromcrcaIc,scc.OiIicica'sconccpIoICrcIcisurc.TransIaIor
LcIIcrsbcIwccnlyiaCIarkandHcIioOiIicica,rcprinIcdinLucianoFiucircdo(cd)L,ioClorkBlio
0iticico.Corrosl96-74) (kiodc|anciro. EdiIoraUFk|, 199b)b1-?,b9-73,83-b, 1?1-?. TransIaIcd
by MichacIAsbury,?00b.
11//AT5T5'WlTlNG5
CrOC!CIO COrnCVO!C
PO]CC O hC LxpCmCnOI A 5CCs, ROsO!OJ JI96
l958sowonrrup!on o]pol!czcJpor!cpo!orjproc!cc nmon coun!rcs, onJ
!ook opor!culorl Jromo!c]orm nArcn!no. !ncxpcrmcn!olAr!Cclcwoso
scrcso]oc!onsnkosoro, mono]wncnworkcJ on !ncouJcnccos oprvlccJ
or!s!c mo!crol. 6rocclo Comcvolc'spro)cc!rcprcscn!s !nc mos!cx!rcmccxomplc
o]!ns opproocn In !nc cors !no!]ollowcJ, Comcvolc, lkc mon o]!nc or!s!s
nvolvcJn !ncCclc, oDonJoncJor!]or!cocnn.
The wcrk ccnsists cf rst preparina tctally empty rccm,with tctally empty
walls, cne cfthewalls,which was made cflass,hadtcbeccvered in crdertc
achieve a suitably neutral space fcr the wcrk tc take place. ln this rccm the
participatinaudience,whichhasccmetcetherbychancefcrthecpenin,has
been lccked in.The dccr has been hermetically clcsed withcut the audience
beinaware cfit. lhavetaken priscners.Thepcint istc allcwpecpletcenter
and tc preventthem frcmleavin.Here the wcrkccmes intc beinand these
pecplearetheactcrs.Thereisncpcssibilitycfescape,infactthespectatcrshave
ncchcice, they are cblied, viclently, tc participate.Their pcsitivecrneative
reacticnisalwaysafcrmcfparticipaticn.Theendcfthewcrk,asunpredictable
fcrthe viewer as it is fcr me, isnevertheless intenticned will the spectatcr
tclerate the situaticn passively? Will an unexpected event - help frcm the
cutside rescue him frcm bein lccked in? 0r will he prcceed viclently and
breakthelass?
Thrcuhan actcfaressicn, thewcrkintendstcprcvcketheviewerintc
awarenesscfthepcwerwithwhichviclenceisenactedineverydaylife.Dailywe
submitcurselves,passively,cutcffear,crhabit,crccmplicity,tcallderees cf
viclence, frcm the mcst subtle and deradin mental ccercicn frcm the
infcrmaticn media and their false repcrtin, tc the mcst cutraecus and
scandalcusviclenceexercisedcverthelifecfastudent.
Therealitycfthedailyviclenceinwhichweare immersedcbliesmetcbe
aressive,tcalscexerciseadereecfviclence- ustencuhtcbeeffective- in
thewcrk.Tc thatend,lalschadtcdcviclencemyself. lwantedeachaudience
membertchavetheexperiencecfbeinlccked in, cfdisccmfcrt,anxiety,and
ultimatelythesensaticnscfasphyxiaticnandcppressicnthatcwithanyactcf
unexpected viclence. l made every effcrt tc fcresee the reacticns, risks and
danersthatmihtattend thiswcrk,and l ccnscicuslyassumed respcnsibility
fcr the ccnsequences and implicaticns. l think an impcrtant element in the
COrnOle/ /Ptojec!!ot!hepetimen!Ol5erieS,RoSOtio//7
ccncepticn cfthe wcrk is the ccnsideraticn cfthe natural impulses that et
repressed by a sccial system desined tc create passive beins, tc enerate
resistancetc acticn, tc deny,insum,thepcssibilitycfchane.
Thelcck up' hasalreadybeen inccrpcrated in theverbal imae literature)
and inthe visualimaefilm).Heretheambitisnctfilteredthrcuhanythin
imainaryratheritsexperienced,atcncevitallyandartistically.lccnsiderthat
materializin an aressive act cn he aesthetic level as an artistic event
necessarilyimpliesreatrisk.Butitispreiselythisriskthatclarifiestheartin
thewcrk,thativesa learsensecfart, releatintcctherlevelscfmeanin
whateverpsychclcicalcrscciclcicalsensethewcrkmihthave.
Crac|cIaCarncvaIc,sIaIcmcnIor||naIIypubI|shcdasparIolascr|csolbrochurcsaccompany|nIhc
'C|d dc Mc Expcr|mcnIaI' CarncvaIc's cxh|b|I|onIook pIacc nkosaro, 719OcIobcr 19b8 Irans.
Marucr|Ic Fc|IIowII, |nAndrca||unIa and Incs KaIcnsIcIn, cds,Lisrcn,Bcrc,NowlArcnrincArro)
tc l960(NcwYorkThcMuscumolModcrnArI,?004)?99301.
1 1AT5T5'WTNG5
tSt t0t
DIt I t OI0IS
.
tIt l8
0SSI0III
0I tSO ]t.
! I OI I t
StOI I0IS
t 0
.
O 0IOt. t
It 00I_t
I0t I
I0 IIIOIDlt.
1OC LDCVC, roct c ccctcrcs. csc, 1968
Joseph BeUys OnO Dirk 5ChwOrZe
Repor on O DOy's ProCeeOnQs O he DUIOOU
OI IOC OIOCIOCy/ /VJ<
]oscpn 8cus' conccp! o] '5ocol 5culp!urc' rcmons on mpor!on! rc]crcncc ]or
con!cmporor or!s!s sucn os !nomos Hrscnno !nc]ollownrcpor!on 8cus'
BureauforDirectDemocracy(l972), o -Jolvcns!ollo!on o!Documcn!o5,
rccorJs n conJJJc!ol!nc !pco]rclo!onolcncoun!crscncro!cJDnsoc!vs!
opproocn. l!s]ollowcJ D `omscorcnn]or]clJcnoroc!cr'(l97), 8cus'mos!
concscs!o!cmcn!on5ocol5culp!urc.
80une to8 Dctober l972oseph Beuys runsanoffice ofinformationforthe
'DranizationforDirectDemocracythruhReferendum'atDocumenta5.
Beuys' participation in the Documentawas institutedwiththe intentionof
representinandmakinknownhisexpandinartconceptthrouhanofficeof
informationatthisinternationallyrespected andvisitedartforum.Durinthe
l00 days oftheDocumenta,Beuyswas presentdailyat this informationoffice
and discussed with visitors the idea ofdirectdemocracy throuh referendum
anditspossibilitiesforrealization.
Report of a day's proceedins in the office ofoseph Beuys, ridericianum,
writtenbyDirkSchwarze.
l0.00a.m.TheDocumentaopensBeuys,inaredfishinvestandfelthat,is
in hisoffice. Hehastwoco-workers.Dnthedeskisalon-stemmedrose,next
toitarepilesofhandbills.Dnthewallwiththewindowisablueneonsinthat
says 'Dffice of the Dranization for Direct Democracy throuh Referendum'.
Besidesthis,thereareseveral blackboardsonthewalls.Dneachiswrittenthe
word'man'.
ll.00a.m. Until nowabout80visitorsintheoffice. Half,however, remain
standininthedoorwayandlookaround,otherswalkpasttheblackboardsand
thenremainlonerintheoffice.Someonlycometotedoorandleaveinfriht,
asiftheyhad come into the wronrestroom.
ll.07a.m.Theroomfillsup.Beuysoffersayounmanmaterialandinitiates
thefirstdiscussion. Ayounmanasks about Beuys' oal and thinks thatata
referendum 90 per cent would declare themselves in favour of the present
system.Beuys explainsthepresentpartystructure,whichisruled from topto
bottom.Hewantsasystemthatisruledfrombottomtotop.Still,if60percent
voted forthe presentsystem in a referendum, it would be a success because
throuhitanewawarenesscouldbecreated.
20// AT5T5'WTNG5
11 .?0a.m.Thediscussion expands: five listeners. A man who says he is a
memberofapartytakespartinthetalkBeuysexplainshisconcept:'We donot
wanttobeapowerfactor,butanindependentfreeschool.'Theoalwouldbeto
establishawholenetworkofofficesasschoolinplaceswhichwouldcontribute
to consciousness formation 0ne must start with the present possibilities.
ReferendumisprovidedforintheconstitutionofNorthRhineWestphalia.ora
vote of the Federal Diet Beuys recommends avote ofabstinence, linked to a
'counterdemonstration',tomakeclearwhyoneisnotvotin.Thepartymember
acceptsthematerial:'Thisisveryinterestintome.'
11 .45 a.m. p to now 130 visitors. The discussion continues, with eiht
listeners.AyounSwissaskswhetherBeuyswants nationalizationofindustry.
The answer: 'No, l have nousefor nationalization,butl dowantsocialization.'
The state, whether east or west, appears to him as evil. He quotes Bishop
Dibelius,whodescribesthestateas 'theanimalfromunderround'.
1?. ?0 a.m. p to now ?10 visitors. A viorous arument beins between
Beuys and a youn man who desinates himself a member of the Cerman
Communist arty. Sixteen listeners. The youn man calls Beuys' activities
'nonsense', a waste of enery. 'What have you accomplished?' he asls, and
invitesBeuystoointheworkers'movementratherthantoleadanoranization
that is financed by industrialists. Beuys replies: 'You cannot thinkstraiht. l
cannotworkwiththeconceptofclass.Whatisimportantistheconceptofman.
0ne must straihtforwardly realize what has not yet appeared in history,
namely,democrac.'
1?. 35a.m.lnthemeantime??listeners.Anelderlymanoinsin:'Canwetalk
abouttheDocumentahereandnotustaboutpolitics?' Beuys:'oliticsandthe
creativityofallaredealtwithhere.'Whenthemanspeaksofthe failureofthe
exhibition becausenoonehereisdirectlyinterested,Beuysasserts, 'ltisalsoa
failureonthepartofthevisitors,becausetheyarenotmorecapableofivinof
themselves.'
. 00 pm. ntil now 350 visitors. The viorous talk with the Communist
arty member continues, ?? listeners. Beuys eneretically defends himself
aainst the reproach that he indules in a utopia, replyin: 'l am aainst a
revolution in which one drop ofblood flows.' Marxists, he says are, for him,
devoutfetishistsinthisconnection.
1.05p.m.Ayounwoman:'MrBeuys,yourartworksareaninredientinthe
system they can be bouht.' Beuys: Fveryone who lives in the system
participatesinit.lmakeuseofitthrouhthesaleofmywork.'
1.30p.m. ntil now 450 visitors.Atpresentthirty listeners.Amiddleaed
man addresses Beuys reardinthe possibilities ofchane throuh art. Beuys
wardsitoff: 'Artisnottheretooverthrowthestate.Accordintomyconceptof
euyS/5chwOre/ /ReporonODOy'S ProceedingS//2
art,lwanttcaffectallareascflife.WhatlpracticehereismyccnceptcfartHe
admits,'lbelieveinman
?. 00p.m. ntilncw535 visitcrs.Afterthe distributicncfmaterialsaquiet
pericdsetsin.Beuysfcrtifieshimself.ccffeeandycurt.Heexplainshismcdels
tcaycunirl.RudclphSteiner,Schiller,and|eanaul.
?30 p.m.Aycunman. dcn'tseethe ccnnecticn betweenycurthecries
and ycur felt cbects Beuys. 'Many have seen cnly my cbects, but nct my
ccncepts,whichbelcntcthem
3. 00p.m. ntil ncw550visitcrs.AycunirlccmestcBeuysand asks. 'ls
thisart?'Answer.'Aspecialtypecfart0necanthinkwithit,thinkwithit
4.05p.m.ntilncw5?5visitcrs.Twc ltalianswanttckncwwhetherBeuys
cculdbecalledancn-viclentanarchist.Beuyssays'yes
4. 15pm.Thecfficefillsupaain.Ateacherasks.'Whcmdcycurepresent?
Demccracy,whatdcesthatmean?Whatmcdelsdcycuhave?'Beuys.havenc
histcrical mcdelapart frcm reality and wanttc better these realities fcr the
well-beincfaAnarumentstartscverwhetherdirectcrcnlyrepresentative
cvernmentispcssible.
4. 30p.m.ntilncw570visitcrs.Atpresenttwentylisteners.Anelderlyman.
'0neisentertainedtcclittle here, there is scmuchattheDccumenta that is
bcrin.DccumentaisstilltcceliteBeuys.'Artisexperiencinacrisis.Allfields
areinastatecfcrisis.'
4.40 pm.A ycun man. 'Ycu area bi earnercntheCerman art market.
What dc ycu dc with the mcney?' Beuys. 'The mcney ces intc this
cranizaticn.'
4.45 pm.Fihteenlisteners.Beuyssuests tc ateacherthatheresinhis
civilservicestatus,alivelydiscussicnbeins.TheteacheraruesthatcnlyBeuys
cculdacccmplish sucha thin, becauseheisafamcusartist.Theteacher. 'My
situaticn is fairly bad. lt's easy fcr ycu tc stand there with ycur mcral
declaraticns
5. 15 p.m. ntil ncw 7?0 visitcrs. After a discussicn cfthe rcle cfthe art
marketas amiddlemarket,anctherquietpericd.Thesalecfthebaswiththe
schematicrepresentaticncf'directdemccracy'is lcurishin. Fcrthefirsttime
tcdayavisitcrasksfcrBeuys'autcraphcntheba.
5. 00p.m.Visitcrsslacken ncticeably. ntilncwabcut780visitcrs.
740p.mAtctalcf81 visitcrs,cfwhich35askedquesticnscrdiscussed.
8. 00p.m. Beuys'cceclcses.
ucson Tcwhatextentdcycu believeanexhibiticncanbethemcstsuitable
fcrumfcrpassincntcthepublicthempulseswhichycuhcpetcattain?
8cus Theplaceis relatively unimpcrtant. l havethcuhtthiscverfcra lcn
22// ART5T5'WRTNG5
Jo8eD Puj5 Dd LIK bCDVI2P, rtc aasrcccsattuIPu 1O1 LteCI LCp1Cj, 1972
time.Fcrexample,lhavethecfficehere itisaccpycfmycffice inDsseldcrf,
whichivescntcthestreet.Thisisscthatpecplecanccmeinrihtcffthestreet.
lt lccks exactly like cur cffice, exactly. And there anycne can ccme in. l have
thcuhtabcutwhichismcreeffectiveiflremaininDsseldcrfcriflclimbcntc
thisplatfcrmandreachmenhere.lcameverysimplytctheccnclusicnthatitis
vacatcntmencwnDsseldcrftherewewculdhaveperhapscnevstcraay,
and here we can reach mcre pecple. Here l can reach pecple frcm all cver the
wcrld. Here lcanestablishinternaticnalccntacts.This isveryimpcrtant.
ucs!ion Dcycuseeycurselfasanindividualistanddcycuseeycurcfcehere
asanisclateddepartment?
8cus Nc, inncway. ldcnctseemyselfas beinisclatedhere.lhaveallkinds
cfpcssibilitieshere.lcanspeakfreelywithevecne.Nccnehaspreentedme
yet.Whetherscmecnewilltrytcinthefuture,thatwewillfindcut.(Lauhin)
Yes,thatwewillndcut,wcn'twe?
ucs|on Ycu have set upycurcffice hereatthe ffth Dccumenta,andwithit
ycupursuenctcnlypcliticalintenticnsbutalscartisticcnes.
8cus Becausereal future pcliticalintenticnsmustbeartistic.Thismeansthat
theymustcriinatefrcmhumancreativity,frcmtheindividualfreedcmcfman.
Fcr this reascn here l deal mcstly with the prcblem cfeducaticn, with the
pedacical aspect. This is a mcdel cf freedcm, a revcluticnary mcdel cf
freedcm.ltbeinswithhumanthcuhtandwiththe educaticncfmaninthis
areacffreedcm.Andtheremustalscbefree press, free televisicn,and sccn,
independent cfstate influence.|ust as there must be an educaticnal system
independentcfstate influence. Frcm this attempt tc develcparevcluticnary
mcdel which fcrmulates the basic demccratic crder as pecple wculd like it,
acccrdin tc the will cfthe pecple, fcrwe wantademccracy.ltispartcfthe
fundamentallaw.allstatepcwerccmesfrcmthepecple.
Theareacf freedcm nctafreearea- lwanttcemphasizethis,becausethey
arealwaysbeininterchanedpecplesayBeuyswantsafreearea.dcnctwant
afreearea,anextraarea,butlwantanareacffreecmthatwillbeccmekncwn
astheplacewhererevcluticncriinates,chanedbysteppinthrcuhthebasic
demccraticstructureandthenrestructurintheecncmyinsuchawaythatit
wculdservetheneedscfmanandnctmerelytheneedscfamincrityfcrtheir
cwnprcfitThatistheccnnecticn.Andthatlunderstandasart.
|oscph cuysjDirk Schwarc, rcport on a days procccd|ns aI Ihc InIormationsbtiros dcr
Oranisation h)r dircktc Dcmokrat!c durch 'oIksabstimmun, DocumcnIa J (KasscI, 1972);
transIatcd|nAdr|an|Ct,ct aI. oschcus. Li)c cnd Work (NcwYork.6arron's,1979) 211-9.
l24//ATl5T5'WlTlNG5
JOsCph CUys
I Am 5CoCh!nQ O !C!O ChooCCJ Jl973
0nlyonconditionofaradicalwideninofdefinitionwillitbepossibleforartand
activitiesrelatedtoarttoprvideevidencethatartisnowtheonlyevolutionary
revolutionarypower.0nlyartiscapableofdismantlintherepressiveeffectsof
asenilesocial systemthatcontinuesto totteralontheeathline. to dismantle
inordertobuildAS0ClAL0RCANSMASAW0RK0FART.
Thismostmodernart discipline- SocialSculpturejSocialArchitecture- will
onlyreachfruitionwhen every livin person becomes acreator a sculptoror
architectofthesocialoranism.0nlythenwouldtheinsistenceonparticipation
oftheactionartofFluxusandHappeninbefulfilled,onlythenwoulddemoc-
racybefullyrealized.0nlyaconceptionofartrevolutionizedtothisdereecan
turn into a politically productive force coursin throuh each person and
shapinhistory
Butall thisandmuch thatisasyetunexploredhasfirsttoformpartofour
consciousness. insiht is needed into obective connections. We must probe
theory of knowlede) the moment of oriin of free individual productive
potency creativity). We then reach the threshold where the human bein
experiences himself primarily as a spiritual bein where his supreme
achievementsworkofart)hisactivethinkinhisactivefeelinhisactivewill
and their hiher forms can be apprehended as sculptural enerative means
correspondintotheexplodedconceptsofsculpturedividedintoitselements-
indefinite - movement - definite see theory of sculpture) and are then
reconizedas flowinin the directionthatisshapinthecontentoftheworld
rihtthrouhintothefuture.
This is the concept of art that carries within itself not only the
revolutionizin of the historic boureois concept oflowlede materialism
positivism)butalsoofreliiousactivity.
FVFRYHUMANBFNCSANARTlSTwho - fromhis state offreedom - the
positionoffreedom that heexperiencesatfirsthand - learnstodeterminethe
other positions in theT0TALARTW0RK 0F THF FUTURF S0ClAL0RDFR. Self-
determinationand participation in the cultural sphere freedom) in the struc-
turin oflaws democracy), and in the sphere ofeconomics socialism). Self
administration and decentralization threefold structure) occurs. FRFF
DFM0CRATlCS0ClALlSM.
THFFlFTHlNTFRNATl0NALisborn
euyS/ /A5eOtch!ng!otF!eldChOtOc!et//2
Communicationoccursinreciprocity.itmustneverbeaone-wayflowfromthe
teachertothetauht.Theteachertakesequallyfrom thetauht.Sooscillates-
at all times and everywhere, in any conceivable internal and external
circumstance,betweenalldereesofability,intheworkplace,institutions,the
street, wor circles, research roups
,
schools - the masterjpupil,
transmitterjreceiver, relationship. The ways of achievin this are manifold,
correspondin to the varyin ifts of individuals and roups. THF
DRCANlATlDNFDRDRFCDFMDCRACYTHRDUCHRFFFRFNDUMisonesuch
roup.ltseekstolaunchmanysimilarworroupsorinformationcentres,and
strivestowardsworldwidecooperation.
|oscph 6cuys, ' am Scarchin lor FicId CharaIcr' (1973), in Carin Kuoni, cd., ner Plon)or the
WestenMon]oseph8eu,sinAmerico(NcwYo FourWaIIsh dows, i990)?13.
1// ATl5T5'WlTlNG5
COIICCVC ACOns
TCn AppCOO0CCsJ J!96!
7nc]ivc-crsonCollcc!ivcAc!ionsrou,workininMoscow]rom!ncmiJ- l970s!o
!nc miJ-l80s, rcrcscn! o or!iculorl oc!ic onJ ccrccrol oroocn !o
or!icio!ion. Ten Appearances is !icol o]!ncir work in !okin locc in ]iclJs
ou!siJc!nccitj,wi!nosmollnumccro]or!icion!swno !ook onoc!ivcor! in !nc
oc!ion onJ !ncn con!ricu!cJ !o i!s onolsis. 7ncsc cs!urcs Jj]cr]rom Wcs!cm
cquivolcn!s o] !nis crioJ in ccin rcoccuicJ wi!n or!'s in!crnol rccc!ion onJ
circulo!ion,ro!ncr!nonini!s rclo!ionsni!osociolins!i!u!ions.
lnthemiddleofalare,snowedoverfieldsurroundedbyaforest,toetherwith
theaction'soranizersstrodetenparticipants,knowinneitherthenameofthat
inwhichtheywereabouttoparticipate,norwhatwastohappen.
Tenspoolsonverticalnailswereaffixedtoaboard60x90cm)whichwas
laid upon the snow.Fachofthe spools waswound withtwoto threehundred
metresofstron,whitethread.Fachoftheparticipantswasrequiredtotakethe
end ofa thread from one of the spools and, unravellin the thread from the
spoolmove in astraihtlineintotheforestsurroundinthefield.Thustheten
participantsweretohavedispersedfromthecenteofthefieldinthefollowin
directions.
I. VDVB1DVB
P. D7DV
1. ZD_BDV
` bKE155
1DE1l L. JBDLHKD
1LDUKDV
. B5EV
` PEK1B5DV
l. BDBKDV
Theparticipantswereinstructedto moveinastraihtlineasfarastheforestand
then,enterintheforest,tocontinueonintothedepthsoftheforestfor about
anotherto one hundredmetres,or to the pointwherethefieldcould no
Collec!!VeAc!ionS//TenAppeOtOnceS/ /27
lonerbeseen.Fachoftheparticipantstravelledthreetofourhundredmetres.
Walkinin the field and forest entailed a considerable physical effort, asthe
snowraned from halfametretoametreindepth.Havincompletedhistrek,
eachparticipantalsoaccordintopriorinstructions)wasto pull to himselfthe
otherendofthethread whichwasnotattache to thespool),to whichapiece
ofpaperwithfactoraphictextthelastnamesoftheoranizers,timeandplace
oftheaction)wasaffixed.
ln sofarasnofurtherinstructionshad been iven, each participanthavin
extracted his factoraphy, was leftto his own discretion as to further action,
theycould return tothefield'scentre,where theoranizersremained,or,not
returnin,leavethisplacebehind,movinonfurtherthrouhtheforest.
Fiht participants came back to the centre of the field within an hour,
moreover,sevenofthem returned alontheirownpaths,and oneN.Kozlov)
alonaneihbour'spath.Twoparticipants- V. NekrasovandA.hialov- did
notreturn.
The returnin participants received photoraphs [30 x 40 cm), lued to
cardboard, from the oranizers. Fach photoraph depicted the portion of the
forest into which the participant receivin that photo had walked at the
beinnin of the action, and the scarcely distinuishable fiure of a man
emerinfromtheforest.Thephotoraphswereouthttedwithlabeljsinatures
upon which werewritten the last names ofthe action's authors, theaction's
name 7cn Acoi0nccs, and the event 'represented' in the photoraph, for
example,'Theappearanceofl.ChuikovonthefirstofFebruary, 1981',andso on.
These photoraphswere takenwithintheweekbefore the action. theactions
oranizers photoraphed in a 'zone of indifferentiation' in the very same
directions in whichthe participants had beendirectedand from whencethey
hadreturned.
Thus the name ofthe action and its full sinificance became clear D the
participantsonlyatthemomentwhentheyreceivedthe photoraphs,and not
when they pulled the factoraphic documents, which sinified only the
completionofthe firststaeoftheaction - thedistancinoftheparticipants
into portions ofthe forestvisuallyisolated one from anotherattheterminal
pointsoftheirpathsoutfromthecentreofthefield,inthedepthsoftheforest,
theparticipantscouldnotseeeachother,astheintersticesbetweenthesepoints
measured no less than fourhundred metres). Durin the action, photoraphs
weretakenoftheactualappearancesfromtheforest.Thesephotoraphscould
bedistinuishedfromthosehandedtotheparticipantsattheconclusionofthe
action by the differin conditions ofthe forest snow which had covered the
branches ofthetrees a weekbefore theaction had melted away),and by the
absenceofthequotationmarks,whichonthefirstphotoraphshadbeenplaced
28// AT5T5'WTNG5
around the names of the events depicted on them, i.e., in the iven
circumstancesthesimpleappearanceofl.Chuikov,l.Kabakov,l.Pivovarovaand
soon.Thefiures oftheparticipantsemerinfromtheforestwerepractically
indistinuishablefromthefiuresinthefirst'metaphorical'photoraphs,owin
to the fact that they were taken from equal distances in the 'zone of
indifferentiation').Thefunctionofthese'metaphorical'photoraphswas,inthe
caseoftheparticipants'return,toindicateonlythe factoftheirreturnwhich
was utterly volitional, as no instruction to return had been iven), without
addin any supplementary meanin to their prior acts of walkin off and
dispersinintothedepthsoftheforest.Atthesametimethese'metaphorical
photoraphsweresinsoftime extrademonstrational forthe participants)to
the eventand were included in the structure ofthe action and served as its
'emptyact'.lnotherwords,theyweresinsofthetimebetweenthe'end'ofthe
action and the moment when theywere handed the photoraphs indicatin
their appearance (or return) from the forest, which the participants did not
reconizeandcouldnothavereconizedasthesinifiedandculminatinevent
inthestructureoftheaction.
Thefactthatofthetenpossibleappearancesonlyeiht,andnotallten,came
topass,representsinourviewnota failinoftheactionbut,onthecontrary,
underscores the realization of zones of psychic experience of the ction as
aestheticallysufficientontheplaneofthedemonstrationalfieldoftheactionas
awhole.
Thisistosaythattheplannedappearanceinrealityturnedoutto lie
entirely in the extrademonstrational time of the event - the participant
appearedfromanon-artisti,non-artificially-constructedspace
CoIIccIivcAcIions(AndrciMonasIyrsky, Ccorii KzcvaIIcr, Scrci komashko,NikiIaAIcksccv, lor
Makarcvch, EIcna EIana, NkoIa FanIov), Tcr Acoi0nccs (Kicvi-Corky', SavcI, Moscow
Frvincc,FcDruary1981);IransIaIcdinDavidA.koss,cIa,cds8crwccnSrinondSmmcr- Sovicr
Concc|uolArr in rhci0 o) Lo|c Communism (6osIon: lnsIiIuIc ol ConIcmporary ArIjCamDridc,
MassachuscIIs:Thc MlTFrcss, 1990) 15-8.
Collec!!eAc!ionS//TenAppeOtOnceS//2
AOt!On P!pCt
NOCs On UnX, I//l96bJ63
AJrionPicr'sFunkLessons(l82-84),wcrcoscricso]or!icio!oijsociolcvcn!s
in wnicn !nc or!is! !oun! wni!c or!icion!s ocou!clock]unk music onJ now !o
Joncc!o i!. Hcr]ourcssoscn!i!lcJ 'No!csonFunk'rcscn!o!noun!]lonolsis o]
ncrin!cnions, cxcricnccsonJo]]ccJcock]omncrcollocoro!ors.
Notcs on Funk I
From l982 to l984 l staed collaborative performances with lare or small
roupsofpeople, entitled FunkLcssons. The firstword inthe title refers toa
certainbranchofblackpopularmusicanddanceknownas'funk'(incontrast,for
example,to'punk','rap'or'rock').ltsrecentancestoriscalled'rhythmandblues'
or'soul',andithasbeendevelopinasadistinctiveculturalidiom,withinblack
culture since the early l970s. Funk constitutes a lanuae of interpersonal
communication and collective self-expression that has its oriins in African
tribal music and dance and is the result of the increasin interest of
contemporaryblackmusiciansandthepopulaceinthosesourceselicitedbythe
civirihtsmovementofthe l960sandearlyl970s(Africantribaldrumminby
slaves was banned in the United States durin the nineteenth century, so it
makessensetodescribethisincreasininterestasa'rediscovery').
Thismediumofexpressionhasbeenlarelyinaccessibletowhiteculture,in
partbecauseofthedifferentrolesofsocialdanceinwhiteas opposedto black
culture. Forexample,whereassocialdanceinwhiteculture isoftenviewed in
terms of achievement, social race or competence, or spectator-oriented
entertainment,itisacollectiveandparticipatorymeansofself-transcendence
andsocialunioninblackculturealonmanydimensions,andso isoften much
more fully interated into daily life. Thus it isbased on a system ofsymbols,
cultural meanins,attitudesand patternsofmovementthatonemustdirectly
experienceinordertounderstandfully.This isparticularlytrue infunk,where
the concern is not how spectacular anyone looks but rather how completely
everyoneparticipatesinacollectivelyshared,enoyableexperience.
Myimmediateaim instainthelare-scaleperformance(preferablywith
sixtypeopleormore)wastoenableeveryone presentto
CFTDDWNANDPARTY.TDCFTHFR.
This helps explain the secondwordinthetitle,thatis, 'Lessons'. l beanby
introducinsomeofthebasicdance movementstotheaudience,anddiscussin
theircultural and historical backround, meanins, and therolestheyplay in
0//AT5T5'WTNG5
blackculture.This first patofthe performance included demonstratinsome
basicmovesandthen,withtheaudience,rehearsin,internalizin,re-rehearsin,
andimprovisinonthem.Theaimwastotransmitandshareaphysicallanuae
that everyone was then empowered to use. By breakin down the basic
movementsintotheiressentials,theseapparentlydifficultorcomplexpatterns
became easily accessible to everyone. Needless to say, no prior trainin in or
acquaintancewithdancewasnecessary Becausebothrepetitionandindividual
self-expressionare bothimportantaspectsofthis kind ofdance, itwasonlya
matterofa relatively shorttime before these patterns became second nature.
However, sometimes thisworkedmoesuccessfullythanothers,dependinon
theenvironmentandthenumberandcompositionoftheaudience-participants.
Seemyvideotape,Funksswi!nAJrionPicr,producedbySamSamoreand
dsd by T hen, fo a record of one of the more successl
performances.)Also,thelae-scaleperformancecompressedaseriesoflessons
thatmihtnormallyextendoveraperiodofweeksormonths.
Asweexploedthe experience ofthe dance more fully, would radually
introduce and discuss the music which had, up to this point, functioned
primarilyasarhythmicbackround)andtherelationbetweenthedanceandthe
music. Becauseoftheparticipatoryandcollectiveaspectsofthismedium,it is
oftenmucheasiertodiscerntherhythmicandmelodiccomplexitiesofthemusic
i foneisphysicallyequippedtorespondtoitby dancin.ThustheIrstpartof
theperformancepreparedtheaudience forthesecond.Herelconcentratedon
thestructuralfeaturesthatdefinefunkmusic,andonsomeofitsmaorthemes
andsubectmatter,usinrepresentativeexamples.lwoulddiscusstherelation
offunkto disco,rap, rock, punk and newwave,and illustrate my pointswith
different selections of each. Durin this sement, except for briefpauses for
questions, dialoueandmy short) commentaries, everyonewasrefinintheir
individual techniques,thatis, they were LlSTFNlNC by DANClNC.Wewere all
enaed in the pleasurable process of self-transcendence and creative
expression within a hihlystructuredand controlled cultural idiom, in a way
that attempted to overcome cultural and racial barriers. l hoped that it also
overcamesomeofourculturallyandraciallyinfluencedbiasesaboutwhat'Hih
Culture'isorouht tobe.Aain,thisdidn'talwaysworkoutsee'NotesonFunklll').
The'Lessons'formatdurinthisprocessbecameevermoreclearlyakindof
didactic foil for collaboration. Dialoue quickly replaced pseudo-academic
lecturejdemonstration, and social union replaced the audience-performer
separation.Whatlpurportedto'teach'myaudiencewasrevealedtobeakindof
fundamentalsensory'knowlede'thateveryonehasandcanuse.
The small-scale, usually unannounced and unidentified spontaneous
performances consisted in one intensive dialoue or a series of intensive
Ppet//No!eSonFunk/l

. otcsonn , 1985
dialoues with anywhere from one to seven other people more than eiht
peopletendtoconstituteaparty,theinterpersonaldynamicsofwhicharevery
different).lwouldhavepeopleoverto dinner,orforadrink,and, asis standard
middle-class behaviour, initially select my backround music from the Usual
Canofldiots Bach, Mozart,Beethoven, Brahms, etc.). lwouldtheninterpose
somefunkandwatchpeoplebecome puzzled,aitatedorannoyed,andthenl
wouldattempttoinitiatesystematicdiscussionofthesourceoftheirdismayin
factthesereactionstomyunreflectiveintroductionofthemusicintothissocial
context were what initially alerted me to the need to confront the issues
systematically and collaboratively in the performance context). This usually
includedlistenintosamplesoffunkmusicandanalyzintheirstructures,content
and personal connotations for each listener, ina sympathetic and supportive
atmosphere.Dccasionally,italso included dance lessonsofthe kind described
previously,thouhthisusuallyworkedbetterwithpartysizeorlarerroups.
Theintimatescaleofthedialouepermittedamoreextensiveexplorationof
individual reactionstofunk musicand dance, whichareusually fairly intense
and complex. For example, it sometimes elicited anxiety, aner or contempt
from middle-class, collee-educated whites. anxiety, because its association
withblack,workin-classcultureenendersunresolvedracistfeelinsthatare
then repressed or denied rather than examined, aner, because it is both
sexuallythreateninandculturallyintrusiveto individualsschooledexclusively
in the idiom of the Furopean-descended tradition of classical, folk, andjor
popular music, contempt, because it sounds 'mindless' or 'monotonous' to
individualswho,throuhlackofexpsureormusicoloicaltrainin,areunable
todiscernitsrhythmic,melodicandtopicalcomplexity.
Alternately,funksometimes elicitedcondescensionorembarrassment from
middle-class,collee-educatedblacks:condescension,becauseitisperceivedas
black populor culture, that is, relatively unsophisticated or undeveloped by
comparison with azz as black hih culture, embarrassment, because funk's
explicit and aressive sexuality and use of Cospel-derived vocal techniques
sometimes seem excessive bycomparison withthemore restrained, subdued,
white- or Furopean-influenced middle-class lifestyle.Dften this music is also
associated with adolescent popularity traumas concernin dancin, datin or
sexualcompetence.Theseneativeassociationslinerintoadulthoodandinhibit
one'sabilityeventolistentothisenreofmusicwithoutpainfulpersonalfeelins.
These and other intense responses were sympathetically confronted,
articulatedandsometimesexorcisedinthecourseofdiscussinandlisteninto
the music. The result was often cathartic, therapeutic and intellectually
stimulatin.toenaeconsciouslywiththeseandrelatedissuescanliberateone
tolistentoandunderstandthisartformofblack,workin-classculturewithout
Pipet//No!eSonFunk//l
fearorshame,andsotoainadeeperunderstandinoftheculturalandpolitical
dimensionsofone'ssocialidentity.Whatfollows arenotesl tookafterhavin
staed the performance at different times.Theyare the fruitofmydialoues
withparticipantsandofmyobservationsoftheirresponsestoheperformance.
Notcs on Funk lI
[. s + supposethatwhatfinallyvindicatestheperformancesinmyowneyesas
well as the efforttocontinueenainwithverydifferent kinds ofpeople in
dointhem)istheundeniablecxccnccpeopleseemtoet,almostinvariably,
fromparticipatinin them, includinme. ltust seems to betruethatmostof
my white friends feel less alienated from this aesthetic idiom after havin
participated in it directly, and discussed their feelins about it in a receptive
context,reardlessoftheirreservationsaboutwhetherwhatl'm doinis'art'or
not, whether funkdeservestheleitimationof'hihculture' ornot,andso on.
Formewhatitmeansisthattheexperiencesofsharin,commonalityandself-
transcendenceturn outto bemoreintenseand sinificant, in some ways, than
thepostmodernistcateoriesmostofusart-typesbrintoaestheticexperience.
This isimportantto mebecausel don'tbelievethosecateories should bethe
solearbitersofaestheticevaluation.
Butperhapstherealpointofitformehstodowiththewaysinwhichiten
ables meto overcome myownsenseofalienation, both fromwhite and black
culture.AsaWomanofColourlthinkthat'stheoinphrasethesedays,asmy
parents often complain, 'What's the matter with 'coloured'? Dr 'coloured
woman' Thatwas aood, serviceable,accurate description forty years ao')
whoisoftenputinthemoral dilemma ofbeinidentifiedas whiteand hence
subect to the accusation of 'passin', it ives me the chance to affirm and
exploretheculturaldimensionsofmyidentityasablackinwaysthatilluminate
mypersonalandpoliticalconnectiontoothermoreidentifiably)blackpeople,
andcelebrateourcommonculturalheritae.Atthesametime,thepieceenables
me to affirm and utilize theconventions and idioms ofcommunications l've
learned in the process ofmy acculturation into white culture. the analytical
mode, the formal and structural analysis, the process of considered and
constructive rational dialoue, the pseudo-academic lecturejdemonstration
roupparticipationsle,andsoon.Thesemodesoffluencyreinforcemysense
ofidentificationwithmyaudience and ultimatelyempowerall ofus to move
withreatereaseand fluidityfromonesuchmodeto another. ltalso reinforces
mysenseofoptimismthateventuallythetwainsnollmeet
Adr|an F|pcr, 'NotcsonFunk(i985) 'NotcsonFunkll'(i983),0u|o)0rder 0u|o)Sih|, oIume
SeIec|edWri|insinMe|o-Ar|, l98-l992(CamDr|dc,MassachuscttsThcMlTFrcss,i99b)1958;201.
4// ATl5T5'WlTNG5
CrOUp NOtCriO!
On DCmOCrOCyJJl990
!nc collcc!vc Crou Mo!crol ccon workn n !nc lo!c l970s, roJucn
collocoro!vc cxnc!ons w!n rcsJcn!s o] !ncr ncncournooJ n Monno!!on.
!nrounou! !nc l980s !ncr ro]cc!s rcw morc cr!col o] !nc kcuclicon
ovcrnmcn!, or!culorl !s olc on D. !nc ]ollown !cx! n!roJuccs
Democracy, o con]crcncc onJ ns!ollo!on ro]cc! !nc oronzcJ o! !nc Do Ar!s
FounJo!on,NcwYork, n l988.
aricipatin in the system doesn't mean that we mst identi with t, stop
criticizinit,orstopimprovinthelittlepieceofturfonwhichwe operate.
-udeBruceWriht,ustice,ewYorkStateSupremeourt
ldeally,democracyisasystem inwhichpoliticalpowerrestswith thepeople.all
citizens actively participate in the process of self-representation and self
overnin, an onoin discussion in which a multitude of diverse voices
convere.Butinl987,afteralmosttwotermsoftheReaanpresidencyandwith
anotherelectionyearathand,itwasclearthatthestateofAmericandemocracy
was innowayideal.Accesstopoliticalpowerwasobstructed in complexways,
participationinpoliticshaddeeneratedintopassiveandsymbolicinvolvement,
and the currentof'official' politics precluded a diversityofviewpoints.When
the DiaArtFoundationapproachedswith th ideaofdoinaproect, itwas
immediatelyapparenttousthatdemocracyshouldserveasthetheme.
Thesubectofdemocracynot onlybecame ourcontentbutinfluenced our
method of workin. This theme prompted a reater awareness ofour own
process.Dneofthefirstquestionsweaskedwas. 'Whyaretheyaskinus?'To
us, the Dia Art Foundation sinified 'exclusive', 'white', 'esoteric', and 'male',
whereaswehadalwaysattemptedtoredehneculturearoundanopposinsetof
terms. 'inclusive', 'multicultural', 'nonsexist', and 'socially relevant'. ln eneral,
we see ourselves astheoutspokendistantrelativeat the annual reunionwho
canbecountedontobrinuptheonesubectnoonewantstotalkabout.
Thesubectthatnooneintheartworldwantstotalkaboutisusuallypolitics.
Yet,becauseeverysocialorculturalrelationshipisapoliticalone,wereard an
understandin of the link
between politics and culture as essential. 'Politics'
cannotberestrictedtothosearenasstipulatedassuchbyprofessionalpoliticians.
lndeed, it is fundamental to our methodoloy to question every aspectofour
cultural situation from a political point ofview,to ask, 'What politics inform
GtoupNO!etiO/OnDemoctOcy//
acceptedunderstandinsofartandculture?Whoseinterestsareservedbysuch
culturalconventions?Howisculturemade,andforwhomisitmade?'
ln conceptualizin this proect, therefore, we proposed a structure that
differed fromtheconventionalartexhibitions,lecturesandpanelsthatDiahad
previously sponsored. We identiIied four sinificant areas of the crisis in
democracy. education, electoral politics, cultural participation andAlDS. For
eachtopic,wecollaborativelyoranizedaroundtablediscussion,anexhibition
andatownmeetin.Foreachroundtablewe invitedindividualspeakers from
diverseprofessionsandperspectivesto participateinaninformalconversation.
Thesediscussionshelpedustopreparetheinstallationsandprovidedimportant
informationforplannintheaendasforthetownmeetins.
Fachofthefourexhibitionsthatweinstalledat77Wooster
Streetreiterated
the interlatedness of our subects and the necessity of our collaborative
process. 0urworkinmethod miht bestbedescribedas painfullydemocratic.
because so much ofour process depends onthe review, selection and critical
uxtapositionofinnumerableculturalobects,adherintoacollectiveprocessis
extremelytime-consuminanddifficult.However,thesharedlearninandideas
produceresultsthatareofteninaccessibleto thosewhoworkalone.
0ur exhibitions andproectsare intended to be forums in which multiple
pointsofviewarerepresentedinavarietyofstylesandmethods.Webelieve,as
the feminist writer bell hooks has said, that 'we must focus on a policy of
inclusionso asnotto mirroroppressivestructures'.Asareslt,eachexhibition
isaveritablemodelofdemocracy.Mirrorinthevariousformsofrepresentation
thatstructureour understandinofculture, ourexhibitions brintoetherso
calledfineartwith productsfrom supermarkets,mass-cultural artefacts with
historicalobects, actualdocumentationwith homemade proects.Weare not
interested in makin definitive evaluations or declarative statements, but in
creatinsituationsthatofferourchosensubectasacomplexandopen-ended
issue.Weencouraereateraudiencepartiipationthrouhinterpretation.
0ne form ofparticipation was the town meetin held for each exhibition.
Thesemeetinswerewell publicizedandwereopentothe public at lare. ln
selectin the town meetin format, we meant not only to allude to the
prototypical democratic experience but also to eliminate the demarcation
betweenexpertsandthepublicsoevidentatmostpubliclectures.Forthetown
meetinsallaudiencememberswere potentialparticipants.Beyond the desire
toerodesuchtraditionalcateories,ourexpectationsforthesediscussionswere
somewhat undefined. ln the end, each town meetin had a life of its own,
determinednotonlybythemoderator,butbywhowasintheaudienceandwho
amonthemhadthecouraetospeakup.Muchofthepublicdiscussionbuilton
issuesraisedintheroundtablemeetins,anditwasratifyintoheardifferent
l// AT5T5'WTNG5
peoplediscussintheirrelationtothoseissues.
Thefinalpartof'Democracy',andperhapsthemostimportant,isthisbook.
Throuhthisbookwetriedtoencapsulatemanyoftheideasthatwentintoand
came out ofthe Democracy Proect in orderto make them available to a far
widerpublic than could
attend the ev
ents.We oranized this publicationvery
much aswe oranize our exhibitions,brinintoetheravariety ofvoices and
points of view to address the issues. ln this case, we hope that the results
provideastronanalysis ofthecurrentsituation ofdemocracyinAmericaand
suestpossiblemeansfor
respondin
toitschallenes

|
Croup MaIcrial (Dou Ashlord,|uIic AulI, FcIix ConIc-Torrcs), Dcmocio

: A Pro)ccr b, Cmu
Mo|criol(ScaIIIc: 6ayFrcss. 1990) 1
GtoupNO!etiOl//OnDemoctOcy/ /7
LOo CUlCr
1IOISIOC!OIO!O/ A JOunCy fOm hC Los O hC
WCsl99
7nc]ivc-mon 5lovcnion collcc|ivc lkWlN orc oruocl |nc rclo|ionol or|is|s par
excellenceo]os|cmuroc.7ncirlivcins|ollo|ion NKFmbassyMoscow(l2)
oJJrcsscJ sociol onJ oli|icol rclo|ions in |nc os|-Communis| crioJ, onJ |nc
cons|ruc|ion o] os|crn urocon iJcn|i|. 7nc]ollowin |cx| c |ncir]rcqucn|
collocoro|or, |nc or|is| Jo C]ci, is |icol o] |ncir oroocn o wi scj-
in|crroo|ion onJoinon|onolsis o] |nc limi|o|ions o]o Jiscussion-coscJ rooJ
|riocross|ncU5, wnicn |ncrouunJcr|ookin I5.
Howto conceptualizeos|]cs|um, anartistic eventwhich, as such, tookplace
within individual and collectivethouht, in a flow ofthouhts and emotions
larelydeterminedbytheverycorporeityanddirectnessofevents,vanishinin
timeastheourneyproressedfrommiletomile,fromcitytocity,frommeetin
tomeetin?
The non-differentiated, subective material of onsnocionolo which the
ourney'sparticipantsbrouhthomefromthisexperienceisakindofamalam
ofimaes, impressions, memories and realizations.The banalitiesofeveryday
life, which rane from sleepin, eatin, the cleanin of the crowded livin
environment and self, to psycholoical tensions and attempts to relax - all
intertwine with more sublime impressions ofunforettable landscapes, wide
expansesandpeople,withreflectionsphysicallylinkedtothesedifferentbanal
orexhaledstates, withmemoriesofconversationsandmemoriesoftownsand
theatmospheresinwhichtheytookplace, as wellas withtentativesyntheses
occasioned by thouht-shifts between different time-space and existential
zones- betweenAmerica,Furopeandtheworld,betweenmemoriesoflocallife
situationsinLublana,Moscow,NewYorkandChicao- allcauhtupinthedull
azeandthemonotonousimaethatdefined,forhoursandhours,thecontent
andbasicsituationofthemotorhomes.
Althouhitisdifficulttopartfromthisnon-differentiatedimae,impression
andexperienceof7i0nsnocionolo,thethremonthsthathaveelapsedsincethe
proect ended in eattle on 28|uly l996 provide a sufficient time-distanceto
produceatleastarouhreckoninofwhatthe directexperienceofthe proect
sinihes, inrespecttoitsinitialconceptualpointsofdeparture.
Dne of these fundamental points, which specifically enabled the later
physical and metaphysical framework of the ourney, was the positive
experience of theA|Ar| proect, more precisely, the N5 mcoss Moscow
// AT5T5'WTNG5
proectwhichtookplacein l998.Theprimarymotivefor7ronsnoconolowasto
oranize an international art proect to take place outside the established
internationalinstitutionalnetworks,withoutintermediaries,withoutacurator-
formulatedconcept,and withoutany direct responsibilitytowardsitssponsors.
lnshort,to oranizeaproectasadirectnetworkofindividualsbrouhttoether
byacommoninteestin particularlyopen aesthetic,ethical,socialandpolitical
questions, all ofwhom would travel toether for one month, exchane views,
opinionsandimpressions,meetnewpeopleintheirlocalenvironments,andtry
to expand the network based on the topicality of questions posed -
spontaneously and without any predetermine, centralized aesthetic,
ideoloicalorpoliticalobective.
The second methodoloical point of departure, also based on the positive
experience of Moscow in l992, was to create conditions for a kind of
experimentalexistentialsituation.ike the one-monthstayin an apartment at
l2 eninsky Prospekt, Moscow, in l992, the one-month cohabitation of ten
individuals intwomotorhomes, inbarelytensquaremetresofphysicalspace,
alsoshouldhaveenabledaquestioninofthemythofthepublicandintimate
aspectsofartistandart- thatis,ofthesplitforminthebasisofthesystemof
representation.
The nextresearch-orientedpointofdeparturewasto analysethe problems
of the lobal art system, the system of values, of existential, linuistic and
marketmodelscontainedtherein.Theaestheticandethicalpointofdeparture
was the very implementation of the proect itself- an attemptto establish a
complexpersonal and roup experience, the creationofatime-space module
livinwithinthemultitudesoflinuisicallyinefinableconnections.
Dnthesurface,the7ronsnoconoloproectmayseemyetanotherattemptto
establish or reaffirm themyth ofcommunication.ltsmissioncould be defined
asanattempttobridepersonal,cultural,ideoloical, political,racialandother
differences. lt was in this positive, optimistic spirit that the first letters to
prospectiveparticipantsandhostswerecomposed,andquitefrequentlysuchan
ait-propdiscoursewasalsousedintheprocessofestablishincommunication
withthepublic inthefive US citieswevisited.lt'smoredifficult, however, to
definehowandwithwhatcomplicationsthiscommunicationreallytookplace.
Thesuccess ofcommunication by individuals larely cominfrom spaces and
timesseparate,astobothcultureandexperience,dependsprimarilyontheskill
oftheindividualsandroupswishintocommunicate theirskillatplayina
rolewithinthestructureofthedialoue.lnthecontextofcontemporaryartand
theory,the roleoftheenineersofsuchacommunicationstructure islarely
played by various international institutions, intermediaries who have
successfullymaintained,fortheentirecent,theillusionthatdespitecultural,
Cu!et/ /TrODSDOC!oDOIO/AJoutney!tom!heEOS!!o!heWeS] /
pclitical,eccncmicand individualdifferencestheccntempcraryartccmmunity
speaksthesamelanuae.Sincethe ccllapseintheseventiescfwhatcculdbe
termedthecpticncftheleft,ancpticnwhichdeterminedthesystemcfvalues
and the ccnsistency cflanuae cn which the abcve illusicn was based, this
instituticnalized ccmmunicaticn framewcrk has been shcwin itscracks and
fissures.lthasshcwnitselfinadequate,yetatthesametimeitremainsthecnly
mcdel linkin separate individuals and rcups. lt prctects them frcm sinkin
backintcmcrecrlessprimitivenaticnalandlccalccmmunities.
By tryin tc circumvent the instituticnal framewcrk, and tc incre the
pctential cfskilful prcfessicnals whc wculd inevitablytrytc place the event
within an established ccntext cf recepticn, the 7runsnucionulu prcect
deliberatelyprcvckedwhatcculdbecalledaccmmunicaticnncise.ltplacedthe
eventinacertainmarin- amarinthatwasccnstantlybrininupquesticns
abcutthepcintcftheparticipants'cwnactivity,abcutwhatmakestheprcect
differentfrcma tcurist tripabusinartas anexcuse fcr stealin naticnal and
internaticnalfundsintheinterestcfstructurinpleasure,aswellasvaricusself-
accusatcry imaes in which the participants saw themselves as a bunch cf
demcralized, neurctic individuals in pursuit cfscmeabstract private utcpias,
ncn-existentrelaticns,anddeficienciesthatcannctbeccmpensatedfcr.These
feelinsraduallytcckcnthestatuscfa uniqueexperience,cfastate wehad
deliberatelyprcvcked.Theybecamethesubectandthemecfthecurney.
Theprcblemcfthe structureanddcminicncfthe publicisspecificallythat
pcwerwhichdecideswhetheraparticularindividualcrccllectiveartprcducticn
isarealpartcfthepublicexchanecfvalues- crmerelywhatcculdbetermed
thehyper-prcducticncfanalienated subect,tcbestuckinthecellarcratticcf
aprivate hcuse, intheinventcrycfa bankruptallery, inaccllecticnthathas
lcstitsvaluecverniht,crinscmecthercfhistcry'smanydumpinrcunds.
ln view cfthe prevailinFastFurcpean prcvenancecftheartistswhchad
embarked cntheadventure cfdisccverinAmerica- the central mythcfthe
West- werepeatedypcsedabasicquesticntctheAmericanpublicpresentat
cur public events. whatdces the Americancultural public understand by the
ncticnscfthe Fast- cfFasternart,cfFasternsccieties?Whatalreadyexistsin
the minds cfcurinterlccutcrs? Dn the cther hand, wewere faced with the
questicn cf hcw tc present cur real histcrical, existential and aesthetic
experienceinsuchawayastctranscendthecultural,ideclcicaland pclitical
headlineslinkedtctheccllapsecftheFasternpcliticalsystemsandthewarsin
ex-Yucslavia and the ex-Scviet Unicn. Hcwtcdefine histcrical, cultural and
existential differences inthe ccntext cflcbal, transnaticnal capitalism? And
finally, hcw tc transcend scciclcical disccurse and establish ccnditicns fcr
aestheticdisccurse?cmmunicatinand asscciatinwithvaricusAmericanart
AT5T5'WTNG5
and intllectual communities revealed a certain similarity between the
psycholoical relation or
attitude - even frustration - of various American
minorityroupsnational,cultural,racia,sexual,reliious,ideoloical)towards
the activity of central social institutions, and the frustration ofFast Furopean
cultures in relation to their economicallystronerWest Furopean and North
Americancounterparts.lnotherwords,therelationofthemarintothecentre.
When mentionin this psycholoical relationship or attitude, or simply
frustration, towards the constant
of
the world order as a point of potential
identification within the context ofdifference, l have in mind primarily the
semi-conscious,ambivalentandnon-structurednatureofthelanuaesusedin
the structureofpublicdialoueinconnectionwiththisquestionWhoarewe,
whomandwhatdo we represent?Whoaml, whom and whatdo l represent?
Bein theofprivate conversations amon the participants in the trip,
thisquestionwasraduallyainininimportance,ivintheproectakindof
ontoloicalstamppreciselybecauseofitsambivalenceand insolubility, which
rew with time. None of the so-called Fast Furopean artists identified
themselves with the Fast in the sense of representin its political or even
cultural, messianicrole.Dur commonattitudetothisquestioncouldbedefined
as an attempttotakea differentview,to formulatea differentquestion. 'How
does the Fast see itself from the outside, from the point of view ofanother
continent,andwhatconsumed itsroleandplace inthestructureofthelobal
world order?' What remains of ourselves and our conceptual and aesthetic
pointsofdeparture,oncewearetransposedintoaforeinculturalandhistorical
context?Whoarewebyourselves? Canartreallyconceptualizeandinterpret
itselfthrouhitself?romwheredoformandcotentderive?Doesautonomy
freedomofartandthe individual- exist?lfitdoes,onwhatvaluesitisbased?
These seeminlyclear, even worn-out and abused questions, brouht about
numerousconflicts,deadlockeddiscussions,retreatsintosilenceandreection,
depressions,exaltedvisionsofsolutions,utopianimpulses,feelinsofabsurdity,
emptinessandexposuretothemechanismsoflife,which inthedesertbetween
Chicaoand San ranciscolooked wonderful,yettotallyincomprehensibleand
indifferenttothe symbolical and valueames playin themselves outin our
mentalspaces.lnthemiddleofthedesert,whereallpointsoftheuniverseseem
equallycloseto,andequallydistantfrom,manasitscentre,wewerediscoverin
that as Fast Furopean artists we were not defined so much by the formand
content of our mental spaces as by their symbolical exchane value. The
previously mentioned frustration ofFaste cultures and societies vis J vis
Westernones,whichrewevenbierafterthecollapseofsocialism,ismanifest
inthefield ofartprimarilyastheproblemofthe non-existenceofa system of
contemporaryartin theterritory
of
the Fast- that is, ofa systemofsymbolic
uet//TrODSDOC!DOIO/ AJotney!tom!heEOS!!o!heWeS/4
and economic exchane which would take place in countries sharin the
commonhistoricalexperience of socialism, pavinthe way tointerationinto
thelobalcontemporaryartsystem.Butwhywouldwereretthenon-existence
of somethin suppressin the individual and their artistic freedom, at least
accordintothe romantic, utopian definition ofart? Which eventodayisstill
formallyadvocated by a reat numberofideolouesand users oftheexistin
(and virtually the only) West Furopean and North American system of
contemporaryart? lnfact,thisisnotareretbutarealizationthat- withouta
systemofinstitutionswhichbydefinitionrepresentsthefieldofcontemporary
art- thereisnobroaderintellectualandcreativeproduction,withoutabroader
intellectual and creative production there are no differences, without
differencesthereisnohierarchyofvalues,withoutahierarchyofvaluesthereis
nocriticalreflection,withoutcriticalreflectionthereisnotheory,andwithout
theory there is no universally-understood referential lanuae, capable of
communicatinonanequal footinwithotherreferential lanuaes in other
placesandtimesoftheexistinworld.
Despite brinin up problems that promise no imminent solutions, and
despiteacommunicationthatlackedcolloquial smoothness and whichwasin
factattimes full ofclashes and thorns), the 7ronsnoonolo proectachieved its
conceptualobectivepreciselybyobectivizinitselfinthesphereofintimacyand
closeness,whichintheprocessintheourneytookontheformofamicrovolume
of public space. A public space, furthermore, in which views that are still
consideredtabooinmostpubliccontextsofcontemporaryartcouldbeexpressed
Amon the participants in theourney,and amon some otherindividuals
met alon the way, relationships were established formin a direct, livin
network.Anetwork inwhich asumofproblems and realizationsconstitutin
theermofareferentiallanuaewerecauhtupandarticulated,inordertobe
furtherdeveloped.
TronsnocionoIo:A]ounc,)romrhcosrrorhcWcsrwasanarIproccI|n|I|aIcdbyIhcLublana
bascdv|sualarIroup |kW|N |nIhcsummcroI1996ThcproccIIookIhc IormoIaourncy|n
rcalI|mcIromIhcEasIIo IhcWcsICoasIoIIhcUSA.ThcparI|c|panIs,an|nIcrnaI|onalroupoI
arI|sIs compr|s|nAlcxandcr6rcncr, Vad|mF|shk|n,Yur Lc|dcrman,Coran Dordcv|c,M|chacl
6cnson,EdaCuIcrandIhc|vc-mcmbcr|kW|NroupscIouIonaonc-monIh ourncyacross
IhcUn|IcdSIaIcs |nIworccrcaI|onalvch|clcs.Thca|m,qu|Ics|mply,wasIorc|I|zcnsoIEasIcrn
Europc Io cxpcr|cncc Ihc myIholoy oIIhc Amcr|can h|hway kouIc 66, and Io cnac cach
oIhcrandIhcpcoplcIhcywould mccIalon Ihcway|n |nIormal andIormal d|scuss|onsabouI
arI, Ihcory, pol|I|cs and l|Ic |IsclI. Dur|n oran|zcd sIops |n AIlanIa, k|chmond, Ch|cao, San
Franc|scoandScaIIlc,anumbcroIarI|sI|c cvcnIs, prcscnIaI|onsandd|sctss|onsw|Ih localarI
commun|I|csIookplaccThcTransnac|onalaourncy- |IsIalks,d|scuss|onsandaImosphcrcs-
42// AT5T5'WTNG5
|s documcntcd |n thc Dook Trnsnocionolo. Bihwo, Collisions 8c|wccn roni Wcs| o||hc
Crossroodso)Arr,cd|tcdDy EdaCulcr(LubIIana Koda, 1999).
Eda Culcr, cd|tcd vcrs|on ol tcxt writtcn |n LuDIIana, OctoDcr 1995 l|rst puDI|shcd |n lkWIN
Tronsnocionolo8orcclono(6arccIona Fundac|o IaCa|xa 1997).TransIatcd lrom SIovcn|an Dy |asna
Hrastn|k.
Cu!et{{TODSDOCODOO{AJoutney!tom!heEoS!!o!heWeS{ {4
COrstCn HOIICr
ThC BOUOOUnJBOUOCwjn LxpCrmCn.
A DCIDCrOC, NOn-FOOIsC LOrQC 5COIC CrOUp
LxpCrmCn n DCVOOnJ J2000
0riinoll!roincJoson!oo!nolois!,Cors!cnHollcro]!cncrco!cscxcrimcn!sin
wnicn numon or!icion!s orc suc]cc! !o ccnoviourol si!uo!ions. The
BaudouinjBoudewin Fxperiment. A Deliberate, Non-Fatalistic, are-Scale
Croup Fxperiment in Deviation wos oriinoll lonncJ]or !nc 8russcls Ci! o]
Cul!urc 2000, cu! wos conncJ o]!cr !nc uccn o] 8clium (8ouJouin's wiJow)
oc]cc!cJ!oHollcr'sroosol. 7ncro]cc!]inoll !oolocc!nc]ollowincor, onJ
rooscs collcc!ivc oc!ion os o ]orm o] roJicol inoc!ivi!. l! nos no visuol
Jocumcn!o!ion.
ThelatekinofBelium,BaudouinorBoudewin,foundaremarkablesolutionto
a personal dilemma. As a kin, he was supposed to sin ee new law
establishedbythe parliament.Hiscontributionto the actual formulationofthe
law, however, was null, thus producina purelyformalistic act in sinin the
document.Atacertaintime,theparliamentwasworkinoutalawwhichwould
liberalize abortion. BaudouinjBoudewn, beinaconfessed catholic, had moral
problemssininthe paper, onthe otherhand,hedid notwantto obstructthe
implementation of a new law. When the time came and his sinature was
requested, he resined from bein akin forone day.Anotherkinwaselected
forthisoneday,whosinedthenewlaw.Thefollowinday,BaudouinjBoudewn
waskinaain.
The solution to this dilemma is ineniously simple. lt is a short-term
deviationfromyourusualbehaviour,ashiftincharacterforthesakeofavoidin
producin somethin you don't want to produce, a refusal in time to be the
professional you usually are. ltis as ifyou would cutoffa continuous line of
bein.Stop,andstartaain?Notachaneinwhatyoudo,buttoincludeanalien
momentofnotdoin.A deviation,a neativedeviationeven,since thewayis
shortenedbyincludinamomentofmotionlessness.
The experiment planned here will be as follows. a space is provided to
accommodate200people,willintostepoutoftheir'usuallife'for24hoursthe
amountoftimedurinwhichthekinwasnotkin).Thespacewillbeclosed
from the outsideworldand mobile phones, radiosorTVs will notbeallowed.
Thisistoemphasizetheroupaspectoftheexperimentandtocreateastructure
in which the 'step-out' can be done commonly. The necessary infrastructure
furniture,food,sanitaryinstallations,safety)willbeprovided,butitisrefrained
9//AT5T5'WTNG5
frcmprcvidinaprcrammecrmethcdstcentertain(pecple arefree tcbrin
whatthey like). Basically, the experimentwill be tcseewhathappens under
theseccnditicns,pecplearefreedfrcmtheirusualccnstraints,andyetccnfined
tcaspaceandatime.
TheBaudcuinBcudewinFxperimentwillnctbereccrdedbymeanscffilm,
videccrctherwiseandthusisccntrarytcanyBi-Brcther-likesetup),thecnly
'reccrdins'willbethememcriescftheparticipants,andtheywillbe'brcadcast'
by the stcries they are willin tc tell. The experiment will thus be a very
unscientific cne, as cbectivity is nct the aim. lt will rather be a unique
cppcrtunitytcexperiencewithcthersthepcssibilitycfettinawayfrcmwhat
ycuusuallyare.
Castcn HIIcr, 'Thc 6audouinj6oudcwn Expcrimcnt. A DcIibcratc, Non-FataIistic, Larc-ScaIc
Coup ExpcrimcntinDcviation'(?000),tNo. 9(6russcIs,May-unc,?00i).
Hllet/ /TheOudou!n/oudejnpet!men] /4
Jeremy DeIIer
The BoHe O OrQreoVeJ J2002
7nc8r|snor|s|crcmDcllcro]|cn collocoro|csw|nscccsocolcons||ucnccs
|orcolzccvcn|-coscJro]cc|s.ln200lncoronzcJ|ncrccnoc|mcn|o]okccvcn|
]rom|ncnlsnmncrs's|rkco] I84,ovolcn|closncc|wccnmncrsonJolccn
|nc |own o]0rrcovc. 7nc cvcn| wos unJcr|okcn w|n]ormcror|con|s n |nc
s|rkc onJ onumccro]ns|orcol rccnoc|mcn|socc|ics. Documcn|o|ono]Dcllcr's
work cccomc |nc rcmsc]or Mkc Fs' ol|col Jocumcn|orj The Battle of
Drreave(Cnonncl 4Ar|oncl,200l.
Dn l8|unel984 waswatchintheeveninnews andsawfootaeofapicketat
the Drreave cokinplantin SouthYorkshire in whichthousandsof men were
chasedupa field by mounted police. lt seemed acivil war between the north
and south ofthe countrywas takin place inall but name.The imae ofthis
pursuitupthehillstuckinmymind,andforyearslhavewantedtofindoutwhat
exactlyhappenedonthatdaywithaviewtoreenactinorcommemoratinitin
someway.
Whenl startedtodo properresearch,the consequencesof that daytoolon
amuchlarerhistoricperspective.Afteroverayearofarchivereadin,listenin
andinterviewinmanyofthoseinvolved- thereenactmentfinallydidtakeplace
on,orasclosetoaspossible,theoriinalsite,withover800participants.Many
ofthese participants wereformer miners (and afew former policemen) who
wererelivineventsfroml984thattheythemselvestookpartin.Therestwere
membersofBattlereenactmentsocietiesfromalloverthecountry.
lwantedtoinvolve members ofthesesocietiesformainlytworeasons. first
ofall, they are well trained in recreatincombatand in obeyinorders. More
importantly,lwantedthereenactmentofTheBattleofDrreavetobecomepart
ofthelineaeofdecisivebattlesinFnlishhistory.
l was also interested in the term 'livin history' that is frequently used in
relationto reenactments,andlthouhtitwouldbeinterestinforreenactorsto
work alonside veterans of a battle from recent history, who are a
personificationoftheterm.
Also,asanartistlwasinterestedinhowfaranideacouldbetaken,especially
an idea that is on the face of it a contradiction in terms 'a recreation of
somethinthatwasessentiallychaos'.
Dfcourselwouldneverhaveundertakentheproectifpeoplelocallyfeltit
was unnecessary or in poor taste. As itwas, we encountered a lot ofsupport
4// ARTl5T5'WRlTlNG5
from the outset because there seemed to be an instinctive understandin of
whatthereenactmentwasabout
crcmyDcIcr,hc6aIIIcoIOr rcavc', inamcsLinwood,MichacIMorriscdss
s,london McrrcII FubIishcrslimicd,00?)90-9.
Dellet//TheOleo!OtgteOVe//47
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taa, ccssn c .?00+
Rrkr TrOVOnjO
NO ChOss n hC WOIIJ/2004
kirkri! 7irovon(jo nos cccn o! !nc ccn!rc o] Jcco!cs ocou! rclo!ionol or!. ln !nc
]ollowin!cx!, uscJ os !ncscri!]oronouJiouiJc!ooccomonnisrc!roscc!ivc
o!!ncMuscum8o(jmonsvon8cunincn2004), 7irovon(jorcscn!soJiscussion o]
nis work in !nc !nirJcrson. 7nc norro!ivc o]]crs insin!s in!o nis mo!ivo!ions]or
workinwi!n'lo!so] colc',onJ rcrcscn!son innovo!ivcsolu!ionU !ncroclcm
o]rcscn!inorc!roscc!ivco]or!icio!oior!.7nc muscum JiJno!snowono]
nisos!works,]us!cmtjsoccs!no!rclo!cJ !o !ncoriinolvcnucs.
j7ncDoccn!!umsowo]rom!ncwinJowonJ lcoJs!ncrouin!o!ncor!i!ioncJ
room!o!nclc]!o]!ncsocc. . . i!is!ncrclico!cJoroximo!iono]osoccwnicnis
!ncro]cc!room o]!ncPouloAllcnollci. . . !ncDoccn!lincs cvcioncuooins!
!ncwollos (j!ncrcwoson ins!ollo!ionin !ncmiJJlco] !nc room onJrocccJs !o
!olk . Dccent. The relativesuccess cfoJ !noifrcm nineteen ninety and the
perplexed ccnfusicn fcllcwin his first cneman exhibiticn un!i!lcJ clinJ, put
Tiravania cn the radarcfthe NewYcrk artwcrld, wherecneexhibiticn can
makecrbreakanartistcverniht.Wencwmcvefcrward tc theyearnineteen
ninetytwcandTiravania's seccnd sclc exhibiticn in NewYcrk, with thewcrk
un!i!lcJ in orcn!ncsis]cc. 0nce aain the reintrcducticn cf fccd as the key
element in the apprcach cf the wcrk is central. ln tandem with this element
Tiravanamakesreferencestctheccreideascfcnceptualartthatquesticnthe
idealism behind the relevance cfauthcrship and authenticity.Thereare twc
partstctheexhibiticn,weentertcfindanexhibiticnspace whichisfulltc the
brimwithaneclecticmixcfcbects.Thecverallviewisthatcfthecverpacked
stcraespacecfaallery.ltisfullcfartwcrksinframesmanyarephctcraphs,
since the allery, 808, ccncentrated very strcnly cn phctcraphy), scme
paintinsandpartsandpiecescfsculptures.Whenycuenterfrcmtheelevatcr
ycucanseeapaintedblaclcartwheelbelcnintcaarenilimnikinstallaticn.
Behindthisisacuricuslytallwccdchipcratestandinuprihtfcrminacclumn
butnctquite reachin the ceilin thereare drawers fcrdrawins, cardbcard
bcxes full cf unkncwn ccntents and scme bcxes with tennis shces and a
tccthbrush- allhavebeendraed cutfrcmall ccrnerscfthealleryandput
cndisplay,asiftcmakeanexhibiticncftheentireccntentscftheallery.
Thereisanaislerunninarcund and thrcuh therccmandwecanmakecur
waythcuhthestcraeandbehindthepilecfartetc.0ncewemakecurwaytc
thebackcftheallerywearesurprisedtcdisccverthedeskcftheallerycwner,
TtOVOO//NoGhoS!Sin!heWOll//4
andherassistantssittinthereamcnstthis pile.Theyarewcrkinas ifitwas
ust ancther day. Here the intimacy cf the allery has been epcsed. walls,
cupbcards,stcrae racks cfartandeventhetciletwerestrippedbare,withcut
dccrstchindertheviewcfallpcssibleccrnerscftherccmsintheallery.
We can smell the scent cf a steamin pct cfasmine rice, with its very
distinctccmbinaticncfwaterand the perfumecfasmine.lt's encuhtc make
cnecuricuswithhuner,andaswe makecurwaythcuhthe spaceweccmetc
the rccm at the end cfthe hallway, well lit,withwindcwsat the ccrnercfthe
buildin.unlihtpcursinfrcm anDctcberafternccn,andalreadywefeelthe
ccmpressicn cfthe allery lifted frcm cur shculders.Therearepecple sittin
arcund rcund tables and cn stccls, they are talkin, readin the uide fcr
alleries,weihintheirnetmcve.The 303 Calleryis at the ccrner cfprin
andCreenetreetsinchc,NewYcrk,fcrmerlythemainartdistrictcfthecity.
There is a mess cf dccrs leanin aainst the walls in this rccm, dccrs
presumablycfthe allery.Theyare unhined and stacked.Tcthe rihtas we
enteris amakeshifttablemade frcm sawhcrses,andyet anctherdccrfrcm the
space.A ccuple cfpecple seemtc busyin themselves with the preparaticn cf
scme veetables - the chcppin and cuttin, cpenin allcn cans cfbambcc
shccts.lnthemiddlecftherccmtherearetwcpctsccckincncampinrins.
Dne seems tchavebeen prepared already, the ctheriscn its way. ecpleare
helpin themselves tc the ricefrcm a cccker lare encuh tc feed the whcle
lslandcfManhattan.Rihtnettcthelcwasccckersisancldusedrefrieratcr,
white,withhintscfaearcundtheedes.Ascne sits dcwnfcrthe bcwlwhite
enamelwithbluerims)cffccd,cnebeinstc realizethatthisisadistinctively
differenteperiencefrcmctherswehavehadi nanartallerycrwithart.There
are alsc many milky whitecylindrical buckets which seem tc beslcshinwith
wastefccd,allthatisleftcver.lntherefrieratcrthereareThailcnbeans,Thai
rcundish reen eplants, as well as the mini pea eplants, lcckin rather
reen, with a strcn bitterness tc their taste. Bitter and strcner. And scme
packetscfreencurry.
This ehibiticn came at an eccncmically depressed mcment in New Ycrk
that prcvided fertile rcunds tc establish it as the ccrnerstcne cfTiravana's
practice.We dcn't use thewcrd'practice'lihtly - it's as ifthe artistwerea
dcctcradministerintheviewerwithadcsecfcpiatetccureallmaladies.
Tiravania described his wcrkat this time as ccmparable tc reachin cut,
remcvinMarcelDuchamp's'Urinal'frcmitspedestal,reinstallinitbackcnthe
wall,andthen, inanactcfreturntcitscriinal use,pissinintcit.
lnterest in the identity cftheartistic has ncwfullyreccvered tc the pcint
thatthewcrksimplyistheartistcrsimplybytheartist.Yetthereisaprevalent
sensibilitytc his endeavcur,cnecfwhich a) resists artifice, b) resists thetime
0// ART5T5'WRTNG5
and space continuum which has been imposed ontheontoloicalstructureof
artmakin,c)resistsunnecessarystainofarealitywhichdoesnotexist.j!/c
|ios!ioscccns|i]!inorounJnow. . . wcconncornimoinononJonocou!works
w|iic|Jo no!ncccssorilcorrclo!c!o wno!!ncDoccn!noscccnscokinocou!.]
j!/cDoccn!lcoJs!licrouovcr!o!nc winJows o]untitledfree, onJcrosscs !nc
nollin!o!lcsocc o]!nclniscncruns!crcin] Docent. lnnineteenninetysix
Tiravania, havin won the prize from the Kln-based Central lnsurance
Company (which is comprised of a six month stay in the city of Colone,
Cermany), was commissioned by the company to produce a work for an
exhibitionattheKlnischerKunstverein.Whatwearelookinatisastructural
replicainfullscaleofTiravaniasapartmentinNewYork.Tiravaniahadlivedin
thisapartmentforalmosttwentyyearsuptothatpoint.ltisafour-flihtwalkup
in a tenement buildin. The oriinal apartment is very old. The apartment
number is twenty-one,actuallya lucky numberforTiravania, as he was also
born on the twenty-first day.The actual title of the exhibition is un!i!lcJ in
orcn!ncsis!omorrowisono!ncrJo.Thephrase'tomorrowisanotherday'came
from the director of the Kunstverein himself, Udo Kittelmann - an utterance
often used as an expressionofreliefand resination.ButforTiravania it was
abouttheinevitabilityofdailylife.!omorrowisono!ncrJowasforTiravanaa
workwhereallhisessentialideascametoether.Tiravaniahasoftensaidthat
hisworkwas'aboutuse,andthrouhthisusemeaninisconstructed'.Herewe
see the apartmentwhichwas openedforthree months and was opentwenty-
fourhoursaday, six days aweek(itwould have been seven days but Cerman
labourlawsprohibitedtheworkbeinopenoSundays).Thiswasperhapsthe
firstand onlytimean exhibition spacewasleftopenwith ful l accessForthe
three months it was open people came and stayed in the apartment, they
cooked,theyate,theybathed(everythinfunctionedintheapartmentreplicaas
in a normal habitat), they slept, ot married, had birthdays, many, many
performances of music and otherwise, he space surroundin the apartment
became a arden. Many, many people spent a lot oftime in and around the
apartment,andtheysharedtheirtimeandspacetoether.Theydrewandwrote
notes, comments, drawins, youn and old. ltwas an open house and, aainst
expectations, nothin terrible happened. Tiravana left Kln soon after the
apartmentopened. Helefteverythinhehadbrouht(house-wares,TV, stereo,
kitchenware. . . etc.)forhis stayattheresidency. . . nothinwentmissinandin
fact people left more thins behind, thins of value and useful thins. j!/c
Doccn! !okcs !ncrou !nroun !o !nc ncx! onJ los! socc. . . wnilc wolkin !nc
Doccn!con!inucswi!n!ncJiolouc. . . ] Docent.Similarlytoun!i!lcJinorcn!ncsis
!omorrow is ono!ncr Jo . . . now at this point you may have all noticed that
TtoVonjo//NOGhOS!Sn!heWoll//II
Tiravania most often if not always leaves both his exhibitions and works
untitled. . . however,alsoalwayswithintheparenthesis,fromtheveryfirstwork,
we can see that Tiravania wants to direct our attention to the subtext, or
subtitle,ofhowwecandirectourthouhtsandideastowardstheexperiencewe
arehavinwith hisworks. . .
Yes,un!i!lcJnorcn!ncsisncromiscJfromtwothousandand two.l t i sthe
lastworkwewillfocuson.Aslwassayin.similarlyto!omorrow. . . ,ncromiscJ
isanotherfull-scalearchitecturalrepresentation.lnthiscaseitisthehouseofan
Austrian architect who lived in exilein LosAneles by the name ofRudolph
Schindler. erhaps little known to the lay world, Schindler was a very
inspirationalfiureforalotofarchitectsandartistsduetohis quietbutstudied
ideas concernin the philosophical conditions of livin and architecture.
DbviouslyTiravaniafoundhimso,andinthiswork,whichwasmadeforVienna
attheSecessionexhibitionspace. . . hemadeareplicaofpartofthehousewhich
Schindler had desined and built for himself. This is very similar to hilip
|ohnson'sClassHouse,whichwasalsodesinedandbuiltastheresidenceofthe
architecthimself)
ThishousewasinLosAnelesonKin'sRoadhenceitisknownastheKin's
RoadHouse).TiravanahasreplicatedinfullscaleSchindler'sownstudio,which
is one of five sections of the house. We are not lookin at the complete
representationofthe house,asTiravaniawantedustofocuson this particular
spaceasanidea,asanidealspace.Wecansensewhatlifeinthestructurewas
like,andis,aswepassthrouhthisbuildin.Schindlerwashihlyinfluencedby
Frank Lloyd Wriht havin worked for him), as well as by the natural
environment,veetationandclimateofSouthernaliforna.The housewasvery
open, with a reat deal ofFastern, Driental feel, blurrin of the interior and
exterior- merin also thefunctionsoflifeinsideand out. ln thisreplication,
however, all parts ofthe architecture are made from chromed and mirrored
stainless steel. The entire structure is cloaked in the reflection of its
environment. ltshimmersas iftodisappear, camouflaedby thewhiteofthe
space . . . andunlike|omorrow...ncromiscJ. . . wasnotopen-ended- itwasonly
openalldayandnihtonedayoftheweek.ltwasnotmeanttofunctiontwenty-
fourhoursaday.However,time andspacewouldbeanimportantaspectofthe
work- usaewas still primal. Butratherthan keepin it open-ended, it ws
prorammed.Therewasaseriesofdifferenteventsinwhichthehouseacted

s
aplatformand asalivedspace,hostindifferentdiscussions,exhibitions, films
andmusicalevents,Thaimassaeandofcourseabarbecue.Theprocess,which
we say at the beinnin ofall Tiravania's work, was very clear and almost
extremeinthissituation.ThehousewasfabricatedinCuadalaara,Mexico,and
sincetherewasnotenouhtimeandtoomuchdistance,thepartsofthehouse

2// ATl5T5'WlTlNG5
were slcwly shipped tc Vienna. As the parts arrived, the hcuse was put up.
Durintheccursecftheexhibiticn,whichlastedabcuttwcanl ahalfmcnths,
the hcusewas cnlyccmpletedtwcdaysbefcre theexhibiticn clcsed. Pictures
weretaken cftheslcwprccesscf, amcnstctherthins,whatwentcninthe
space,aswellasthatcftheccnstructicnprccessin Mexicc.VisitcrsinVienna
cculdbuycneticketandreturntcthespaceatalaterdatetckeepupwiththe
ccnstructicn cf the hcuse as well as participate in the daily events cffered.
Tiravana never did participate in the prccess cf the exhibiticn cr see the
ccmpleticn cf the hcuse itself. . . but, like all thiswcrk, Tiravania was much
mcreinterestedinthepecpleandhcwtheycameandwent,hcwtheymayhave
haddifferentviewsandmemcriescfwhattheyhadpassedthrcuh.
Thank ycu fcr cinin us, fcr walkin thrcuh with us and ivin ycur
attenticntcthis'retrcsctive'.Ycumayhavewcnderedallthistimewhyweare
nctinthepresencecfthewcrkitselfandare insteadustivenastcryabcutcr
descripticnscfthewcrkcrevent.Tiravanaandthecuratcrsbelievedthatthis
iscnecfthepcssiblewaysthisbcdycfwcrkcculdberepresented.There isnc
cbect,ncpicture,ncmcment,ncspaceandeven perhapsnctime,butinthis
vcidcfrepresentaticnwehcpeycuhave heardandhaveimaineda picturecf
ycurcwn,amemcrycf ycurcwn,andthatintheenditwasanexperiencecfits
cwnmakin. j!ncDoccn!snowscvcQoncou!.+
THND
k|rkr|t T|ravana, 'No Chosts |n thc WaII', kirk|Tirovomo. A kc|rocc|ivc (kottcrdam Muscum
6oimansVan6cun|ncn,?004)S1-?
TtoVonjo/ /NOGhOS!Sn!heWoll/ /
ThOmOs HirsChhOrn
24h OuCouI| J2004
Unlikcmonor!is!swnoworkcollocoro!ivclinorJcr!o]iscor!onJsociolroxis,
7nomosHirscnnorn nosolwososscr!cJ !nc imor!oncco]or!'sou!onom Pro)cc!s
sucn os !nc Bataille Monument (2002) onJ Muse Prcaire (2004) involvcJ
collocoro!ions wi!n lorcl workin-closs onJ immiron! communi!ics. 24h
Foucault !rons]crrcJ !nis cllocoro!ivc oroocn !o nilosoncrs, oc!s onJ
musicionso!!ncPoloisJc7oko
24n Foucoul!istheovon!-orJc oftheFoucoul!Ar!Work.TheFoucoul!Ar!Workis
the proect that l have developed followin meetins with Daniel Defert and
PhilippeArtiresontheinvitationofNicolasBourriaudatthePalaisdeTokyoin

Dctober 2008. Foucoul!Ar! Work is a proect like other proects l have) that
remainstoberealizedintheyearstocome.ltdependsonmefindinthetime,
enery, places,partnersand moneytoshow the Foucoul!Ar! Work. This ismy
obective and l don't want to lose siht of it. This is why the 24n Foucoul! is
basicallythesameFoucoul!Ar!Work proectcondensedandspeeded up.lwant
the24nFoucoul!toaffirmandprovethatit'snecessarytoworkasanartistwith
precisionandwithexcess.lwantthisproecttobepreciseandexaerated For
me, the Foucoul!Ar! Work will not chane, only speed up. The 24n Foucoul!
comprises l.anauditorium 2.alibrarydocumentationcentre8.asound library
4.avideolibrary5.anexhibition6.theMcrvcvcrloarchives7.a7oolcoxbar8.
a souvenir shop 9. a newspaper l0. a Foucault studio. 24n Foucoul! is an
autonomousworkmadecollectively.24nFoucoul!isaworkofart
ZD 0UCdUL thc prc-pro|cct
lwanttotryheretoexpress mywishfortheFoucoul!Ar!Work. This is thetitle
oftheworkandatthesametimeit'stheMichelFoucaultexhibitionproramme.
lt's the proramme because it's not about doin an exhibition on Michel
Foucault. For me it's about showin, affirmin, ivin form to the fact that
MichelFoucaultwas anartist.That his life and hisworkwereaworkofart. lt's
also aboutivinformto this affirmation that l share with Marcus Steinwe.
philosophy is art Pure philosophy, true, cruel, pitiless philosophy, philosophy
thataffirms,acts,creates.ThephilosophyofSpinoza,ofNietzsche,ofDeleuzeof
Foucault.ldon'tknowFoucault'sphilosophy,butlseehisworkofart.ltpermits
metoapproachit,tonotunderstanditbuttoseizeittoseeit,tobeactivewith
it. l don'thavetobe a historian, a connoisseur, a specialist toconfrontmyself
4// AT5T5'WTNG5
withworksofart l canseie their enery, their urency, theirnecessity,their
density Michel Foucault'sworkofart is chared. lt'sabattery l can seie this
chared battery l wanttoive form to this. ln theFoucoul!Ar!Work proect,
there is more than a vision. there is a sinular commitment There is the
commitmenttomakeaworkofart.Thereistheaffirmationthattheworkofart
sphilosophyandthatphilosophysaworkofartWemustfreeourselvesfrom
exhibitions.lhate and never use thetermsnowin Fnlish,lhate andl neveruse
thetermccc. lneveruseandlhatethetermns!ollo!on. Butlwanttomakea
workaworkofart lwanttobecomewhatl am.lwanttobecomean artist l
wanttoappropriatewhatlam.Thisismyworkasanartist.
Foucoul!Ar!Work isnotdocumentation.Documentation,documentaryIilms
havebeenovertakenbyIictionandbyrealityofalltypesBecausedocumentation
wantstoplaceitselfin themiddle. l don'twanttoplacemyselfinthemiddle.l
wanttoovertakethedocumentthedocumentary.lwanttomakeanexperience.
An experience is somethin from which l emere chaned. An experience
transformsme.lwantthepublictobetransformedbytheexperienceofFoucoul!
Ar!Work. lwantthepublictoappropriate Michel Foucault'sworkofart.lwant
thepublictobeactive,participate.Fvidentlythemostimportantparticipationis
activity, the participation ofrelexion, questionin, makinyour brain worl l
want the public o] Foucoul! Ar! Work to seie the enery the strenth, the
necessityofFoucault'swork.lwantthepublicto confrontwhatisimportantin
the work ofFoucault l want the public to seie therane andthe power of
Foucault'sphilosophy.ldon'twantthepublicto understand.lwantthepublicto
seiethepower.Thepowerofart,thepowerofphilosophy
L0HCT0l0
TheFoucoul!Ar!Work takes placefrom l40ctoberto 5 December(7weeks)at
thePalaisdeTokyo.lwanttomakeasortof8o!ollcMonumcn!,butontheinside
inaninstitution.Whathavebeenthelessonsfrommyexperienceofthe8o!ollc
Monumcn!|Thatthisexperienceproducessomethin. meetinsconfrontation,
productionthouhtmorework,loss,discussions,friendship.To producethat,l
haveunderstoodthatitsnecessaryfortheartisttobepresentall thetimeand
nottobealone.Thiscvcn!mustbeverywellprepared.Youhavetoworkuphill
onthisproectwithcontributorsparticipants,co-producers.Foucoul!Ar!Work
sointobe an eventthatmustbe producedelsewhereatleastonceUS|apan
orelsewhere).lwantthe PalaisdeTokyo tobeonlytheIirstcvcn!.Theremust
beanother.Anotherpartnermustbefound.Foucoul!Ar!Work mustbeanevent
withbetween700andl000squaremetresofspace.Theproposedalcoveofthe
Palais deTokyo is too small. l need more space lt needs a minimum of700
square metres. ln theFoucoul!Ar! Work eventl wantto work closelywith my
HtSchhotn{ /24hFoucoul!//
philosopherfriendMarcusteinwefrom Berlin.Hewillbewithmeonsiteall
thetime,durinthecvcn!.Heprepares,heproposes,

and heaccompanies this


work.HeispartoftheworkHewillarm.Hewillappropriate.Hewillactwith
love, like me,but not withrespect.With theloveofphilosophy, notwith the
respectofahommae.Foucoul!Ar!Work will bemadewith love and without
respect.Fverydaytherewllbethein!crvcn!iono]onilosoncr,o]ricnJ,owri!cr
wnowillin!crrc!!ncworko]Foucoul!. 7ncrcwillccoMicnclFoucoul!cxnici!ion.
l wantthe publictounderstand. the exhibition isonlyonepartoftheFoucoul!
Ar!Work.Theexhibitionwithphotos,personalbooks,oriinaldocuments,press
cuinsinternational).PeterCenteoftheMcrvc-vcrlo8crlinmadeabeautiful
exhibition atKM in Karlsruhe.7ncrc will ccosounJ-, cook- onJmcJiolibrary
with all the books in all lanuaes), all the videos and all audio material of
Foucault. want there tobe photocopiers,video material, sound material, on
site,simpleandefcient,sothatthe publiccantakehomephotocopiesorvideo
andaudiocopiesbooks,extracts ofbooksorotherdocuments,astheywish1
want the Foucoul!Ar! Work not only to bea place ofproduction, but also of
dissemination.ltisimportanttodiffuseandivcJi]]sion!o!ncworko]Foucoul!
ortopartsofFoucault'sworks.7ncrcwillccoMicnclFoucoul!sno.Theshopisn't
aplacetosellhins,theshopisinfactanotherexhibition.lt'sanexhibitionof
souvenirsmadetolookat,nottobuy.As inthevitrinesofabifootballclub,
wheetophiesreexhibited photos offormer playes, the plyes' vests, the
club's different stadiums, the celebrity visits. These are important but not
decisivesouvenirs. Decisive is whatis madetodayToday and tomorrow7ncrc
willccoFoucoul!-Mo.AworkthatlwilldowithMarcusteinweLikeldidthe
Nic!zscnc-Mo and the Honnon ArcnJ!-Mo. lt's a very bi plan of the
philosophicalpositionofFoucaultinthealaxyofphilosophy.Therewillalsobe
documentsandelementsthatputtheFoucoul!Arcnivcsatyourdisposal.Thiscan
be interated in the Foucoul!Ar!Work proect. However the archives must be
exposed in anothersecond) manifestation.Finallylwantthereto beasimple
andcondensedauditoriumfor lectures,concerts,speeches won!!ncuclic!o
cc insiJc o croin in oc!ion. There will be no narration, no discussion, no
illustration There will be affirmation. There will be ideas. There will be
confrontation.Whenl say. there is nodiscussion,lmean. it'snottodebateand
discuss philosophyandart.lt'snecessaryto confrontyoursellt'snecessaryto
fore a resistance l want all the forms, all the contributions to be chosen
politically,philosophically,artistically.Becauseit'sthesamethin.Noelementis
chosenforanyreasonotherthanpolitical.lwanttheFoucoul!Ar!Work proect
tobeapropositionthatovertakesme,thatmakesmycapacityforresponsibility
explode.lt'snecessarytotryandberesponsibleforsomethinwhichlcantake
responsibilityfor.There must also be a Foucoul!-5!uJio. A place ofwork with
// ATl5T5'lTlNG5
computers and space for workin. Makin sculpture, doin research, havin
experiences that you don't usualy have. Learnin another lanuae, for
example. l repeat. the Foucoul!-5!uJio, the Foucoul!-5no, the AuJi!orium, the
cook-, sounJ- onJ mcJio-licroQ,theFoucoul!xnici!ion,thecon!icu!orsevery
otherday),theFoucoul!-Mo,theFoucoul!Arcnivcs.Theseeihtelementswillbe
putalonside eachotheras in the human brain theydisrupt each other, they
completeeachother,theycompeteaainsteachother.Buttheynevercontradict
eachother- theydemonstratethcomplexityandtheinfinityofthouht.There
will be chairs, lots of chairs, armchairs, lots of armchairs forsittin down and
reflectin,readinandexchanin.TherewillbelotsoflihtFoucoul!Ar!Work
will be very lit. ln the Foucoul! Ar! Work there will be lots of computers,
photocopiers,audiorecorders,videoandDVDrecorders,TVscreens,butallthese
obectswllbenterated,masteredtools,arms,butneveraestheceffecwth
which to intimidate the public, or to show them new technoloy. The
technoloies serve art, they serve philosophy. They will be tools but not
necessities.To killthem,it'snotnecessarytohaveaun.To constructahouse,it's
notnecessarytohaveahammer.Youmustalwaysworkfirstlywithyourbrain.
Foucoul!Ar! Work will not be aThomas Hirschhorn exhibition. l will have
contributedto this proect with others,l hopelots ofothers.MarcusSteinwe,
Manueloseph,ChristopheFiat,PeterCente,nottomentionthosetowhoml've
alreadypokenoftheproect.Thisproectwillbemadetoether,ultiply,with
multiple sinularities, active,turned towards affirmation, theother.Turnedto
the other with friendship, but without compromise. Neither visual, nor of
meanin,norofspace,norofcontent.
Foucoul!Ar!Work isanambitiousproect. ltisitselfanaffirmationas much
asaworkofart.
ThomasHirschhorn,artisI'sproposaI,oucoulrounol(Far|s:FaIaisdcTokyo,?-JOcIobcr?004).
TransIatcdDy CIa|rc6ishop,?00C.
HtSchhotn{/24hFoucoul/
L1LH1LI
5 M 1IbH
B1Y5
M w1bLI
CRTCAL AND CURATORAL PO5TON5
NiCo!Os BoUrriOUO Re!OtionO! AesthetiCsJ JI0
LOrs BOng LOrsen 5oCiO! AesthetiCsJ JI72
No!!y NesDit, HOns U!riCh ODrist, Rirkrit TirOVOnijO
WhOt is O 5tOtion? JJI4
HO! Foster ChOt RoomsJ JI90
NCOIOs BOUrrOUO
RCIOOnOI ACshCCsJ J !996
RelaticnalAestheticshas comc to bc sccn as a dchnin tcxt for a cncratIon of
artists who camc to promincncc in uropc in thc carlj to mid I0s. !hc
followin tcxt is a sclcction of cxccrpts from ourriaud's collcction of scvcn
discrctc cssajs oriinallj pubishcd in maazincs and cxhibition cataloucs.
Tc work oI art as sociaI intcrsticc
Thepcssibilitycfarclo|ionolartanartthattakesas its thecretical hcrizcnthe
sphere cfhumaninteracticnsanditssccialccntext,ratherthantheasserticncf
anautcncmcusandivo!csymbclicspaceistestimcnytctheradicalupheaval
in aesthetic,cultural and pclitical cbectivesbrcuht abcut by mcdern art. Tc
cutline its scciclcy. this develcpment stems essentially frcm the birth cfa
lcbalurbancultureandtheextensicncftheurbanmcdeltcalmcstallcultural
phencmena.Thespreadcfurbanizaticn,whichbeantctake cffatthe endcf
theeccndWcrldWar,allcwedanextracrdinaryincreaseinsccialexchanes,as
well asreaterindividualmcbilitythankstcthedevelcpmentcfrailand rcad
netwcrks, teleccmmunicaticns and the radual cpenin up cfisclated places,
whichwenthand in hand with the cpenin up cfminds). Because this urban
wcrld's inhabitable places are sc cramped, we have alsc witnessed a scalin
dcwncffurnitureandcbects,whichhavebeccmemucheasiertchandlefcra
lcntime, artwcrks lccked like lcrdlyluxuryitems in this urbanccntextthe
dimensicns cfbcth artwcrks and the apartments where theywere displayed
wereintendedtcsinaltheisiibetweentheircwnersandthehoi polloi),
but the waytheirfuncticnandtheirmcdecfpresentaticnhasevclvedrevealsa
rcwinurconizo!ion cfthe artistic experience. What is ccllapsin befcre cur
veryeyes isquite simply the pseudc-aristccraticccncepticn cfhcwartwcrks
shculdbedisplayed,whichwas bcund upwihthefeelincfhavinacquireda
territcry. We can, in ctherwcrds, nc lcner reard ccntempcrarywcrks as a
spacewehavetcwalkthrcuhwewereshcwnarcundccllecticnsinthesame
way thatwewereshcwnarcundreat hcuses).Ccntempcraryartresemblesa
pericd cftime that has tc beexperienced, crthe cpenin cfa dialcue that
neverends.Thecitypermitsandeneralizestheexperiencecfprcximitythisis
thetaniblesymbclandhistcricalframewcrkcfthestatecfscciety,crthe'state
cf enccunter', that has been 'impcsed' cn pecple, as Althusser puts it, as
cppcsedtcthedenseandunprcblematicunlecf|ean-|acquesRcusseau'sstate
o]no!urc. Rcusseau'sunlewassuchthattherecculdbenclastinenccunters
0/ /CRTCAANDCURATORAPO5TON5
Dnc it had been elevated to the status of an absolute civilizational rulethis
intenseencounterfinallyaverisetoartisticpracticesthatwereinkeepinwith
it.ltave risethatistoaformofartwithintersubectivityasitssubstratum.lts
central themes are beintoether jl'c|rc-cn>cmc|c], the 'encounter' between
viewer and paintin and the collective elaboration ofmeanin.We can leave
asidethe problemofthephenomenon'shistoricity.arthasalwaysbeenrelation
tosomeetent.lthas,inotherwords,alwaysbeenafactorinsociabilityandhas
alwaysbeenthebasisforadialoue.Dneoftheimaespotentialsisitscapacity

for'linkae' jrc|ioncc], to use Michel Maffesoli's term. flas loos, icons and
sins all produce empathy and sharin, and enerate link>. Art practices
derivedfrompaintinandsculptureanddisplayedintheformolanehibition)
proves to be an especially appropriate epression of this civilization of
proimity.ltcompressesrelationalspace,wereastelevisionandbookssendus
allbackto spaceswhereweconsumeinprivate,andwhereasthetheatreorthe
cinemabrinsmallroupstoethertolookatunivocalimaes,thereisinfactno
livecommentaryonwhatatheatreorcinema audience isseeinthetimefor
discussioncomesafter the show).Atanehibition, in contrast, there is always
thepossibilityofanimmediate- in both sensesofthe term - discussion,even
when the forms on show are inert. l see, comment and move around in one
spacetime. Art is asite thatproduces a specific sociability whatstatus this
spacehaswithintheraneof'statesofencounter'proposedbythePo|i>remains
tobeseen.Howcananartthatiscentredontheproductionofsuchmodesof
convivialitysucceedinrelaunchinthe modern proectofemancipationaswe
contemplateit? Howdoesitallowustodefine newculturalandpoliticaloals?
Before turnin to concrete eamples, it is iportant totakea newlook at
where artworks are situated within the overall system of the economy -
symbolicormaterial- thatovernscontemporarysociety:quiteapartfrom its
commodified natureorsemanticvalue, the artwork represents in myview,a
social in|cr>|icc.Thetermin|cr>|icc was usedbyKarlMartodescribetradin
communities that escaped the framework ofthe capitalist economy: barter,
sellinataloss,autarkicformsofproduction,andsoon.Anintersticeisaspace
insocialrelationswhich,althouhitfitsmoreorlessharmoniouslyandopenly
into the overall system, suests possibilities forechanes otherthan those
thatprevailwithinthesystem.Fhibitionsofcontemporaryartoccupyprecisely
thesame position withinthefieldofthetradein representations.Theycreate
freespaces and periodsoftime whoserhythmsare notthe same asthose that
oranizeeverydaylife,andtheyencouraeaninterhumanintercoursewhichis
different to the 'zones of communication' that are forced upon us. The
contemporarysocialcontetrestrictsopportunitiesforinterhuman relationsin
that it creates spaces desined for that purpose. uperloos were invented to
outtoud/ /Relo!onolAeS!he!cS/ /
keep the streets clean. The same line of thinkin overned the development
communicationaltoolswhilethestreetsofourcitieswerebeinsweptcleanof
all relational dross. The result is that neihbourhood relations have been
impoverished. The eneral mechanization of social functions is radually
reducinourrelationalspace.Untilonlyafewyearsao,theearlymornincall
servicestillusedhumanvoices theresponsibilityforwakinusupnowfallsto
synthesizedvoices . TheATM hasbecomethetransitmodelforthemostbasic
social functions,and professionalbehavioursaremodelledonthe efficiencyof
themachinesthatarereplacinthemThesamemachinesnowperform tasls
thatoncerepresentedsomanyopportunitiesforexchanes,pleasureorconflict.
Contemporaryartisreallypursuinapoliticalproectwhenitattemptstomove
intotherelational spherebyproblematizinit.
When Cabriel Drozco puts an orane on the stalls ofa deserted market in
Brazil( Cz !ours!, 1991)orsets upa hammockintheardenofNewYork's
MuseumofModernArt(Homoccn clMoMo, 1993),he is operatinin the heart
ofthe'socialinfrathin'j n]omncc|,orthattinyspaceforeverydayesturesthat
isdeterminedbythesuperstructureconstructedanddeterminedbylare-scale
exchanes. Drozco's photoraphs are an uncaptioned documentary record of
tiny revolutions in ordinary urban or semiurban life (a sleepin ba on the
rass,anemptyshoebox). theybearwitnesstothesilentlife(astilllifeorno!urc
mor!c)thatisnowpaintedbyourrelationswithothers.When|ensHaaninuses
a loudspeaker to broadcastokes told inTurkish on a square in Copenhaen
(!urksnokcs, 1994), heinstantlyproduces a microcommunity ofimmirants
who have been brouht toether by the collective lauhter that inverts their
situationasexilesThatcommunityisformedinrelationtoandinsidethework.
An exhibition is aprivileed place where instantcommunities like thiscanbe
established. dependin on thedereeofaudience participation demanded by
theartist,thenatureoftheworksonshowandthemodelsofsociabilitythatare
represented or suested, an exhibition can enerate a particular 'domain of
exchanes'. And we must ude that 'domain of exchanes' on the basis of
aestheticcriteria,orinotherwordsbyanalysinthecoherenceofitsform,and
then the symbolic value of the 'world' it offers us or the imae of human
relationsthatitreIects.Withinthissocialinterstice,theartistowesittohimself
totakeresponsibilityforthesymbolicmodelsheisshowin.allrepresentation
refers to values thatcan betransposedinto society (thouh contemporaryart
does not so much represent as moJc|) and inserts itselfinto the social fabric
ratherthantakininspirationfromit).Beinahumanactivitythatisbasedupon
commerce,artisboththeobectandthesubectofanethics.allthemoresoin
that, unlike other human activities, |s on|]nc!on s |o cc cxposcJ !no|
commcrcc.Artisastatefencounter.44 j. . . |
2/ /CRlTCAADCURATORAPO5TON5
ConviviaIity and cncottntcrs
A work can function as a relational device in which there is a deree of
randomness. lt can be a machine for provokin and manain individual or
collectiveencounters.Tociteafew examplesfromthe lasttwo decades this is
true of Braco Dimitrevic's Cusuul Pusscr-c series, which disproportionally
celebrateshenamesandfacesofanonymouspassers-byonposterstheszeof
thoseusedforadvertisements,oronbustslikethoseofcelebritiesntheearly
1970s, Stephen Willats painstakinly charted the relationships that existed
between the inhabitants ofa block offlats.And much ofSophie Calle's work
consists ofaccountsofher encounters withstraners. shefollowsapasser-by,
searches hotel roomsaferettin aob as a chamber maid, asksblind people
howtheydefinebeauty,and then, after the event,formalizesthebioraphical
experimentsthatledherto'collaborate'withthepeopleshemet.Wecouldalso
cite, almost at random, Dn Kawara's I mc! series, the restaurant opened by
Cordon Matta-Clark in 1971 (FooJ),thedinnersoranizedby DanielSpoerri or
the playfulshopopenedbyCeore BrechtandRobertFilliouinVillefranche[Lu
CcJ|lc qu sour!).he formalizationofconvivial relations has been ahistorical
constant since the 1960s. The eneration of the 1980s picked up the same
problematic,butthedefintionofat,whichwascentraltothe1960sand1970s,
wasnoloneranissue.Theproblemwasnolonertheexpansionofthe limits
ofart,buttestinart'scapacityforresistanewithinthesocialfieldasawhole.
A sinle family of practices therefore ives rise to two radically different
problematics. in the 1960s, theemphasis was onrelationshipsinternaltothe
worldofartwithinamodernistculturethatprivileed'thenew'andcalledfor
linuisticsubversionitis nowplacedonexternalrelationshipsinthecontextof
aneclecticculturewheretheworkofartresiststhemincerofthe'Societyofthe
Spectacle'.Socialutopiasandrevolutionaryhopeshaveivenwaytodayto-day
micro-utopiasand mimeticstrateies.any'direct'critiqueofsocietyispointless
ifit is based upon the illusion ofa marinalitythat is now impossible, ifnot
reressive.AlmostthirtyyearsaoFlixCuattariwasalreadyrecommendinthe
neihbourhood strateies onwhich contemporary artisticpracticesarebased.
'|ustaslthinkitisillusorytocountontheradualtransformationofsocietyso
believethatmicroscopicattempts communities, neihbourhood committees,
oranizincrchesinuniversities playanabsolutelyfundamentalrole.

Traditionalcritical philosophy and especiallythe Fankfurt school) can no


lonersu

stainartunlessittakestheformofanarchaicfolklore,orofasplendid
rattle that achieves nothin. The subversive and critical function of
contemporary art is now fulfilled throuh the invention of individual or
collective vanishin lines, and throuh the provisional and nomadic
constructions artists useto model anddistribute disturbin situations.Hence
outtoud//Relo!onolAeS!he!cS/ /
thecurrententhusiasmforrevisitedspacesofconvivia|ityandcrucib|eswhere
heteroeneousmodesofsociabi|itycanbeworkedout.Forherexhibitionatthe
Centrepour|aCrationContemporaine,Tours998),Ane|aBu||ochinsta||eda
caf.whensufficientvisitorssatdownonthechairs,theyactivatedarecordin
ofapiecebyKraftwerk.ForherRcstaurantsuw Paris,Dctoberl998),Ceorina
Starr described her anxiety about 'dini a|one' and produced a text to be
handedtodinerswhocame a|oneto the restaurant.Forhispart,Ben Kimont
approachedrandom|y-se|ectedpeop|e,offeretodotheirwashinupforthem
and maintained an information network about his work. Dn a number of
occasions Linco|n Tobier set up radio stations in art a||eries and invited the
pub|ictotakepartinbroadcastdiscussions
Phi|ippeParrenohasdrawnparticu|arinspirationfromtheformoftheparty
andhis exhibitionproectfortheConsortium,Don,consisted in'takinuptwo
hoursoftime rather than ten square metres ofspace'byoranizinaparty.A||
its component e|ements ventua||y produced re|ationa| forms as c|usters of
individua|satheredaroundtheinsta||edartisticobects. . . RirkritTiravana,for
hispart, exp|oresthe socioprofessiona|aspectofconvivia|ityhiscontribution
toburfaccs dc rparation Don, l994)wasare|axationareaforthe exhibitin
artists,comp|ete witha tab|efootba||ame and awe||-stockedfride.To end
thisevocationofhowsuchconvivia|itycandeve|opinthecontextofacu|tureof
'friendship', mention shou|dbe madeofthebarcreated byHeimoobernifor
the lnit exhibition, and Franz West's ss ['adaptives'. Dther artists
sudden|yburstintothere|ationa| fabric in morearessive ways.Theworkof
Dou|as Cordon, forexamp|e, exp|ores the'wi|d'dimensionofthis interaction
by intervenin in socia| space in parasitic or paradoxica| ways. he phoned
customersinacafandsentmu|tip|e 'instructions'tose|ectedindividua|s.The
best examp|e ofhow untime|y communications can disrupt communications
networks isprobab|ya piece byAnus Fairhurst. with the kind ofequipment
used by pirate radio stations, he estab|ished a phone |ink between two art
a||eries. ach inter|ocutor be|ieved that the other had ca||ed, and the
discussions deenerated into an indescribab|e confusion. By creatin or
exp|orin re|ationa| schemata, these works esta|ished re|ationa| micro-
territoriesthatcou|dbedrivenintothedensityofthecontemporarysocius, the
experiencesareeithermediatedbyobectsurfaces Liam Ci||ick's'boards'the
posterscreated inthestreetbyPierreHuyhe, ricDuyckaerts'video|ectures)
orexperiencedimmediate|yAndreaFraser'sexhibitiontours)[ + ]
Tc 5ub|cct oI thc Aork
very artistwhose work derives from re|ationa| aesthetics has hisor herown
wor|d of forms, his or herprob|ematic and his or hertraectory. there are no
4/ /CRTCALANDCURATORALPO5TON5
stylistic,thematic cr iccncraphic lins betweenthem.What they dchavein
ccmmcnismuchmcredeterminant,namelythefactthattheycperatewiththe
samepracticalandthecreticalhcrizcn. thespherecfinterhumanrelaticnships.
Their wcrs brin intc play mcdes cf sccial exchane, interacticn with the
viewer inside the aesthetic experience he cr she is cffered, and prccesses cf
ccmmunicaticn in their ccncrete dimensicns as tccls that can tc be used tc
brintcetherindividualsandhumanrcups.
They therefcre all wcr within what we miht call the relaticnal sphere,
whichistctcdaysartwhatmassprcducticnwastcPcpandMinimalism.
Theyallrcundtheirartisticpracticeinaprcximiwhich,whilstitdcesnct
belittle visuality, dces relativize its place within exhibiticn prctcccls. The
artwcrs cf the 1990s transfcrm the viewer intc a neihbcur cr a direct
interlccutcr.ltispreciselythiseneraticn'sattitudetcwardsccmmunicaticnthat
allcws it tc be defined in relaticn tc previcus eneraticns. whilst mcst artists
whcemered inthe1980sfrcm Richard Princetc|effKccnsvia|ennyHclzer)
emphasizedthevisualaspectcfthemedia,theirsuccesscrsplacetheemphasis
cnccntactandtactility.TheyemphasisemmcJoc intheirvisualwritin.This
phencmencncanbeexplainedinscciclcicaltermsifwerecallthatthedecade
thathasustendedwasmaredbytheeccncmiccrisisanddidlittletcenccurae
spectacular cr visicnary experiments. There are alsc purely aesthetic reascns
whythisshculdhavebeenthecase,inthe1980s,the'bactc'pendulumstcpped
with the mcvements cf the 1960s and especially Pcp art, whcse visual
effectiveness underpinned mcst cf the fcrms prcpcsed by smu|o!onsm. Fcr
bettercrwcrse,curpericdidentifieswiththeArtePceraandexperimentalart
cfthe 1970s,andevenwiththeatmcspherecfcsisthatwentwithit.Superficial
as itmaybe, this fashicneffecthadmadeitpcssibletc re-examinethewcrcf
artists such as Ccrdcn MattaClar cr Rcbert mithscn, whilst the success cf
MieKelleyhasrecentlyenccuraedanewreadincftheCalifcrnian'unlart'cf
PaulTheandTetsumia Kudc. Fashicn canthus create aesthetic micrcclimates
which affect theverywaywe readrecenthistcry. tc putitadifferentway,the

mesh cfthe sieve's net can be wcven in differentways. lt then 'lets thrcuh'
differenttypescfwcr,andthatinIluencesthepresentinreturn.
Havinsaidthat,whenwe lccatrelaticnalartists,wefindcurselves inthe
presence cfarcupcfartists whc, fcr the first time since the emerence cf
ccnceptualartinthemid-1960s,simplydcncttaeastheirstartinpcintscme
aestheticmcvementfrcm thepast.Relaticnalartisneithera'revival' cfscme
mcvementncrthereturncfastyle.ltisbcrncfthecbservaticncfthepresent
andcfareflecticn cn thedestinycfartisticactivity.lts basichypcthesis - the
spherecfhumanrelaticnsas sitefcrtheartwcr- iswithcutprecedentinthe
histcrycfart,even thcuh itcan cfccursebeseen, after the event, tcbe the
outtoud//ReIo!onoIAeS!he!cS/ /
obvious bacldrop to all aesthetic practice, and the modeist theme por
cxcc||cncc.Anyonewhoneedstobeconvincedthatinteractivityisscarcelyanew
notionhas onlytoreread Marcel Duchamp's l57lecture on thecreative act'.
The novelty lies elsewhere. lt resides in the fact that, for this eneration of
artists, intersubectivity and interaction are neither fashionable theoretical
adetsnoradunctstoalibisforatraditionalartisticpractice.Theyareatonce
astartinpointandapointofarrival,orinshortthemainthemesthatinform
theirwork.The space in which their worksare deployed isdevoted entirely to
interaction. lt isaspacefor the opennessCeoresBataillewouldhavecalledit
a'rent'that inauurates all dialoue. These artists produce relational space-
times, interhuman experiences that try to shake off the constraints of the
ideoloy ofmass communications, they are in a sense spaces where we can
elaborate alternative forms of sociability, critical models and moments of
constructedconviviality.ltis,however,obviousthatthedayoftheNewManof
the future-oriented manifestos and the calls for a better world 'with vacant
possession' is well and truly one. utopia is now experienced as a day today
subectivity, in th real time of concrete and deliberately framentary
experiments. The artwork now looks like a sociol in!crs!icc in which these
experiencesandthesenew'lifepossibilities'provetobepossible.lnventinnew
relations withourneihboursseems to be a matterofmuch reater urency
than'makintomorrowssin'.Thatisall,butitisstillalot.Anditatleastoffers
awelcomealternativeto the depressive,authoritarianandreactionarythouht
that, at least in France, passes forart theory in the shape of'common sense'
rediscovered.Andyetmodernityisnotdead,ifwedefineasmodern'meanin
a taste foraesthetic experience and adventurous thinkin, as opposed to the
timidconformismsthataredefendedbyphilosopherswhoarepaidbytheline,
neotraditionaliststheludicrousDaveHickey's'Beauty')andmilitantposscis!cs
like|eanClair. Whetherfundamentalistbelieversinyesterday'sooJ!os!clikeit
ornot, contemporary art has taken up and does representthe heritae ofthe
avant-ardesofthe twentieth century,whilstat the same time reectintheir
domatismandtheirteleoloy. l havetoadmitthatalotofthouhtwheninto
that last sentence. it was simply time to write it. Because modernism was
steepedinan'oppositionalimainary',toborrowaphrasefromCilbertDurand,
itworkedwithbreaksand clashes,andcheerfullydishonouredthepastinthe
nameofthefuture.ltwasbasedonconflict,whereastheimainaryofourperiod
isconcernedwithneotiations,linksandcoexistence.Wenolonertrytomake
proress thanks to conflictand clashes, but by discoverin new assemblaes
possible relations between distinct units, and by buildin alliances between
different partners. Like social contracts, aesthetic contracts are seen forwhat
theyare. nooneexpectstheColdenAetobeusheredinonthisearth,andwe
/ /CRTCAADCURATORAPO5TON5
arequitehappytccreatemoJusvivcnJthamalepcssiblefaiersccialelaticns
mcredensewayscflife,andmultiple,fruitful ccmbinaicnscfexistenceBythe
samecritericn,artnclcnertriestcrepresentutcpias itistryintcccnstruct
ccncretespaces[q ( ( |
Thc Critcrion oI Cocxistcncc (Works and IndividuaIs]
Ccnzalez-Tcrres'artivesacentralrcletcnectiaticnandtctheccnstructicncf
asaredhabitat.ltalscccntainsanethicscftheaze.Tcthatextent,itbelcns
withinaspecifichistcry.thatcfartwcrksthatmaketheviewerccnscicuscfthe
ccntext in which he cr she finds himselfherself the happenins and
'envircnments'cfthe l960s,site-specificinstallaticns).
AtcneCcnzalez-Tcrresexhibiticn,lsawvisitcrsrabbinhandfulscfsweets
andcrammnasmanycfthemastheycculdintctheirpccets. theywerebein
ccnfrcnted with their cwn sccial behavicur, fetishism and acquisitive
wcrldview . . . Dthers,inccntrast,didnctdaretctakethesweets,crwaiteduntil
thcsenexttcthemtcckcnebefcredcinlikewise.The'candyspill'wcrksthus
raise anethical prcblem inaseeminlyancdynefcr cur relaticnship with
authcrity, the use museum attendants make cf their pcwer, cur sense cf
prcpcrticnandthenaturecfcurrelaticnshipwiththeartwcrk.
Tc the extent that the latter represents an cppcrtuniy fc a senscry
experiencebased upcnexchane,itmustbesubecttc criteriaanalccuswith
thcse cn which we base curevaluaticncfanyccnstructed sccial reality.

he
basis cf tcday's experience cfart is the co-prcscncc o] spcc!o!ors cc]orc !nc
or!work,beitactualcrsymbclic.Thefirstquesticnwe shculdaskwhenwefind
curselvesinthepresencecfanartwcrkis.
Dcesitallcwmetcexistasl lcckatitcrdcesit,cntheccntrary, deny my
existeceas asubectanddcesitsstructurerefusetc ccnsiderthe Dther?Dces
thespace-timesuested crdescribedbythisartwcrk, tcetherwiththelaws
thatcvern it, ccrrespcndtcmy real-life aspiraticns?Dcesitfcrmacritiquecf
whatneedscritique?lftherewasaccrrespcndinspace-timeinreality,cculdl
liveinit?
Thesequesticns dc nctrelate tc an excessively anthrcpcmcrphic visicn cf
art. They relate tc a visicn that is uite simply numon tc the best cf my
kncwlede, artists intendtheirwcrktc beseenbytheirccntempcraries,unless
they reard themselves as livin cn bcrrcwed time cr believe in a fascist-
fundamentalistversicncfhistcrytimecsincveritsmeaninandcriins).Dn
theccntrary,thcseartwcrksthatsemtcmetcbewcrt

ycfsustainedinterest
arethecnesthatfuncticnasinterstices,asspace-timescvernedby
aneccncmy
thatcesbeycndtheprevailinrulesfcrthemanaementcfthepublic.Thefirst
thinthatstrikesmeabcutthiseneraticncfartistsisthattheyare inspiredby
ouDoud/ /Relo!onolAeS!he!cS{/l
a concern for Jcmocroc. or art does not transcend our day to day
preoccupationsitbrinsusfacetofacewithrealitythrouhthesinularityofa
relationshipwiththeworld,throuhafiction.Noonewillconvincemethatan
authoritarianartcanreferitsviewerstoanyreal- beitafantasyoranaccepted
reality - otherthan thatofan intolerant society. ln sharp contrastartists like
Conzalez-Torres, and now Anela Bulloch, Carsten Hller, Cabriel Drozco or
Pierre Huyhe, brin us face to face with exhibition situations inspired by a
concern to 'ive everyone a chance' thanks to forms that do not ive the
producer any oprori superiority let's call it divine-riht authority) overthe
viewer, but which neotiate open relations that are not pre-established. The
statusofthevieweralternatesbetweenthatofapassiveconsumer,andthatof
awitness,anassociate,aclient,auest,aco-producerandaprotaonist.Sowe
needtopayattention:weknowthatattitudesbecomeforms,andwenowhave
to realizethatformsinducemodelsofsociability.
Andtheexhibitionformitselfisnotimmune tothesewarnins thespread
of 'curiosity cabinets' thate have been seein for some time now, to say
nothinofthe elitistattitudesofcertainactorsin theartworld, which reveals
their holyterrorofpublicspaces and collective aestheticexperimentation,and
theirloveofboudoirsthatarereservedforspecialists Makinthinsavailable
doesnotnecessarilymakethembanal. withoneofConzalez-Torres' piles of
sweets, there can be an ideal balance between form and its prorammed
disappearance,betweenvisualbeautyandmodestestures,betweenachildlike
wonderattheimaeandthe complexityofthedifferentlevelsatwhichitcan
beread.[= .
RcIationaI Acsthctics and Constmctcd 5ituations
The Situationist concept ofa 'constructed situation' was intended to replace
artistic representation with the experimental realization ofartistic enery in
everyday environments. Whilst Cuy Debord's dianosis of the spectacular
processofproductionseemspitiless,Situationisttheoryoverlooksthefactthat,
whilst the spectacle's primary tarets are forms of human relations the
spectacleis'asocialrelationshipbetweenpeople,mediatedbyimaes'),theonly
waywecananalyseandresistitisbyproducinnewmodesofhumanrelations.
Nowthe notionofa situation does notnecessarily imply coexistencewith
myfellows. ltis possible to imae situations thatare'constructed'forprivate
use,orevensituationsthatdeliberatelyexcldeothers.Thenotionofasituation
reintroduces the unities oftime, place and action in a theatre that does not
necessailyinvolvearelationshipwiththeDther.Now,artisticpracticealways
involved a relationship with the other, at the same time, it constitutes a
relationship with the world. A cons!ruc!cJ s!uo!ion does not necessarily
/ /CRTCAANDCURATORALPO5TON5
correspondtoarclo|ionolworldfoundedonthebasisofafiureofexchane.l s
i t ustacoincidencethatDeborddivilesthetemporalityofthespectacleintothe
'exchaneabletime'oflabour, ('|nc cndlcss occumulo|ion o]cquvolcn|n|crvols')
anthe'consumabletime'ofholidays,whichimitatesthecyclesofnaturebutis
atthesametimenomorethanaspectacle'|oomorcin|cnscdcrcc'.Thenotion
ofexchaneabletimeproveshereto
bepurelyneative:theneativeelementis
nottheexchane as such- exchaneisafactor inlifeand sociability- butthe
copi|olis| ]orms o] cxcnonc that Debord identifies, perhaps wronly, with
interhumanexchane.Thoseformsofexchanearebornofthe 'encounter'that
takes place in theformofacontractbetween an accumulationofcapitalthe
employer)and available labour-powerthefactory or office workers).They do
notrepresentexchaneintheabsolutesense,butahistoricalfomofproduction
captalsm) labourtme s therefore notso much 'exchaneable tme' n the
stronsenseoftheterms,as timethatcanbecoun|intheformofawae.An
artwork that forms a 'relational world' or a social interstice can update
Situationismandreconcileit,insofarasthatispossible,withtheworldofart.
[.
*
Thc chaviouraI Fconomy oI Contcmporary An
'How can you brin a classroom to life as thouh it were an artwork' asks
uattari.Byaskinthisquestion,heraisestheultimateaestheticproblem.How
isaesthetics to be used, and can itpossiblybeinected into tissues that have
been riidifiedbythecapitalisteconomy Fverythinsueststhatmodernity
was,fromthe late nineteenthcenturyonwards,constructedonthebasis ofthe
ideaoflife asawork ofart'.As 0scarWildeut it, moderniyisthe moment
when'artdoesnotimitatelifelifeiitatesart'.Marxwasthinkinalonsimilar
lineswhenhecriticisedtheclassicaldistinctionbetweenproxstheactofself
transformation)andpoissa'necessary'butservileactiondesinedtoproduce
ortransformmatter).Marxtook
theviewthat,onthecontrary,praxisconstantly
becomes partofpoicsis, andviceversa.eoresBataillelaterbuilthisworkon
thecritiqueof'therenunciationoflifeinexchaneforafunction'onwhichthe
capitalisteconomyisbased.Thethreereistersof'science', 'fiction'and 'action'
destroy human life by colicro|n it on the basis of pre-iven cateries.
uattari's ecosophy also postulates that the totalization of life is a necessary
preliminaryto the productionofsubectivity. Foruattari,subectivity hasthe
central role that Marx ascribes to labour, and that Bataille ives to inncr
cxpcncncc in the individual and collective attemp to reconstruct the lost
totality. 'The onlyacceptableoal ofhuman activities,' writes uattari, 'is the
production ofasubectivitythat constantlyself-enriches its relationship with
the world'. His definition is ideally applicable to the practices of the
outtoud//Re!o!ono!AeS!he!cS/ /
contemporaryartistswhocreateandstaelife-structuesthatinude workin
methodsandwaysoflife,ratherthantheconcreteobectsthaoncedefinedthe
feldofart.TheyusetimeasarawmateriaFormtakespriorityoverthins,and
flows over cateories. the production ofestures is more important than the
productionofmaterial thins.Today'sviewersareinvitedtocrossthethreshold
of'catalysintemporalmodules',ratherthantocontemplateimmanentobects
thatdonot open ontotheworldtowhchtheyrefer.The artists o so farasto
presentthemselvesasworldsofonoinsubectivation,orasthemoJclsoftheir
ownsubectivity.Theybecometheterrainforprivileedexperiencesandforthe
synthetic principle behind theirwork.This developmentpreIures theentire
history of modernity. ln this behavioural economy, the art obect acquires a
Jcccp|ivcuuru,anaentthatresistsitscommodifeddistributionorbecomesits
mimeticparasite.
lnamentalworldwheretheready-madeisaprivileedmodeltotheextent
thatthatitisacollectiveproduction(the mass-producedobect)thathasben
assumed and recycled in an autopoetic visual device Cuattari's theoretical
schemahelpustoconceptualizethemutationthatisunderwayincontemporary
art. That was not however their author's primary oal, as he believed that
aestheticsmust,aboveall,accompanysocietalmutationsandinflectthem. The
poeticfunction,whichconsistsinreconstructinworldsofsubectivation,miht
therefore bemeaninless,unlessittoocanhelpustoovercome theordealsby
barbarism,by mental implosionandchaosmicspasmthat loom on thehorizon
andtotransformthemintounforeseeablerichesand]oussunccs.''
lou|sAIIhusscr,'ThcUndcrroundCurrcnIoIIhcMaIcr|aI|smoIIhcEncounIcr',|nPhilosoph,o)
thcncountcrLotcrWritins 9/898/.Irans..M.Coshar|an(london:Vcrso,200G) I8J.
2 M|chcIMaIIcso|,LoContcmplotiondumondcFar|s:CrasscI, I99J).
J Scc,intcrolio,kosaI|nd Krauss, 'ScuIpIurc |n Ihc Expandcd F|cId`, 0ctobcr, Spr|n I979, luy
l|ppard,Sixcors.Thc0cmotcr1olizotiono)thcArtwork)rom 9bbto !9/2ACross-c)crcncc8ook
o)ln)onnotion on CorcAcsthctic 8oundorics (6crkcIcyand losAncIcs: Un|vcrs|IyoICaI|Iorn|a
Frcss, I997)
1 FxCuaIIar| ,Lokvolutionoluloirc(Far|s I0lI8, I977) 22.
J FranzWcsI`sPosstickc,oradapI|vcs,arcuncaIcor|zabIcworksmadcoIpap|crmhc, pIasIcr,
auzcand pa|nI,|nIcndcd IorparI|c|panIsIo|nIcracIw|Ih.WcsIcomparcsIhcmIo 'prosIhcscs`.
[Ed.
G Thcphrasc'mak|nIomorrowss|n`aIIudcsIoIhccxprcs|on'vcrsdcsIcndcma|nsqu|chanIc':
IhcIasIwords wr|IIcnby IhcCommun|sICabr|cIFcr|bcIorchcwasshoIbyIhcCcsIapo- and
IhcI|IIcoIh|sposIhumousIypubI|shcdauIob|oraphy.[TransIaIor]
7 FcI|xCuaIIar|,Choosmosc,Far|s:Ed|I|onsCaI|Icc, I992. I8J.
70J/CRITICAL ADCURATORIAL PO5ITION5
8 Ccorcs6aIaiIIc,'L'ApprcnIisorcicr'inDcnisHoIIicr,cd.LeColIedesocioIoie,Faris:CaII|mard
'dcs', I979, JG-60.
9 Ctattari,op.ci|.J8
I0 bid. I87
NicoIas 6ourr|at|d, s|h|iue relo|ioneIle on: cs prcsscs rccI, I998), I4-I8, J0-JJ,45-8.
58-60.88-9, I05-8. TransaIcdDyDav|dMaccy, 200G.
8ouDoud//Reo!ionolAeS!he!cS//I
LOrs BOng LOrsCn
5OC!o\ ACshCtCsJ Jl999
!ncDonsncuro|orLors8on Lorscnnoscccno||nc ]orc]ron|o]suppor|insoco||-
cnocd proc|ccs n |nc Nordc rcon. n |ns csso nc prcscn|s o numccr
o]
con|cmporoi5condnovoncxomp|cs, ondsccks |o rccovcrons|orco|con|cx|]or
|nswork.
What l chccse tc cal sccial aesthetics' is an artistic attitude fccusin cn the
wcrldcfacts.ltalscexperimentswiththetransressicnscfvaricuseccncmies.
The termisccined asa ccmmcn dencminatcr,as cne thatsimplylends itself
withtheleastresistancetc theinternaland external dynamicscfscme recent
and histcric artisticandar-relatedexamples. Dnecculd prcbablysaythatthe
examples belcw describe a recent traditicn cfart as activism, yet they are
perhaps clcser tc a discussicn cfthe uses cfart-instituticnal space than is
ccmmcnlyseen in art activism.The term 'ephemeral'artisalsc cften used in
thisdiscussicnasthe descripticn cfasensibilityand apracticealinedtcthe
heritae cf Fluxus and Situaticnism but nct fittin under the artistic
demarcaticns cftheseschccls. Ccmmcn tc the understandin cfthe eleven
examples belcw is that the dynamic between artistic activity and the realms
that are traditicnally releated tc the fabric cf the sccial fails prcperly tc
describeadialectic.Sccialandaestheticunderstandinareinteratedintceach
cther. Here, scme fcrms cf sccial aesthetic activity have deliberately been
launchedwithintheartcircuitasartprcectscthersqualifyasart,crqualifyfcr
artisticdiscussicn,aftertheiractualizaticninctherccntexts.
Theuntenabledichctcmycfartversusrealityisexplcdedby theseprcects
- adichctcmythatanywayusually hides thepcsiticnincfart in a privileed
andalccfstatus inrelaticntcctherfcrms cfculturalactivity,hcweverweakart
may be whenlccated in 'livinreality'.Thedistincticn between art and cther
realms cf kncwlede is made cperative in the csmctic exchane between
different capacities D dc thins, which cpens upthe creaticn cfnew subect
pcsiticnsandarticulaticnscfdemccraticequivalence.The same thincesfcr
thedichctcmycfinstituticnaljncninstituticnalspace.The presentexamplesall
share the fact that art and the art instituticn as rescurce beccme frames fcr
activitythat is real, becausesccialinteracticnand the cbservaticn cfitseffects
areallcwedwithcutccnceptualriidity.
The sccial aesthetic artwcrk invclves a utilitarian cr practical aspect that
ives a sense cfpurpcse and direct invclvement. ln the ccnstructicn cfthe
l2/ /CRTCALADCURATORALPO5TON5
subect'sinteractionwithcultureitcouldbesaidthatsocialaestheticsdiscusses
anotionofthelastinphenomenonthatsubstantiatesacriticalculturalanalysis,
areasonfor one'sexistence. ltis away ofinvolvinthemetaphoricalvalueof
artistic concepts and proects on other professional spheres, such as
architecture, desin, financial structures, etc., either as an understandi
nteratedinanartstcproect,oras
aprocessofdecodnandactualizinart
related activity withinits cultural location. ln this wayartistic workassumesa
eneralfocusonperformanceinasocialperspective,eitherbmeansofitsown
natureasanonoinproectwithoutclosureorbytherealactivityitoccasions.
Thisofteninvolvescollectiveoranizationandanemploymentofart'scapacities
foroinaainstpofessionalspecialization.
Nonethelessitwouldbewrontosaythattheoppositeofsocialaestheticsis
a paintin or a sculpture, orany oter traditional form ofartisticexpression.
Social aestheticscan'tbe observed alone and inthis sense the termisdouble
bound.ltsaysthatthesocialprobablycan'toperateinameaninfulwaywithout
the aesthetic and vice versa, hence both the social and the sphere ofartand
aestheticsinformit.
ThefollowinexamplesareallrelatedtotheScandinavianartscene,which
maybeduetoacertainorientation,especiallyamonCopenhaenartists.Butif
oneemploystheresultsofthesmallbutdistinctnumberofcontemporaryartists
workinwitha productiverevisitationof160s strateies in the visual arts it
wouldsurelyenableanoutlookuntrammelledbyeoraphicboundaries.There
remain many stories left unexplore in the local and lobal histories ofart's
ramificationsonthesocial.
The examples are presented in dialoue cross history. These dialoues
representassociatedmotifsandrelated enaementsandideas.Asmotifsthey
qualieachotherbydintofuncoverinmutuallyspecifc,historicalreferences.
Asortofhistorical double-exposureorcross-fertilization,ifyoulike.
d]@I0UH0 dCl0H 0H WTT0DT0, 000 J0T @Udldlv0 0C0Q and
Wbb/]dC0dH0
Durin one Sunday in the sprin of 168, the artist Palle Nielsen built a
playroundintheslumofCopenhaen'sNorthernBorouh.Toetherwithaoup
ofleft-winstudentsheplannedtoclearthecourtofanelectedhousinscheme
anderectnewfacilities for children.At seveno'clockin the morninthe roup
went around to all the resients with a ba containintwo rolls and a paper
attachedtoitwithanimaeoftwochildrenplayinonthekerb.Thetextread
Doyou hvechildrenyourselfordoyouusthcarthechildrenreamandshout
inthestairwellandcntrancewhenyoucomehoeDoyourcmcmberyourown
LotSen/ /5ocolAeS!he!cS{ /7
possibilities for playin as few Why do thechildren still make noise in the
entrances So few thins have chaned since you were a child. You may now
f

llow up the demands for more kinderartens and day nurseries, for better
playrounds and youth centres, and forreater investment in children's well
beinbyactivelyparticipatininapublicdebateHaveyouaskedyourcouncilor
yourlocalresidents' associationaboutinvestmentsinchild-oientaton oyou
knowthat theauthoritiesareempoweredtoiverants and arewillintoinvest
inchildren'swell-beinifyoudemanditltisyourattitudetowardstheneedsof
adolescent children that decides the sie of investment that funds increased
clearin of backyards, better play facilities in future developments and new
desins of municipal playounds. Sensible facilities for play means that the
children stop makin noise in theentries andstairwells.Theywonthavetime.
They'llbeplayin.
So, theresidentscamedownand participated in theaction,andby fouro'clock
intheafternooneverythinwaschaned.
ln 1968, durin a research stay in Stockholm, Palle Nielsen chose the
Moderna Museet as a framework to explore what he had previously been
practisinasactionism.Afteraperiodofbaraininforaninvitation,inDctober
1968aplayroundinthemuseum,MoJclorouol!o!vcoc,wasbuiltwith
the assistance of a roup of local Vietnam activists. Facilities for continued
creativity were at the children's disposal durin the entire course of the
manifestation, in the form oftools, paint, buildin materials and fabrics. The
RoyalTheatedonatedperiodcostumesfromdifferentepochstobeusedforrole
play. To this day, the noise level of the pedaoical art proect is surely
unparalleledinarthistory.loudspeakertowerswereplacedineachcornerofthe
exhibitionspace,andtheyounmuseum-oersoperatedtheturntableswithPs
fromeveryenre,playindance musicfromtheRenaissanceatanearsplittin
level.lntherestaurantanumberofTVscreenswithlivetransmissionoffereda
panopticonfor uneasyparents,and enabledmoresedatevisitorstotakeinthe
active studyofchildren'scontactlanuae.Theplayroundarchitecturemade
concrete the pedaoical aim. a protected but pedaoically empowerin
milieu, to be accessed freely by all ofStockholm's kids (adults had to pay 5
crownstoet in). Durin itsthree-weekexhibition period theMoJcl received
over88,000visitors, 20,000ofwhomwerechildren.
Thenotionthatachild'searlysocialrelationsformtheadultindividualwas
investiated bywayoftheMoJcl. Creativityand experientialcontactwerethus
incitedaswaysofassininnewprioritiestohumanneedsandacnowledin
the 'qualitative human bein' as an individual ofsociety. The value ofroup
relations was made evidentas well as the necessity to work collectivelyas an
74/ /CRlTlCAADCURATORlAPO5lTlON5
alternativetcauthcritarianscciety.TheModclacceptedthewhitecubeasafree
tcpclcicalpremise: free in the sense cfpublicaccess, accentuated by the anti-
elitist stance cf the Modcl free in the sense that what is inserted intc art
instituticns autcmaticallyleitimatesitsexistencecrthatiswhatthey tellus,
anyhcw).HencetheModclembracedtheartinstituticnasavehiclepcsiticnedin
suchawayculturethatthestatementsitccnveysarecatapultedintcscciety.
The Ccpenhaen artists' rcup rethink the sccial dimensicns frcm
which we basically structurecureveryday lives. n the summer cf l999, cn a
dcck byCcpenhaen harbcur,they built N55 5occ]i0mc. a residential unit cf
transfcrmable, lihtweiht ccnstructicn in exible steel mcdules desined in
ccllabcraticnwithanarchitect. tisafuncticnaland inhabitablesculptureand
ccnstitutesaradicalrevisicncfthehcuseaswekncwit,asancbectstaticnary
initsccnstructicnandplacement.Beinmuchmcrethanmerelyacalcriented
installaticn,theccnstructicncfthelivin unitsuestsancranicprccessthat
pecplemayenterinallpcssibleways. Musicians,artists,architects,writersand
curatcrseachccntributetcthesccialambiencecfthewcrkwithprcects,labcur
fcrce, and their mundane, scciable presence. N55 5occomc ccnstitutes the
framefcractivitiesthatthe participants themselveswillestablish,withcutany
instituticnalinterference.N555occ]omcis, fcrthatmatter,autcpianprcecti n
asmuchasi ti saninitialesture,aredisccverycfthewcrld.Butinccntrasttcthe
reatutcpia,eachtimeitiserected,N555occ]i0mcisarchitecturallyandsccially
ccnnectedwiththesccialsurplusthatitprcvidesinccnnecticnwiththeprccess
cfccnstructicn andtheccntext within which it functicns.The 'utcpian' in the
prcectisnctlikeamasterplanthatanalyticallyanticipatessccialchane,butcne
thatdescribesadeterminedattitudefrcmpecple'acticnsinccncretesituaticns.
Palle ielsen's way cfpractisinartas acritique cfarchitectureand livin
ccnditicns is alined with 's praxis as a sccial fantasy sc tc speak. As a
reccnceptualizaticncftheresidence,theN555occ]i0mcstands,shimmerin,in
themiddlecfCcpenhaenasafantasticcreaturewhichhasustlanded,starin
thedemandscfccntempcrarylivinrihtintheeyes.ftheideacfsettlininan
N555occ]omcdcesn'tappealtc ycu,thentheprcect,atleastccnstructively,
ccnstitutesawaycfreflectincnthecppcsiticnbetweentheindividualandthe
fcrmscfhabitualthinkinthattcccftensneaktheirwayinasasyntaxfcrcur
lives.Dnecculdcbectthatismerelyreplacinthecldhabitsandlinuistic
fcrmswithnewhabits,butinthespacebetweenthesetwcpcsiticnsandinthe
mcvementawayfrcmthatwhichalreadyiscssifed tcward thenewand self-
ccnceived, rccm is bein made fcr the fcrmulaticn cf new differences.
acccmmcdates what is currently the dcminant, necliberal determinaticn cf
freedcmcfchciceandisdisplacinthemarketmechanisms'relaticnaldynamics
inthedirecticncfpcstulatinthattherearethinswhichmustbedcne.
LotSen/ /5ocolAeS!he!cS{/
PaIIc NicIscn's pm|ccts Ior 05lvd Z and 000DUT@ UHH0T JHH
lnhiswritin,PalleNielsenaddressesthe notionoflare-scalecommunication
includin collective production of sinificance and value, and modes of
distribution. Proceedin from a collective discussion and praxis surroundin
common intentions, and incontradistinction to'consumption'sconstraintand
theproductionapparatus'spoweroverthepeople',onecanhavequalitativeand
quantitativeoalsandtherebypushcommunicationboundaries.Thiscallsfora
positive and outoin revision of aesthetic expressions which have been
overhauledandrepeated,andarevisionoftraditionalformsofartdistribution.
Theartinstitution'sresourcesarecastintopublicspace.
Fcstival 200 in l969 was the 200-year ubilee of Charlottenbor
dstillinsbynin,theexhibitionbuildinoftheRoyalDanishArtAcademy.Art
historianTroels Andersenwas invited tocuratetheannivearyshow, and in
accordance with his orientation towards non-violent anarchism - and in
responsetoaminimal budet- artistsfromalloverFuropewereivenatrain
ticket and free exhibition space ifthey would show up and participate with
some proectorother. ln the weekbefore the openin ofthe exhibition, the
invitationtoparticipatewasopentoeverybody.
Palle Nielsenparticipatedinthreeproects.ashootinrane,aroulette,and
an offset-printin works, all functionin representations of mass
communicationwithpopularappeal,imbuintheexhibitionwithathemepark
atmosphere.Placedasthefirstthinbytheentrance,theroulettewasprovided
bythechild-welfarecommitteeandfunctionedasametaphorfortheanarchistic
freedompromisedbytheexhibition.Theshootinrane offered airunswith
which you could shootyourdislikes,oranizedinthe form ofphotoraphs of
Danishandinternationalpoliticiansandpublicpersons.Theroulette,aswellas
theshootinrane,stoodunattended.
The offset-printinworlsconsistedofstate-of-the-art rotaprintequipment
tobe used freelyby everybody, anditsappurtenantphotolabenabledeneral
access to artistic expression. The festival's daily paper, yers, leaIlets, and
printedmatterinallcolourswereproducedhere.Someofitwas distributed in
thecityorinothercontexts,whileotherswereinterated intotheexhibition.
PalleNielsen'sproectsintroducedareIlexivitybetweenplayandproduction
which musthave seemed somewhat frivolous in the liht oftheera's willto
revolutionary upheaval. Dn the one hand, play qualified lare-scale
communication as a way ofstatinthatpoliticalartistic enaement doesn't
exist in terms of practical politics, but as reform work wih the prospect of
chane. Dntheotherhand,playhadtobe oranized and setfree,seeinthat
society no loner offered interated possibilities for livin in its reulated,
specialized spheres. To introduce social processes in the art institution is,
l/ /CRTCALANDCURATORAPO5TON5
accordintoNielsen,sociallyirrational. Social processesshould happenwhere
peopleare,indirectrelationtowhattheydo.Butsincesocialreproductionisin
direstraits,thereisa stronneed forthe production ofparticipation, and for
accessiblemetaphorsoffreedom.
lnl99andl996,ensHaaninproducedaseriesofproductionlines,where
a number ofpeople enaedin symbolically charedbutultimately undefined
activities. ln Wcupon ProJuc!onl99),partoftheroupshowRM held ina
Copenhaen suburb, a handful of youn immirants with some previous
experience so to speak) assisted the artist in the production of illeal street
weapons, in Flu ProJuc!on l996), shown at the 1JUc show in Bordeaux,
France, Asian pupils from the local art academy sewed flasfor an unknown
nation. Middclbur bummcr l 99l996), a solo show at De Vleeshal, inthe
DutchcityofMiddelbur,wasinasensetheculminationoftheseworks,inthat
theactivityoftheworkerswasn'tart-relatedinthefirstplace
Haanin enaed the Turkish-owned clothin manufacturers, Maras
Confectie,torelocateitspoductionfacilitiestotheunsthallefortheduration
ofthe exhibition.The entire institution was transformed into an appropriate
environmentforMarasConfectie'stwelveMuslimTurkish,lranianandBosnian)
employees, replete with an office and canteen, soccer banners and blarin
aformofTurkishblues). abeholder, youhadtoadapttoaperipheral
position,asopposedtolayinclaimtothevisualontrolandleisurelyreulated
spacethatexhibitionarchitectureusuallyoffers.Youwere,infact,trespassinin
forein territory: notonlyanalienworkplace,buta placewhere'aliens'worl
Middclbur bummcr l 99providedanepisodicmobilizationofthedynamicsof
theculturalother,or'theworldmarketasread-made',asonecriticputit.
The work's critical position could also be summed up in the words of
socioloistohnForan,writininthe l997ncorznkcvolu!ons 'Dppositional
culturesareoften elaboratedincontradistinctiontothestate,buttheyarealso
alwaysrootedintheactualexperienceofdiversesocialsectors,thatis,theyhave
aneminentlypracticaldimensionAsFordistartefacts,productionlinesembody
thedimensionofphysicallabour,whichisrapidlybecominobsoleteintheera
ofimmaterialwork.Apartfrom privileincultural otherness in a collectively
oranizedform,Middclbur bummcr l 99reectedart'sservicerelationshipto
informationsociety.ltslaconic,alienatinstaeplayresistedthecommunication-
driven prescriptions of the aents of the diital ae, alon with their our)
continualinnovationofformsandmodalitiesforthecommerceofideas.
NielsenandHaaninpointtoconflictsinsocialprocessesandcomeupwith
solutions which are formally alike, for both proects Nielsen aptly calls the
printin works a 'production installation'. lt could be said, however, that
Middclbur bummcr l99is an aestheticized version ofNielsen's production
LotSen//5oolAeS!he!cS{ /
insta||ation.ctua|partcpationsonestepremoved,somethinthatmayma|e
the two works seem to differ in their concepton of aesthetcs whatactua|y
a|insthemmaybetheir po|itica| stance intermsofsocia|irrationa|ity.san
aside to his work, Haanin quoted rthur Schopenhauer's dctum for De
V|eesha|'s webste 'The wor|d is my imaination'.) The printin works at
Fcstival 200 and Mddcbur bummcr I5 each de|vered crtiques of the
different effects of the acce|eration of modernity's disp|acements, whch
increasin|ycontro|usassocia|beins.
UDHC dlD and N55 ]@0H0 ]5l0H
lna feature on Copenhaen ca|ed 'Burstinthe Cates of We|fare topa', the
i oi's David Curin wrote in November l969 about 'the enery and
beautyoftheyounDanesinvo|ved'inFestiva|200
Troe|sndersenandacommitteeofDanshartstsoffered asecond-c|asstra n
faretoartistsfroma||overurope.nadventurousoupacceptedhisinvitation
andputtoetherafantastica||yre|axedandunpretentiousshow.nsomedayst
nc|uded arockband nthesedatehar|ottenborcourtyard.therwiseitbean
forthevisitoronthewa||abovearand staircasethat|eads totheman I|oorof
the a||ery- pictures of|berts|und a workin-c|ass openhaen suburb and
o|dopenhaen were I|ashed sidebysideby twos|ideproectors. They seemed
tobeckonthevewerto stand upforsome kind ofenvironmenta|choice.third
proectorf|ashed abstractforms. lnananteroomonthemainf|oorwerepinba||
machinesandashootinranewiththeprimeministerofDenmarkandRchard
Nixonamonthebu||'seyes.lntherandexhibitionha||weredrawintab|esand
two offset printin presses. Materia|s and paper were |ibera||y provided and
anyonecou|d desinand printhisjherwnposterwithexperthe|p.ttheback
was a prmtive hut, |ike a succah, wth uneven s|ats ofwood forwa|s, and
brancesand |eavesforaroo lnside|ived anude'fami|y',with vainnumbers
ofadu|tsand ch|drenTheyate,drank,p|ayedandta|ked. . . . ccasiona||yone
mannthefami|ywou|dc|imbuparope |adder fromthehut thehhcei|in
oftheha||fromwhere,perched nude onthe rope|adder, hewou|dfi|ma||the
spectatorswhoseeyeswereonhim . notherroom hadaDanishartists|ove
|ettersstrewn on thef|oor- peop|estood around readinthem. . ln another
randehbitonha||wereapnpontab|eandafunctioninsaunaandshower.
rtstsandvstors- andtheenusofthefestva|wasthatthetwowerenotvery
dsinushab|e- p|ayed pin-pon, saunaed, and showered n the openness of
theha|| . neespeca||ytouchnroomhadasin|erose nwateroneach of
eiht pedesta|s. ach day one rose was removed and anew one added, so te
roseswerenaradua||ywthernawayof|feanddeath
l
J /CRTCALADCURATORALPO5TON5
ThepublicbathandsaunawereinstalledbytheartistPaulCernes.Hewantedthe
artworktobeinsertedinsituationswherethinsareusedandthushispractice
becamestronlyoriented inthedirectionofpublicart.Theeverydayfunctionis
takenliterallyinhispublicbathforFcstival 200,and'transposedtoalevelwhere
itaffectsoursensesandourthinkinanew'.TroelsAndersencontinues
ltwasivenintheideasofMorris,Ruskinandropiusthatpeople'sbehaviourin
asurroundinworldwhichinsuchhihdereeasoursisdeterminedby thins,
couldbe chanedbyarevaluation ofthesurroundinobects,aesteticallyand
functionally.utthesefashionedobectsletthemselvesbecomeeasilyinterated
in the eistin situation without any sinficantchanes nnormsofbehaviour.
ur society is still built on the nuclear family, and our whole production of
consumer items also cuntin a number of art obects') is based on this
structure. What the conception of the happenin amon many other thins
contained was the suestion of a newtype ofsocial form. . . ltimplied the
establishin of a new situation, the construction of an offer - but didn't
necessarilyforcepeopleinacertaindirection.
Troels Andersen's revaluation of the obect also applies to N55 and their
cataloue of functional art obects, with which theyaim to create a social
surplus. So far, N55's production of functional art obects with ethical and
aesthetic consequences include a home hydroponics unit a device for the
domesticrowh ofveetables ) a clean-airmachine, a hyiene system low-
costbathroom), newdesins for chairs,anda table. FverythinisofN55 own
desin, in some cases with the help ofeperts to solve technical problems.
Comparedtoanordina,utilitarianloic,theirobectshaveatwistinrelation
oformalisticdesin:N55'sattitudetotheobectischaracterizedbyasensitivity
towardsitsroleasasocialdeterminant,asarolemale.Theobectanswersback
I the activiy that surrounds it, instead of bein a desin-like hypostasis of
itself.Dr,inotherwords,thehumanactivityandtheobectfactormeldintoone
another ero, socially enerous and disarmin estures like a collective
installationofthehyienesystemi nmirthfulcolours,ortheproectionofabed
serviceableforsipersonsinsteadofthecustomaryone- ortwopersonmodel.
1D0 50 1Tand 1Tdv0 @0HQ
ln May l970 the artists FinnThybo and Per ille were invited as part of the
Danish representation in the Youn Nordic iennial at Kunstnernes Hus The
Artists' House) in Dslo. They decided to spend their rant of DKK 8,000 on
buyin50returnticketsfortheDsloferryand distributinthemto50youths,
mostly artists, musicians and architects. The roup was to be installed,
LorSen//5ocoIAeS!he!icS//
co||ective|y,intheexhibitionasanartworkontheopeninniht,toetherwith
musicians from Ds|o invited to participate in a pickup concert with the
CopenhaenbandFurekben.Thus theroupitse|fcomprisedtheworkofart
and noonewasa|| owedto|eaveitatanypoint.
Arrivin in Ds|o inood spirits the roup, despite its hippie appearance,
made it successfu||y throuh customs with B|ack Afhan disuised as Tom's
Carame|s), and moved in one |on co|umn up throuh the streets of the
orweian capita|. Then, to the amusement of|oca| businessmen, the roup
occupied what |ater turned out to be the rear entrance of the Ds|o bourse.
Wearinredbannersandredribbonsroundthe head,ordressedupasnative
Americans,theroupdocumented itse|finfrontofbanksandthe sihtsofthe
city with a banner eadin 'PFDPLF DFTHFWDRLD UlTF'.The arriva| ofthe
artworkat Kunstnernes Hus occasioned reatcommotion nthe manaement,
and theentireboard was ca||edfor, butintheendacceptedto hosttheroup.
extf|yersforthe openin partywere distributed in Ds|o,and snapshots and
fi|mwere quick|ydeve|oped, the same evenin the doors ofKunstnernes Hus
were opened fora presentation ofdocumentationofthetripandtheconcert
where the director was seen in the rhythm section p|ayin the bonos. The
roupreturnedinoodordertoCopenhaenontheferrythenextmornin.
ln |ens Haanin's wor !rovc|Acn ( 1997), air|ine tickets were so|d at
competitivepricesasartworksatCa|erieMehdiChouakriinBer|in,capita|izin
on Cerman tax |aws which exempt art from an eiht per cent VAT.
Accompanyin certicates stated that ifused for theiroriina| purpose, these
ti|etsceasedtoexistasart.lfartistaxed|essthanotheroods,whynot|abe|
thoseotheroods 'art'?Thatis,theair|inetickethadadoub|ecapaci,eachof
whichcou|dbe respective to art|oicandeconomic|oic, butifyouwantto
rasptheideaofthe workandthe conceptua|itinerayofeach'artwork'youcan
notdo without thesupp|ementoftheother|oic. By refusint va|orize hih
cu|tue,andinsteadconcentratinon theexchane ofartisticideaswithrea|
wor|deconomics Haanincreatedthepossibi|ityforrea|izincertainfnancia|
ains whi|eupsettinthemarketatamicro-|eve|.
ln the 0s|o !r and !rovc| Acnc, subversive sensibi|ities and art
institutiona| a||eiances toether instiate a set of mutua| deformations of
incompatib|ecu|tura||oics.ldea||y,cu|tura|andeconomicsinificanceareput
on equa| footin, each invested in the mu|tifo|d processes ofideo|oica| and
eoraphicexchane.For0s|o!riparticipants FinnThybo and Kirsten Dufour,
howevertheworkitse|fdescribedabreakwith theartwor|dforfifteenyears.
IOgsIOrandLIc s5wccIU5wc0cU
Afterthe 0s|o!ri the work ofDufourandThybo moved furtherin the direction
I80/ JCRITCALANDCURATORIALPO5TON5
ofactivism.TheyworkedwithsquattersinCopenhaen,andexperimentedwith
alternative social structures in small, closed communities in |utland ln the
'aesthetic and political void' of the early seventies, Dufour and Thybo were
lookin for a positionfrom which the local population i na iven place could
participateactivelyinasocial, humanisticandpoliticalactionBasedinstr
inNorthern|utlandtheystarted a rapickerroup in 1975, forthe beneIit of
liberation movements in the third world, amon them imbabwe African
NationalUnionand ritrean Peoples LiberationFron Durin the 12 years the
roupALstrClothesforAfrica)manaedD collectthefollowinandsend
itoffto Africa 112 tons ofclothes and shoes; 80sewin machines; 1 dental
clinic8operatintables 15hospitalbeds 17wheelchairs;27packaesofother
hospital equipment; 89 packaes oftoys; 80 packaes ofeducationalmaterial;
andthesumofDKl447,911.
Theseodswere obtained mainly by means ofhousehold collectin, flea
markets,enquiriesathospitalsetcandclearinupofestatesA workerswere
voluntaryandpaidamembershipfeeThybo describestheaimsofAst:
nlcracliviwilhin lhcraickinr0u'
Bycollectinthe surplusofconsumersociety andrecyclinitforhumanitarian
purposes,wesolved severalproblemsatthesametime:wecould maepeople
aware ofthe conditions inotherpartsoftheworldandet theminvolvedinan
action, intheproect.eaetsaboutthecollectionofclotheswerehanded outto
new households,and press releases about the annual Ilea market were sent to
newspapers and local radio stations that covered thewhole province. ere we
informed others about the local conditions in those countries here we
supported the liberation movements. We also spoke about the fact that the
clothes were iven to the liberation movements who distributed them in the
refueecampsoverwhichtheyhadtakenresponsibiliy.
astbut not least,essentialbecause of theirtremendouscontribution,the
core oftheroup, the activists', whoactivelytookpart in the dailyw
ork,were
recruitedfromthelocalcommunity.ltwasourbasisthatClothesforAfricashould
bebothalocalsocialandapoliticallobalproect .
Thelastfleamarketwasheldin1986.Therewasasteadyreductionofactivism,
membership flow ebbed out,therewas asplitin theroup, andtheeventual
conclusionwasthatitlookedlikesolidariyworkbelonedtoacertaineneration.
ln Auust 1995, Cothenbur was turned upside down. weden's second
larest city was about to host the World Championships in athletics. ln an
atmosphereofself-consciousactivity, theurbanenvironmentwastransformed
throuh a series of 'beautification' proects, ranin fro the architectural
LotSenJJ5ocioIAeS\he\icSJJ
remodellinoftheinnercitytotheinectionofahostofnewcommercialvenues
- reenery, colourful advertisn and 'fresh paint sins were sproutin up
everywhere. A new black market for apartment sublets appeared and
restaurantswereopenlyadvertisinfor'younblondefemale'staff.Thevisitors
arrivedatasparklinnewCothenbur,startinthefor-all-touristssearchforthe
authenticfolkandlocalspirit.Withoreousweather,theprideofthecitizens
wasonlyslihtlystained by the embarrassmentofhavininventedthe place
and themselves specificallyforthe tourists, and embarrassed thatthis act of
deceptionwaslarerthantheirownnavet.Morethanthat,thedebateoverthe
dayto-dayadustmentstoallthe newness madeclearthat,forbetterorworse,
the Cothenburerswere losintheir sense ofbelonintotheplacetheywere
proud to represent. The stain of the host's role turned from bein an
abstraction, 'the city, towards involvin every sinle citizen. The distinction
between uests and 'hosts' bean to dissolve. Not even a uide's uniform
uaranteeddiscretion.everybodywas newtotheplacetheyfoundthemselves
in,andtoeachother.
ln the middle of this turbulence Aleksandra Mir opened L(jc is 5wcc| in
5wcJcn.Cucs!8urcuu,analternativetouristofficeindowntownCothenbur.l0
square metreswere made available from the public sector, andMirrenovated
and decorated the premisesinahalfofficial,half-privatecosyatmospherethat
shouldmakeeverybodyfeelwelcome. Fquippedwithcomfortablesofas,plastic
reenery,anaquarium,dimlihtsandsoftmuzak,electricfootbaths,atelevision
with shoppin channels andevenafreshsmellinlavatory, thetouristbureau
was freely available for use by any and everybody. The host's role was
personified by anybody who wore the hostess uniform for L(jc is 5wcc! in
5wcJcn a blue-yellow dress-suit in a stewardess-cum-cashier cut, with the
companyslooembroidered insilveronthebreastpocket.Fromthebeinnn,
twelveuniformswereavailableanddurintheproect,46personsassumedthe
roleashostess,reardlessofwhethertheyhadanyconnectionwithCothenbur
or not. With several hundred uests every day durin the ten days that the
World Championships took place, the tourist bureau became a social limbo
takin shape accordin to the constellations of people interactin with one
anotheronthespotTheentire process ofthesituation established itselfas a
publiccoefficientwheretheparticipants,uestsaswelashosts,wereinvolved
iamutual endeavourintrinsictosociability.
A strwas evaluated criticallyas artafterthe fact, DufourandThybo
presented documentation of the proect for their exhibition in the N
spaceframe,openinituptoanewnarrativeremoved from the terminoloyof
its time. A st and L(jc is 5wcc!. . . can both be contained in the same
sphereasthe aimsandcharacteristicsofthe'happenin'- as outlinedaboveby
l{CRTICALANDCURATORALPO5TON5
TrcelsAndersen- andtcethertheyhaverescnancefcrmcrerecentncticnscf
identty pcltics. |ust as A Lstr's wcrkin premise was that the lccal
belcnsinalcbalsccietyandthatidentitiesarecreatedacrcssecraphyand
naticnality, sc Lc s 5wcc| . . was ccncerned with the lcss cf what miht
ncrmallybeccnsideredsclididentities.ltalscreferstcthcsewhcalwaysccme
back as subects in the pcstmcdern debate cf identity ncmads hybrids
immirants tcurists.ThelimbccftheCcthenburers- asthatcftheprivileed
Western citizen was the whcle pcint here, a ccllective interventicn and
mcblizaticninthefacecfanambivalentcffcialeccncmy.
Bcthprcects,likethectherexamplestakeplaceinrealtimeanddependcn
thepresencecfthecther,whetheritbetheculturalcthercrthepecpleinlccal
surrcundins waitintc be activated. Nct leastcfall, the prcects depend cn
eachctherincrdertclivecnasccllectivememcrieswiththepecplewhctcck
partandthecnestcwhcmthestcriesaretcld.
[Asuccah|saIypcoIhuIIIkcIhconc dcscrIbcd, bu|IIdur|nIhc]cw|shIcsI|val oISuccoI,and
bascdonIhcporIabIc nomad|cdwcI|nsoIMoscsandh|sIoIIowcrsdur|nIhc|rdcscrIcx|Ic.
? [IooInoIc 1 |nsouccTrocIsAndcrscn:Pol Ccncs. I9GG, 1970.
J ? Ibid.
1 [3 DuIour,Thybo,Srcnscn.!A Lc>m 1 97J-1988.
Lrs 6an Larscn, 'Soc|aI AcsIhcI|cs 11 cxampIcs Io bc|n w|Ih, |n Ihc I|hI oI paraIIcI h|sIory',
A]reroll. no. 1 (LndonCcnIra Sa|nIMarI|nsSchooIoIArIandDcs|n,1999) 77-87.
rSen//5ocOIAeS!he\cS/ /
No!!y NCsbit, HOns-U!tiCh Obzist, Ritktn TitOvOni]O
WhO is O 5Oion? JJ2003
UtopiaStation,prcscn!cJo!!nc vcncc8cnno|cn200J, con!oncJworkc ovcr
l50or!s!s.LkcDocumcn!o ll (2002),!wsprcccJcJconumccro]scmnorsonJ
cxnc!ons!nrounwncn!nccxnc!on's !ncorc!co|pos!onwo]ormu|o!cJ. !nc
]o||own!cx!, wr!!cn c !s !nrcc curo!ors, ou!|ncs !ncr po|!co| onJ ocs!nc!c
ospr0!ons]or orc-cxomno!ono]u!opo.
Durin adebate withTheodorAdornoi l964,Frnstloch, pushedtothewall
to defend his position on utopia, stood firm. Adorno had beun thins by
remindin everyone present that certan utopian dreams had actually been
fulfilled, that there was now television the possibility of travellin to other
planets and movin faster than sound. And yet these dreams had come
shrouded, minds set in traction by a relntless positivism and then theirown
boredom. 'Dne could perhaps say in eeral', henoted, 'thatthe fulfilment of
utopiaconsistslarelyonlyinarepetitionofthecontinuallysametoday
Bloch countered.Thewordutopiahadindeedbeendiscredited,henoted,but
utopian thinkinhad not. He pointedto otherlevels ofmind,to removesthat
were less structured byWestern capital. Utopia was passinless auspiciously
under other names now, he remarked, for example, 'science fiction' and the
beinnins ofsentencesstartinwith'lfonlyitwereso. . . '
Adornoareedwith him there and went on. 'atever utopia is', hesaid,
'w
hatevercn beimainedasutopia,thsisthetransformationofthetotality.
And the imaination ofsuch a transformation ofthe totality is basically vey
differentinalltheso-calledutopianaccomplishments- which,incidentally,are
alleallylikeyousayverymodest,verynarrow.ltseemstomethatwhatpeople
havelostsubectivelyinreardtoconsciusnessisverysimplythecapabilityto
imaine the totality as somethin thatcould be completely different How to
thinkutopiathenAdornosawtheonlypossibilitytoresideinthenotionofan
unfettered life]rccJ]romJco!n.All atoncethediscussionofutopiaexpanded,it
becamenotmerelyold,butancient.ltseemedtoshedideoloiesasiftheywere
sins.Adoo declared thattherecouldbenopictureofutopiacastinapositive
manner,therecouldbenopositivepictueofitat all, norcould anypicturebe
complete.Hewentveryfa.Blochonlyfollowedhimpartway. Hesummonedup
asentencefromBrecht.Heletitstandas thenutshellthatheldtheincentivefor
utoia Brehthadwritten'Somethn'smissin.'
Whatis this somethin'Blochasked.lfit isnotallowedtobe cast ina
l4/ /CRITCAADCURATORLPO5TON5
picture,thenlshallportrayitasintheprocessofbein.Buoneshould notbe
allowed to eliminate itas if itreally did not eist so that one could say the
followinaboutit.lt'saboutthesausae.lbelieveutopiacannotberemoved
fromtheworld in spiteofeverythin,andeven the technoloical, which must
deinitely emere andwillbein thereatrealmofteutopian, willformonly
smallsectors.Thatisaeometricalpicture,whichdoesnothaveanyplacehere,
but another picture canbe found inthe oldpeasantsayin, there is no dance
beforethemeal.Peoplemustirstfill theirstomachs,andthentheycandance
'SomethinisMissin',thestatementfromBrecht.Typicallywhensearchin
for utopia, one relies on the steps taken by others, for ever since its first
formulationin1516inthebookbySirThomasMore,eversinceitsinventionas
the island ofood social order, utopia has been a proposition to be debated,
severalspeakersoftenpitchininatonce.Theybrinthouhts,eperience,the
fruitsofthepast.Forutopiaisinmanywaysanancientsearchforhappiness,for
freedom,forparadise.SirThomas More had had Plato's kcpuD|icin mind as he
wrote.Bynowhoweverutopiaitselfhaslostitsmuchofitsfire.Theworkdone
in the name of utopia has soured the concept, left it stranled by internal,
seeminly fied perspectives, the skeletons of old efforts which leave their
bones on the surface ofthe body as iftheybelonedthere. Has utopia been
strunup? Drobscuredbybadeyesiht?Certainly!hasonemissin.topia
itselfhasbecomeaconceptalnoplace,emptyrhetoricatbest,moreoftenthan
notan eoticvacation, thedesertpleasureisland ofclich. Abbas Kiarostami,
when asked recentlyfhehadany unrealized orutopian proects, refused the
lonperspectivesofutopiaaltoether.Hepreferredtofmattersinthepresent,
takineachdayonehillatatime.Weinturnhavesetoursihtsonthemiddle
roundbetweentheislandandthehill.WewillbuildaStationthereandname
ittopiaStation.
Thetopia Stationisawaystation.As aconceptualstructure itiseible
theparticularStationplannedfortheVeniceiennaleisphysicaltoo.ltwillrise
as asetofcontributionsbymorethansityartistsand architects,writers and
performers, the ensemble bein coordinated into a fleible plan by Rirkrit
TiravaniaandLiamCillick.lhasbeenimportanttoallconcernedthattheplan
notpresentitselfasafinishedpicture.LetusthereforeconureuptheStationby
meansofafewfiures.ltbeinswithalonlowplatform,partdanceloor,part
stae,partquay.Alononesideofthisplatformisarowoflarecircularbenches
sothatyoucanwatchthemovementontheplatformorsilentlyturnyourback
or treat the circle as a enerous conversation pit. Fach seats ten peopleThe
circularbenchesareportable,asanoptiononecouldlinethemuplikearowof
biwheels.Alontheotheside oftheplatformalonwallwithmanydoors
risesup.Someofthedoorstakeyoutotheothersideofthewall.Someopeninto
NeSU\/OUtiS!/TitOVOnijO//WO!iSO5\O!ion?//l
smallrccmsinwhichycuwillseeinstallaticnsandprcecticns.Thewallwraps
arcundtherccmsandbndstheensembleintcalcnirreularstructure.Dverit
flcatsarccfsuspended cncablesfrcmtheceilncfthecaverncusrccminthe
cld warehcuseatthefarendcftheArsenalewheretheStatcn sts. Dutsidethe
warehcuseliesarcuhardn.WcrkfrcmtheStaticnwillspillintcit.
TheStaticnitselfwillbefilledwithcbects,part-cbects,paintins,imaes,
screens.Acundthemavarietycfbenches,tablesandsmallstructurestaketheir
place. ltwll be pcssble tc bathe in theStaticnand pcwdercne's ncse. The
Staticninctherwcrdsbeccmesaplacetcstcp,tcccntemplate,tclistenandsee,
tcrestandrefresh,tctalkandexchane.Fcrtwillbeccmpletedbythepresence
cf pecple and a prcramme cf events. erfcrmances, ccncerts, lectures,
readins, film prcrammes, parties, the events will multiply.Theydefine the
Staticnasmuchasitssclidcbectsdc. Butallkindscfthins willccntinuetcbe
addedtcthe Statcnoertheccurse cfthe summerand fall. ecplewill leave
thins behnd,tale scme thins wth them, ccme backcr never return aain.
There willalwaysbepecple whcwanttc leavetcc muchandctherswhcdcn't
kncwwhattcleavebehindcrwhattcsay.ThesearethechallenesfcraUtcpa
Statcnbeinsetupinthe heartcfanartexhibiticn. Butinadditicn,thereare
theunpredicableeffects,whchCarstenllerhasbeenanticipatin,thepcints
wherescmethinmissinturnstcscmethinthatbeccmestccmuch.Thedcubt
prcduced between thesetwcscmethins isustas meaninful as anyidea cf
utcpia,hebelieves.Thesetenscnswillbewelccmedlikeauest.
WhatdcesaStaticnprcduce?WhatmihtaStaticnprcduceinrco||imcln
thisproJucc lies an activityrather mcre ccmplex than pure exhibiticn, fcr t
ccntainsmanycycles cfuse,amixincfuse.ltinccrpcratesaestheticmateral,
aesthetcmatterstcc,intcancthereccncmywhichdcesnctreardartasfatally
separate.
Butwhatisitsplace?Thediscusscncfthsquestcnhasbeencpenedaain
by|acques Rancire,inhis bcckLcpu|oc Juscnsclc, which inFrench hasthe
advantaecfhavinapartiticn and a sharin cccupy the same wcrd. What s
ecticned cff and excaned lt is mcre than an idea. Rancire takes his
eparturefrcm latc,pcintedly,incrdertcreminduscftheinevitablerelaticn
betweentheartsandtherestcfsccialactivi,theinevitablerelaticns,itshculd
besad,thattcetherdstrbutevalueandveherarchy,thatcvern,thatbcth
materially and ccnceptually establish ther pclitics. This theatre cf relaticns
wrapstselfarcundvisicnscfwcrlds,eachcfthemislandseachcfthemfcrms,
but all cf them ccncrete realities replete with matter and fcrce. This is a
philcscphcal understandn cf aesthetic activity, it extends materialist
aesthetcsntctheccnditicnscfcurpresent itisabcctcbrintcaStaticn.As
we
haveBut,cncereleased,abccktccleavesitssland.
l/ /CRITCALANDCURATORIALPO5ITION5
The UtcpiaStaticn inVenice,the citycfislands, is partcfalarerprcect.
Utcpia Staticns dcnctrequirearchitecturefcrtheir existence,cnlyameetin,a
atherin. We have already had several in Paris, in Venice, in Franlfurt, in
Pcuhkeepsie,inBerlin. As suchtheStaticnscanbelae crsmall.Thereisnc
hierarchy cf impcrtance between the atherins, meetins, seminars,
exhibiticnsandbccks,allcfthembeccmeequallyccdwayscfwcrkin.There
is ncdesiretcfcrmalizetheStaticnsintcaninstituticncfanykind.Fcrncwwe
meet. Many ideas abcut utcpia circulate. Dnce when we met with acques
Rancire,itwasinParislastune,hespcketcthedifIcultiesnvclvedinputtin
the idea cfutcpia fcrward. He pcinted tc the line that says 'Thee must be
utcpia', meanin that there must nct cnly be calculaticns but anelevaticn, a
supplement risin in the soul, and said that this line cf thcuht has never
interested him.lndeed he has always fcund itunnervin, even iitatin. That
which dces interesthim,heexplained, isthe Jisscnsus, the manner inwhich
ruptures are ccncretely created - ruptures in speech, in percepticn, in
sensibility. Heturnedtcccntemplatethemeansbywhichutcpiascanbeused
tcprcducetheserutures.Willitbeinandendintalk
Dn ancther cccasicn, in Pcuhkeepsie last winter,ust as a blizzard was
abcuttcblcwin,LawrenceWeinerremindedeverycnepresentthattheartist's
realityisncdifferentfrcmany ctherreality. am Cillick asked thatwe avcid
utcpian mirae, instead askinfcrutcpia tc beccme a functicnalstep mcvin
beycnd itself.Martha Rcslertcldthestcry cfcintc seethespace inVenice,
arrivinhcweverasnihtfelltcseecnlyan intericrcfdarkness,therebeinnc
lihts. Bututcpia, she said, iswhatmcves.cnas Mekas warnedcfcbsessicns
withideas,sincethedream,esaid,cculdcnlysucceedifwefcretthem.Lecn
Cclubwasapccalyptic.AllanSekula,atcururin,shcwedthefirstfiveminutes
cfthetapehehadmadethedaybefcredurinthepeacedemcnstraticninNew
Ycrk. Ai Sala shcwed us a tape cfTirana, where the maycr had painted
apartmentblccwallsintcaecmetricvisicn,accncretehcpe.

dcuardClissant
came. Hespcke cfthe desire fcr the perfect shape, hespcke his lanuae cf
landscapes.Dnlybypassinthrcuhtheinc!ricoclccfthewcrld,hetcldus,can
wesave curimoinoirc. lnthatpassintherewculdccmethe !rcmc|cmcn!, the
tremcrbeinfundamentaltcthepassae.
Nancy Sperc senta mcrphine dream. Ans Vardasentus the scn cfthe
Cadet Rcusselle. Tcether we read an article

tienne alibar had written six


yearsacfcrLcMonJcwhichprcpcsedtctakeccmpleteleavecfutcpiancw,in
crdertceturntctheheartcfthematter- tclettheimainaticnfreetcaccept
thesuddenemerencecfsubectivity inthesccialfield. Letus make asudden
rush,aplacefcrtheimainaticntcexpand,aplacecfficticn,ficticninitsfullest
sense. alibarseesficticntcbetheprcducticncfthereal,scmethinstemmin
NeSUi!/OUtiS!/TirOVOnijO//WhO!iSO5!O!ion?J/l7
from experience itself, lowlede and action brouht toether so that they
become indistinuishable, insurrection emptyn into constitution. He used
thesethouhtstopreface hisDro!Jcc!c.AnotherbookfortheStation.
ltissimple.Weuseutopiaas acatalyst, aconceptmostusefulas fuel. We
leave thecompletedefinition of utopiato others.We meetto pool ourefforts,
motivatedbyaneedtochanethelandscapeoutsideandinside,aneedtothink,
aneedtointeratetheworkoftheartist,theintellectualandmanuallabourers
thatweareintoalarerkindofcommunity,anotherkindofeconomy,abier
conversation,anotherstateofbein.Youcouldcallthisneedahuner.
Dare onerewrite asentence by Brecht? Somethinwc nccJ is missin.The
man who,seventyyearsao,wroteArtfollowsreality'would surely notmind.
Let usthentakethesewordsandpresson.Weneedthewords,oldwordsand
newwords,weneedthedance,weneedthesausae,andstillweneedmore.We
have started, we meet in the Utopia Station, we start out aain. The Station
becomesaplacetoatherourstartinpointstemporarily. ltisprimarilyforthis
reason it resists captureandsummaryasa sinleimae.Drisit theimaeof
openpossibility?Theimaeofmixeduse?Manythinswillhappenthere.And
theywillsparkothers.
ThinkoftheStationasafieldofstartinpoints,manystartinpointsbein
brouht and offered by ma
ny different people. Some will brin obects now,
otherslater.Fachpresentand futurecontributortotheStationisbeinaskedto
do aposterfor use in theStationand beyond:whereverit can han, it cano.A
papertrailforonceoesforward.ewposterscontinuetobeadded.lnthisway
the UtopiaStationproduces imaes, even as it does notstartwith one.Anda
loosecommunity assembles. ltdevelops its own internal points ofcoherence,
whichshiftwiththetimes,asconversationsanddebatesdo.
Fachpersonmakinaposterhasbeenaskedtomakeastatementofatleast
oneanduptotwohundredwords.lndependentofoneanotherthestatements
collect.Stuart HallandeiamAzizovelaborate uponaproposition. theworld
has to bemoJc !o mcon. The bittersweetbaked into hope, writesancySpero.
ash Buzari senta poemwhere darkness is dialled.The Raqs Media Collective
callsutopiaahearinaid.Thisprobablywillnotwork.|immieDurhamcitesthe
Cherokee and adds that the probably' keeps people active. There will be
hundredsofstatementsliketheseintheend.Theyillbranchout.Astheydo
certain fiures bein to repeat.Ships and sons and flas,two times potatoes
twotimes Sisyphus, fiures familiarfrom the discussion ofutopia forty years
aobutheyhavebeenassimilatedratherthan cited.Utopiabecomesthesecret
arden whose doors can be opened aain. Utopia becomes the catalyst that
burns and retus one ofuscansaywe bein fromscratch.
Theseactitivities implyan activism. For many who come tothe Station its
l//CRITICALANDCURATORIALPO5ITION5
invitationto self-oranize speaks a political lanuae alreadynownto them
and already bein practised. The proposal to build non-profit de-centralized
units and make them become the underlyin mode of production fittin
toether throuh the real market not the monopolistically controlled world
marketofthepresentsystem),has been madebylmmanuelWallersteininhis
book U!ois!ics. lt would eliminate the priority iven to the endless
accumulationofcapital.StillanotherbookfortheStation.
Asthecatalystburns, it fumes. Forours is notatimeofcontinually same
todays.Whenwe metinPouhkeepsie inmidFebruary,aroundtheworldvast
crowds marchedforpeace. Sevenweeks later,whenwe met in Frankfurt, the
Coalitionforceswere enterin Bahdad.Thedays come likeKiarostami'shills.lt
is notthecontinuallysameutopia. ln thespeechto the raduatinWest Point
cadetsinune2002,PresidentCeoreBushannouncedhispoliofpre-emptive
strikesandwarswiththereassurancethat'Americahasnoempiretoextendor
utopiatoestablishTheideaofempirehasbeen receivinmuch scrutiny. But
whatabouttheotherideahere,therefusalofutopia,theconceptthatpresumes
forwardsocialvision?lsitnotthisrefusalthativesusreasonenouhtorevive
the question ofutopia now? Whether itcomes as catalystor fume, the word
shouldbepronounced.And sowesta.
MoIIy NcsD|I, HansUrich ODr|sI, kirkr|I T|ravana, lt (VcnIcc 50IhVcnIcc 6IcnnaIc,
?003).
NeSUi!/OUtiS!/TiOVOniO/ /WO!iSO5\O!ion?{ /l
HOI FostCt
Cho RoomsJ J2004
!nc An|opnonc rcccp|ion oc|o|iono| or| nos cccn rc|o|ivc| cc|o|cJ. ln |nc
]o||owin |cx|, oriino|| wri||cn o ook rcvicw o] 8ourriouJ's Relational
Aesthetics onJ Postproduction, onJ Hons U|ricn 0cris|'s lnterviews, Ho| Fos|cr
cxprcsscs rcscrvo|ions ocou| |nc op|imis|ic rnc|oric occomponin co||ocoro|ion
onJpor|icipo|ion
ln an artalleryoverthe lastdecadeyou mihthavehappenedonone ofthe
followin.Aroomemptyexceptforastackofidenticalsheetsofpaper white,
sky-blue,orprintedithasimpleimaeofanunmadebedorbirdsinfliht or
a mound ofidentical sweets wrapped in brilliantcolouredfoil,thesweets,like
thepaper,freeforthetakin.Draspacewhereofficecontentsweredumpedin
the exhibitionarea,anda coupleofpotsofThaifood were onoffertovisitors
puzzledenouhtoliner,eatandtalk.Drascatterinofbulletinboards,drawin
tablesanddiscussionplatforms,somedttedwithinformationaboutafamous
person from the past Frasmus Darwin or Robert McNamara), as thouh a
documentaryscriptwereinthemakinorahistoryseminarhadustfinished.
Dr, finally,akioskcobbledtoetherfrom plasticand plywood,andfilled,likea
homemade studyshrine, with imaes and texts devoted to a particularartist,
writerorphilosopherFernand Ler, RaymondCarverorCilles Deleuze).Such
works, which fall somewhere betwen a public installation, an obscure
performance and a pivate archive, can also be found outside art alleries,
renderin them even more difficult to ecipher in aesthetic terms.They can
nonethelessbetakento indicateadistincive turn inrecentart. ln play in the
firsttwoexamples- worksby FelixConzalez-Torres and by RirkritTiravania -
is anotionofartas anephemeralofferin,aprecariousiftas opposed to an
accredited paintin or sculpture), and in the second two instances by Liam
CillickandbyThomasHirschhorn),anotonofartasaninformalprobinintoa
specifcfureoreventinhistoryorpolitics,fictionorphilosophy.Althouheach
typeofworcanbetaedwthatheoretical pedreenthefrstcase,'theft'
asseenby MarcelMauss,say, or in the second'discursivepractice'accordinto
Michel Foucault), the abstract concept is transformed into a literal space of
operations,apramaticwayofmakinandshowin,talkin and bein.
Theprominentpractitionersofthisartdrawonawideraneofprecedents:
theeverydayobectsofNouveauRalisme,thehumblematerialsofArtePovera,
theparticipatorystrateiesof LyiaClark and HlioDiticicaandtheinstitution-
l90//CRTICALANDCRATORIALPO5ITION5
critical'deviesofMarcelBroodthaersand Hans Haacke.Buttheseartistshave
alsotransformedthefamiliardevicesofthereadymadeobect, thecollaborative
proect and the installation format. For example, some now treat entire TV
showsandHollywood films asfound imaes. Piere Huyhehasreshotparts of
theAlPacinomovieDoDoj!coonwiththereal-lifeprotaonistareluctant
bankrobber)returnedtotheleadrole,andDoulasCordonhasadaptedacouple
ofHitchcockfilmsindrasticwayshis24HourPscnoslowsdowntheoriinalto
anear-catatonicrunnintime).ForCordon,suchpiecesare'timereadymades'
thatis, iven narrativesto besampled in lareimae-proections a pervasive
medium in art today)- while Nicolas Bourriaud, a co-directorofthePalaisde
Tokyo, a Paris museum devoted to contemporary art, champions such work
under the rubric of 'postproduction'. This term underscores secondary
manipulationseditin,effects andthelke)thatarealmostas pnouncedn
suchartasinfilm,italsosuestsachanedstatusofthe'work'ofartintheae
ofinformationwhichhassucceededtheaeofproduction.Thatwearenowin
such a new era is an ideoloical assumption, nonetheless, in a world of
shareware, information canappear as the ultimate readymade, asdata tobe
reprocessedandsenton,andsomeoftheseartistsdoworl asBourriaudsays,
'to inventoryandselect,touseand download',torevisenotonlyfoundimaes
andtextsbutalsoivenformsofexhibitionanddistribution.
Dne upshot of this way of workin is a 'promiscuity of collaborations'
Cordon), in which the Postmodernist complications of oriinality and
authorshipare pushedbeyond the pale.Take a collaborativework-in-proress
suchasNoCnos!us!o5ncll_ ledbyHuyheandPhilippeParreno.Afewyearsao
they found outthata|apaneseanimationcompanywanted to sell some ofits
minorcharacterstheybouhtone such person-sin,airl namedAnnlee,and
nvtedotherartstouseherntheirwor Heretheartworkbecomesa'chain'
ofpieces.forHuyheandParreno,No Cnos!]us!o5nc|lis'adynamicstructure
thatproducesformsthatarepartofit' itisalso'thestoryofacommunitythat
findsitselfinanimae'.lfthiscollaborationdoesn'tmakeyoualittlenervousis
the buyin ofAnnlee a esture ofliberation or ofserial bondae?), consider
anotherroupproectthatadaptsareadymadeproducttounusualends. inthis
work,|oe Scanlan, Dominique Conzalez-Foerster, Cillick,Tiravania and others
showyou howtocustomizeyourowncoffinfromlkeafurniture itstitleisDl
orHowUillYoursc|]Anwncrcin !ncWorlJ]orunJcr5J.
Thetraditionofreadymade obects,fromDuchamptoDamienHirst,isoften
mockinofhih andormass cultureorboth, i nthese examples it is mordant
aboutlobal capitalism as well.Yet the prevalent sensibility ofthe newwork
tends to be innocent and expansive, even ludic - aain an offerin to other
people andjor an openin to other discourses. At times a benin imae of
oS\et{/ChO\RoomS{ /l9l
lcbalizaticnisadvanceditisapreccnditicnfcrthisveryinternaticnal rcup
cfartists), and there are utcpian mcments, tcc. Tiravana, fcr example, has
cranized amassivescale artist-runspace' called'The Land'inruralThailand,
desinedasaccllective'fcrsccialenaement'Mcremcdestly,theseartistsaim
tcturn passiveviewers intcatempcraryccmmunitycfactive interlccutcrs. ln
thisreard Hirschhcrn,whccncewcrked inaCcmmunistccllectivecfraphic
desiners, sees his maleshift mcnuments tc artists and philcscphers as a
speciescfpassicnatepedacy- theyevcketheaitprcpkicskscftheRussian
Ccnstctivists as well as the cbsssive ccnstructicns cf Schwitters.
Hirschhcseekstc'distributeideas','radiateenery'and'liberateactivity'allat
cnce hewants nctcnlytcfamiliarize his audiencewith analternative public
culturebuttc libidinize thisrelaticnshipaswell.Dtherartists,scmecfwhcm
weretrainedas scientistssuchas CarstenHller)crarchitectsStefancBceri),
adaptamcdelcfccllabcrativeresearchandexperimentclcsertcthelabcratcry
cr the desin firm than the studic 'l take the wcrd studic literally', Cabriel
Drczccremarks, 'nctasaspacecfprcducticnbutasatimecfkncwlede.'
'A prcmiscuity cf ccllabcraticns' has alsc meant a prcmiscuity cf
installaticns installaticn is the default fcrmat, and exhibiticn the ccmmcn
medium, cfmucharttcday. ln part this tendency is drivenbythe increased
impcrtance cfhue shcws: there are biennials nct cnly in Venice but in Sc
Paulc, lstanbul,|channesburand Cwanu.)Fntire exhibiticnsarecfteniven
cvertcmessyuxtapcsiticnscfprcects phctcsandtexts,imaesandcbects,
videcs and screen - and cccasicnally the effects are mcre chactic than
ccmmunicative.Ncnetheless,discursivityandscciabilityarecentralccncernscf
thenewwcrk,bcthinitsmakinand initsviewin'Discussicnhasbeccmean
impcrtant mcment in the ccnstituticn cfa prcect', Huyhe ccmments, and
Tiravana alins hisart,as 'a place cfsccializaticn', withavillae market cra
danceflccr'l makeart, Ccrdcnsays,'scthatl canctcthebarandtalkabcut
it. Apparently, ifcne mcdel cfthe cld avant-arde

as the Party a la Lenin,


tcdayteequivalentisapartyalaLenncn.
lnthistimecfmea-exhibiticnstheartistcftendcublesascuratcr.'lamthe
headcfateam,accah,aprcducer,ancranizer,arepresentative,acheerleader,
a hcst cfthe party,a captain cfthe bcat, Drczccsays, 'inshcrt, anactivist, an
activatcr,anincubatcr'.Therisecftheartist -as-curatcrhasbeenccmplemented
by that cf the cuatcrasartist, maestrcs cf lare shcws have beccme very
prcminentcver the lastdecade.Dften he twc rcupssharemcdelscfwckin
aswellastermscfdescripticn.Severalyearsac,fcrexample,Tiravania,Drczcc
and cther arists bean tc speak cf prcects as 'platfcrms' and 'staticns', as
places that ather and then disperse, in crder tc undersccre the casual
ccmmunities they scuht tc create Last year Dccumenta ll cated by an
I2//CRIICALANDCURATORIALPO5ITON5
internationaI team Ied y Dkwui nwezor, was aIso conceived in terms of
'pIatforms of discussion, scattered around the worId, on such topics as
'Democracy UnreaIized, 'Processes ofTruth and ReconciIiation, 'CreoIit and
CreoIizationand 'Four AfricanCities theexhibitionheIdin KasseI, Cermany,
wasonIythefinaI such'pIatform.AndthisyeartheVeniceBiennaIe,curatedby
aother internationaI roup eaded by Francesco Bonami, featured sections
caIIed 'Utopia Station and 'one ofUrency, both ofwhich exempIified the
informaI discursivity of much artmakin and curatin today. Ike 'kiosk,
'pIatformand'stationcaII upthe Modernist ambition to modernisecuIture in
accordance with industriaI society (I Lissitzky spoke of his Constructivist
desins as 'way-stationsbetweenartandarchitecture).ettodaytheseterms
evoketheeIectronicnetwork,andmanyartistsandcuratorsfaIIforthelnternet
rhetoricof'interactivity,thouh the means appIiedto thisendare usuaIIyfar
orefunkyandface-to-facethananychatroomontheWeb.
TheformsofthesebooksbyBourriau
d
jkclo!ionolAcs!nc!ics Pos!proJuc!ion
andDbrist,thechiefcuratorattheMusedartmodernedeIaViIIedeParis,are
as teIIinas the contents. The Bourriaud texts are sIetchy briefIosses of
proectsthatuse'postproductiontechniquesandseek'reIationaIeffects,whiIe
the Dbristtome is diffuse,withnearIya thousandpaes ofconversationwith
fiuressuchas|eanRouchand|.C.BaIIardasweIIastheartistsinquestion- and
thisisonIyvoIumel.(BaIIardIetsfIywithasharpaperu'ThepsychoIoicaItest
istheonIyfunctionoftodaysartshows,hesays, withtheounBritishArtists
in mind, 'and the aesthetic eIements have been reduced aImost to zero He
means it as a compIiment.) The conceptuaI artist DouIas HuebIer once
proposedtophotorapheveryoneintheworIdtheperipateticDbristseemsto
wanttotaIktoeveryone(manyofhisinterviewstakepIaceon pIanes).As with
some of the art discussed in the book, the resuIt osciIIates between an
exempIa workofinterdiscipIinarityanda BabeIesque confusion oftonues.
AIonwiththeemphaison discursivityandsociabiIity,thereisaconcernwith
the ethicaI and the everyday. art is 'a way to expIore other possibiIities of
exchane (Huyhe), a modeI of 'Iivin weII (Tiravania), a means of bein
'toetherintheeveryday(Drozco).'Henceforth',BourriauddecIares,'theroup
ispittedaainstthemass,neihbourIinessaainstpropaanda,Iowtechaainst
hih tech, and the tactiIe aainstthevisuaI.And above aII, the everyday now
turnsouttobeamuchmorefertiIeterrain than popcuIture
ThesepossibiIitiesof'reIationaIaestheticsseemcIearenouh,butthereare
probIems,too.SometimespoIiticsareascribedtosuchartonthebasisofashaky
anaIoybetweenanopenworkand anincIusivesociety,asifadesuItoform
mihtevokeademocraticcommunity,oranon-hierarchicaIinstaIIationpredict
aneaIitarianworId.Hirschhornseeshisproectsas'never-endinconstruction
FOS\er//ChO\ROOmSJ Jl
sites',whileTiravana reects 'the need tc fix a mcmentwhere everythin is
ccmplete'.Butsurelycnethinartcanstilldcistctakeastand,ndtcdcthis
ina ccncretereisterthatbrinstcetherthe aesthetic, the ccnitiveand the
critical.And fcrmlessnessin sccietymihtbeaccnditicntcccntestratherthan
tc celebrate in at - a ccnditicn tc make cver intc fcrm fcr the purpcses cf
reflecticn and resistance as scme mcdernist painters attempted tcdc).The
artists in questicn frequently cite the Situaticnists but they, as T.. Clark has
stressed,valuedpreciseinterventicnandricrcuscranizaticnabcve allthins.
'Thequesticn',Huyhearues, 'is less what?thantcwhcm?ltbeccmes
a questicn cfaddress'. Bcurriaud alsc sees art as 'an ensemble cfunits tc be
reactivatedbythebehcldermanipulatcr'.lnmanywaysthisapprcachisancther
leacycftheDuchampianprcvccaticn,butwhenissuch'reactivaticn'tccreat
a burden tc place cn the viewer, tcc ambiucus
a test? As with previcus
attemptstc invclve the audiencedirectly (in scme abstract paintin cr scme
ccnceptualart),thereisa riskcfilleibilityhere,whichmihtreintrcducethe
artistastheprincipalfiureandthe primaryexeetecfthewcrk.Attimes,'the
deathcfthe authcr' hasmantnct'thebirth cfthereader', asRcland Barthes
speculated,scmuchasthebefuddlementcftheviewer.
Furthermcre, when has art, at least since the Renaissance, nct invclved
discursivityand scciability? lt is a matter cfderee, cfccurse, but miht this
emphasisberedundant? ltalscseemstc riskaweirdfcrmalismcfdiscursivity
andscciabilitypursuedfcrtheircwnsakes.Ccllabcraticn,tcc,iscftenrearded
asaccdinitself. 'Ccllabcraticnistheanswer',Dbristremarksatcnepcint,'but
what is the questicn?' Art ccllectives in the recent past, such as thcsefcrmed
arcund AlDS activism, were pclitical prcects, tcday simply ettin tcether
scmetimesseems tcbeencuh.Herewe mihtnctbetccfarfrcman artwcrld
versicncf'lashmcbs'- cf'pecplemeetinpecple',inTiravana's wcrds, asan
endinitselThisiswherelsidewithSartrecnabadday.cfteninalleriesand
museumshellisctherpecple.
Perhapsdiscursiviandscciabilityareinthefcrercundcfarttcdaybecause
theyarescarceelsewhere.Thesamecesfcrtheethicalandtheeveryday,asthe
briefest lance at curcraven pcliticiansand hectic lives mihtsuest. lt is as
thcuh the very idea cfccmmunihastaken cn a utcpian tine.Fven an art
audiencecannctbetakenfcrranted butmustbeccnuredupeverytime,which
miht be why ccntempcrary exhbiticns cften feel like remedial wcrk in
sccializaticn. ccme and play, talk, learn with me. lf participaticn appears
threatenedinctherspheres,itsprivileininartmihtbeccmpensatcry apale,
part-timesubstitute.Bcurriaudalmcstsuestsasmuch'Thrcuhlittleseices
rendered,theartistsllin thecracksinthesccialbcndAnd cnlywhen heisat
hismcstrimdceshehithcme.'Thesccietycfspectacleisthusfcllcwedbythe
l94/ /CRTCALANDCURATORALPO5TON5
societyofextras,whereeveryonefindsthe illusion ofaninteractive democracy
inmoreorlesstruncatedchannelsofcommunication
Forthemostparttheseartistsandcuratorsseediscursivityandsociabilityin
rosyterms.AsthecriticClaireBishopsuests,thistendstodropcontradiction
outofdialoue,andconIlictoutofdemocracy,itisalsooadvanceaversionof
thesubectfreeoftheunconsciouseventheiftischaredwithambivalence,
accordin to Mauss). At times everythin seems to be happy interactivity
amon 'aesthetic obects Bourriaud counts 'meetins, encounters, events,
various types of collaboration between people, ames, festivals and places of
conviviality, in a word all manner of encounter and relational invention'. To
somereaderssuch'relationalaestheticswillsoundlikeatrulyfinalend ofart,
to be celebrated or decried. For others it will seem to aestheticize the nicer
procedures of our service economy ('invitations, castin sessions, meetins,
convivialanduser-friendlyareas,appointments).Thereisthefurthersuspicion
that, for all its discursivity, 'relational aesthetics' miht besucked up in the
eneralmovementfor a'post-critical'culture anartandarchitecture,cinema
andliterature'aftertheory'.
Hal FosIcr, 'ChaI kooms' (?004, publ|shcd as 'ArIy FarIy', London kcvicw o 8oo (London, 4
Dcccmbcr?004?1-?
FoS\etJ/ChO\RoomSJJl
bohl NotP5
Kolu0 btlHP5 ( 1915-80), Ihc Frcnch IiIcrary IhcorisI, criIic and innovaIivc cxponcnI oI
sIrucIuraIism and scmioIoy, inIIucnccd visuaI Ihcory nd pracIicc Ihrouh hisImenrs de
smi ie(19b4; Iemenrso)SemioIo, 19b7); his anaIyscs oIsiniin sysIcms in popuIar
cuIIurc,coIIccIcd in M,rhoIoies (1957; Irans. 197?) andLo Touri))eI(19b4 The )eI Tower,
1979)andhiswriIinsonIhcvisuaIimacinlmoeMusic-Texr(1977),LochombrecIore(1980
ComeroLucido,1981)andThekesponsibiIi|,o)Fonns(1985).
]o5Ph bPg5 (19?1 -8b) was aCcrmanarIisI, iniIiaIIy a scuIpIor, who aIIcr cIIaDoraIin inIhc
FIuxus movcmcnI (19b?b3) dcvcIopcd his sysIcm oI synIhcsizin arIisIic pracIicc wiIh
poIiIicaI idcaIsand Iivcdcxpcricncc. ln IhccarIy1970shcIoundcdoranizaIionssuchasIhc
FrcclnIcrnaIionaISchoooICrcaIivityand lnIcrdiscipIinarykcscarch.ThcIarcsIhoIdinsoIhis
workarcaI Ihc|oscph 6cuysArchiv(hIIpwwwmoyIanddcpacsoscphDcuysarchiv), Ihc
Hcssischcs landcsmusum in DarmsIadI, Ihc 6usch-kcisincr Muscum aIHarvard UnivcrsiIy,
andIhcKunsImuscum 6onn.
Nol5 bouttu0 is a Frcnch arI IhcorisI and curaIor who inIroduccd Ihc Icrm 'rcIaIionaI
acsIhcIics' in IcxIs such as his caIaIouc inIroducIion Io Ihc roup cxhiDiIion aI
capuscd'arIconIcmporain, 6ordcaux(1995).From 1999Io?005hcwascodirccIor,wiIh
|cromc Sans, oIIhcFaIais dcTokyo, Faris. FroccIs hchas curaIcd incIudcAerr, IhcVcnicc
6icnnaIc (1993) and Ihc Moscow 6icnnaIc (cocuraIor, ?005). His cssays arc coIIccIcd in
srriuerelorioneIIe(1998;keIorionoIAesrherics,?00?)andPoslprducrion(?00?).
PlPt butgPt is FroIcssor oIFrcnch and ComparaIivc liIcraIurc aI Ihc UnivcrsiIy oI6rcmcn His
dcIaiIcdanaIysisoIIhcinsIiIuIionsoIarIhasprovidcdaIhcorcIicaIIramcworkIorsIudyinIhc
sociaI conIcxIoIarI'sproducIionand rcccpIion.His worksincIudcTheoriederAvonrorde( 1974;
Theor]o)rheAvonr-Corde,1984)and TheDecIineo)Modemism(199?).
LtPl LtnPVlP isanArcnIinianarIisIwhowasinsIrumcnIaIinIorminIhcCrupodcArIisIas
dc Vanuarda in Ihc IaIc 19b0s, a coaIiIion oI arIisIs, oincd Dy socioIoisIs, Immakcrs,
IhcorisIs, phoIoraphcrs and oIhcrs who sIacd parIicipaIory poIiIicizcd acIions. 6ascd in
kosario, ArcnIina, Ihcir projccIs incIudcd Tucumdn Arde (Tucumdn 8urns) in 19b8, a
coIIaDoraIionwiIhsuarpIanIworkcrsproIcsIinaainsIovcrnmcnIopprcssion.
Qg Lltk (19?088)wasa 6raziIianarIisIwhoworkcd in kiodc|anciroandFarisOuI oIa nco
concrcIisI scuIpIuraI pracIicc hcrworkcvoIvcd in Ihc IaIc 19b0s Io cncompass parIicipaIory
works invoIvin scnsoriaI cxpcricnccsoIoDccIsand cncounIcrs, inIormcd Dy hcrconcurrcnI
pracIiccas apsychoanaIysI. HcridcaswcrcaIsocIoscIyaIIiaIcdwiIhIhosc oIIhcarIisIHIio
OiIicica(sccDcIow)and Ihc 6raziIianTropic|ia movcmcnI, inwhichIhcyhad a ccnIraI roIc.
kcIrospccIivcsincIudcFundaci Antoni Tpics, 6arccIona (1997)
LoPlVP Aton5 (KoIIelrivn,e deisrvi,o)wasIoundcdinMoscowin197bDy AndrciMonasIyrsky,
NikoIai FaniIkov, Ccori KizcvaIIcr and NikiIa AIcksccv. EIcna EIaina, lor Makarcvich an
Scrci komashkooincdIhc roup IaIcr, and iIscomposiIionIrcqucnIIy chancd.Thcyarc DcsI
known Ior Ihcir coIIaDoraIivc,conccpIuaIIyDascd acIions in raI spaccs ouIsidcIhcciIy.Thcr
l9/ /OGRAPHCALNOTE5
workwasincIudcdinOU8 LODC0]!u8|SD' OD!S oOIi|D, 90-980s,uccnsMuscumoI
ArI, NcwYork(2000) and LOccr|vc 8D0 D!0I8C!|v0 WOIKS |D KuSS8D Arr 9b0-2000, SIaIc
TrcIyakovCaIIcry,Moscow(200J).
L0 LuPt isaSIovcnianarIisI,IhcorisIandIhcaIrcdirccIorwhosinccI981 hasworkcdwiIhIhcarIs
coIIccIivcNSK(NcucSowcnischcKunsI),andsinccI989 hasbccnaIcmaIccoIIaboraIorwiIhiIs
subroup oI Iivc maIc arIisIs, IkWIN (Dusan Mandic, Miran Mohar, Andrc Savski, koman
Uranck,6ouIVocInik).InI992 IhcyoincdwiIhoIhcrroupsIromEasIcrnEuropcandkussia
inIhcproccISmboss, Moscow(aIanaparImcnI,LcninskyFrospckII2, Moscow),amonIh
oIcvcnIsinvcsIiaIin'howIhcEasIsccsIhcEasI' aIsoIhcIiIIcoIIhcirbookdocumcnIinIhc
proccI.
Luy UPbut0 (I98I-91), Ihc Frcnch wriIcr, IhcorisI and IImmakcr, Iormcd Ihc SiIuaIionisI
InIcrnaIionaI wiIh Ihc arIisI Ascro and oIhcrs in I9J7. His books incIudc LoSocir du
specrocIe (I9G7; Socie|, o) rhe SpecrocIe, I970). hIs nIIucnIIaI criIiquc oIIhcsociaIaIicnaIion
cncndcrcd by Ihc primacy oI Ihc imac as mcdiaIor and rcuIaIor oI capiIaIisI socicIy;
CommenroiressurIosociduspecrocIe(I988; Commen|sonrheSocie|]o)rieSpecrocIe, I990),
andIhccdiIcdcoIIccIionsCu,DebordondrheSiuorionisrInrerno|ionoI(cd.TomMcDonouh,
2002) andCompIereCinemo|icWorks(cdandIrans.KcnKnabb,2008).
]PtPmy UPPt is a 6riIish arIisI whosc pracIicc has somc paraIIcIs wiIh cIhnoraphic and
socioIoicaIrcscarch,IcadinIoparIicipaIoryworksbascdonsharcdcuIIuraIcxpcricnccs.His
proccIsincIudcUnconvenrion(wIIh6ccHaincs, I999), oIkArchive(wiIhAIanKanc,I999 Io
IhcprcscnI),The8orrIeo)0r reove(200I) andSocioIPorode(2001).
UmbPttu Lu isa scmioIician,mcdicvaIisIandnovcIisIwho sincc I999 has bccn FrcsidcnIoIIhc
SoIa Supcriorc di SIudi UmanisIici, Univcrsi oI 6oIona. His books incIudc 0pero Aperro
(I9G2; The0pen Work, I989). LoS|urruro ossenre(I9G8; ATheoo)Semio|ics, I977), ThekoIe o)
rhekeoder(IransIaIcdcoIIccIionoIkcycssays I9G2-7G, I979) andInconrro-ncounrer-kenconrre
(I99G).
H u5tPt IsTownscnd MarIin FroIcssoroIArIandArchacoIoyaIFrinccIonUnivcrsity,ancdiIoroI
0crober and a conIribuIor Io Arr)orum and Ihc London keviw o) 8ooks His books incIudc
kecodins:Arr,SpecrocIe,CuI|uroIPoIirics(I98J), CompuIsive8eou|](I998), Thekerumo)rhekeoI
(I99G) andProsrhecCods(2001).
L0uut0 L5$ut is DisIinuishcd FroIcssor oI Frcnch aI IhcCiIy UnivcrsIy oINcw Yorkand a
MarIiniquanwriIcr,

ocI and cssayisI whoscwork on FranI Fanon and around Ihc idcas oI
'crcoIisaIion' and Caribbcan idcnIityhasbccnwidcIyinIIucnIIaI.HisboosinIudc Discour
onriIlois(I98I), Po|iue de IokeIorion(I990; Poerics o)keIorion I997) andTroirduTour-Monde
(I997).
Ltuu MtPt wasIoundcdinI979 asanarIisIs'coIIaboraIivcroupinNcwYorkwh
ichsinicanIIy
brokc down Ihc barricrs bcIwccn arI and social and poIcaI pracIcc. AItracIin Icmporary
mcmbcrs,iIscorcarIisIsbccamc]uIicAuIIandTimkoIIins(Ioundcrs),DouAshIord(om I982),
FcIixConaIcTorrcs(I9J7-9G, IromI987) andKaInkamspachcr(IromI989) FroccIs incIudc
ThePeopIe'sChoice(I980), Americono(I98J), Democro

(I988), andAidsTimeIine(I989-92).
OGRAHCAOTE5//I7
lu Luttt (i930-9?)wasaFrcnch psychoanaIyst andpoI|t|caIact|v|stwhowasaccntraI|urc
|n thc cvcnts oI May i958. 6cst known Ior h|s coIIaborat|ons w|th thc ph|Iosophcr C|IIcs
DcIcuzc, Coirolismc cr schizohrnic. i. L'onri-0cdic (i97?, Anri0cdius, i983), I|. Millc
lrcoux (i980,A !iusond Plorcous, i987), and (u'cst-cc uc Io hilosohic, i99i What |s
Fh|Iosophy,i995),hcdcvcIopcdh|sownsoc|aI,psychoanaIyt|candccoIo|caIIybascdthcor|cs
pubI|shcd|nCioosmosc(i99?,Choosmosis, i995),Choosoh,(i995)andSo)rss(i995).
11um5 Ht5hhutu |s a Sw|ssborn art|s bascd |n Far|s, whosc ant|-acsthct|c asscmbIacs,
monumcnts, aItarsandIosks, us|n Iow-radccvcryday matcr|aIs, |nv|tcaqucst|on|noIthc
pIacc oIart |n commun|ty and thc contcmporary status oI thc monumcnt. Maor projccts
|ncIudc 8oroillc Monumcnr. Documcnta ii, KasscI (?00?),MuscPrcoircIbincr, ?borato|rcs
d'Aubcrv|II|crs(?004),andUroio, Uroio, Inst|tutcoIContcmporaryArt, 6oston(?005).
Lt5tPu HoPt |sa6cI|an-boart|stbascd|nSwcdcnW|thadoctoratc|nphytopathoIoy,hcuscs
h|s sc|cnt|c tra|n|n to makc |nvcst|atory |nstaIIat|ons and artworks that act|vcIy cnac
v|ccrs' pcrccpt|ons and phys|oIo|caI rcact|ons to cnv|ronmcnts and st|muI|. Maor soIo
cxh|b|t|ons |ncIudc Sanatorum, Kunst-Wcrkc, 6crI|n (i999), Ncw WorId, Modcrna Muscct,
StockhoIm (i999), Fondaz|onc Frada, M|Ian (?000) and Onc Da] Onc Da], FarIabr|kcn,
StockhoIm(?003).
Au KtuW (i9?7?005)wasanAmcr|canart|stbcstknownasthc|nvcntoroIthcHappcn|n|n
i959, a tcrm hcabandoncd |n i957, aItcr wh|chhccxpIorcd othcrpart|c|pato modcIs.Thc
rancoIh|scarIyi950sworks|sdocumcntcd |n h|sAsscmblocsnvironmcnrsondBocnins
(i955), h|s wr|t|nsarc cocctcd |n sso,s on rhc8lun1no)Arrond Li)c (i993).An |mportant
carIyroup show was nvronmcnts, Situatons, Spaccs, Martha |ackson CaIIcry, Ncw York
(i95i).kctrospcct|vcs |ncIudcHausdcr Kunst, Mun|ch(?005).
Lt5 ug Lt5Pu |s a Dan|sh cr|t|c and curator bascd |n FrankIurt am Ma|n and Copcnhacn. A
contr|butortoournaIssuchas0ocumcnrssurI'orriczcandArr)orum,hcco-curatcdMomcnt0m
- Nordic lcstvaI oI Contcmporar] Ar (i998), lundamcntaIisms oI thc Ncw Ordcr
(CharIottcnbcr,?00?),Ihc lnvsbIc Insurrccton oIa MIIon Min0s(6|Ibao,?005)andPopuIsm
(V|In|us,OsIo,Amstcrdam.FrankIurt,?005).
JPu~Lu Nuj |s a Frcnch ph|Iosophcr amon whosc ccntraI rcIcrcncc po|nts arc thc |dcas oI
Ccorcs 6ata|Ic, Maur|cc 6Ianchot, |acqucs Dcrr|da and Fr|cdr|ch N|ctschc. H|s kcy works
|ncIudcLc!rrcdcloLcrrrc(w|th FhI|ppc ?couc-?barthc, i973, Tiic Tirlco)rhcLcrrcrAkcodin
o)Locon, i99?),Lccommunourdsocuvrc(i985;!clnocrorivcCommunir,i99i )Lcrcrroirdu
olriuc(w|th Fh|I|ppc?couc-barthc,i997,Rctrcatin thc PoIiticaI, i997)and

rrcsinttlicr
l1cl(?0008cinSinulorPlurol,?000).
Moj NP5bl |sFoIcssor oIArtat VassarCoIIcc, Fouhkccps|c,NcwYorkand hasaIsotauhtat
thcUn|vcrs|yoICaIIo|a,6crkcIcy,and 6arnardCoI|cc,CoIumb|a Un|vcrs|ty.Acontr|but|n
cd|tor oIArr]oum, shc thc authoroIArct's SccnAlbums(i99?) and ThcirCommonScnsc
(?000).Shcwasaco-curatoroIutopia Stat!on, Vcn|cc6|cnnaIc(?003).
Hu5 Uth Dt5l |sa Sw|ss curatorwho |sCo-D|rcctoroIxh|b|t|ons and Frorammcs at thc
Scrpcnt|ncaIIcrylodon. Fromi993to?005hcranthcM|ratcurs'prorammcatthcMuscc
l9/ /IOGRAICANOTE5
d'arImodcrncdclaVIllcdcFarIsAmonIhcmanycxhIbIIIonsandcvcnIshchascocuraIcdarc
ManIIcsIa I, koIIcrdam (199b), iries on rheMoe,ScccssIon,VIcnna( 1997, andIourIn),Ihc
6crlIn6Icnnalc(1998),U|opioSrorion,VcnIcc6Icnnalc(?003),andIhcMoscow6Icnnalc(?005).
Volumc 1 oIhIscollccIcdInIcrvIcwswas publIshcdIn?003.
Hclu Ult (1937-80)was a6razIlIanarIIsIwhoworkcd InkIo dc|ancIroandNcwYor LIkc
LyIaClark,hcmovcdIromnco-concrcIIsmInIhc1950sIoparIIcIpaIoryworksInIhclaIc19b0s
InvolvIn'scnsoal'obccIsandInsIallaIIonsIucIurcs,poronolcapcswornbysambadanccrs,
andcnvIronmcnIswhIch placcdallcryvIsIIorsInmaIcrIal condIIIonscvokInaIInAmcrIcan
shanIyIowncxIsIcncc.kcIrospccIIvcsIncludcWIIIcdcWIIh,koIIcrdam( 199?,andIourIn).
mtu Pt Is aNcwYork-bascd arIIsIand phIlosophcr.AIIcrparIIcIpaIInInIhc bcInnIns oI
NcwYorkconccpIualIsmInIhc19b0s,Irom1970shcdcvclopcda'caIalyIIc'IormoIInIcrvcnIIon
In publIc orroup sIIuaIIons Io Involvc oIhcrs In Ihc qucsIIonIn oIpcrccpIIonsdcrIvcd Irom
unchallcncd noIIons oI racc, cndcr or class kcIrospccIIvcs Includc Ihc Ncw Muscum oI
ConIcmporaryArI,NcwYork(?000).
]quP5 KulrtP Isa Frcnch phIlosophcrwhoIIrsIcamcIopromIncnccasacoauIhor,wIIhLouIs
AlIhusscr and oIhcrs, oILirc apIIal ( 19b5 kcodinCapIIaI, 1979 ln Ihc carly 1970s hc
abandoncd AlIhusscr's Iorm oIMarxIsm and bcan Io rcccI upon Ihc socIal and hIsIorIcal
consIIIuIIon oI know|cdcs. SIncc Ihc laIc 1990s hc has InvcsIIaIcd Ihc polIIIcal and IIs
rclaIIonshIpIo acsIhcIIcs wIIhInwcsIcrn culIurc. HIs bools Includc LcMo|rcinoronr(198?;
ThcInor0nrSchoolmosrcr,1991),0isorccmcnr(1998)andThePoli|icsscs(?004).
UtK bhWt2P Is a CcrmanarIcrIIIcwho has bccn closcly assocIaIcdIIhDocumcnIasIncc Ihc
carly1970s.HIsbooksIncludcMeilensrene:0]aheoenra(?005).
K1tKDt1tVu] IsanArcnIInIan-bornThaIarIIsIbascdInChIanMaI,6crlInandNcwYork,who
sIncc Ihc carly 1990 has bccn a lcadIn urc In Ihc dcvclopmcnI oI rclaIIonal ar Solo
cxhIbIIIonsandproccIs ncludcColoncKunsIvcrcIn( 199bThcMuscumoIModcArI,Ncw
York(1997),ScccssIon,VIcnna(?00?),Muscum 6oImans Van 6cunIncn(?005)and ThcLond,
ChIanMaI,ThaIland(onoInIrom 1998).
OGRAHCANOTE5//l
bu}
AamDcn,C|or|o,TLODD LODDuDQ, Un|vcrs|yol M|nncsoIa Frcss, 1993
Araccn, kashccdcIaI.,kemorlson Inrerenrive Tendencies, Dan|sh ConIcmporaryArIFoundaI|on,
6crcn,?000
ArIandCoIIaDoraI|on',spcc|aI|ssucol!idTexr,voI18,no.5,NovcmDcr?004
6akcr, Ccorc, 'kcIaI|ons and CounIcrkcIaI|ons An Opcn lcIIcr Io N|coIas 6ourr|aud',
Conrexuolise{usommenhcnIersrellen, KunsIvcrc|n HamDurjDumonIVcrIa, CoIonc,?00?,
134-5
6arIhcs,koIand,Thc DcaIh ol IhcAuIhor'('LamorIdcIauIcur',MonrioV,1958)and'FromWork
IoTcxI' ('Dc l'ocuvrc au IcxIc', kevued'eslliue, 3, 1971), |n koIand 6arIhcs, cd. and Irans.
SIcphcn HcaIh, Imoe-Mus-Texr, H|II & Wan, Ncw YorkjFonIana, london, 1977, 14?-8;
155-54
6asuaIdo,CarIos,andkc|naIdoLaddaa,'kuIcsolEnacmcnI',Arr)orum,March?004,155-9
6cnam|n, WaIcr 'Thc AuIhor as Froduccr' ( 1934), |n Undersrondin8rechr, Vcrso, London, 1998,
85103
6cuys, |oscph, and D|rI: Schwarc, 'kcporI on a day's procccd|ns, lnlormaI|onsDros dcr
Oran|saI|on lr d|rcIc DcmoI:raI|c durch VoII:saDsI|mmun', DocumcnIa 5, KasscI, 197?;
IransIaIcd|nAdr|an|CI,erol.,]oseph8eu,s.Li)eondWorl,6arron's,NcwYork,1979,?44-9
6ct|s,]oscph, 'l am scarch|n lor l|cId characIcr' (1973, |n Car|n Kuon|, cd., ner Plon)orrlie
Wesre Mon.]oseph8eu,sinAmerlco, Four WaIIsE|hIW|ndowsFrcss,NcwYork. 1990, ?1-3
6|shop,CIa|rc,'AnIaon|smandkcIaI|onaIAcsIhcI|cs',0crober,no.110,FaII?004,51-79
6|shop,CIa|rc.'Soc|aICoIIaDoraI|onandlIsD|sconIcnIs',Arorum,FcDruary?005,178-183
6ourr|aud,N|coIas,srhriquerelorionelle,lcsprcsscsdurccI,D|on,1998EnI|shcd|I|on,kelorionol
Aesrherics,?00?
6ot|rr|aud,N|coIas,'6crI|nlcIIcraDouIkcIaI|onaIAcsIhcI|cs', |n Ann|cFIcIchcrand Sask|a 6os, cds,
8erlin 8ieiinole , OkIaon VcrIa, CoIonc, ?001, 4041; rcpr|nIcd |n CIa|rc DohcrIy, cd.,
Conrepot0r]ArrFromSrudioroSiruorion(sccDcIow),6IackDo, ondon,?00443-9
6rcchI, 6crIoII, Irans. and cd. |ohn W|IIcII, 8rechr 0n Theorre: Tle 0evelopmenron Aesrheric,
McIhucn,london, 1954
6rcr FcIcr The1e derAvonrorde. Suhrkamp VcrIa, FraklurIam Ma|n, 1974; Irans. M|chacI
Shaw,Theot]o)rlieAvonr-orde,Un|vcrs|yol M|nncsoIaFrcss,M|nncapoI|s,1984,47-54
acvaIc,Crac|cIa'FroccIlorIhcExpcr|mcnIaIArIScr|cs.kosar|o',sIaIcmcnIor||naIypuDI|shcd
asparIolasc|csolDrochurcsaccompany|nIhc'C|dodc McExpcr|mcnIaI,kosa,ArcnI|na,
7-19 OcIoDcr 1958; Irans. Marucr|Ic Fc|IIow|I, |n Andrca ||unIa and lncs KaIcnsIc|n, cds.
isren, Bere Nowl Arenrine Arr o) rhe 9s, Thc Muscum ol Modcrn Ar Ncw York, ?004,
?99-301
oIIccI|vcAcI|ons,TeAppeoronces.'|cv|Corky,SavcI,MoscowFrov|ncc,FcDruary1981 ransIaIcd
|nDav|d .kosseroI.,cds,8eeenSprinondSummer- SovierConceplolArrin rheroLore
Communim, lnsI|IuIcolConIcmporaryArI. 6osIonThc MlT Frcss,CamDr|dc,MassachuscIIs,
UUJ/\L\LGRH
1990, 1S7-8
o|IccI|vcAcI|ons,KoIIck|ivn,cdcisvi,o.PoczdlzoorodCoIIcc|ivcAc|ions:Trips|o|hcoun]),Ad
Mar|ncm,Moscow(1998),EnI|shcd|I|onIorIhcom|n
O00lv0 8D0 Dl0I8Cl\0 WOIKS l KuSS8D |9b0-2000,SIaIcTrcIyakovCaIIcry,Moscow,?00S
CuIcr,Eda,Transnac|onaIa.A]ourncyIromIhcEasIIoIhcWcsI',unpuDI|shcdIcxIAvar|anIoIIh|s
cssaywaspuDI|shcd|n]acoD,Convcrso|ionso||hcCos|Ic(sccDcIow)
CuIcr, Eda and V|kIor M|s|ano, cds, In|croI ThcAr|Show Which 0ividcdos|ond Wcs|, IkWN,
LuDI|anaMoscowArIMaaz|nc,?000,4J-S8
Dc CcrIcau, M|chcI,L'Invcnrion du quo|dicn,voI1, Chr|sI|an 6ourco|s, Far|s, 1980. Irans SIcvcn
kcndaII,ThcProc|icco)vcr]do,Li)c, Un|vcrs|IyoICaI|Iorn|a Frcss, 6crkcIcy and Los AncIcs,
1984
DcDord, Cuy, 'ScparaI|onFcrIccIcd and 'IdcoIoy |n MaIcr|a Form', |nSocicr, o)|hcSpcc|ocIc (Lo
Soci| duspcc|ocIc,6uchcI-ChasIcl Far|s, 19C7), Irans DonaIdNIchoIson-SmIIh,Zonc 6ooks,
NcwYorI, 199S
DcDord, Cuy, koppor|surcons|rucrion dcssiluo|ions c|surIcs condi|ons dc I'oroniso|ion c|dc
I'oc|iondclo|cndcnccsi|uo|ionnis|cin|cotonoIc,InIcrnaI|onaIcIcIIr|sIc,Far|s,]uIy19S7.Irans
'TowardsaS|IuaI|on|sIInIcrnaI|onaI', |nCu,0cbordond|hcSi|uorionis|In|crno|ionoI.Tcx|sond
0ocumcn|s,cdTomMcDonouh,ThcMITFrcss,CamDr|dc,MassachuscIIs,?00?.44-S0
DcIIcr,]crcmy, 'Thc 6aIIIc oI Orrcavc', |n Ccrr|c van Noord, cd, 0))Limi|s. 40Ar|oncI Pro}cc|s,
McrrcIIuDI|shcrs,London,?00?
AnnaDczcuzc, 'TacI|IcdcmaIcr|aI|zaI|on, scnsorypI|I|cs:HcI|oO|I|cIca's Faranos',Ar|ouoI,
voI.CJ,pI?,Su|mcr?004,S8-71
OCuD0Dl8 b0I|8uD 00I K08l3l b0W0l0D H0ul0, cd. HaraId Szccmann, 6crIcIsmann
vcrIaDocumcnIa,KasscI,197?
Dohcrty,CIa|rc,cd.,Con|cmporor]Ar|.FromS|udo|oS|uoon,6IackDo,London,?004
Duchamp,MarccI,ThcCrcaI|vcAcI',IccIurc,Amcr|canFcdcraI|onoIArIs,HousIon,Tcxa
s,Apr|I19S7,
puDIIshcdInArrNcws,Summcr, 19S7.IpInIcdnkoDcrILcDcI,MorcI0uchomp,T|anonFrcss,
London, 19S9, 77-8
Eco,UmDcrIo,0pcroopcr|o,6ompIano,MIIan,19C?.Irans.Anna CanconI, Thc0pcn Wor,Harvard
Un|vcs|IyFrcss,CamDr|dc, MassachuscIIs, 1989
F|uc|rcdo,LucIano,cd, L,o CIork-IIio 0|icco Coos 964-74), EdIIora UFk], k|o dc]anc|ro,
199C
FosIcr, HaI,ArIy FarIy'(auIhor'sorIInaIIIIIc'ChaI kooms'), Londonkcvicw o)8ooks 4 DcccmDcr
?004. ?1-?
FrcIrc,FaoIo,Pcdooo)|hc0pprcscd,ConI|nuum.NcwYork, 1970
CaDI|k,Suz'DcconsIrucI|nAcsIhcI|cs:Ioward arcspons|DIcarI',NcwAr|xomincr,]anuary1989,
J?-S
CaDI|k.Suz|,Thckc-cnchoncn|o)Ar|,ThamcsandHudson,London,1991
CIIssanI,

douaI,rqucdcIo kcIo|on,

d|I|onCa|mard, Far|s, 1990,Irans.6cIsyW|n,Poc|ics


o)kcIo|ion,Un|vcrs|IyoIM|ch|anFrcss,Ann ArDor, 1997
LOGRAH//20l
ConzaIcsTorrcs,FcIix,inIcrvicwDyTimkoIIins,inFcIixConzoIcz-Torrcs,kT.Frcss,NcwYork,1993
Craham,Dan,Two-Wo,MirrorPowcr,cd.]cIIWaII,ThcMITFrcss,CamDridc, MassachuscIIs,1999
CroupMaIcriaI,0cmocro]:AProcctb,CrouMorcrioI, 6ayFss,ScaIIIc, 1990
CuaIIari, FcIix, 'Thc FosImodcrn Impassc, inCary Ccnosko, cd, Thc Cuotrori kcodcr, 6IackwcII,
OxIord,199b,109-13
CuaIIari, FcIix, Choosmosc,
[
diIions CaIcc, Faris, 199?; Irans. FauI 6ains and ]uIian FcIanis,
Choosmosis.Anrhico-AcsrhcticPorodim,IndianaUnivcrsiIyFrcss,IndianapoIis,1995
HaoorI, ErikCoodlnrcntions.]udinrhcArro)ncounrcr,NcIhcrIandsFoundaIionIorVisuaIArIs,
DcsinandArchiIccIurc(Fonds6IV6),AmsIcrdam,?005
HanIcImann,DoroIhcaVon,andMarjoric]onDIocd,romiscir'soIiricoI,ThcaIcrdcrWcIIjMuscum
Ludwi,CoIonc,?00?
HardI, MichacI, and AnIonio Ncri,mirc, Harvard UnivcrsiIy Frcss, CamDridc, MassachuscIIs,
?000;acccssiDIconinIcrncIhIIpjjwww.ancIrc.comjcanIinajncrij
HccswijI,]canncvan,'FIccIinImacsoICommuniIy`,hIIp:jjwww.jcanncworks.ncI
Hirschho,Thomas,ThomosBirschhomMuscPrcoircAlbincr,
[
d|I|onsav|cr6arraI,Faris,?005
Hirschho, Thomas, 24h FoucouIr,arIisI's proposaI, in24hFoucouIroumoI, FaIaisdcTokyo,Faris,
?-3OcIoDcr?004
HIIcr, CarsIcn,ThcoudouinJ8oudcw)n xcrimcnr:A 0cIibcr0rc, NonForoIisric, orcScoIc Crou
xcrimcnrin0cviorion(?000),FrojccIdcscripIionas puDIishcdin0cWirrckoo no. 9,6russcIs,
May-]unc?001
HoImcs,6rian,'InIcracIioninConIcmporaryArI'and'HicIyphicsoIIhcFuIurc]acqucskancrc
and IhcAcsIhcIics oIEquaIiIy', inBicro,Iiso]rhcFururc,WhaI, Howand IorWhom, rcD,
?00?-3, 8-1b;88-105.
HunI, konaId,Trons)orm rhcWorIdPocti]musrbcmodcb, oIl,ModcrnaMusccI,SIoc|hoIm,19b9
InvcnIory,'OnArI,FoIiIicsandkcIaIionaIAcsIhcIics`,Invcrot],voI., no.?-3,?005,1bb-181
]acoD, Mary|an, Convcrsorions inrhcCosrIc: ChonnAudicnccsondConrcmoror] Arr,ThcMIT
Frcss,CamDridc,MassachuscIIs,1998
Kaprow,AIIan,AsscmbIocs.nvironmcnrsondBocninsHarryNADrams,NcwYork, 19bb
Kaprow,A|Ian,sso,sonrhc8Iurrino)Arrond]c,UnivcrsiIy oICaIiIorniaFrcss,6crkcIcyand Los
AncIcs, 1993
KcsIcr, Cra, Convcrsorion Picccs. Communiq ond Communicorion in Modcm Arr, UnivcrsiIy oI
CaIiIorniaFrcss, 6crkcIcyandLosAncIcs,?004
KoIIckrivc KrcorvircCoIIccrivc Ccorivir], kcvoIvcr, FrankIurI am MainjKunsIhac Fridcricianum,
KasscI, ?005
Kravana, CIisIian 'Workin on Ihc CommuniIy ModcIs oI FarIicipaIory FracIicc',
hIp: rcpuDIicarI.ncIjd|sc aa p krav ana01cn.h Im
Kwon, Miwon, 0nc PIocc cr Anorhcr. SircScci]c Arr ond ocorionoI ldcnri, Thc MIT F

css,
CamDridc,MassachuscIIs,?00?
Laddaa,kc|nIdo'Mundoscomuncs.McIamorIosisdcIasarIcsdcIprcscnIc',0rPorrc(ArcnIina),
isucb,WiIcr ?005, 113
202JJLOGRAH
L?ddaa, kcina|do, s||ic 00 8 0D0I0l8 - IOIU8C0D 00 OlI8 CuOI8 00 8S 8Il0S, Adriana
HidaIo,6ucnosAircs,?00C
Larscn, Lars6an, 'SociaI AcsIhcIics 11 cxampIcs Io bcinwiIh, inIhc IihI oIparaIIcI hisIory',
|eroII,issuc1,CcnIraI SainIMarIin'sSchooIoIArI, London, 1999,7C-87
Larscn, Lars 6an, and Chus MarIinc, CarIcs Cucrra, TheInisibIeInsuec|ion o) oMiIIion Minds:
Twen|,Proposols)orImoinin|heFu|ure,SaIa kcI:aIdc, 6iIbao,?00S
Lcc,FamcIaM,0b}ec||obe 0es|ro,ed:TheWorko)CordonMo||o-CIork,ThcMlTFrcss, Cambridc,
MassachuscIIs,?000,chapIcr4, 1C?-?09
Lind, Maria, e| 0I.. Cesommel|e 0ruclsoche{CoIIec|ed NewsIe||ers, kcvoIvcr, FrankIurI am
MainlunsIvcrcinMinchcn,Munich,?00S
Lippard,Lucy,'EnIcrinIhc6icrFicIurc',inLippard,TheLureo)|heLocoI,Thc NcwFrcss,NcwYork,
1997,?8C-90
Moran,|cssica,CommonWeoI|I,TaIc,London,?004
Nancy,|can-Luc,LoCommunou|dsoeuvre,ChrisIian6ourcois, Fais, 198C. cd. andIrans.FcIcr
Connor,Thenopero|iveCommunit,,UnivcrsiIyoIMinncsoIaFrcss, MinncapoIis,1991,chapIcr1
NcsbiI, MoIIy, and Hans UIrich ObrisI, kirkriI Tiravana, 'WhaI is a SIaIion' (cdiIcd vcrsion
acccssibIconinIcrncI)hIIpjjwww.c-IIux.comjproccIsjuIopiajabouI.hImI
No|hin/ ke|rospec|iveb,kirkri|Tirovon)oondKominLerdchoiproser|,ChianMaiArIMuscumjFIan
b,6ankoI:,?004
ObrisI,HansUIrich,'nIroducIion',TokeMeI'mours,ScrpcnIincCaIIcry,London,199S
ObrisI,HansUIrich,cd.,0oI|,kcvoIvcrandcux,FrankIurIamMain,?00S
OiIicica,HcIio,'NoIcsonIhcFaranoc' (19CC),'FosiIionandFroram'(19CC),'Edcn'(19C9),inCuy
6rcII,e|ol,BIio0i|icic,WiIIcdcWiIh, koIIcrdam,199?
Fipcr,Adrian,'NoIcsonFunklIV,inFipcr0u|o)0rder,0u|o)Sih|,voI.1,ThcMITFrcss,Cambridc,
MassachuscIIs, 199C
Furvcs,Tcd, (cd.),Who|wewon|is)ree.enerosi|,ondechoneinrecen|or|,SIaIcUnivcrsiIyoINcw
YorkFrcss,AIbany,?00S
kanci, |acqucs, 'FrobIcms and TransIormaIions in CriIicaI

rI', in kancirc, MoIoise dons


I'es||ique,

diIionsCaIiIcc,Fris,?004
kosIcr,MarIha,TravcIIinCaracSaIc'.inCaIhcrincdcZchcr,cd.,Mor|hokosIer.Posi|ionsin|heLi]e
WorId,ThcMITFrcss,Cambrdc,MassachuscIIs,1998,n.p
/0D K0]]0ISU0I. WI0I0S /. MaasinjCcnrcnaIionaId'arIconIcmporaindcCrcnobIc, 199C
SarIrc,|can-FauI,'WhyWrIc'(1948)nWho|isLi|e|ure,kouIIcdcCIasscs,London,1993,?C-48
SIcincr,6arbara(cd),Superex:Tools,VcrIadcr6uchhandIunWaIIcrKni,CoIonc,?003
Tiravania,kirkr|I,'NoChosIsinIhcWaII`,nkirkri|rovon(joAke|rospective,Muscum6omansVan
6cunincn,koIIcrdam,?004
No|hin./ Ie|rospec|veU)kirkri|0von(joondKomnLer|coiproser|,ChianMaiArIMuscum,?004
ViIcnsky,DmiIri,andChIoDcIaICroup, 'WhaIis Io bc donc' (?003),MoscowAr|Moozine0ies|
JJJ-?005, 1?1
LOGRA//20
u0PX
Adorno,Thcdor184
AIIhusscr,Lou|s1b0
AmaraI,Tars|Iado113
Andcrscn,TcIs17b,178,179,183
Andradc,OswaIdodc113
Araon,louIs,8b
ArcndI,Hanna 70n
Ar|sIoIIc?8,3?,7?
ArIaud, AnIon|n 11
6ach,]ohannScbasIIan?1,133
6adIou,AIaIn70n
6akcr,Ccorc54
6aInIn,MIkhaIIb0
6aI|bar,[I|cnnc187-8
6aIIard].C. 193
6aIac,Honorcdc85-b41,44-5
6arncy,MaIIhcw91
6ars,Maur|cc 10
6ahcs,koIand 13, 17n,58,41-5
6asuaIdo,CarIos 11bn
6aIaIIIc,Ccorcs54,b4,b8-9,1bb. 1b9
6audcIaIrc,CharIcs4?,44
6audou|n6oudcw|n,KInocI|um144-5
6cccroIIVancssa 91
6ccIhovcn, LudIvan 0-1, 133
6cnam|n,WaIIcr11,58,8b
6cnson,M|chacI 14?n
6crIo,luc|ano?03b
6cuys]oscph10, 15, 1?0-b
6IIIc,Fcr 180
6|shop,CIa|r1017, 195
6cICcorcs90-1
6IanchoI,Maur|cc58,b8
6Ioch,sI184-5
6oaI,AuusIo17n
6ocrI,SIcIano 19?
6ocII,AIhIcro 0
0
6ohr, N|cIs33
6oIIansI,Chr|sI|an89-91
6nam|,Franccsco 193

6ouIc,F|crrc?1
6ourrIaud,N|coIas 13, 15, 79,154,1b071,190-1,
191,194-5
6rahms,]ohanncs133
6rcchI, 6crIoII 11, 13, ?9-30, 37, 43, 84-5, 87,
184-5,188
6rcchI,Ccorc,andF|I|ou,kobcrI1b3
6rcncr,AIcxandcr14?n
6rcIon,Andrc10,51
6roodIhacrs,MarccI 191
6uIIoch,AncIa1b4,1b8
6rcr,FcIcr13,4b-53
6urkc,Edmund?7
6uh,Ccorc 189
6uar|,Fash188
CaIdcr,AIcxandcr30
CaIIc,Soph|c1b3
CarncvaIc,Crac|cIa15,117-19
Carvcr,kaymond190
CaIIcIan,Maur||o88
CcIanI,Ccrmano1bn
CcrIcau,M|chcIdc 17n
Chr|sIoand]cannc-CIaudc10
Chu|ov,.1?8-9
CIa|r,]can 1bb
CIak,lyIa 14
CIark,LyIa,andO|I|c|ca,HcI|o190,110-1b
CIa,]194
CInIon,6IIIand H|Iary87
CoIc, NaIK|n107
CoIIccIIvcAcIIons 15, 1?7-9
CourbcI,CusIavc87
Crcwdon,Crco91
CuIcr,Eda15,138-43
Dcak,FranIIsck1bn
Dcbord,Cuy?,5,88, 9b-101, 1b8-9
DcIcrI,Danicl15b
Dclcuzc,Cillcs70n,154,190
Dclcuzc,Cllcs,andCuaIIari,Fclix15 1b, 71, 73
Dcllcrcrcmy, 14b7
Dcrrida,acucs 17n,54
DcscarIcs,Kcncb4
DksIra, Kinckc 91
DimiIricvic,raco1b3
Dordcvic,Coran14?n
DuarIc,Kocrio 117n
Duchamp,Marccl50,150,1bb,191,194
DuIour,irsIcn 181183
Durand,CilbcrI1bb
Durham,|immic188
DycIacrIs,Eric1b4
Eco,mbcrIo13,?0-40
EinsIcin,AlbcrI?9,35-b
Ellul,acucs70n
EnwczorOkwui193
FairhursI,Anus 1b4
Fanon,FranIz75
Fcldmann,Hans-FcIcr89
FiaI,ChrisIophc157
Fiis,Mikc14b
ilou,KobcrI89,1b3
Fischli,Hns,andVciss, David89
Fishkin,Vadim14?
FlaubcrI,CusIavc44
Foran,|ohn 177
FosIcr,Hal , 190-5
FoucaulI,Miccl154-, 190
Frascr,Andca 1b4
Frcud,imundb4
Cancc,Abcl11?
CcnIc, FcIcr 15b-7
Cidc,Andrc100
Cillick,am1b4, 185, 187,1901
ClissanI
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douard13,71-8,187
Codard,|can-Luc90-1
Colub,Lcon187
ConzalczFocrsIcr,Dominiuc90,191
Conzalcz-orrcs,Fclix1b7,1b8,190
Cordon,Doulas1b4,191-?
CKAV(Croupcdcrcchcrchcd'arIvisucI)113
Cropius,ValIcr179
CroupA1?90
CroupMaIcrial135-7
CuaIIari,Fclix13,79-8?,1b3,1b9-70
S00 3SO Dccuzc,Cillcs,andFclixCuaIIari
Curin,David 178-9
Haackc,Hans87,191
Haanin,|cns90,1b?,177-8
Hall,SIuarI,andAzizov,Zciam 188
HardI,Michacl,andNcri, AnIonio13
HcarIIcld,ohn8b
Hccl, Fricdrich55,b0,b1-3,bb
Hcidccr MarIin54,b4,b5, bb
Hciscnbcr,Vcrncr33
Hcrdcr,|ohannCoIIIricd 5b
Hickcy,Davc 1bb
Hirschhorn,homas15,1?0,154-7,190,19?
HirsI,Damicn191
HiIlcr,AdolI84
Hldcrlin,Fricdrhb1
Hllcr,CarsIcn 15,144-5,1b8,18b,19?
Holzcr,cnny1b5
Hucblcr,Doulas193
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HybcrIFabricc89
KVNroup138-43,14?n
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|ohnson,Fhilip15?
|osch,Manuc| 157
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Kabakov,Iya15,1?9
KaIka,Fran?8
KanI, ImmanucI71
Kaprow,AIIan15,10?4
Kawara,On89,1b3
KcIIcy,Mikc1b5
KiarosIami,Abbas 185, 189
KiIimnik,Karcn149
KinmonI,6cn1b4
KiIIcann,Udo 151
Koons,]cII1b5
KoIov,N.1?8
KraIIwcrk1b4
Kudo,TcIsumia 1b5
Kwon,Miwon54
Larscn,Lrs6an15,17?-83
Lavicr,6crIrand9?
LcFarc,]uIio113
Lcc,FamcIaN.54
Lccr,Fcrnand 191
Lcibni,CoIIIricdViIhcImb3
Lc|dcrman,Yur 14?
Lcnin,V. I.58
Lcwinsky,Monica87
LissiIky, EI 193
LyoIard,|canFranois70n
M|r,AIcksandra18?
Monroc,MariIyn 107
Moran,]cssica54
Morris,ViIIiam179
MoarI,VoIIanAmadcus 133
N55roup175-b, 179
Nancy,]can-Luc 13,54-70
Ncr|, AnIon|o13
S00 8SO HardI,MichacIandAnIonioNcri
Nckrasov,VscvoIod 15, 1?8
NcsbiI,MoIIy184-9
scc8SO ObrisI,HansUIrich;TiravanakirkriI
NicIscn,FaIIc 173-7, 178
NicIschc,Fricdrichb1,b9,10b,154
Nixon,kichard 178
NovaIis(FricdrichvonHardcnbcr)?7
ObrisI,Hans-UIrich190,193-4
S00 8SO NcsbiI,MoIIy,Tiravania,kirkriI
I|c|ca, HI|o 10, 15, 105-9
S00 8SO CIarI:, Lyia
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Facino,A 19
Farcyson, Luii38
Farrcno,FhiIippc1b4,191
FasoIini,FicrFaoIo70
Fcdrosa,Mario 110,114
FcrCabricI 170-1n
Fipcr,Adrian10,15,1304
McNamara,kobcrI 190 Fivovarova, I.1?9
MaIIcsoIi,MichcI 1b1 FIaIo?3,7?,185-b
MaIIarmc,SIcphanc?7,313,4?,b0,90 FoIIock,]ackson10?
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Marioni,Tom 10 Frioinc, IIya,andSIcncrs,IsabcIIc80
Marx,KarI 11,13,37,55,57,58,b0,1?1,1b1,1b9 Frincc,kichard1b5
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Mauss,MarccI190, 195
Mckas,]onas187
McrIcat|-FonIy, Mauricc345
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kancrc,]acqucs13,151b,70n,83-93, 18b-7
kaqsMcdiaCoIIccIivc188
kay,CharIcs88
kcaan,konaIdi35
kosIcr,MarIhai0,84,87,i87
kouch,|cani93
kousscau,|can-|acucs59-bi,ib0
kuppcrsbcr,AIIcni0
kuskin,|ohni79
SaIa,Aii87
Samorc,Sam i3i
SarIrc,|can-FauI 34,54,5b,i94
ScanIan,|oci9i
Schcmbcr,Mrio iii
Schcrcr,|acucs3i
SchiIIcrFricdrichvoni??
SchindIcr,kudoIphi5?
SchIccI,Fricdrichvonb0
Schopcnhaucr,ArIhuri78
Schwarzc,Dirki5,i?0-4
SchwiIIcrs,KurIi9?
SckuIa,AIIani87
SmiIhson,kobcrI ib5
So|zhcniIsyn,Acksandr55
Spcro,Nancyi87, i88
Spinoza,6cncdicI3b,i54
Spocrri,DanicI ,ib3
SIaIin,|oscI58
SIcincr,kdoIpi??
SIcinwc,Marcusi54,i5b,i57
SIockhauscn,KarIhcinz?0,3b
SIravinsky,or?i
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Tchaikovsky, FyoIr4?
Thck,FauIib5
Thybo,Finni80-i,i83
TindaII,V.Y?8
Tiravania,kirkriI i5,90, i49-53,ib4, i85, i90,
i9i-3
S00 8SO NcsbiI,MoIIy;ObrisI,Hans-UIrich
Tobicr,lincoInib4
TroIsky,lcon58
Tzara,TrisIan 5i
VaIcry,FauI?8,4?,
50
Van Coh,VinccnI4?
Varda, Ans i87
VcIoso,CacIano iii-i?,iib,ii7n
Vcrdi,Ciuscppc,Ada?i
VcrIainc,FauI?7
VcrnanI,|can-Ficrrc45
ViIIicrsdcI'IsIc Adam,AuusIcdcb5
VioIa, i 9i-?
VosIcI,VoII87
Vanc,kichardb0,9i
VaIIcrsIcin,mmanucI i89
VanDu87
VarhoI,Andy 87
Vcbcrn,AnIon30
Vcincr,lawrcncc i87
Vciss,David89
S00 8SO FischIi, Hans, andDavidVcss
VcsI, Franz ib4
VhiIchcad,AIIrcdNorIh?9
ViId,Oscarib9
ViIson,Edmund?9
ViIson,ani0
Vodizc|:o,KrzyszIoI87
VooII,Virinia90-i
VrihI,FranklIoyd i5?
hialov,A.i?8
Ziovicv,Criori55
Zobcrni,Hcimib4
ZoIa,
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miIc85
NDE//207
_@@g_
Fditor's ackno
Manythankst
Francesco Mar
fundedbythe
ofrt,London
Pblishcr's ac wmm ,
uente,
n was
ollee
Whitechapel is rateful to all those who ave their enerous permission to
reproduce the listed material. Fvery effort has been made to secure all
permissions and we apoloize for any inadvertent errors or omissions. lf
notiied,wewillendeavourtocorrecttheseattheearliestopportunity.
We wouldliketoexpressourthankstoallwhocontributedtothemakinof
this volume, especially ulie ult, Nicolas Bourriaud, Craciela Carnevale, Fda
Cufer, eremy Deller, Umberto Fco, Hal Foster, Thomas Hirschhorn, Carsten
Hller,Lars BanLarsen,DavidMacey, Molly Nesbit, Hans Ulrich Dbrist,drian
Piper,acques Rancire, RirkritTiravania. Wealsoratefullyacknowledethe
cooperation of. AfrcraJ London rtanel, London

ditions Calile, Paris


Farrar, Straus Ciroux, New York lndiana University Press, Bloominton,
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VhiIcchapcIVcnIurcsraIcIuIIyacknowIcdcsIhcsupporIoI
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VhiIcchapcICalcryis supporIcdby
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