A response to ‘Are dialogic and relational aesthetics relevant to all participatory and co-creative practitioners?’

On The Edge Research

This excellent piece (Chris Fremantle’s blog 6.1.2014) frames the debate on participation and co-creation in art and design as a priviledging of process (over product) and social concerns (over artistic concerns). This presupposes in some way a radical break with what has gone before that might have particular relevance at this point in time to design, architecture and new media.

There is without question a perceived ‘Social Turn’ in art (Lind 2005/6, Bishop 2006/12, Jackson 2011) and this is frequently articulated as a concern with process and the social (Bishop 2004). However, to play devil’s advocate for a moment (as Claire Bishop herself suggests in 2012), how are these concerns not true of all art and any time? Have artists not always situated their practices within the social? In what sense is this set of concerns a new endeavour, a turn in direction from what went before?

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Mcgeorge Fellowship, University of Melbourne

On The Edge Research

Anne Douglas has been invited by the Centre of Cultural Partnerships (CCP), University of Melbourne to focus and consolidate  work on her two most recent research projects: Artist as Leader (2007-2009) and Improvisation and Experimental Knowledge (2010-2012) through the University’s Macgeorge Fellowship programme. The research will lead to a book manuscript, Leading through Arts Practice (provisional title). Aspects of its development will evolve in  collaboration with the Centre, working in partnership with Dr James Oliver, Coordinator of Graduate Research. The fellowship will take place from 1st February 2014 for eight weeks.

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Are dialogic and relational aesthetics relevant to all participatory and co-creative practitioners?

On The Edge Research

One of the questions we asked in the conclusions of the Practising Equality paper (2013), looking across art, design, architecture and new media at practices of co-creativity and participation, is whether the development of thinking about the aesthetics of participation in art has relevance to design, architecture and new media?

The emergence of a debate around the aesthetics of process and the social in art is one of the important developments of the past 25 years. Whether we are talking about Bourriaud’s ‘relational aesthetics’ discussing participatory work in galleries, or Kester’s attention to ‘dialogic aesthetics’ in situated practices, or Bishop’s interest in the perversity of participation, all are concerned with an aesthetics of process and social relations.

Suzanne Lacy, who is both the subject of one of Kester’s case studies and also a contributor to the discourse herself, draws attention to Allan Kaprow’s concerns. Kaprow’s practice is fundamentally participatory and…

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