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I have reservations about blogging initially, but it is a tool like anything else and if it helps me develop concepts based on my current and future research then it has a purpose beyond the personal blogs of which I am used to coming across on the internet. I was made aware that the personal content of these online contributions during our meeting with the previous year of S.P.A.C.E would be of little interest in the critical and contextual evaluation of me as a student as part of this course. There would be more in interest in solid research and work not a intimate personal account. But I have no interest in writing like a robot, I do not think it would keep my interest and I think based on our introduction to the course I am meant to create  my own methods for my interpretation of Social Practice. We will see what happens over the year, maybe it would be better to keep this clinical but then again if  I can write honestly but with authority it could work.

Study Group Ormston House

Study Group Ormston House

Working with the group today I got a better  understanding the Hal Foster text, Chat Rooms (from those White Chapel Gallery colection books) provided in Dr David Brancaleone seminar on Wednesday, I think as a year we intentionally thrown in at the deep end. I am used to art critical theory so I had a basis for understanding the text  but the group session today really helped me fully understand the context, so there you are already getting social.

The impression I got from the text where that Foster has reservations not just about Bourriaud’s Relational Aesthetics and Postproduction and Hans Ulrich Obrist’s Interviews as the the introduction to the text says the optimistic rhetoric accompanying collaboration and participation. Actually this only became plainly visible to me and the group after reading and discussing the entire text, it was only after that we came to realize that the introduction actually meant anything. I am assuming that this is O.K. and that this is the learning curve. There are three concluding points  at the end of this text he gets to these point eventually not with out first highlighting his concerns.

My most clear and concise notes follow:

  •  Socially engaged work through Fosters eyes in danger of becoming within the institution of the art world fashionable, which means on a whole as an identifiable artistic practice  in danger of being smothered by its own popularity. This could also suffer the consequences with out caution of becoming merely a facade of sociability, commodified to the point of redundancy. For any Artistic practice social or otherwise vibrancy is essential, over familiarity with modes of production social or otherwise rob any engagement of its ability to create social change.
  • The outcome of these works is a reverberation within culture and by extension society of socially ephemeral ideas that last longer than the event or action. They are as much in the same as any creative provocations because they exist after  innocent primary social contributions as ongoing documented and discussed work.
  • Bourriaud sees the artist as a social medic (comparable to Beuys’ the artist as a Shaman) reparing and replacing the absent elements of modern living by presenting what is lost or what is still there through the orchestration of socially engaged projects.
  • Foster is concerned, and I take this to heart for my own practice, this form of work is in danger of turning the individuals involved within the work as “aesthetic objects interacting
In the end Beside what Foster sees as possible interpretations by the audience, of this being both positively and negatively  the End of Art or “for others it will seem to aestheticize the nicer procedures of our service economy”, there is his final point which seems, although I am only assuming, to be closer to his main conclusion. ” Relational aethics might be sucked up in the general movement for a ‘post-critical’ culture- an art and architecture, cinema and literature ‘after theory’ “. To this Concern I have to say so what, people read theory and do what ever the hell they want anyway. 
Also we set a Facebook group although most of us have yet to find it yet, but that is cool it might  even be the way this class communicates eventually. We will probably end up communicating through smoke signals or something equally esoteric. Here is a picture of the thing that we gone and done, aren’t we the greatest:
Tajik FB Corespondance

Tajik FB Corespondance

I hope I haven’t wasted the title of this entry, ah if I want to use it again I will just subtitle it Participation or Provocation: Part 2 .In my next entry I will outline my currently varied line of research both primary and secondary. It’s all very dystopian and shit.