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Seventh Cycle: Relational Aesthetics and Labor #11
What is a relationship? Is a relationship an object or does its constant state of interdependent flux make it something entirely different? How do we speak of relationships as if they are stable objects?
Me <=> Object
Grammar presupposes the kinds of relationships we can have (in the above incomplete list one gets a sense of the overlap between relational scenarios and declensions). Each connotes qualities and boundaries of relation. Relationships of course go two ways. They are dialectical in that the forces of their interaction are mutually affective. As one engages with an other, the other engages with you.
How do you think about your interactions with people on these different levels? Is it reactive? Proactive? How do you change given the scenario of interaction, the object with which you interact? What is the art of experiencing an other, experiencing with another?
Relational aesthetics is described by Nicolas Bourriaud as “a set of artistic practices which take as their theoretical and practical point of departure the whole of human relations and their social context, rather than an independent and private space." Since it’s acknowledgement as a mode of practice in contemporary art, it has been excessively dragged.
Why is this? What do you think about relational aesthetics?
An artist residency is fundamentally a social experiment. Even a co-living arrangement is a social experiment. Negotiating needs, desires, boundaries with roommates, creating place together, thinking together, relaxing together, working together - all these relational aspects can be and are subject to artistic intervention.