New Infrastructures

Performative Infrastructures in the aRT Field

Research output: Book/ReportAnthologyResearch

Abstract

Organization, or the ways in which art connects to social and political worlds, is increasingly becoming a focus of attention in the contemporary art field. Prompted by a situation in which contemporary art offers itself simultaneously as a touristic device, as a value in the creative economies, and as a means for creating amiable socialities, new critical art practices and curatorial initiatives emerge which pursue alternative politics of connection, and which turn this organizing process itself into the very center and material of artistic and political action. Such practices then become platforms for collective, cross-disciplinary inquiries and for art and social action to merge as crucial sites of experimentation between embodied experience, social struggle, and collective appropriations of space. Increasingly, also art museums and other institutionalized spaces become framed as scenes for public assemblies, for social gatherings, and participatory commitments. The adaption of “activist” strategies and co-creative practices into highly institutionalized settings is a signal of this. This special issue on New Infrastructures sets out to map an emerging field of experimental infrastructures in the art field. As an interdisciplinary endeavor, the call addresses itself to practice-based artists and curators, as well as to theorists from the fields of sociology, anthropology, art, urban design, architecture, critical theory, or philosophy. It invites theoretical as well as practice-based perspectives and close readings of case studies.

Infrastructure is about connecting people and things, and thus constructing a common world. However, while enabling connections, infrastructure simultaneously shapes these connections. Thereby, infrastructure allows some ideas to become valuable and some forms of life to exist, while precluding others. As the American anthropologist Elizabeth Povinelli argues, infrastructures are belated events. They can be only grasped from their tailings – or from the effect they leave behind (Povinelli, The Infrastructure Summit, Bergen 2016). Similarly, urban theorist Keller Easterling, describes infrastructure space as the “undeclared but consequential activities” of an organization, “not the text but the constantly updating software that manages the text” (Easterling, 2016). Today, social practice has come to the fore in contemporary life as simultaneously the target of governance, and as the means for radical organization. This happens at a time when power is increasingly being theorized as infrastructural – not as an explicit sovereign power, but rather as discrete operations, the ways through which juridical, spatial or logistical systems are managed and coordinated. Responding to this, a revolutionary approach to infrastructure and organizing has redefined the meaning of radical action. This can be seen in non-representational practices of democracy following the economic crisis in Europe, in activism, the Occupy movement, and other forms of horizontal social action. It is precisely this contested and performative nature of the concept of infrastructure which this issue wants to seize upon and explore further. When considered a contested and performative concept, infrastructure may work as a tool to make clear what’s at stake in radical forms of organization, instituting, practices of commoning, or in curatorial experiments in the art system.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAarhus
PublisherPassepartout
Volume40
Number of pages200
ISBN (Print)0908-5351
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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infrastructure
art
organization
contemporary art
sociality
critical theory
political action
economic crisis
artist
museum
anthropology
sociology
commitment
governance
democracy
economy
politics
event
experiment
Values

Cite this

@book{59175d91d92b4cf7a0b980dd6ef158ec,
title = "New Infrastructures: Performative Infrastructures in the aRT Field",
abstract = "Organization, or the ways in which art connects to social and political worlds, is increasingly becoming a focus of attention in the contemporary art field. Prompted by a situation in which contemporary art offers itself simultaneously as a touristic device, as a value in the creative economies, and as a means for creating amiable socialities, new critical art practices and curatorial initiatives emerge which pursue alternative politics of connection, and which turn this organizing process itself into the very center and material of artistic and political action. Such practices then become platforms for collective, cross-disciplinary inquiries and for art and social action to merge as crucial sites of experimentation between embodied experience, social struggle, and collective appropriations of space. Increasingly, also art museums and other institutionalized spaces become framed as scenes for public assemblies, for social gatherings, and participatory commitments. The adaption of “activist” strategies and co-creative practices into highly institutionalized settings is a signal of this. This special issue on New Infrastructures sets out to map an emerging field of experimental infrastructures in the art field. As an interdisciplinary endeavor, the call addresses itself to practice-based artists and curators, as well as to theorists from the fields of sociology, anthropology, art, urban design, architecture, critical theory, or philosophy. It invites theoretical as well as practice-based perspectives and close readings of case studies.Infrastructure is about connecting people and things, and thus constructing a common world. However, while enabling connections, infrastructure simultaneously shapes these connections. Thereby, infrastructure allows some ideas to become valuable and some forms of life to exist, while precluding others. As the American anthropologist Elizabeth Povinelli argues, infrastructures are belated events. They can be only grasped from their tailings – or from the effect they leave behind (Povinelli, The Infrastructure Summit, Bergen 2016). Similarly, urban theorist Keller Easterling, describes infrastructure space as the “undeclared but consequential activities” of an organization, “not the text but the constantly updating software that manages the text” (Easterling, 2016). Today, social practice has come to the fore in contemporary life as simultaneously the target of governance, and as the means for radical organization. This happens at a time when power is increasingly being theorized as infrastructural – not as an explicit sovereign power, but rather as discrete operations, the ways through which juridical, spatial or logistical systems are managed and coordinated. Responding to this, a revolutionary approach to infrastructure and organizing has redefined the meaning of radical action. This can be seen in non-representational practices of democracy following the economic crisis in Europe, in activism, the Occupy movement, and other forms of horizontal social action. It is precisely this contested and performative nature of the concept of infrastructure which this issue wants to seize upon and explore further. When considered a contested and performative concept, infrastructure may work as a tool to make clear what’s at stake in radical forms of organization, instituting, practices of commoning, or in curatorial experiments in the art system.",
author = "Christensen, {Signe Meisner} and Rachel Mader",
year = "2019",
language = "English",
isbn = "0908-5351",
volume = "40",
publisher = "Passepartout",

}

New Infrastructures : Performative Infrastructures in the aRT Field. / Christensen, Signe Meisner; Mader, Rachel.

Aarhus : Passepartout, 2019. 200 p.

Research output: Book/ReportAnthologyResearch

TY - BOOK

T1 - New Infrastructures

T2 - Performative Infrastructures in the aRT Field

AU - Christensen, Signe Meisner

AU - Mader, Rachel

PY - 2019

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N2 - Organization, or the ways in which art connects to social and political worlds, is increasingly becoming a focus of attention in the contemporary art field. Prompted by a situation in which contemporary art offers itself simultaneously as a touristic device, as a value in the creative economies, and as a means for creating amiable socialities, new critical art practices and curatorial initiatives emerge which pursue alternative politics of connection, and which turn this organizing process itself into the very center and material of artistic and political action. Such practices then become platforms for collective, cross-disciplinary inquiries and for art and social action to merge as crucial sites of experimentation between embodied experience, social struggle, and collective appropriations of space. Increasingly, also art museums and other institutionalized spaces become framed as scenes for public assemblies, for social gatherings, and participatory commitments. The adaption of “activist” strategies and co-creative practices into highly institutionalized settings is a signal of this. This special issue on New Infrastructures sets out to map an emerging field of experimental infrastructures in the art field. As an interdisciplinary endeavor, the call addresses itself to practice-based artists and curators, as well as to theorists from the fields of sociology, anthropology, art, urban design, architecture, critical theory, or philosophy. It invites theoretical as well as practice-based perspectives and close readings of case studies.Infrastructure is about connecting people and things, and thus constructing a common world. However, while enabling connections, infrastructure simultaneously shapes these connections. Thereby, infrastructure allows some ideas to become valuable and some forms of life to exist, while precluding others. As the American anthropologist Elizabeth Povinelli argues, infrastructures are belated events. They can be only grasped from their tailings – or from the effect they leave behind (Povinelli, The Infrastructure Summit, Bergen 2016). Similarly, urban theorist Keller Easterling, describes infrastructure space as the “undeclared but consequential activities” of an organization, “not the text but the constantly updating software that manages the text” (Easterling, 2016). Today, social practice has come to the fore in contemporary life as simultaneously the target of governance, and as the means for radical organization. This happens at a time when power is increasingly being theorized as infrastructural – not as an explicit sovereign power, but rather as discrete operations, the ways through which juridical, spatial or logistical systems are managed and coordinated. Responding to this, a revolutionary approach to infrastructure and organizing has redefined the meaning of radical action. This can be seen in non-representational practices of democracy following the economic crisis in Europe, in activism, the Occupy movement, and other forms of horizontal social action. It is precisely this contested and performative nature of the concept of infrastructure which this issue wants to seize upon and explore further. When considered a contested and performative concept, infrastructure may work as a tool to make clear what’s at stake in radical forms of organization, instituting, practices of commoning, or in curatorial experiments in the art system.

AB - Organization, or the ways in which art connects to social and political worlds, is increasingly becoming a focus of attention in the contemporary art field. Prompted by a situation in which contemporary art offers itself simultaneously as a touristic device, as a value in the creative economies, and as a means for creating amiable socialities, new critical art practices and curatorial initiatives emerge which pursue alternative politics of connection, and which turn this organizing process itself into the very center and material of artistic and political action. Such practices then become platforms for collective, cross-disciplinary inquiries and for art and social action to merge as crucial sites of experimentation between embodied experience, social struggle, and collective appropriations of space. Increasingly, also art museums and other institutionalized spaces become framed as scenes for public assemblies, for social gatherings, and participatory commitments. The adaption of “activist” strategies and co-creative practices into highly institutionalized settings is a signal of this. This special issue on New Infrastructures sets out to map an emerging field of experimental infrastructures in the art field. As an interdisciplinary endeavor, the call addresses itself to practice-based artists and curators, as well as to theorists from the fields of sociology, anthropology, art, urban design, architecture, critical theory, or philosophy. It invites theoretical as well as practice-based perspectives and close readings of case studies.Infrastructure is about connecting people and things, and thus constructing a common world. However, while enabling connections, infrastructure simultaneously shapes these connections. Thereby, infrastructure allows some ideas to become valuable and some forms of life to exist, while precluding others. As the American anthropologist Elizabeth Povinelli argues, infrastructures are belated events. They can be only grasped from their tailings – or from the effect they leave behind (Povinelli, The Infrastructure Summit, Bergen 2016). Similarly, urban theorist Keller Easterling, describes infrastructure space as the “undeclared but consequential activities” of an organization, “not the text but the constantly updating software that manages the text” (Easterling, 2016). Today, social practice has come to the fore in contemporary life as simultaneously the target of governance, and as the means for radical organization. This happens at a time when power is increasingly being theorized as infrastructural – not as an explicit sovereign power, but rather as discrete operations, the ways through which juridical, spatial or logistical systems are managed and coordinated. Responding to this, a revolutionary approach to infrastructure and organizing has redefined the meaning of radical action. This can be seen in non-representational practices of democracy following the economic crisis in Europe, in activism, the Occupy movement, and other forms of horizontal social action. It is precisely this contested and performative nature of the concept of infrastructure which this issue wants to seize upon and explore further. When considered a contested and performative concept, infrastructure may work as a tool to make clear what’s at stake in radical forms of organization, instituting, practices of commoning, or in curatorial experiments in the art system.

M3 - Anthology

SN - 0908-5351

VL - 40

BT - New Infrastructures

PB - Passepartout

CY - Aarhus

ER -