“Space Juxtaposition in Arts” presented by Wan


Session Title:

  • Location/Space (Papers)

Presentation Title:

  • Space Juxtaposition in Arts




  • Space Juxtaposition in Locative Arts suggests a discourse that analyzes digital artworks related to spatial practice. This paper discusses how arts transforms spaces and characteristics of locative artworks, such as the unstable relationship between spatialized narrative and its site, and the temporal shift in multilayered space.

    Section One of this paper, Introduction, reveals the importance of the origin of locative art while presents a critical analysis of the art practice in the 1960s. Site‑specific art practice usually refers to artworks that exist in a particular space. A famous quote from the minimalist artist, Richard Serra, reveals the essence of this art practice. In 1985, after a public hearing to determine whether his work Tilted Arc needed to be relocated, he remarked:

    As I pointed out, Tilted Arc was conceived from the start as a site‑specific sculpture and was not meant to be ‘site‑adjusted’ or ‘relocated’. Site‑ specific works deal with the environmental components of given places. The scale, size and location of site‑specific works are determined by the topography of the site, be it urban, landscape or architecture enclosure. The works become part of the site, and restructure both conceptually and perceptually the organisation of it.”   _Serra, 1994

    However, Serra’s definition of this practice remains controversial. Because many argue that site‑specific art could be ‘site‑adjusted’ as in the case with the above artworks, especially in terms of embracing different qualities that exist in the site. Whether the work can be ‘relocated’ depends heavily on how the word ‘site’ is defined in site‑specific art, important concerns include: ‘What is a site?’, ‘How has the site been constructed?’ and ‘Where is the site?’.

    Vito Acconci’s Following Piece in 1960s is one of the pioneer works that blurred the boundary between spaces. His work created a contradictory experience for himself; he converted the public space into an art space as he followed someone in public but the person he was following was experiencing a normal everyday life.The multilayered space in his piece is worth paying attention to. When he was following his ‘targets’, he was aware that he was creating art. In other words, his space is an art space. However from his targets’ perspective, the space is a public space. In this case, the contradictory definition of space proves that action defines space.

    Section Two, The Bonds, describes artistic approaches to everyday life and argues that elements from our everyday life in art projects as the bonds that connect each other. A more recent example, Serendipitor by Mark Shepard illustrates how art transforms space. Since users experience and create art spaces, together with the artist, these spaces are multilayered and overlapped. Furthermore, sites in this artwork could be anywhere in the world with an internet connection, hence its sites are hybrid in form.

    In Section Three, Characteristics of Locative Art, it suggests a new art discipline, which originates from site‑specific art and provides a theoretical framework. This analytical structure manifests in technological advancement of mobile technology, spatialized narrative and its modular structure. At the end of this paper, it concludes by outlining how locative arts emphasizes the shift in space, and pushes this overlapping experience further with the assistance of mobile technology. Artists structure these events in order to transform the public space as well as the spatial relationship between the artwork and the audience.

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