Tuesday 26 January 2010

Encountering ‘The Body’ of Installation Art within Spinoza’s Ethics.

“Reality is inexhaustible, and there must be infinite ways in which it can be thought of.” (Stuart Hampshire, Introduction to Ethics)

To engage with a work of art is traditionally a primarily optical experience, one that necessitates the act of ‘looking’ at an object or image. What happens when we go beyond the purely visual, when art invites a physical engagement and we, as viewer, experience the work as participant, rather than spectator? What affects are activated by encountering a work which communicates through audio, visual and kinaesthetic means? How does installation attempt to engage participants? These concepts are evident in contemporary practice, as well documented by Nicolas Bourriaud in his text Relational Aesthetics , yet it is also worth revisiting the historical development of engaged installational practice.
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