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Ideorrythm & Perceptual Geography Under Algorithmic Sovereignty

A Short Lived History of Institutional Critique and Its Future

Key concepts in art theory (CAT 1) MFA 

KIT; NTNU - 2020 Fall


Seminar Description

The seminar opens with a daring claim: the future of institutional critique is no longer so much a question of demarcating space, but one of time.

The roles - occasionally interchangeable - between artist, institution, and viewer have always been a product of distance, defined usually in terms of space. But something has changed drastically in that relationship, as the socio-economic middle gears that had once allowed for working one’s way into the lower middle class - a position from which contempt against mediocrity can be expressed safely - has been gradually eradicated.

In the first session, we will run through the history of institutional critique and explore how institutional critique has been shaped by the changes wrought by social technologies on environmental, political, and socio-economic spheres of life. We will examine this history through the works of Gregory Sholette, Andrea Fraiser, and Chin-tao Wu. We will look at divergent methods and concrete examples of conflicts and proposals artists have made historically, and how these examples differ between communities within and beyond the global art elite.

In the second session, each student will pick a specific case study through which to map the temporal boundaries in an existing relationship between an artist, viewers, and an institution.

Key Concepts:

Adrian Piper - Research Archive

Douglas Crimp - On the Museum’s Ruins

Andrea Fraser - From the Critique of Institutions to an Institution of Critique

Michael Kimmelman - Tall French Visitor Takes up Residence in the Guggenheim

Mierle Laderman Ukeles - Maintenance Art Manifesto

Chin-tao Wu - Privatizing Culture

Gregory Sholette - Dark Matter: Art and Politics in the Age of Enterprise Culture (introduction)

Allan Sekula - Between The Net and the Deep Blue Sea

Max Kozloff Artorum - The Multimillion Dollar Art Boondonggle

Hito Steyerl - In Free Fall: A Thought Experiment on Vertical Perspective


Auxiliary Concepts:


Hito Steyerl - Duty Free Art: Art in the Age of Planetary Civil War

Yves Citton - Ecology of Attention

Peter Pal Pelbart - The Cartography of Exhaustion

Arjun Appadurai and Neta Alexander - Failure

Martin Herbert - Goodbye to All That: Why Do Artists Reject the Art World

Jean Baudrillard - Symbolic Exchange and Death

Roland Barthes - How to Live Together

Giorgos Kallis - Limits

Catalogue of the exhibition curated by Marta Kuzma for Contemporary Art in Ukraine on board the battleship Slavutych 

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