The dialogical imagination: the conversational aesthetic of conceptual art
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A critical study of the conversational aesthetic in Conceptual art, exemplified through projects of the 1970s by the Art & Language group. The text argues that the construction of a new type of spectator, based on Ernst Gombrich’s notion of the 'beholder’s share', is literalized through some practices of Conceptual art. Such practices are based on the transformation of the spectator’s position from informed interpreter to active collaborator. The text surveys this transformation within Conceptual art referring to the seminar-based practice of Ian Wilson, the indexing projects of Art & Language (1972-1976), and their demise in the political diaspora of Conceptual art (post-1976). Also discussed is the potential reactivation of this essentially politicized aesthetic of participation via the use of web-based technologies; in particular, the 2002 reconstruction of an earlier project, Blurting in Art & Language (1973). This article emerged from earlier research on Conceptual Art (see output 2) and is based on a presentation at the conference "Mapping the Neo-Avant Garde," University of Edinburgh/University of Glasgow, September 23-25, 2005; research in progress related directly to this topic has been presented at numerous academic conferences, research centre's and university seminars internationally.
Corris, Michael. (2006) 'The dialogical imagination: the conversational aesthetic of conceptual art', In Hopkins, D. (ed.) Neo-Avant-Garde, New York: Rodopi, pp.301-310
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