特別講義+講演会+関連プレ授業
グローバル時代の芸術文化概論:
ニコラ・ブリオー
「21世紀の関係性のランドスケープ:
人間的そして非人間的領域の狭間におけるアート」

東京藝術大学大学院国際芸術創造研究科アートプロデュース専攻では、このたび、1980年代後半より現在まで、フランスを拠点に、国際的なコンテンポラリー・アートのキュレーションとそのひとつの理論的展開を先導してきた、キュレーターで美術批評家のニコラ・ブリオー氏を特別ゲスト教授としてお招きし、下記のとおり、一般公開の特別講義と講演会を開催いたします。また、それに先立つプレ授業の一環として、星野太氏(美学/表象文化論)による特別講義も開講します。

ブリオー氏は、1995年、自身の企画する「トラフィック Traffic」展(1996年)の開催に先立ち、「関係性の美学 (Esthétique relationnelle / Relational Aesthetics)」という言葉を、同時代のある種のアート動向の特異性を表現するものとして導入し、のちに同名の著書を刊行しました。また、2009年に企画した「オルターモダン(別の現代) Altermodern」展のマニフェストにおいては、グローバリゼーションの進展を背景に進む文化の標準化と大量生産化、商業主義の蔓延に対する「ひとつの抵抗」としてのアートの可能性を提唱。混交する多様な文化とそのフォーマットを媒介する「翻訳」や「ノマディズム(放浪者の態度・精神)」について語りました。これらの言葉や思索は広く世界的に普及して大きな衝撃と影響をもたらし、現代アートをめぐる新たな解釈やさまざまな議論の展開を創出する重要な契機となりました。併行して、1999年から2006 年までは、パリの現代アート・スペース「パレ・ド・トーキョー Palais de Tokyo」の初代共同ディレクターを務め、その後、同地の国立高等美術学校学長に就任、現在は2019年に開館予定の美術館を含む複合アート施設「MoCo – Montpellier Contemporain(モコ:モンペリエ・コンテンポラン)」のディレクターとしても活躍しています。

このたびの特別講義・講演会は、同氏による本格的なレクチャーとしては日本初の試みとなります。いずれも入場無料、予約不要です。各プログラムの詳細をご確認のうえ、みなさま、この貴重な機会にふるって聴講ください。

Portrait Photo: © Henry Roy

SPECIAL GUEST LECTURER:
ニコラ・ブリオー Nicolas BOURRIAUD
キュレーター/ライター。1965年生まれ。現在、「ラ・パナセ」アート・センター、「モンペリエ国立高等美術学校(ESBAMA)」、そして2019年に開館予定の「MoCoミュージアム」を擁する、複合アート施設「MoCo – Montpellier Contemporain(モコ:モンペリエ・コンテンポラン)」ディレクター。パレ・ド・トーキョー(パリ)創設者・初代共同ディレクター(1999〜2006年)、ヴィクトル・ピンチュック財団(キエフ)創設顧問(2003〜2007年)、IUAVヴェネツィア建築大学教授(2006〜2007年)、テイト・ブリテン(ロンドン)グルベンキアン現代アート・キュレーター(2007年、2010年)を経て、2010年、フランス文化省学術部門長官に就任し、翌11年より15年までパリ国立高等美術学校学長を兼任。同15年より現職。
インディペンデント・キュレーターとして企画した主な国際展に、ヴェネツィア・ビエンナーレ国際美術展「アペルト」部門共同キュレーター(1993年)、「トラフィック」展(CAPC/ボルドー現代アート・センター、1996年)、「エストラートス 層雲」展(ムルシア美術館、スペイン、2008年)、「オルターモダン(別の現状):テイト・トリエンナーレ2009」展(テイト・ブリテン、ロンドン、2009年)、「ウィリクタ:メキシカン・タイム・スリップ」展(ミュゼオ・エスパシオ現代美術館、アグアスカリエンテス、メキシコ、2016〜17年)、主なビエンナーレに、2005年リヨン・ビエンナーレ、2005年・2007年モスクワ・ビエンナーレ(ローサ・マルティネス、ダニエル・バーンバウム、ヨーゼフ・バックシュタイン、ハンス=ウルリッヒ・オブリスト、イアラ・ブーブノーヴァとの共同キュレーション)、2014年台北ビエンナーレ「大いなる加速」展、2015年リトアニア・カウナス・ビエンナーレ「糸」展など。
主な著書に、Esthétique relationnelle / Relational Aesthetics (French Ed. 1998; English Ed. 2002), Postproduction (2002), The Radicant (2009), The Exform (2015)など。そのうちのいくつかは20ヶ国語もの言語に翻訳され世界各地で読まれている。

Program 01
関連プレ講義
星野太
「ニコラ・ブリオー:思想家としてのキュレーター」

日時:2018年1月4日(木) 14:40~16:10 開場:14:30
場所:東京藝術大学 上野キャンパス 音楽学部 5号館 401号教室
*入場無料。日本語のみ。予約不要。定員約70人。先着順。
*教室の定員の都合上、ご入場いただけない場合もございます。ご了承ください。

*4階の教室へ向かうエレベーターが故障しており、階段でのみのご案内となります。
ご迷惑をおかけいたしますが、あらかじめご理解いただきますようお願い致します。

講義アブストラクト:
本講義では、キュレーターのニコラ・ブリオーのこれまでの仕事を、「トラフィック Traffic」展(CAPC/ボルドー現代アート・センター、ボルドー、1996年)から台北ビエンナーレ「大いなる加速 The Great Accelation」展(台北市立美術館、2014年)までの時期を中心に概観していく。同時に、『関係性の美学』(1998年刊)や『ポストプロダクション』(2002年刊)の著者としても知られるブリオーの理論的著作の検討を通じて、その「思想家としてのキュレーター」のとしての側面を浮き彫りにしていきたい。

LECTURER:
星野太 Futoshi HOSHINO
1983年生まれ。美学/表象文化論。東京大学大学院総合文化研究科博士課程修了。博士(学術)。現在、金沢美術工芸大学講師。著書に『崇高の修辞学』(月曜社、2017年刊)、編著にThe Sublime and the Uncanny(UTCP、2016年刊)、共著に『コンテンポラリー・アート・セオリー』(イオスアートブックス、2013年刊)、『キュレーションの現在』(フィルムアート社、2015年刊)、訳書にカンタン・メイヤスー『有限性の後で』(共訳、人文書院、2016年刊)などがある。

Photo: ©Takayuki Taneko

MODERATOR:
長谷川祐子 Yuko HASEGAWA
東京藝術大学大学院国際芸術創造研究科教授、東京都現代美術館参事

Program 02
英語による特別講義
ニコラ・ブリオー
「グローバル時代の芸術文化概論:(詳細未定)

2018年1月5日(金) 16:20~18:20 開場:16:10
場所:東京藝術大学 上野キャンパス 音楽学部 5号館 401号教室
*入場無料。英語のみ。通訳なし。予約不要。定員約70人。先着順。
*教室の定員の都合上、ご入場いただけない場合もございます。ご了承ください。

*教室が5号館409号室から401号室へ変更となりましたのでご注意ください。

*4階の教室へ向かうエレベーターが故障しており、階段でのみのご案内となります。
ご迷惑をおかけいたしますが、あらかじめご理解いただきますようお願い致します。

SPECIAL GUEST LECTURER:
ニコラ・ブリオー Nicolas BOURRIAUD

MODERATOR:
長谷川祐子 Yuko HASEGAWA

Program 03
特別講演会
ニコラ・ブリオー
「21世紀の関係性のランドスケープ:
人間的そして非人間的領域の狭間におけるアート」

日時:2018年1月8日(月・祝) 15:00~17:00 開場:14:30
場所:東京藝術大学 上野キャンパス 美術学部 中央棟 第1講義室(1階)
*入場無料。英語。日本語逐次通訳有り。予約不要。定員約180〜200人。先着順。
*教室の定員の都合上、ご入場いただけない場合もございます。ご了承ください。

SPECIAL GUEST LECTURER:
ニコラ・ブリオー Nicolas BOURRIAUD

MODERATOR:
長谷川祐子 Yuko HASEGAWA

参考テキストおよびウェブリンク集:

◉「リレーショナル・アート」 Relational Art

“関係(性)の芸術。作品の内容や形式よりも「関係(relation)」を重んじる芸術作品を総称的に示す言葉として、1990年代後半より広く用いられるようになった。ここでの「関係」という言葉は作品と鑑賞者とのあいだに生じる関係を指すようにも思えるが、この場合どちらかと言えば作品の制作過程で生じる周囲との接触関係のほうに重点が置かれていると言えるだろう。なぜならリレーショナル・アートは、ある状況や出来事を生み出す過程、およびそれにともなう人々の「参与(participation)」をその本質とするからである。この点においてリレーショナル・アートは、鑑賞に際する「作品」と「鑑賞者」との相互作用を重視するインタラクティヴ・アートとは区別される。以上の意味でのリレーショナル・アートは、フランス出身のキュレーターであるニコラ・ブリオーが90年代に開催した「トラフィック」展や著作のなかで用いたことにより、その後広く流布する概念となった。そのため、一般的にはブリオーの『関係性の美学』(1998)で挙げられているリクリット・ティラヴァーニャ、リアム・ギリック、フェリックス・ゴンザレス=トレス、フィリップ・パレーノ、ヴァネッサ・ビークロフト、平川典俊らがリレーショナル・アートの代表的な作家と目されることが多い。他方、「関係」という言葉の汎用性ともあいまって、リレーショナル・アートという言葉はブリオーによる当初の定義を越えて、何らかの仕方で社会性を主題に掲げた作品や、地域密着型のプロジェクトなどにも今日広く用いられている。
[著者: 星野太/参考文献:L’esthétique relationnelle, Nicolas Bourriaud, Dijon – Paris: Presses du réel, 1998; Relational Aesthetics, Nicolas Bourriaud, Presses du réel, 2002; 大森俊克「リアム・ギリックと『関係性の美学』」『美術手帖』2011年4月号、美術出版社、2011年刊]”
出典:http://artscape.jp/artword/index.php/リレーショナル・アート

◉「関係性の美学」  L’esthétique relationnelle; Relational Aesthetics

“フランス出身の理論家・キュレーターであるニコラ・ブリオー(1965-)が1998年に刊行した著作。2002年には英訳も刊行され、その後のブリオーのキュレーターとしての世界的な活躍を標しづける一冊となった。同書はブリオー自身がボルドー現代美術館やパレ・ド・トーキョーの企画展において評価した同時代の作家/作品を、「関係(relation)」の創出という観点から論じたものである。上記のような作品は「リレーショナル・アート」と呼ばれ、リクリット・ティラヴァーニャ、リアム・ギリック、フィリップ・パレーノ、ヴァネッサ・ビークロフトなどがその代表的な作家として挙げられる。『関係性の美学』という著作そのものは、ブリオーが編集に携わった90年代半ばの雑誌『芸術についての記録』における連載をまとめたものであり、必ずしも「関係性の美学」という主題に関する体系的な議論が構築されているわけではない。加えて、その後に刊行された『ポストプロダクション』(2001)や『ラディカント』(2009)といった著作に目を向けてみても、そこで『関係性の美学』に続く一貫した理論が提示されているとも言いがたい。しかし、同書に端を発する「リレーショナル・アート」や「関係性の美学」という基本コンセプトは、90年代から00年代にかけて急増したインスタレーションをはじめとする新たなタイプの作品、ひいては地域振興を旨とするコミュニティ・アートなどの理論的な後ろ盾としてしばしば援用されることになった。そのような意味において、同書は2000年代以降の美術の新たなパラダイムを切り拓いた著作であり、現在邦訳が最も待たれている一冊である。
[著者: 星野太/参考文献:L’esthétique relationnelle, Nicolas Bourriaud, Presses du réel, 1998; Relational Aesthetics, Nicolas Bourriaud, Dijon – Paris: Presses du réel, 2002; クレア・ビショップ「敵対と関係性の美学」星野太訳、『表象05』、月曜社、2011年刊]”
出典:http://artscape.jp/artword/index.php/『関係性の美学』N・ブリオー

“Term created by curator Nicholas Bourriaud in the 1990s to describe the tendency to make art based on, or inspired by, human relations and their social context.” “The French curator Nicholas Bourriaud published a book called Relational Aesthetics in 1998 in which he defined the term as:

A set of artistic practices which take as their theoretical and practical point of departure the whole of human relations and their social context, rather than an independent and private space

He saw artists as facilitators rather than makers and regarded art as information exchanged between the artist and the viewers. The artist, in this sense, gives audiences access to power and the means to change the world.
Bourriaud cited the art of Gillian Wearing, Philippe Parreno, Douglas Gordon and Liam Gillick as artists who work to this agenda.”
Source: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/r/relational-aesthetics

◉「オルターモダン(別の現代)」 Altermodern

“Altermodern is a term coined by curator Nicolas Bourriaud in 2009, to describe art made as a reaction against standardisation and commercialism, in the context of globalization.” “The term was coined by Nicolas Bourriaud on the occasion of the Tate Triennial in 2009.
Altermodern is against cultural standardisation and massification, but also opposed to nationalisms and cultural relativism. Altermodern artists position themselves within the world’s cultural gaps. Cultural translation, mental nomadism and format crossing are the main principles of altermodern art.
Viewing time as a multiplicity rather than as a linear progress, the altermodern artist navigates history as well as all the planetary time zones producing links between signs faraway from each other. Altermodern is ‘docufictional’ in that it explores the past and the present to create original paths where boundaries between fiction and documentary are blurred.
Formally speaking, it favours processes and dynamic forms to one-dimensional single objects and trajectories to static masses.”
Source: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/a/altermodern

◉「解説された『オルターモダン(別の現代)』:マニフェスト」 “Altermodern explained: manifesto”

“A new modernity is emerging, reconfigured to an age of globalisation – understood in its economic, political and cultural aspects: an altermodern culture

Increased communication, travel and migration are affecting the way we live

Our daily lives consist of journeys in a chaotic and teeming universe

Multiculturalism and identity is being overtaken by creolisation: Artists are now starting from a globalised state of culture

This new universalism is based on translations, subtitling and generalised dubbing

Today’s art explores the bonds that text and image, time and space, weave between themselves

Artists are responding to a new globalised perception. They traverse a cultural landscape saturated with signs and create new pathways between multiple formats of expression and communication.

The Tate Triennial 2009 at Tate Britain presents a collective discussion around this premise that postmodernism is coming to an end, and we are experiencing the emergence of a global altermodernity.

Travel, cultural exchanges and examination of history are not merely fashionable themes, but markers of a profound evolution in our vision of the world and our way of inhabiting it.

More generally, our globalised perception calls for new types of representation: our daily lives are played out against a more enormous backdrop than ever before, and  depend now on trans-national entities, short or long-distance journeys in a chaotic and teeming universe.

Many signs suggest that the historical period defined by postmodernism is coming to an end: multiculturalism and the discourse of identity is being overtaken by a planetary movement of creolisation; cultural relativism and deconstruction, substituted for modernist universalism, give us no weapons against the twofold threat of uniformity and mass culture and traditionalist, far-right, withdrawal.

The times seem propitious for the recomposition of a modernity in the present, reconfigured according to the specific context within which we live – crucially in the age of globalisation – understood in its economic, political and cultural aspects: an altermodernity.

If twentieth-century modernism was above all a western cultural phenomenon, altermodernity arises out of planetary negotiations, discussions between agents from different cultures. Stripped of a centre, it can only be polyglot. Altermodernity is characterised by translation, unlike the modernism of the twentieth century which spoke the abstract language of the colonial west, and postmodernism, which encloses artistic phenomena in origins and identities.

We are entering the era of universal subtitling, of generalised dubbing. Today’s art explores the bonds that text and image weave between themselves. Artists traverse a cultural landscape saturated with signs, creating new pathways between multiple formats of expression and communication.

The artist becomes ‘homo viator’, the prototype of the contemporary traveller whose passage through signs and formats refers to a contemporary experience of mobility, travel and transpassing. This evolution can be seen in the way works are made: a new type of form is appearing, the journey-form, made of lines drawn both in space and time, materialising trajectories rather than destinations. The form of the work expresses a course, a wandering, rather than a fixed space-time.

Altermodern art is thus read as a hypertext; artists translate and transcode information from one format to another, and wander in geography as well as in history. This gives rise to practices which might be referred to as ‘time-specific’, in response to the ‘site-specific’ work of the 1960s. Flight-lines, translation programmes and chains of heterogeneous elements articulate each other. Our universe becomes a territory all dimensions of which may be travelled both in time and space.

The Tate Triennial 2009 presents itself as a collective discussion around this hypothesis of the end of postmodernism, and the emergence of a global altermodernity.”

Nicolas Bourriaud

Source: http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/altermodern/altermodern-explain-altermodern/altermodern-explained

◉『ポストプロダクション:脚本としての文化──アートは世界をいかにリ・プログラムするか』 Postproduction: Culture as Screenplay: How Art Reprograms the World

“French writer and curator Nicolas Bourriaud discusses how, since the early nineties, an ever increasing number of artworks have been created on the basis of preexisting works; more and more artists interpret, reproduce, re-exhibit, or use works made by others or available cultural products.
This art of postproduction seems to respond to the proliferating chaos of global culture in the information age, which is characterized by an increase in the supply of works and the art world’s annexation of forms ignored or disdained until now.”

Source: http://www.lespressesdureel.com/EN/ouvrage.php?id=1021
*以下のサイトにて英語版全文PDFが閲覧可能。
Source: http://faculty.georgetown.edu/irvinem/theory/Bourriaud-Postproduction2.pdf

◉「コアクティヴィティ(協働、共同行為):2014年台北ビエンナーレ「大いなる加速」展のためのノート」 “Coactivity: Notes for ‘The Great Acceleration’: Taipei Biennial 2014

Text/ Nicolas Bourriaud
 Translated by Brent Heinrich
From Seismopolite: Journal of Art and Politics

“1. The extent and the acceleration of the industrialization process on the planet have led some scientists to hypothesize a new geophysical era, the Anthropocene. The emergence of this new era, after ten thousand years of the Holocene, refers to the effect of human activities on the earth’s biosphere: global warming, deforestation, soil pollution. It is the structure of the planet itself that is being modified by humans, whose impact is now more powerful than any other geological or natural force.
But the concept of the Anthropocene also points to a paradox: the more powerful and real the collective impact of the species is, the less contemporary individuals feel capable of influencing their surrounding reality. This sense of individual impotence goes hand in hand with the proven effects and the sheer mass of the species, even as the techno-structure generated by it appears uncontrollable. The collapse of the “human scale”: helpless in the face of a computerized economic system whose decisions are derived from algorithms capable of performing operations at the speed of light (“high-frequency trading” already accounts for nearly three quarters of financial activities in the United States), human beings have become both spectators and victims of their own infrastructure. Thus, we are witnessing the emergence of an unprecedented political coalition between the individual/citizen and a new subordinate class: animals, plants, minerals and the atmosphere, all attacked by a techno-industrial system now clearly detached from civil society.
2. Nearly twenty-five years after its public birth, the internet is now seen as a tool for the liberation of information and the generation of enjoyment and knowledge. Yet today the internet hosts more mechanical activity that human. Search engines, ad servers and collection algorithms for our “personal data” are now the dominant population of a network in which each human user is reduced essentially to the “data” that constitute the major part of their presence in the economic system, like a hunted animal. Individuals are profoundly altered by this massive apparatus, just as they are by the natural environment.
Modernist art of the twentieth century assimilated the mechanical and industrialprocesses, by adopting them either as motif (Picabia, Duchamp) or as material (Moholy-Nagy, Tinguely). Today, technology is seen as an Other among others, a subject wrongly placed at the center of the world. And artists living within the technosphere, as if it were a second ecosystem, place search engines and living cells, minerals and artworks on the same level of utility. What matters most to the artists of our time is no longer things, but the circuits that distribute and connect them.
3. In Das Kapital, Karl Marx invented a strange image, that of the “ghost dance,” which may well represent the symbolic essence of capitalism: practical, social relationships of production are being reduced to abstractions, and conversely, the abstract (exchange value) is being transformed into something concrete. Thus, human beings actually live in an abstract world, that of trade and capital flows, and conversely, they live abstractly in the real world of work, proving the two to be interchangeable. This is the ghost dance that Marx described: Inanimate things start to dance like ghosts, while humans become the ghosts of themselves. Subjects become objects, and objects subjects. Things are personified, and relations of production are reified.
At the beginning of the twenty-first century, a period that could be called thepolitical Anthropocene, this ghost dance not only concerns people and things in a relation of industrial production, but it places the subjects of the global economy and the global environment in a more dramatic reversal: the immaterial economy has invaded concrete geophysics, and the physical world has become a byproduct of the abstraction of capital. At an earlier stage of the capitalist system, when Marx discovered commodity fetishism, he described the worker as “alienated,” due to the lack of a living relationship with the product of their labor. Today, this alienation, inseparable from the accumulation of capital, extends to the biological and physicochemical: When a company files a patent to claim ownership of an Amazonian plant, when seeds become products, when natural resources become pureobjects of speculation, it is capitalism that is the environment, and the environment is capital.
4. It is in this historical context that Speculative Realism has emerged – a holistic thought that humans and animals, plants and objects must be treated on an equal footing. Bruno Latour suggests a “parliament of things,” Levi Bryant a “democracy of objects.” Graham Harman proposes an “object-oriented philosophy” that attempts to free objects from the shadow of our consciousness, giving them metaphysical autonomy, and putting collisions between things on an equal footing with relationships between thinking subjects, so that these two types of relationships can only be distinguished by their degree of complexity.
Considering the world in terms of substance, when we invite advocates of speculativerealism to join us here, we will naturally decline to view this as a network of relations. Beings take precedence over knowledge, the thing envisaged by consciousness. A recent essay by Levi Bryant, The Democracy of Objects, “attempts to think an object for-itself that isn’t an object for the gaze of a subject, representation, or a cultural discourse. This, in short, is what the democracy of objects means… The claim that all objects equally exist is the claim that no object can be treated as constructed by another object… In short, no object such as the subject or culture is the ground of all others.” (1)
5. It is no coincidence that the art world has recently been seized by such a concept, which is not unrelated to animism. Indeed, an exhibition titled Animism, curated by Anselm Franke Bern and presented in Antwerp, Vienna, Berlin and New York, referenced Félix Guattari’s contention that the subject of animation, or the endowment of life force, should be addressed outside its political or postcolonial scope. What gives an object a soul? And is not this precisely the essence of the colonial process? Dressing up an object with human characteristics or talking to an animal argues for the legitimacy of extending the human domain… Contemporary art constantly oscillates between reification (the transformation of the living into a thing) and prosopopeia (a figure of speech that represents a thing as having a voice). The relationship between the living and the inert now seems to be the main tensionof contemporary culture, and artificial intelligence occupies the middle ground as an arbitrator. Beginning with Philip K. Dick, science fiction has also continued to explore the boundaries between human and machine. And artists of our time exhibit poetic machinery, robotic or vegetated humans, plants connected to sensors, animals at work… What may be seen in the artworks of the early twenty-first century is a circuit of the living, but in political terms: all things and all beings are presented as energy converters, catalysts or messengers. Animism is uni-directional, only imbuing the inanimate with a soul; conversely, contemporary art appropriates life in all directions.
A new generation of artists is exploring the intrinsic properties of materials“informed” by human activity, including polymers (Roger Hiorns, Marlie Mul, Sterling Ruby, Alisa Barenboym, Neil Beloufa, Pamela Rosenkranz) or the critical states of materials (the nebulizations of Peter Buggenhout, Harold Ancart or Hiorns). But polymerization has become a principle of composition, with the invention of flexible and artificial alloys of heterogeneous elements – as can be seen in the videos of Laura Prouvost, Ian Cheng, Rachel Rose or Camille Henrot, the installations of Mika Rottenberg, Nathaniel Mellors and Charles Avery, the paintings of Roberto Cabot or Tala Madani. Others explore weight, transposing the lightness of pixels onto monumental objects (David Douard, Neil Beloufa, Matheus Rocha Pitta…).
6. The context in which these “object-oriented” modes of thought appear is primarily that of economic globalization. This is accompanied by a process of reification so “natural” that endowing things with souls inoculates our servility and, somehow, contaminates them with our own alienation. In a fully capitalist world, life is nothing but a moment of merchandising, and human beings are a moment of the Great Reification. Alienated humanity is unable to rid the world of things: instead, it propagates them, like a contagion, causing its own alienation. The whole world has become a potential commodity, and some sanguinely consider it no more than an assemblage of objects moving in the direction of global capitalism: “There is only one type of being,” writes Levi Bryant: “objects.” (2) Everything living and the entire domain of the inert are thus drawn into this new ghost dance, in which workers and their products were once, in the time of Marx, the only protagonists.
7. In the name of critiquing anthropocentrism, the subject is attacked from all sides today. More generally, we may note that ever since post-structuralism became anemic, the invisible engine of contemporary thought has been a systematic critique of the concept of the “center.” Ethnocentrism, phallocentrism, anthropocentrism… The current burgeoning of these derogatory terms demonstrates that the a priorirejection of any centrality is the great cause of our time. Deconstruction occurs at the approach of any centrality whatsoever. The center, as a figure, represents the absolute foil of contemporary thought. But isn’t the human subject the supreme center? We have no choice but to hold this notion in general suspicion, as any such claim would be seen as a crime. The real crime of humanity, after all, lies in being a colonial species: Since the dawn of time, human populations have invaded and occupied neighboring kingdoms, reducing other forms of life to the rank of slave, absurdly exploiting their environment. But contemporary thinkers, instead of trying to redefine the relationship between conspecifics and others, rather than contributing to the consideration of other types of relationships between humans and the world, have ultimately reduced philosophy to a bad conscience constantly ruminating, a simple act of penance, even a fetish device. Is not this theatrical display of humility, this so-called contrition, merely an extension of the old Western humanism, though it appears today in reverse form?
8. Since the 1990s, art has highlighted the social sphere and held inter-human relations, whether individual or social, friendly or antagonistic, to be the main domain of reference. The aesthetic atmosphere seems to have changed, as evidenced by the immediate success of speculative realism in the field of art. In truth, relational art has reaped its greatest censure for still being too anthropocentric or humanist, considering humans as an aesthetic or political milieu, and even extending its range invasively into the realms of objects, networks, nature and machinery, in a manner deemed by some as old-fashioned or unbearable.
This involves a certain amount of bad faith, because art as a whole advocates on behalf of humanity. And the major political issue of the twenty-first century is precisely the return of humanity, to all the areas we have vacated: computerized finance, delivered in mechanically regulated markets, but primarily in policies fixed on the sole objective of profit.
9. By extension, what would an exhibition be like if it were rid of all “correlationism”? This term, coined by Quentin Meillassoux, refers to the idea that knowledge of the world is always the result of a correlation between a subject and an object, the typical perspective of Western philosophy. A fascinating hypothesis, but one that only leads to an impossibility: it is the concept of art itself which then shatters, because it is based specifically on and within such correlationism. As Duchamp said, “The spectator makes the picture” – the latter being transformed into an object as soon as it is taken out of sight. The difference lies in what generates an action: either collisions between objects, or the analysis of data with intelligence, or the production of works of art – that is to say, Brownian motion, unpredictable and fertile.
10. Quentin Meillassoux raises a fundamental question: how can one grasp the meaning of a statement on data prior to any human form of relationship to the world, prior to the existence of any subject/object relationship? In short, how can one think about something that exists completely outside of human thought? He then develops the concept of the “arche-fossil,” which means a reality that preceded the existence of any observer (3). Human consciousness is actually a universal measure. In this context, we can compare it to currency, which Marx defined as an “abstract general equivalent” used in the economy. In posing the theoretical question of the “arche-fossil,” Meillassoux sets philosophy in relation to the absolute, which here may be considered a purely coincidental event. Or art is merely the “currency of the absolute,” to quote the remarkable expression of André Malraux. That is to say, art is the simple residue of humanity’s commerce with everything else, the surplus of humanity’s relationship with the world.
11. Art also plays host to an entanglement between the human and non-human, a presentation of coactivity as such: Multiple energies are at work, and logical organic growth machines are everywhere. All relations between different regimes of the living and the inert are alive with tension. Contemporary art is a gateway between the human and the nonhuman, where the binary opposition between subject and object dissolves in multiplicitous images: the reified speaking, the living petrified, illusions of life, illusions of the inert, biological maps redistributing constantly.
The Great Acceleration is presented as a tribute to this coactivity, the assumed parallelism between the different kingdoms and their negotiations. This exhibition is organized around the cohabitation of human consciousness with swarming animals, data processing, the rapid growth of plants and the slow movements of matter. So we find ancestrality (the world before human consciousness) and its landscape of minerals, alongside vegetable transplants or couplings between humans, machines and beasts. At the center is this reality: human beings are only one element among others in a wide-area network, which is why we need to rethink our relational universe to include new partners.
12. In this space of coactivity, the term form takes on new meanings. How should one define it, beyond the famous classifications of Roger Caillois, who proposed that forms should be distinguished by how they are brought into being – growth, accident, will or molding? How should one describe the subset within which, in an exhibition, these different regimes interact? What I call exforme is a thing that is subject to a struggle between a center and a periphery, a form that has taken shape in a process of exclusion or inclusion – that is to say, any sign in transit between dissent and power, the excluded and the admitted, the object and waste, nature and culture. From Gustave Courbet’s stone breakers to the pop aesthetic, from Edouard Manet’s portraits to Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain, the history of art is full of exformes. For the past two centuries, the ties between aesthetics and politics may be summarized as a series of inclusive and exclusive movements: on the one hand, a constantly repeated sharing between the signifier and the unsignifier in art, and on the other hand, the ideological boundaries drawn by biopolitics, the government of the human body. The ontology proposed by speculative realism brings with it new examples of exformes, and this is its major impact on contemporary art.
13. The engine of economic globalization is the ideology of “growth,” i.e., the narrative that the future of humanity depends on exponential growth. According to Jean-François Lyotard, “Development is not attached to an Idea, like that of the emancipation of reason and of human freedoms. It is reproduced by accelerating and extending itself according to its internal dynamic alone.” (4) Likewise, the“Great Acceleration” is capitalism’s process of naturalization: organic and universal, it is the natural law of the Anthropocene. Its main tool is the algorithm, on which the global economy is now founded. The only known limitation of industrial “development,” for Lyotard, resides in the life expectancy of the sun – “the only challenge objectively posed to development.” In a world ruled by the ideology of unlimited growth, what role could there be for individual emancipation, which has been the goal of culture since the Enlightenment?
14. The foremost objective of speculative realism is to blur the line between nature and culture. The former is governed by mechanical causality, while the latter is the domain of meaning, free will, representations, language, etc. But hasn’t the dichotomy of subject/object, which governs Western thought, been challenged in other times? In his famous 1969 text “What Is an Author?” Michel Foucault decoupled the “field of discourse” and the notion of the subject, for which he used the alternative term the “field of subjectivation,” defining them as an alloy of heterogeneous elements. Structure had already replaced the human subject: “The text is a historical object like the trunk of a tree,” said Foucault. But isn’t the most surprising premise of speculative realism the eradication of the concept of structure, the disappearance of which creates a short circuit via direct contact between human beings and the world of things? Yet is it difficult to deal with economics or politics without envisaging them as structures.
15. In the “flat ontology” claimed by speculative realism, which places all the objects that make up the world on the same plane, only art can enjoy an exceptional status, because it exists only in the dimension of the encounter. Its mathematical essence is the figure Omega, which means the infinity of primes +1. Indeed, art is this “+1” – that is to say, when a unique encounter, virtual or otherwise, transforms an object (speech, gesture, sound, drawing, etc…) into a work, what arises from this infinite conversation is called “art.” Therefore, we may view art as the cardinal of meaningfulness (everything makes sense), since meaning is the precondition for art’s existence: In this space, objects are essentially transitional. In art, nothing remains reified for long.
(1) Levi Bryant, The Democracy of Objects, Open Humanities Press, p. 19.
(2) Levi Bryant, The Democracy of Objects, p.20.
(3) Quentin Meillassoux, Après la finitude. Le Seuil, 2006.
(4) Jean-François Lyotard, The Inhuman. Stanford University Press, p. 7.
www.tfam.museum
Source: Taipei Fine Arts Museum & The Biennial Foundation”
Source: http://www.seismopolite.com/nicolas-bourriaud-notes-for-the-great-acceleration-taipei-biennial-september-13-january-4

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