In Bourriaud’s Relational Aesthetics, he argued that art deals with human interactions within a social context. He said, “Art has always been relation to some extent.  It has, in other words, always been a factor in sociability and has always been the basis for a dialogue (161).”  I thought it was interesting how he made the comparison of what is art with art exhibitions versus books and TV. Bourriaud stated that exhibitions aid in the idea of a civilization of proximity.  At these exhibitions, people have the ability for dialogue about pieces of art.  Exhibitions are relational.  Books and TV do not fit these characteristics, however, because they are typically enjoyed in the private spaces of our minds.  He brought up the idea of a cinema, which does bring people together in a space to enjoy and consume a piece or art, however the cinema does not fit the same characteristics as an exhibition because there is no “live commentary on what the theatre or cinema audience is seeing (the time for discussion comes after the show).”

This one page of the reading really got me thinking towards my paper topic, which deals with a website called StageIt.  The website allows artists to play concerts to their fans across the world at set times, while being paid.  As I’ve been thinking of this website, I’ve been comparing it to other sources of music such as live concerts and recorded YouTube videos.  In regards to Bourriaud, concerts would be seen as relational because they bring people together in a space where they can comment and have open conversations with other fans during the show.  YouTube videos of a concert, while they may be exciting and enjoyable, would fall into the same category of TV and books.  Enjoyable, but they do not promote an open dialogue or bring people together to discuss the concert until after the video.  Users can do this through the comments section of Youtube.  And enter StageIt, this new-ish website that could be related to YouTube in a sense because it is playing a concert online.  But StageIt provides a mix of YouTube shows and live concerts.  While the artist is playing their show live all over the world, fans are able to discuss in a chat about what is going on in the concert.  StageIt provides a way for fans to connect and discuss the show with one another, and also talk to the artist in real time.  While the space fans are brought to is not a physical space, it still has the ability to bring them together to talk.  I guess the point of this rant is that after finishing the Bourriaud reading, I realized that StageIt is relational, and could be considered art to Bourriaud because it is a “site that produces a specific sociability.”

 

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