New Criticals

What are the particular conditions that allow this to happen? A brief overview of the genre of installation art is helpful here. Installations are participatory sculptural environments in which the viewer’s spatial and temporal experience with the exhibition space, and the various objects within it, forms part of the artwork. These works of art are always contingent upon the viewer’s embodied and contextualized experience; and they exhibit the entwined relationships between viewing subjects and material objects--this totally by design. In other words, the interface--where and how the viewing body encounters the material artwork--is in large part the meaning of the work of art itself. In the case of the installations explored in my book, the spectator’s experience of human-nonhuman interfaces, which I have deemed to be a feminist materialist project, is of primary importance. In the installations by Rist, Mori, and Piccinini, there is no conception of an artwork or environment “over there” and the viewer “over here:” their spectators experience themselves as contingent beings, constantly in process with other materials, bodies, and technologies.