Installation art

Installation art

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Encyclopedia
Installation art describes an artistic genre of three-dimensional works that are often site-specific
Site-specific
Site-specific is used in a range of contexts:In art Site-specific artIn molecular biology Site-specific recombination...

 and designed to transform the perception of a space. Generally, the term is applied to interior spaces, whereas exterior interventions are often called Land art
Land art
Land art, Earthworks , or Earth art is an art movement which emerged in the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s, in which landscape and the work of art are inextricably linked...

; however, the boundaries between these terms overlap.

History



Installation art can be either temporary or permanent. Installation artworks have been constructed in exhibition spaces such as museums and galleries, as well as public and private spaces. The genre incorporates a broad range of everyday and natural materials, which are often chosen for their "evocative" qualities, as well as new media
New media
New media is a broad term in media studies that emerged in the latter part of the 20th century. For example, new media holds out a possibility of on-demand access to content any time, anywhere, on any digital device, as well as interactive user feedback, creative participation and community...

 such as video
Video
Video is the technology of electronically capturing, recording, processing, storing, transmitting, and reconstructing a sequence of still images representing scenes in motion.- History :...

, sound
Sound
Sound is a mechanical wave that is an oscillation of pressure transmitted through a solid, liquid, or gas, composed of frequencies within the range of hearing and of a level sufficiently strong to be heard, or the sensation stimulated in organs of hearing by such vibrations.-Propagation of...

, performance
Performance
A performance, in performing arts, generally comprises an event in which a performer or group of performers behave in a particular way for another group of people, the audience. Choral music and ballet are examples. Usually the performers participate in rehearsals beforehand. Afterwards audience...

, immersive virtual reality and the internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

. Many installations are site-specific
Site-specific art
Site-specific art is artwork created to exist in a certain place. Typically, the artist takes the location into account while planning and creating the artwork...

 in that they are designed to exist only in the space for which they were created. A number of institutions focusing on Installation art were created from the 1980s onwards, suggesting the need for Installation to be seen as a separate discipline. These included the Mattress Factory
Mattress Factory
The Mattress Factory is a museum of contemporary art located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. It exhibits room-sized installation art by regional, national and international artists....

, Pittsburgh, the Museum of Installation in London, and the Fairy Doors of Ann Arbor, MI
Fairy Doors of Ann Arbor, MI
The Fairy Doors of Ann Arbor, MI are a series of small doors that are a type of installation art found in Ann Arbor, MI. The first one appeared in the baseboards of the home of Jonathan and Kathleen Wright in 1993. Subsequently several others were discovered in their home; in the fireplace surround...

, among others.

Installation art came to prominence in the 1970s but its roots can be identified in earlier artists such as Marcel Duchamp
Marcel Duchamp
Marcel Duchamp was a French artist whose work is most often associated with the Dadaist and Surrealist movements. Considered by some to be one of the most important artists of the 20th century, Duchamp's output influenced the development of post-World War I Western art...

 and his use of the readymade and Kurt Schwitters'
Kurt Schwitters
Kurt Hermann Eduard Karl Julius Schwitters was a German painter who was born in Hanover, Germany. Schwitters worked in several genres and media, including Dada, Constructivism, Surrealism, poetry, sound, painting, sculpture, graphic design, typography and what came to be known as...

 Merz art objects, rather than more traditional craft
Craft
A craft is a branch of a profession that requires some particular kind of skilled work. In historical sense, particularly as pertinent to the Medieval history and earlier, the term is usually applied towards people occupied in small-scale production of goods.-Development from the past until...

 based sculpture
Sculpture
Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials—typically stone such as marble—or metal, glass, or wood. Softer materials can also be used, such as clay, textiles, plastics, polymers and softer metals...

. The "intention" of the artist is paramount in much later installation art whose roots lie in the conceptual art
Conceptual art
Conceptual art is art in which the concept or idea involved in the work take precedence over traditional aesthetic and material concerns. Many of the works, sometimes called installations, of the artist Sol LeWitt may be constructed by anyone simply by following a set of written instructions...

 of the 1960s. This again is a departure from traditional sculpture which places its focus on form. Early non-Western installation art includes events staged by the Gutai group
Gutai group
The Gutai group was an artistic movement and association of artists founded by Jiro Yoshihara in Japan in 1954...

 in Japan starting in 1954, which influenced American installation pioneers like Allan Kaprow
Allan Kaprow
Allan Kaprow was an American painter, assemblagist and a pioneer in establishing the concepts of performance art. He helped to develop the "Environment" and "Happening" in the late 1950s and 1960s, as well as their theory. His Happenings - some 200 of them - evolved over the years...

.




Installation


Installation as nomenclature for a specific form of art came into use fairly recently; its first use as documented by the OED was in 1969. It was coined in this context in reference to a form of art that had arguably existed since prehistory but was not regarded as a discrete category until the mid-twentieth century. Allan Kaprow
Allan Kaprow
Allan Kaprow was an American painter, assemblagist and a pioneer in establishing the concepts of performance art. He helped to develop the "Environment" and "Happening" in the late 1950s and 1960s, as well as their theory. His Happenings - some 200 of them - evolved over the years...

 used the term “Environment” in 1958 (Kaprow 6) to describe his transformed indoor spaces; this later joined such terms as “project art” and “temporary art.”

Essentially, installation/environmental art takes into account a broader sensory experience, rather than floating framed points of focus on a “neutral” wall or displaying isolated objects (literally) on a pedestal. This may leave space
Space
Space is the boundless, three-dimensional extent in which objects and events occur and have relative position and direction. Physical space is often conceived in three linear dimensions, although modern physicists usually consider it, with time, to be part of a boundless four-dimensional continuum...

 and time
Time
Time is a part of the measuring system used to sequence events, to compare the durations of events and the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change such as the motions of objects....

 as its only dimensional constants, implying dissolution of the line between "art" and "life"; Kaprow noted that “if we bypass ‘art’ and take nature itself as a model or point of departure, we may be able to devise a different kind of art… out of the sensory stuff of ordinary life” (Kaprow 12).

Gesamtkunstwerk


The conscious act of artistically addressing all the senses with regard to a total experience made a resounding debut in 1849 when Richard Wagner
Richard Wagner
Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, conductor, theatre director, philosopher, music theorist, poet, essayist and writer primarily known for his operas...

 conceived of a Gesamtkunstwerk
Gesamtkunstwerk
A Gesamtkunstwerk is a work of art that makes use of all or many art forms or strives to do so...

, or an operatic work for the stage that drew inspiration from ancient Greek theater in its inclusion of all the major art forms: painting
Painting
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

, writing
Writing
Writing is the representation of language in a textual medium through the use of a set of signs or symbols . It is distinguished from illustration, such as cave drawing and painting, and non-symbolic preservation of language via non-textual media, such as magnetic tape audio.Writing most likely...

, music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

, etc. (Britannica) In devising operatic works to commandeer the audience’s senses, Wagner left nothing unobserved: architecture
Architecture
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...

, ambience, and even the audience
Audience
An audience is a group of people who participate in a show or encounter a work of art, literature , theatre, music or academics in any medium...

 itself were considered and manipulated in order to achieve a state of total artistic immersion. In the book "Themes in Contemporary Art”, it is suggested that “installations in the 1980s and 1990s were increasingly characterized by networks of operations involving the interaction among complex architectural settings, environmental sites and extensive use of everyday objects in ordinary contexts. With the advent of video in 1965, a concurrent strand of installation evolved through the use of new and ever-changing technologies, and what had been simple video installations expanded to include complex interactive, multimedia and virtual reality environments”.(Themes, 199)

Art and Objecthood


In “Art and Objecthood,” Michael Fried derisively labels art that acknowledges the viewer as “theatrical” (Fried 45). There is a strong parallel between installation and theater: both play to a viewer who is expected to be at once immersed in the sensory
Perception
Perception is the process of attaining awareness or understanding of the environment by organizing and interpreting sensory information. All perception involves signals in the nervous system, which in turn result from physical stimulation of the sense organs...

/narrative
Narrative
A narrative is a constructive format that describes a sequence of non-fictional or fictional events. The word derives from the Latin verb narrare, "to recount", and is related to the adjective gnarus, "knowing" or "skilled"...

 experience that surrounds him and maintain a degree of self-identity as a viewer. The traditional theater-goer does not forget that he has come in from outside to sit and take in a created experience; a trademark of installation art has been the curious and eager viewer, still aware that he is in an exhibition setting and tentatively exploring the novel universe of the installation.

The artist and critic Ilya Kabakov
Ilya Kabakov
Ilya Kabakov, Russian Илья́ Ио́сифович Кабако́в , is a Russian-American conceptual artist of Jewish descent, born in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine. He worked for thirty years in Moscow, from the 1950s until the late 1980s. He now lives and works on Long Island...

 mentions this essential phenomenon in the introduction to his lectures “On the “Total” Installation:” “[One] is simultaneously both a ‘victim’ and a viewer, who on the one hand surveys and evaluates the installation, and on the other, follows those associations, recollections which arise in him[;] he is overcome by the intense atmosphere of the total illusion” (Kabakov 256). Here installation art bestows an unprecedented importance on the observer’s inclusion in that which he observes. The expectations and social habits that the viewer takes with him into the space of the installation will remain with him as he enters, to be either applied or negated once he has taken in the new environment. What is common to nearly all installation art is a consideration of the experience in toto and the problems it may present, namely the constant conflict between disinterested criticism and sympathetic involvement. Television
Television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

 and video
Video
Video is the technology of electronically capturing, recording, processing, storing, transmitting, and reconstructing a sequence of still images representing scenes in motion.- History :...

 offer somewhat immersive experiences, but their unrelenting control over the rhythm
Rhythm
Rhythm may be generally defined as a "movement marked by the regulated succession of strong and weak elements, or of opposite or different conditions." This general meaning of regular recurrence or pattern in time may be applied to a wide variety of cyclical natural phenomena having a periodicity or...

 of passing time and the arrangement of images precludes an intimately personal viewing experience (Kabakov 257). Ultimately, the only things a viewer can be assured of when experiencing the work are his own thoughts and preconceptions and the basic rules of space and time. All else may be molded by the artist’s hands.

The central importance of the subjective point of view when experiencing installation art, points toward a disregard for traditional Platonic
Platonism
Platonism is the philosophy of Plato or the name of other philosophical systems considered closely derived from it. In a narrower sense the term might indicate the doctrine of Platonic realism...

 image theory. In effect, the entire installation adopts the character of the simulacrum
Simulacrum
Simulacrum , from the Latin simulacrum which means "likeness, similarity", was first recorded in the English language in the late 16th century, used to describe a representation, such as a statue or a painting, especially of a god...

 or flawed statue
Statue
A statue is a sculpture in the round representing a person or persons, an animal, an idea or an event, normally full-length, as opposed to a bust, and at least close to life-size, or larger...

: it neglects any ideal form in favor of optimizing its direct appearance to the observer. Installation art operates fully within the realm of sensory perception, in a sense “installing” the viewer into an artificial system with an appeal to his subjective perception as its ultimate goal.

Interactive installations


Interactive installation is a sub-category of installation art. An interactive installation
Interactive art
Interactive art is a form of installation-based art that involves the spectator in a way that allows the art to achieve its purpose. Some installations achieve this by letting the observer or visitor "walk" in, on, and around them; Some others ask the artist to become part of the artwork.Works of...

 frequently involves the audience acting on the work of art or the piece responding to users' activity. There are several kinds of interactive installations that artists produce, these include web
Internet art
Internet art is a form of digital artwork distributed via the Internet. This form of art has circumvented the traditional dominance of the gallery and museum system, delivering aesthetic experiences via the Internet. In many cases, the viewer is drawn into some kind of interaction with the work...

-based installations (e.g., Telegarden
Telegarden
The TeleGarden was a telerobotic community garden for the Internet. Starting in the mid-1990s, it allowed users to view, plant and take care of a small garden, using an Adept-1 industrial robotic arm controlled online....

), gallery
Art gallery
An art gallery or art museum is a building or space for the exhibition of art, usually visual art.Museums can be public or private, but what distinguishes a museum is the ownership of a collection...

-based installations, digital
Digital art
Digital art is a general term for a range of artistic works and practices that use digital technology as an essential part of the creative and/or presentation process...

-based installations, electronic
Electronics
Electronics is the branch of science, engineering and technology that deals with electrical circuits involving active electrical components such as vacuum tubes, transistors, diodes and integrated circuits, and associated passive interconnection technologies...

-based installations, mobile
IPhone art
iPhone art is a form of Interactive art that takes place on the screen of the iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. It is distinct from pictorial works of art produced with an iPhone using paint apps such as Brushes or ArtRage....

-based installations, etc. Interactive installations were most frequently created and exhibited in the 1990s, when artists were particularly interested in using the participation of the audiences to co-author the meaning of the installation.

Immersive Virtual Reality



With the improvement of technology
Technology
Technology is the making, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, and procedures. The word technology comes ;...

 over the years, artists are more able to explore outside of the boundaries that were never able to be explored by artists in the past. The media
Media (arts)
In the arts, a media or medium is a material used by an artist or designer to create a work.-Architecture:In the art and science of architecture, the design and construction of buildings and interiors, infrastructure and other physical structures are created...

 used are more experimental and bold; they are also usually cross media and may involve sensors, which plays on the reaction to the audiences’ movement when looking at the installations. By using virtual Reality as a medium, immersive virtual reality art is probably the most deeply interactive form of art.
At the turn of a new century, there is a trend of interactive installations using digital
Digital
A digital system is a data technology that uses discrete values. By contrast, non-digital systems use a continuous range of values to represent information...

, video
Video
Video is the technology of electronically capturing, recording, processing, storing, transmitting, and reconstructing a sequence of still images representing scenes in motion.- History :...

, film
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

, sound
Sound
Sound is a mechanical wave that is an oscillation of pressure transmitted through a solid, liquid, or gas, composed of frequencies within the range of hearing and of a level sufficiently strong to be heard, or the sensation stimulated in organs of hearing by such vibrations.-Propagation of...

 and sculpture
Sculpture
Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials—typically stone such as marble—or metal, glass, or wood. Softer materials can also be used, such as clay, textiles, plastics, polymers and softer metals...

.

See also

  • Appropriation (art)
    Appropriation (art)
    Appropriation is a fundamental aspect in the history of the arts . Appropriation can be understood as "the use of borrowed elements in the creation of a new work."...

  • Art intervention
    Art intervention
    Art intervention is an interaction with a previously existing artwork, audience or venue/space. It has the auspice of conceptual art and is commonly a form of performance art. It is associated with the Viennese Actionists, the Dada movement and Neo-Dadaists...

  • Burning Man
    Burning Man
    Burning Man is a week-long annual event held in the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada, in the United States. The event starts on the Monday before the American Labor Day holiday, and ends on the holiday itself. It takes its name from the ritual burning of a large wooden effigy on Saturday evening...

  • Classificatory disputes about art
    Classificatory disputes about art
    Art historians and philosophers of art have long had classificatory disputes about art regarding whether a particular cultural form or piece of work should be classified as art. Disputes about what does and does not count as art continue to occur today....

  • Conceptual art
    Conceptual art
    Conceptual art is art in which the concept or idea involved in the work take precedence over traditional aesthetic and material concerns. Many of the works, sometimes called installations, of the artist Sol LeWitt may be constructed by anyone simply by following a set of written instructions...

  • Environmental sculpture
    Environmental sculpture
    The term environmental sculpture is variously defined. A development of the art of the 20th century, environmental sculpture usually creates or alters the environment for the viewer, as opposed to presenting itself figurally or monumentally before the viewer...

  • Found art
    Found art
    The term found art—more commonly found object or readymade—describes art created from undisguised, but often modified, objects that are not normally considered art, often because they already have a non-art function...

  • Interactive art
    Interactive art
    Interactive art is a form of installation-based art that involves the spectator in a way that allows the art to achieve its purpose. Some installations achieve this by letting the observer or visitor "walk" in, on, and around them; Some others ask the artist to become part of the artwork.Works of...

  • Modern art
    Modern art
    Modern art includes artistic works produced during the period extending roughly from the 1860s to the 1970s, and denotes the style and philosophy of the art produced during that era. The term is usually associated with art in which the traditions of the past have been thrown aside in a spirit of...

  • Neo-conceptual art
    Neo-conceptual art
    Neo-conceptual art describes art practices in the 1980s and particularly 1990s to date that derive from the conceptual art movement of the 1960s and 1970s...

  • Performance art
    Performance art
    In art, performance art is a performance presented to an audience, traditionally interdisciplinary. Performance may be either scripted or unscripted, random or carefully orchestrated; spontaneous or otherwise carefully planned with or without audience participation. The performance can be live or...

  • Sound art
    Sound art
    Sound art is a diverse group of art practices that considers wide notions of sound, listening and hearing as its predominant focus. There are often distinct relationships forged between the visual and aural domains of art and perception by sound artists....

  • Sound installation
    Sound installation
    Sound installation is an intermedia and time based art form. It is an expansion of an art installation in the sense that it includes the sound element and therefore the time element...

  • Street installations
  • Video installation
    Video installation
    Video installation is a contemporary art form that combines video technology with installation art, making use of all aspects of the surrounding environment to affect the audience. Tracing its origins to the birth of video art in the 1970s, it has increased in popularity as digital video production...


External links



Contemporary installation organizations and museums
Installation art