Art is a social idea, a set of descriptions, an institutionally recognized discipline, and a historical trajectory, as well as the individual artobject we can point to on the wall or floor. Art and Language underlined this point by replacing the art objects on display in the museum setting with description and analysis of the absent pieces.
Komar & Melamid, focusing on the social consensus of art and its institutional foundation, have created a survey form for the creation of both the the Most Wanted Paintings and the Least Wanted Paintings and reproduced them in pairs for display.
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer highlighted the large-scale social construction of art in a slightly different way by letting the social network create the artpiece through manipulation of lights moving and streaming over the night skies of cityscapes with his ‘Vectorial Elevation’ .
As Lozano-Hemmer says: “If people don’t participate, the piece does not exist”
“Vectorial Elevation” Vancouver 2010
But for art and its display as (inadvertent) conceptual gesture and as art meanings being formed within curatorial context, look to this page on Flickr (called “Fill the Gap”).
On this page you can see what artpieces have been loaned out from the Luce Foundation Center for American Art (part of the Smithsonian) and peruse the stored collection to vote for what may become its replacement. Their description of this process:
“Artworks often leave the Luce Foundation Center to go on view elsewhere in the museum, to go out on loan, or to go to the Lunder Conservation Center. If an artwork will be gone for more than twelve months, we are tasked to replace it from the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Here, we ask for your help!
Check out the images in the set to find the current gap. If the recommended artwork fits within the gap, it will be submitted to our Chief Curator for approval. Once approved, it will be installed and the person that selected it will be credited on the object’s label. We document the entire process here and consistently monitor the comments.”
The pictures are interactive and inform what will replace the piece, what is missing, what is available for insertion, and other information.
Networking Art meets Curating Artmeaning.