Miwon Kwon: 'One Place After Another'

People make the site

Miwon Kwon’s survey of site-specific art is thought-provoking in the context of participative and collaborative art.  After all, this activity must take place somewhere.  And as all aspects of the presentation of an art work become part of it, so do the semiotics of its site. 

A central feature of ‘One Place After Another' is Kwon’s detailed analysis of Chicago’s 1970’s ‘Culture in Action’ programme.  He analyses the eight projects within it and discerns four distinct categories, based upon the kind of interactions between the artist(s) and respective community partner(s): ‘Community of Mythic Unity’, ‘Sited Communities’, ‘Invented Communities (Temporary)’, and ‘Invented Communities (Ongoing)’.

What interested me particularly about this was that there was no category along the lines of ‘Community of Artists’.  Here works of art would be created in a genuine collaboration between the artist protagonist and the artist participants, and in response to the location.

In designing ‘Time Tubes’ I was mindful not only of the physical nature of the site but also of the characteristics of the people who would populate it.  So the creative collaboration would produce a work that could not have been made elsewhere, by anyone else.

For a more detailed analysis, link to my essay here.