Part of GMU:Process as Paradigm

Questions: Which special kind of perception does processual art/media call for? Can/should art merge with life? What are the consequences? We will revisit perception and performance theory.

The subtle changes being characteristic of processual art have a strong impact on the specific, subjective perception and understanding of the here and now. While today we increasingly experience a “tyranny of the here and now,” with its unrelenting demand for our attention in everyday life, the delicate and ambient nature of processual art allows for shared attention, the choice between active and passive agency on the part of the recipient, and a multiplicity of access points. In this regard, processual art opposes the oppressive canon of the spectacle and instead introduces the idea of art that merges with life.

Processual art has the potential to mirror, respond to, or comment on the changing, processual nature of existence on a long-term basis. Consider for example the city as a living organism constantly reshaped by both rapid change and permanence. Processes inside this organism progress evolve at different speeds and at varying levels of complexity. By the integration of processual art within this realm, everyday processes – say, urban flows – can for instance be transferred into dynamic movement and abstract form, thus becoming living public works and active agents in the larger processes of building identity and community.

Nevertheless one might criticise processual art for its strong bond with the present, particularly when recalling what Guy Debord’s wrote about the reign of the perpetual present and the power of the spectacle to annihilate historical knowledge, in particular the recent past.