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A History of Installation Art and the Development of New Art Forms

Technology and the Hermeneutics of Time and Space in Modern and Postmodern Art from Cubism to Installation

Faye Ran

Art mirrors life; life returns the favor. How could nineteenth and twentieth century technologies foster both the change in the world view generally called «postmodernism» and the development of new art forms? Scholar and curator Faye Ran shows how interactions of art and technology led to cultural changes and the evolution of Installation art as a genre unto itself – a fascinating hybrid of expanded sculpture in terms of context, site, and environment, and expanded theatre in terms of performer, performance, and public.


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Chapter Two: Technology and the Cultural Construction of Time and Space 7


~ C H A P T E R T W O ~ Technology and the Cultural Construction of Time and Space ll living things are subject to change. Change is, oxymoronically, the great constant of the universe, and every living organism must respond to change if it is to survive. Thus all living organisms, from the simplest one-celled amoeba to the most complexly differentiated and organized multi-celled creatures we recognize as fellow human beings, are biologically endowed with means to detect and respond to change, both within themselves and in the environments with which they interact. Among the kinds of change most critical to the survival of living creatures are changes in the relative positions of parts of their own bodies and changes in the positions of objects in relation to both one another and themselves, changes in what we call location, proximity or distance, and movement. Depending on the structures with which nature has endowed them, creatures may detect such changes chemically, electrically, and/or through a variety of sensory systems responsive to heat, sound, light, pressure, etc. We humans are biologically equipped (if we are physiologi- cally normal) with a relatively large array of such sensors, and in that sense it may be said that our sense of location, proximity, and movement is biologically given, although our adjustments of our own bodies to interact with “things” in different “places” in relation to ourselves must be learned. But the notion of “space” is not biologically given. “Space” is an idea, a concept,...

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