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Systems of Art

Art, History and Systems Theory

Francis Halsall

Systems theory emerged in the mid-20th century along with related theories such as Cybernetics and Information Theory. Recently it has included Complexity Theory, Chaos Theory and Social Systems Theory. Systems theory understands phenomena in terms of the systems of which they are part.
This book is about a systems theoretical approach to thinking about art. It examines what it means to look to systems theory both for its implications for artistic practice and as a theory of art. This publication provides a sustained discussion on the application of systems theory to an account of art.
Contents: Why Does Art History Need Systems-Theory? – What is Systems-Theory? – The Artworld as a Complex System: The Art World and Complex and Distributed Representation – Systems-Aesthetics and the System as Medium – The Work of Art as System – The Gallery as System – Art Discourse as System.