An Encounter with Lee Ufan’s installation, Relatum (formerly Iron Field), 1969/2019
This article examines an encounter with Lee Ufan’s installation, Relatum (formerly Iron Field), 1969/2019, to better understand how its affect and effects engage the viewer and how meaning and understanding emerge from it. It also questions Relatum’s relevance in 2019, fifty years after it was originally created. An analysis of Relatum through the perspective of posthuman theory serves as a useful method to explore explicit links between theory and a work of art. This provides a deeper understanding of the power of art and language to articulate the nature of being and the capacity and potential of each to critique societies’ values and practices. Drawing on notions of subjectivity, interpretations of Lee Ufan’s work and its effects as well as on parallels made between 1969 and 2019, this text concludes that Relatum remains as relevant today as it would have done in 1969. Further study is required surrounding the potential of art to generate a deeper understanding of the human condition and its anticipated evolution. Engaging with the implications of the radical transformations ahead would support debate and preparations for the challenges to come.
Between Necessity and Contingency: Methodologies for Survival in a Post-anthropocentric Landscape
Within the context of our understanding that new ways of thinking and behaviours are needed to reimagine and remake our societies norms and their systems, this enquiry sets out to test the notion that in a space in which something could happen, our experience of art can become personal and palpable and therefore meaningful. The significance of the work would be seen in its influence and impact on individual viewers’ deeper awareness of what it means to be human. Orchestrating an encounter to evoke feelings, meanings and memories about the past, present and future of our species might also contribute to the ongoing post-anthropocentric and critical posthuman debates. The sharing of the documentation (of the process and findings of this practice-led inquiry) would also contribute to the debate on the use of creative research methodologies in an academic institution. It may also add to ongoing discussions around contemporary environmental art practice, site-responsive art and participatory art practices. Questions to be considered beyond this enquiry remain as: - Can the collaborative creative act as a research method contribute to the understanding of the nature of a post-anthropocentric and posthuman inquiry? - How is posthuman research to be conducted without (re)privileging the human?
Cocker, E., 2009. Pay attention to the footnotes Wolfendale, Peter, The Reformatting of Homo Sapiens Bryan-Wilson, J. 2003. Remembering Yoko Ono’s Cut Piece ///corner.proof.riders October - November 2020
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