Note: If you see this text you use a browser which does not support usual Web-standards. Therefore the design of Media Art Net will not display correctly. Contents are nevertheless provided. For greatest possible comfort and full functionality you should use one of the recommended browsers.

Themesicon: navigation pathOverview of Media Articon: navigation pathPerformance
Morning Glory (Vostell, Wolf), 1963

icon: previous page

had not been able to make productive. ‹Live› art harbors a risk, and the TV producer therefore prefers to keep a distance from this responsibility—as was still evident some years later, during the introduction to the live broadcast of the opening of documenta 6 in 1977.

In order to avoid obstructions by institutions or individuals and at the same time to delegate responsibility, artists like Wolf Vostell attempted to free happenings from the constraints of space and dramatic structure, and instead produce them in the spectator's minds, either as «blurrings and conceptual fields that are realized by the viewer's imagination and in which they can find their confirmation,»[26] instructions for action in, for instance, «Morning Glory» (1963), or as reformulated in the 1990s in the curator Hans-Ulrich Obrist's «Do It» project.[27] The venue of action was a gallery or television, or even the street or a private home. The degree of predefinition of the conditions therefore varied. Today, actionism is realized in the final consequence on a purely conceptual level in the form of participation via the Internet. The venue is now variable in the highest


degree, open and potentially globally interconnected. Thirty years on, the consciousness-raising action has survived as a hobby and variant on «do-it-yourself,» and artists can document their updated concepts by posting photographs on a project website. While Joseph Beuys propagated the theory that everyone can make art, the postmodern variant proposes something along the lines of «now you must do everything yourself—even art.»[28]

Media and stage: Media amplifiers

In the mid-1960s it was scarcely conceivable that only a few decades later people would be purchasing electronic tools at their local discount supermarket. Nevertheless, awareness was growing that it was impossible to investigate the links between art and technology while wholly ignoring the electronics industry. While on the one hand a development towards critical, political activism influenced art in the wake of the Situationists ( Jean- Jacques Lebel's rededication of the Parisian May of 1968 as a unique and superlative happening may be seen as a typical example),[29] at the same time one of the most

icon: next page