by discussing what associations we have with the term installing (boilers, computer programmes) chris brought out the importance of care in the placement of objects within installations, selecting positions to bring out nuances of relationship between the objects and their environment. then he told us about hannah hurtzig, who makes time and site specific installations where the visitor to the gallery is an integral piece of the art/event. in the mobile academies and blackmarket for knowledge, she gathers 100 experts who can be quizzed for 5 minutes before a rotation is signalled, and you get to move on to the next expert..without the visitors, there can be no conversation, so passive admiration of paintings or sculpture is turned on its head.

assemblage lacks this site/context specific content – a collection of objects is arranged within a space without being intended to interact with that space.

installation should dominate the space in the sense that the content the artist arranges dictates how we see and make connections, although there is still room for our response to be informed by our own experiences.

we divided into groups and presented a performative piece or a made piece to illustrate a concept provided by chris, which went surprisingly well!

for me this all links to my definition of fine art as being the art concerned with the presentation of philosophy by non-verbal means. other arts are concerned with aesthetics of appearance and use, but fine art explodes out from that to include any philosophical question.

and personally, the distinctions made reminded me of two particular exhibitions that have affected me in different ways:

when  a friend and i hitchhiked from konstanz to freiburg for the day in 1985, and ended up at the opening of a new contemporary art gallery in freiburg, i only went round the top floor because shuna insisted. in one particular room, there were maybe a dozen paintings, all horizontal black oblongs with a red line across. i turned to her and said, this is the kind of stuff that gives modern art a bad name. she grinned at me and said, so you don’t like any of them? i looked around and realised…i really HATED one of them. the line was in the wrong place. it made a really clunky, clumsy division. ouch! and that was it! i stayed in that room till closing time, while she did another 3 rooms…i had a real conversion experience, i really understood, not every painting is meant to be liked! it is meant to be EXPERIENCED. and after 20 minutes i did like some of them…and not others and then the one i hated, i still hated it, but found it fascinating 😉 apologies to the probably very well known artist who i can’t credit, i can’t even remember if it was a german name…

a group exhibition in london, probably in 2000, where i saw an installation by a woman artist whose name i can’t find, quite similar to the pen plotter work of roman and alice verostko. as you walked downstairs sensors passed your footfall to the pens and depending on some variable i’ve forgotten, different colours were traced for different lengths of time. it was very cool! the piece depended on visitors coming down, the gaps at night and on mondays when the gallery was closed were quite clear, also there was a note to explain when there had been a break in electricity for some reason…again, apologies for not being able to credit the artist.

it was pure chance i had a conversion experience in freiburg, but i was essential to the second installation – i spotted one of the pens had jammed and told the invigilator, who got up a ladder to meddle with it and set it going again and because when she had all the data in, the artist was going to make another piece, reflecting the traffic, that green pen counted! but everyone who went to it was essential. it really made me think…

which is what art is for! go her, the unknown artist! 😉