From Collective of Action toward Collective Behavior: The Human Condition 1958 and The Human Habitat 1959

by Andjelka Badnjar Gojnić, RWTH Aachen University

 

‘Durability, which alone determinates if a thing can exist as a thing and endure in the world as a distinct entity, remains the supreme criterion’ [i]

  1. The Collective, the Wall and the Law

In 1958, in her major philosophical work The Human Condition, Hannah Arendt refers to the term object in its Latin origin obicere as ‘something thrown’ or ‘put against.’[ii] This opposition serves as the basis upon which all further distinctions such as private and public, necessity and freedom, shame and honor, labor and action and man and the world are drawn. The human is finally positioned as a condition emerging between nature and the world. Once the world has been made up, the human can appear though activities of labor, work and action, each positioned differently between the poles of nature and the world. The appearance of the world built by ‘the work of our hands’[iii] serves as the ‘objective’ background that ‘stand against’ and ‘stabilize human life’ otherwise essentially subjective one. Being related to the ‘same chair and the same table…a man can retrieve their sameness’[iv], reconstruct their identity and overcome being part of a species no different than animal ones within elementary force and the eternal movement of indifferent nature. The sum of the things constituting human artifice stand as the world in its objective sense of being thrown in between man and nature. Such a world can be opposed to life, it is outside of life and unrelated to any of the bodily matters of reproduction, be they mental or physiological. It is the ‘worldly character of produced thing – its location, function and length of stay in the world’ which makes the distinction between ‘bread’ and ‘table’ and finally demonstrates the difference between a baker and a carpenter.[v] The criterion of the world understood as tangible, durable, permanent, and above all outside of the natural is an evaluative one. Contrary to the labor subjected to the necessity of the reproduction of life and thus the most natural of the three human activities, fabrication as a result of work produces an end beyond doubt: ‘an internally new thing with enough durability to remain in the world as independent entity added to the human artifice.’[vi] To have both a definitive beginning and a predicable end is a mark of fabrication, whose object further can be only multiplied instead of subjected to the repetition of the urged biological cycle of consumption. Although eventually subjected to dissolution, use objects – contrary to consumer goods and products of action – are present in the world long enough to stabilize nature and enable humans to appear through ‘products of action and speech…which lack tangibility of other things and are even less durable and more futile than what we produce for consumption.’[vii] Products of the action, words and deeds of the actor finally depend only upon ‘human plurality, upon the constant presence of other who can see and hear’[viii] by ‘living as a distinct and unique being among equals.’[ix]

The collective, in its notion of being done by man acting as a group, is a temporary state that falls into a web of human affairs. It is a status that has been agreed upon through men speaking and acting together. As such it is closest to Arendt’s concept of togetherness in the sense of being ‘with others neither for nor against them’[x] and having ‘inter-est which lies between people and can relate and bind them together.’[xi] Inter-est such as in-between varies depending on the group of people and constantly discloses itself by the agents of action and speech. As such speech and action are essential conditions for the collective and this is distinctive from collective action, as it would be rather ambiguous to address such a concept within Arendt’s argument. Namely, action is a highly individual condition by which man insert himself to the human plurality where in order to appear, one needs to disclose and to expose himself within the brightness of glory. Men thus seek to ‘reveal actively their unique personal identities and thus make their appearance in the human world.’[xii] This appearance is very distinct from the exposure of ‘physical identities…without any activity…in the unique shape of body and sound of the voice.’[xiii] Contrary to the labor, action is as far as possible from the realm of the natural and the actor might be the only one being freed from bodily necessities and emotional constraints who discloses himself in front of others, seeking pride and excellence. Thus, it is not the virtue of negotiation but of competitiveness in excellence that channels the final result of men acting together. The collective, rather than being a collective action, is an event that emerges out of the situation in which each man acts uniquely, exposes and competes. Essentially based on the individual, such collective shifts extensively as regards the words and deeds of the doers, not having any divine aura of its own. Though Arendt gives primacy to the individual as the man qua man situation, the unpredictable, irreversible and fragile character of action and speech are in constant danger of being absorbed by the nature of man with his necessities and emotional constraints. Thus, it is for the sake of the futility of action and speech that Arendt keeps the independency and background character of the object of the world as a guardian for their appearance. It is in the same way that object in all its tangibility, relates to the collective: ‘as a table located between those who sit around it’, ‘a world of things in between those who have it in common…that like every in-between relates and separates men at the same time.’[xiv]

Such an object is not human, let alone natural: it is the outer device with which the man of action relates and identifies in order to appear. Referring to the Greek polis, Arendt states that ‘before men begging to act, a definitive space had to be secured and a structure built where all actions could take place’[xv], the space being the public realm of the polis, while the law acts as its structure. The wall and the law are made by the architect and the legislator as the builder of a city and a lawmaker. These could be commissioned from abroad and need to be finished before any political activity begins. ‘These tangible entities’ – the wall and the law – ‘were not the content of politics themselves’[xvi] but the space of appearance, where less tangible products such as action and speech can gain the reality of being seen and heard before an audience of their fellow man acting together. As such no architect or lawmaker is an actor but rather they are fabricators, providing the infrastructure for the gathering of the men sharing words and deeds. They are not even personalized as ‘public space in the image of the fabricated object…carried only the implication of ordinary mastership where the compelling factor lies not in the person of craftsman but in impersonal object of his art or craft.’[xvii] This assured neutrality of the object is a condition sin qua non, as without the stabilizing boundaries of wall and law, the public could not survive the moment of action and speech. Furthermore, without the independence of the object and homo faber to make it, acting and speaking together could not be remembered. It is homo faber that is a guardian of the man of action, just as the ‘sharing of words and deeds’[xviii] is guarded by the object. As a background, the object is not end itself as it cannot create nor action or form a collective. It can only serve as a neutralized precondition in advance and as a guarantee of the eventual appearance as ‘for what appears to all, this we call Being’ and ‘whatever lacks appearance comes and passes away like a dream, intimately and exclusively our own but without reality.’[xix]

 

  1. The Collective and the Dissolution of an Object

Without the object thrown against nature no action, speech or state of the collective exists as there is no background for plurality. Although essential in deriving the human, the object of the world is the ultimate aim itself only in the case of homo faber. In the cases of two other heroes of Arendt – the man of action and the animal laborans– the object and the world are an assumed precondition sin qua non in the case of the former, while they are disguised forever in the case of the latter.

Contrary to our introduction of the collective as done by people acting as a group, Arendt refers to the collective always using the same connotation of mass society which enlarged the realm of the domestic household over the public one, until the final destruction of the latter. We can trace the ‘substitution of society of a collective man-kind for individual man as its subject’ [xx] or the ‘collective nature of labor’ with its ‘loss of all awareness of individuality’ whose ‘values are no different from pleasure derived from eating and drinking in company’ and thus rest on the ‘human’s body metabolism with nature.’[xxi] The collective is related to bodily performance such taking food and belonging to the same biological species and ultimately rests on sameness instead of equality. These connotations of the collective are followed by the impossibility of ‘collective ownership (as) a contradiction in terms’[xxii] as property and the possession of an object is an essentially individual characteristic. The loss of property appears as a direct consequence of the initial loss of a place to hide and to labor within: a man’s household. By keeping the realm of nature away from the public realm, equality in antiquity meant having to exit the household and enter public life: ‘where everybody had constantly to distinguish himself from all others, to show through unique deeds…that he was best of all.’[xxiii] With the substitution of private property – as an individually possessed tangible object – by the intangible common wealth of the enormous ‘family’ of society, the boundaries withdrew leaving man to float within modes of behaviorism that replaced action. With lost distinction, the sameness of society emerges: a large number of people, ‘crowded together’ with their ‘almost irrespirable inclination toward despotism…of a person or of majority rule.’[xxiv] Arendt points to great numbers which account for conformism, behaviorism and automatism in human affairs with their statistical uniformity and scientific outlook as the main traits for human action. ‘The more people there are the most likely they are to behave and less likely to tolerate non-behavior.’[xxv] In relation to the large number, there is no crucial difference between totalitarian or liberal constitutions apart from the fact that the former took the reality of conflict and the latter the ‘natural harmony of interests’ as their starting points. Both are rooted in the ‘communistic fiction’ that society has one interest as a whole, which derives itself primarily from the household realm rather from any class interest, as advocated by Marx. Large numbers give rise to the social sciences as ‘behavioral sciences’ that ‘aim to reduce man as a whole until the level of a conditioned and behaving animal’ until ‘social behavior has become the standard for all regions of life.’[xxvi]

The issue of great number followed by behaviorism apparently excludes any chance of action as a possibility to begin anew, rather than to behave as predicted and as statistically covered. The collective understood as oneness – a sum of parts constituting a whole – replaces the collective as a shifting state of men gathering and acting together. Within the realm of society, the latter collective apparently is not possible at all and this is most explicitly manifested in the loss of the object of the world.

It is the world alienation rather than Marx’s self-alienation that is the ‘hallmark of the modern age’ as ‘enormous mundane activity is possible without any consideration for the world but only worry and care about the self.’[xxvii] Transmitting to the artifact natural role of consuming, monuments become not outer any more but rather an extension of biological life itself. Although a fence, a table, a chair or house, remain present, these are not worldly but ‘natural’ and nondurable. By losing the outer quality of the object, the difference between the tangible and intangible is blurred, shifting things from the world toward an ever-circulating natural swing. Instead of serving as a background for the human, the object is moved to the enlarged natural environment of man serving as an extension of his body from its primordial origin toward industrial equipment.

 

  1. Human / Non-human: In Search of an Environment / Object

One year after first publication of The Human Condition, familiar values related to habitat and the issue of large numbers based upon sociological analysis and the study of man’s behavior were the main preoccupations of the third generation of modern architects at the Otterlo Meeting in 1959.

Oskar Newman’s report book CIAM ’59 in Otterlo begins with the Adalbert Ames’s quote: ‘the processes that underlie our perception of our immediate internal world and those that underlie our perception of social relationships are fundamentally the same.’ Participants met ‘in the peace and quiet’ of the Kröller-Müller Foundation under the working title ‘The Group for the Research of Social and Visual Inter-relationships’. The meeting was organised by the coordinating group established at La Sarraz 1957 comprised of Bakema, Rogers, Roth, Voelcker and Wogenscky and counted 43 international participants invited according to the list made by the coordinating group. The event was funded by the government of the Netherlands, whose representative pointed out the difficult task of contemporary architects in order to fulfill ‘the happy feeling of social prosperity in which there is no longer a place for slum-dwellings’ and to search for a design based on the ‘life scheme and the shape of present and future society.’[xxviii] Bakema, in his introductory talk, called for the emergence of establishing architecture as ‘three-dimensional expression of human behavior’ in order to operate the ‘function of human identification with the ever extending universal space.’[xxix] After eight days of panels presenting individual work followed by discussions, the official conclusion rested upon the distinction of participants into two groups: a neutral and an aggressive one. The latter – that would go on – showed an attempt to understand architecture as a language ‘communicating directly about human behavior.’[xxx]

Rather than the official division, the meeting was actually characterized by another split. The most prominent advocates of a new language for modern architecture came into debate with Italian participation lead by Ernesto Rogers. The heated discussion following Rogers’ presentation of the Torre Velasca in Milan was charged with a critique led by Peter Smithson and Jaap Bakema and followed by Kenzō Tange. Their accusations relied on a historic understanding of architecture, describing the Torre Velasca in terms of its closed form, formalistic realism and as a quick solution to the problem of identity finally declaring the work done as unacceptable. The distinction was historically recognized as an origin of two approaches toward the roles of nature and history in modern architecture.[xxxi] From this point on, the distinction can be further traced toward two broader thoughts behind: reaction on establishment of the field of ethology with domain of anthropology on one hand and constant reversal to the antique on another. Following the first, Team 10 concept for the human habitat rested upon influence of anthropological sources.[xxxii] In contrast, the autonomy of the human condition in regard to the nature perhaps is most accurately present in Italian participation. As such, the origin of the conflict could be seen as a spot to unite different constellations on relation of the ethos of collective and the object within postwar modernism. Under conditions in which architects ‘will be asked to build billions of dwellings’, this being not a numerical problem alone but one also limited by sociological, economical, geographical, political and plastic conditions, [xxxiii] the attempt to translate this collective into materiality  resulted in urged search for its object.

Aldo van Eyck 'Eyes'
‘Eyes’, Children’s Home, Amsterdam, Aldo van Eyck; from CIAM ’59 in Otterlo, Oscar Newman, Karl Krämer Verlag Stuttgart, 1961

Par Nous pour Nous was the slogan of Aldo van Eyck’s introductory panel for presentation of his Children Home in Amsterdam and Congress building project in Jerusalem. According to van Eyck, after leaving the Euclidian groove, art and science have expanded the universe – ‘the outside and inside universe.’[xxxiv] With this awareness, this period of ours requires a new language, one at the same time old and new. The language is old as ‘man is always and essentially the same’ and this is most explicit in the constant human proportions that architecture is constantly rediscovering. ‘Archaic principles of human nature’ and a reconciliation of basic values need to be taken into account as an absolute condition of one. This is drawn into a status quo in the same way as biological necessity: ‘Man breathes both in and out; when is architecture going to do the same?’[xxxv] Accordingly to Bakema’s ‘architecture as a three dimensional extension of human behavior’, the object is equalized with bodily functions. The language is new as society is new. By contrast with the individual, who is old, primordial and constant with his physiological and cognitive processes, society shifts and is another polarity of the ‘dual phenomenon’, the two of which are supposed to reconcile through the issue of the ‘in-between’ nature of the object. Van Eyck concludes his theoretical introduction with the example of the house: ‘me inside and you outside or vice versa…with you inside, me outside, two worlds clashing no transition, individual on one side, the collective on another’, a lots of barriers of society ‘with architect so poor in spirit to provide a door…, hair-raising, brutal, like a guillotine…Each time we pass through such door we are split into two.’[xxxvi]

An attempt to provide an object with a blurred distinction between outside and inside in high interaction with the body was made through the Children’s Home of Amsterdam. ‘The whole thing is both outside and inside whether you are inside or outside.’[xxxvii] Sometimes there are cupolas above, sometimes there is sky, interior street walls are like exterior walls, ‘lots of tiny mirrors embedded in the concrete’, ‘the electric lighting is like street lighting’, ‘illuminating spaces are shifting with darkness’, ‘child’s movement (is) as violent as outside. ‘[xxxviii] In the search for the ‘dual phenomena of the individual and the collective without wrapping the meaning of either’[xxxix] the object becomes convertor of human behavior between the two. By withdrawing any difference between inside and outside, private and public, the object gains the role of a somatic extension of the biological human, always converting him from one to the number and vice versa. Appropriated by man, the object becomes natural itself and upgrades the collective body made from the human and the industrial, while placing it within the abstract context of sun, wind, rain, earth, highway and airplane. With the loss of its background character, this ‘behavioral’ object offers ultimate certainty to the ‘just beginning humanism’[xl] and the ultimate intimacy of a man walking through his surrounding environment in the manner of a savage walking through the forest.

This is certainly not in accordance with Arendt’s reliance on Greek materialism, which argues for the object serving as a neutral background for action governed by expertise – instead, the house in stake actually expresses all the inhabitability of modern age. [xli] With the language unable to correspond to any historical period, even the contemporary, van Eyck’s work constantly shows an attempt to reduce the house to its constituent universal elements of wall, roof, celling as a system of signifiers. This new environment seeks both universal and primordial expression in last consequences of the ethnological discourse on humanism.

Against this ‘behavioral’ aspect of the object maybe mostly explicit in van Eyck’s studies on the performances of the child and its surroundings, but actually present to the majority of ‘right side’ participants, stands the most discussed case of the Otterlo event: Ernesto Rogers’s panel with The Torre Velasca.

At the very beginning of his talk, Rogers immediately sets up limit by addressing the height of the Madellina at the top of Milan Duomo as the paramount criterion with no building allowed to be any higher. Although there was no deliberate reference to regional medieval towers as historical quotation per se, the similarities of form occur due to similar conditions, such as insufficient land area and the search for light and ideal views.[xlii] In contrast to the constancy of always-universal man in van Eyck case, here the fabrication condition is relevant and the artifact stays out of the human realm. The object is a result of a technique and of a set of pragmatic decisions while the rhetoric is apparently totally reduced. ‘It is important to speak technically, because technique requires precise decisions.’[xliii] This is quite clear in the way the architect presented the work by stressing pure facts and providing short conclusions such as: ‘steel in Italy would be too expensive so the concrete is used’, ‘windows are standard production’, ‘panels between columns are prefabricated elements’, ‘the construction is a very simple one’, ‘it would be impossible to know who the occupants will be’, ‘two main colours were used’ – a brick one from the Middle Ages and the colour of stone from the neo-classical period, yet none of these were chosen due to sentimental reason, but as ‘a technical approach to the vision.’[xliv]

‘We put the apartments above the offices so that might have better access to the sky, the cleaner air and in particular splendid view.’[xlv] While the first two reasons recall typically modernist concepts, it is particularly the splendid view that is main cause for elevating apartments. Yet, the view is not toward any of the traditional modernist symbols such as greenery, traffic or exposure to the airplanes passing over the heads of The Children’s Home in Amsterdam. Instead it is a view toward the fabric of the historical city that serves as the main reason for elevating apartments as well as for increasing the height of offices in a way to correspond to classical proportions of interior rooms instead of to modernist ones. ‘It was necessary to provide space for offices of a big surface area and this allowed us to give them a corresponding increase in height.’[xlvi] The view perceived from the interior constitutes the sum of the human artifact in the same way as the view toward the tower intensifies the recognizable image of a familiar object. Additionally, the corners of the tower are chamfered with the windows placed in, thus dissolving the cubical volume of the building into the mere plane picture. In the tower, almost seen as a two-dimensional image of a city organized with the articulation of windows, the structural components of modern architecture actually serve to intensify the type components of classicism. For this reason Rogers identifies Mies as the only modern architect from whom one could learn: as the language of Mies implies, gentrification in the constitution of an object in a tradition of commonly recognizable codes serves as the background to the human. ‘He is the only architect modern in the sense that Palladio was in his time’, for whom ‘the idea of plans and schemes was the idea of giving a model.’[xlvii] The quality of the permanence of a model is at the core of Arendt’s reference to Plato’s interpretation of the word idea or ‘shape’.[xlviii] This is what guides the craftsman who makes beds and tables in accordance with an idea, with his inner eye looking on the shape of the bed as envisioned instead of the real one. As such, the idea is more durable than the concrete thing as it derives from the ‘oneness of the model’, according to which a multitude of perishable things will appear, as the model exists before fabrication starts and remains after it has come to an end.

The persistence of the model annihilates novelty throughout all speech such as ‘I don’t see our work as sort of revolution at all’[xlix] and constantly positions the object within a limit. Thus, the limits being the constraints of industry, the acceptance of the language of modern architecture where it fits well such as ‘the structure is expressed as …we think that articulation of the structure is one of good qualities of modern architecture’[l] or simply the apparently indifferent acceptance of the impossibility of acknowledging the user. Yet, by this, Rogers and his followers do not abandon interfering in the relationship of the individual and the collective. They instead give up rhetoric on holistic collectivity relevant to the rest of the attempts to structure the environment according to the levels of neighborhood gatherings within a society of a large number. Rogers seeks the fabrication of an object as a counterpoint to man instead of an environment being an alter ego of men’s behaviorism. Such an object is not biological, but instead it is completely alien to nature and alien to the human as well. Bearing in mind Arendt distinction between the nature of man and human, where human is possible only when man is freed from the natural and the natural is no different than animal, Rogers attempt could be addressed as a search for an object as non-natural and non-human. This position runs contrary to the general attitude of the meeting, which was to make the object both human and natural, without actually pointing out much difference between the two, as the nature of a man is equalized with that of a human. As it is alien to nature, Rogers’ object is fabricated from the material of the outer world, seeking a durable and tangible enough state in stable continuity in order to become the thing of the world. As it is alien to the human, the architect should leave all rhetorical attempts toward the object being able to affect the human apart from serving as its background. The only morality should come from consistency of the object,[li] which is the only means of addressing the human by actually leaving the attempt to affect the human. As soon as we succeed in fabricating a durable, recognizable object other to both the natural and to the human, as manufacturers rather than creators, we actually strengthen the image of the world and thus serve the opportunity for the individual to be able to identify himself within a delirious collective. It is the reduction of the collective toward the individual that is the main attempt of Rogers’ object rather than its historical relevance per se. It is not the love for historical language that is in the origin of his attempt but rather the consistency of the object as device for the distinction of man: as an object being thrown against man. The language of modern architecture is fit as well as historical language with no crucial difference as long as they create a recognizable pattern. This may be most explicit in the plan of the tower where apartments are not much different from any of European modern movement references within welfare hosing development. This plan could actually be whatever is most affordable and pragmatic while there is certainty that whoever user is will perceive the totalized image of the object of the city and whoever looks upon a tower will perceive the same as well.

Trying to address his critique of the Torre Velasca with a bit more sympathy than Peter Smithson, Bakema pointed out that seeing from ‘a certain distance there is something in the building’s silhouette which suggest that it could have been there for fifty years.’[lii] One could assume that only by hearing this Rogers would be satisfied that his attempt had been completed as much as if it had remained unspoken. As the chain of reasons, though technically and pragmatically rooted, seemed deliberately guided toward what remained inexplicit, making Rogers one of the pioneers of the attempt to overcome the role of the avant-garde intellectual and reduce the architect to the level of the wall-maker in antiquity.

On one hand, the dominant attempt of the Otterlo meeting saw the dissolution of the object toward environment as an adequate response for new vision of holistic collectivity. This vision was based on the ethnological discourse of the primordial and universal man at the same time by taking its biological premises into account. On the other hand, Italian participation saw the object in its antique role, as the outer model that retrieve the sameness of a man and constructs the identity of the individual within retreat from the collective. In the first case, the aura of holistic collectivity failed to distinct between the biological nature of man and its human capacities. In the second, the attempt to distinguish two failed to acknowledge the defeat of homo faber within the automation process. The stage of technological development and electricity cannot fit the categories of homo faber ‘in terms of a gigantic enlargement and continuation of old arts and crafts.’[liii] What substitutes instruments as a means to achieve the prescribed end in killing, interrupting and imitating natural processes is an ‘unchain (of ) natural processes of our own’, and channeling ‘these natural forces into the world itself.’[liv] Finally, nature and the world leave no opposition but merge together into the ‘natural word’ with the final dissolution of the object toward Adorno’s anthropomorphized one.[lv] With the defeat of homo faber as the main hero of Arendt ‘indeed a lord and a master of himself and his doings’, ‘maker and the fabricator and the erector of the world’[lvi] and Tafuri’s dissolution of type within the process of prefabrication seemed that holistic collective of ethnological discourse gain dominance over the polis’ one. It is in this sense that, for the moment, van Eyck’s child took primacy over history and the collective over the individual.

[i] Arendt, H., The Human Condition, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1998 (1958), p. 163.

[ii] Id., p. 137.

[iii] Arendt referencing to Lock, Id., p. 79.

[iv] Id., p. 137.

[v] Id., p. 94.

[vi] Id., p. 143.

[vii] Id., p. 95.

[viii] Ibid.

[ix] Id., p. 178.

[x] Id., p. 180.

[xi] Id., p. 182.

[xii] Id., p. 179.

[xiii] Ibid.

[xiv] Id., pp. 52, 53.

[xv] Id., p. 194,195.

[xvi] Id., p. 195.

[xvii] Id., p. 227.

[xviii] Id., p. 198.

[xix] Id., p. 199.

[xx] Id., p. 117.

[xxi] Id., p. 213.

[xxii] Id., p. 256.

[xxiii] Id., p. 41.

[xxiv] Id., p. 43.

[xxv] Ibid.

[xxvi] Id., p. 45.

[xxvii] Id., p. 254.

[xxviii] Newman, O., CIAM ’59 in Otterlo, Karl Krämer Verlag Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 1961, p. 20, 21

[xxix] Id., p. 10.

[xxx] Ibid.

[xxxi] Pedret, A., ‘CIAM ’59: the end of CIAM’, in Team 10 1953-1981 in search of a Utopia of the present, ed. by Max Risselada and Dirk van den Heuvel, NAi Publishers, Rotterdam 2005

[xxxii] For a reading of critical themes of postwar modernism see introduction in Anxious Modernisms, ed. by Goldhagen, S. W., and Legault, R., Canadian Centre for Architecture and The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England, 2000; for discourse on anthropology see Conklin, A., In the Museum of Man, Cornell University Press, 2013

[xxxiii] Newman, O., CIAM ’59 in Otterlo, Karl Krämer Verlag Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 1961, p. 13

[xxxiv] Id., p. 26.

[xxxv] Id., pp. 26, 27.

[xxxvi] Id., p. 28.

[xxxvii] Id., p. 32.

[xxxviii] Id., pp. 31, 32.

[xxxix] Ibid.

[xl] Ockman, J., ‘Venice and New York’, reference to van Eyck’s attack on Manfredo Tafuri arguing that: ‘The path of language as the communication of messages, which is the discourse of humanism does not exist and henceforth is completely closed’, from Europa/America Architetture urbane, alternative suburbane, ed. Franco Raggi (Venice: La Biennale di Venezia, 1978), pp. 174-82.

[xli] On overview to the notion of inhabitability of modernity see eg. Heynen, H., Architecture and Modernity. A Critique, MIT Press, 1999

[xlii] Newman, O., CIAM ’59 in Otterlo, Karl Krämer Verlag Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 1961, p. 92.

[xliii] Ibid.

[xliv] Ibid.

[xlv] Ibid.

[xlvi] Id., pp. 92, 93.

[xlvii] Id., p. 96.

[xlviii] Arendt, H., The Human Condition, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1998 (1958), p. 142.

[xlix] Newman, O., CIAM ’59 in Otterlo, Karl Krämer Verlag Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 1961, p. 219.

[l] Id., p. 92.

[li] Id., p. 95., Rogers responding to P. Smithson on issue of morality brought about by the latter

[lii] Id., p. 97.

[liii] Arendt, H., The Human Condition, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1998 (1958), p. 148.

[liv] Id., p. 149.

[lv] Adorno, T., ‘Functionalism Today’, Oppositions, no. 17, 1979

[lvi] Arendt, H., The Human Condition, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1998 (1958), p. 144.

 

 

Living in the Material World: Making Sense of Material Matters in Relation to Temporary Artworks

by Sophie Kromholz, University of Glasgow

The traditional idea of the artwork as a singular and stable art object was destabilized by practices of the early vanguards of the twentieth century, who challenged institutionalized ideas around art objects.[i] The continued exploration of new art forms alongside the inclusion of new art materials has brought into question how to carry an artwork forward – forcing consideration of how to stabilize materials which are difficult, if not seemingly impossible to preserve, and what to do when the art object cannot be preserved. American artists Ann Hamilton (b. 1956) and Kathryn Clark’s (b. 1944) collaborative work palimpsest (1989) is a perfect illustration of the problems which go hand in hand with the diversification and expansion of material possibility.[ii] palimpsest consists of cabbages, live snails, and an electric oscillating fan in a steel and glass vitrine within a room covered in beeswax tablets, under which, encased in the wax, lies nearly illegible yellowed newsprint.

Figure 2
Ann Hamilton and Kathryn Clark, palimpsest, 1989.

The cabbages inevitably rot. The snails die. The fan gives out and needs to be replaced. Should the original fan brand and design go out of production, how should this element of the piece be sustained? As for the wax tablets, these begin to accumulate the debris brought in by the artwork’s audience, as the debris slowly becomes embedded in the wax. Hamilton discusses the work as ‘a meditation on memory, its loss and our finitude.’[iii] These are common themes among temporary artworks, evoked in part by the material selected, and in part by how the material moves and acts. The work’s material is vulnerable, and thus potentially the piece itself, depending on how important the original material is. The work in its fullness is experience driven, focused on a kind of immediacy in its interaction with the audience. Indeed, Hamilton is known for creating ephemeral environments which catapult the audience into immersive experiences as they stand in the work and interact with it.

Despite the highly impermanent selection of materials that are bound to change and degrade quickly, palimpsest (1989) still exists. From analysing the work’s physical composition, as well as reading the artists’ statement about the work, one would initially assume that the work is indeed a temporary artwork. This surprising twist raises the following questions, namely how do we recognize a temporary artwork? What role does material, both its selection and movement, play in shaping the work’s reading and experience? These questions will be addressed in this paper, in order to come closer to considering what it might mean to conserve the artwork without its material form and what a temporary artwork can be for non-primary audiences.

Theories and Concepts

With the inclusivity of materials and structural methods brought on by contemporary art, many materially unstable works are in fact not temporary artworks. The significance in exploring the ambiguity of material and how it determines the longevity of a temporary artwork illustrates the argument put forth by cultural theorist Fernando Dominguez Rubio and sociologist Elizabeth Silva, namely that, one has to explore the trajectories of these artworks, how they come to occupy different object-positions in it, and how these object-positions shape the specific ways in which subject and institutional positions, as well as boundaries, are distributed and transformed over time.[iv] The term ‘object-position’ is borrowed from the field of Material Studies.[v] It refers to the relationship between the material object and human social and cultural practices and experiences. The material object is significant because of what we think it might tell us.[vi] A temporary artwork is interesting because it straddles the line between object and non-object. There is a distinction to be made between works the transience of which is mitigated by making them permanent and those which become non-objects, which is to say works which physically cease to be. Whether an artwork is a permanent object or a transitory object is not evident from the material selection, as palimpsest (1989) illustrates. Rather, to recognize whether the artwork provides a stable material reference point – whether it can be repeated or replaced – requires additional information. An artist must disclose what the role of the material is within the work as a whole in order to discern the most appropriate treatment of their work.

Parallel to the material selection, the manner in which the material moves – specifically referring to the material’s inherent physical properties and behaviour – and acts, also impacts the way the artwork functions as a whole and how it engages with various stakeholders (which include the artist, the exhibiting body, the collecting body, the art audience, the curator, and the conservator). For instance, returning to the example of palimpsest (1989), which consists of many organic components, including snails and cabbage, the ability to replace both the snails and the cabbage inherently changes the shelf-life of the work and the manner in which the work is carried into the future.

The material’s role within the artwork and how the artist envisions this impacting the audience’s encounter and experience with the work can be divided into three main categories:

  1. Artworks made of fugitive or otherwise vulnerable materials for which the artist supports conservation methods and measures which keep the work viable. These may be applied by the artist or can be applied in collaboration with a conservation team.
  2. Artworks made of fugitive or otherwise vulnerable materials which make the work as a whole temporary, according to the artist’s intent.
  3. Artworks made out of stable materials which are destroyed and therefore become temporary nonetheless.

The first category concerns works which are in fact not temporary artworks, though due to their material selection they could be, were it not for the artist’s collaboration in countering the work’s material instability. palimpsest (1989) clearly falls into this category. The second and third categories both comprise temporary artworks, with the third category being fairly commonplace in commissioned work. The second category is primarily the focus of this paper. This is because it is notably difficult to determine on the basis of material alone whether an artwork is indeed meant to be temporary. There is a tension created by the difficulty of distinguishing between artworks made of fugitive or otherwise vulnerable materials for which the artist supports conservation methods and measures that keep the work viable, and artworks for which the artist does not support measures to sustain the physical work. It is particularly interesting, in relation to how an artwork is experienced, to consider how to relate the first and second categories, and to evaluate exactly what they say about each other. In both categories, artists use difficult-to-conserve materials, and the artist’s intent cannot be read from the material selection and action alone.[vii] Art critic Michael Archer discusses the challenge of seeing material purpose as the ‘conflict between transience and persistence’.[viii] In both categories, the material’s instability does not function as inherent vice, but rather as a form of creative hubris. Exploring the significance of the medium how its symbolism and duration play a role in the work, is a means of excavating the underlying narrative that material plays in constructing and supporting the artwork as a whole. The artist’s intention nonetheless becomes a necessary component in understanding what the possible future of the work is. Whether an artwork needs to completely cease to exist, or can be replaced infinitely, much like palimpsest (1989), depends on the artist.

In short, the physical properties of the artwork as a whole, the material selection, movement, and manner in which the audience is aware of and participates in its action, inform the relationship between the artwork as object and its transition to non-object. These dynamics shape and underpin what it means for the temporary artwork to continue to exist outside its original material form. Understanding the relationship between the artwork as a whole and its material provides insight into what is lost or gained through the temporary artwork’s material loss. How we understand the artwork both short-term and long-term is affected by these primary dynamics, which include the material significance and changeability of the work.

Artist’s intent and modern and contemporary art materials

There is a shift with works from the twentieth century onwards between what the work offers and what additional information needs to be disclosed alongside the work in order to read and understand it. Moreover, further information is lost when the artwork ceases to be physically present at all, as is the fate of a temporary artwork. There has been what critic and curator Francesco Poli refers to as an ‘epistemological break’ in artistic practice and theory.[ix] Poli uses the concept of the ‘epistemological break’ to describe the shift in creative practice that we see in the twentieth century. This shift in thinking and creative practice, including the use of unconventional materials, has changed the kind of art made and how we can think of collecting and conserving for posterity. While the presence of unstable and unconventional media as art materials is no longer unusual, now including everything from foodstuffs, taxidermy and excrement, the artist’s intent cannot be read from the selection and application of these materials alone. As art historian and conservator Lydia Beerkens observes:

‘The conservation practice of modern and contemporary art has become increasingly  complex and dynamic. A thorough analysis of the artwork and the collection of detailed material knowledge no longer suffice to solve conservation issues. The artist, the choices   made by the artist and the history of creation of the artwork play an increasingly prominent part as (additional) sources of information.’ [x]

In order to begin to understand how we might read the artwork, additional knowledge of the artist’s intent has become critical. The artist’s intent can be understood as the artist’s ideas and wishes surrounding the artwork, and where he or she envisions the identity of the work as a whole lying. This has an impact on the perimeters of how the work’s material can be altered and interacted with, determining the treatment of the artwork.

The difficulty of understanding the role of material and artist’s intent is illustrated, among other cases, by the works made by German-born American artist Eva Hesse (b.1936 – 1970) in the 1960s. Hesse pioneered the use of latex, fiberglass and plastics in the Sixties, when little was known as to how these materials would age and affect the work as a whole. Hesse ultimately developed cancer and died at the tender age of 34 while her work was still gaining recognition.  Due to the heavy use of chemicals within Hesse’s work, as well as the material selection, Hesse’s oeuvre has aged poorly. As it was not known at the time how the material would age, and due to the untimely death of the artist, it is difficult to read from the material alone what Hesse would have wanted to happen to her work. In an interview, Hesse is recorded having said she was confused about the longevity of her works, elaborating to indicate that the complete properties of her materials were still unknown, and that her own stance was unclear.[xi] She discussed her awareness that the rubber she used in some of her works did not last, but that the creative use of the material might be more important than its longevity.[xii] However, she also indicated that she had thought about making more durable works to counter some of these problems. The interview makes apparent the artist’s own lack of clarity about her ultimate intentions. Mostly, the works seemed to be produced with a kind of immediacy and only later, when confronted with the work’s material change, did the artist begin to think about the work’s future.[xiii] The ambiguity of the material’s future is paralleled by further enigmatic statements made by the artist, including “Life doesn’t last; art doesn’t last. It doesn’t matter.” which are often applied to considerations of how Hesse’s work should be treated.[xiv] Arguably, in the case of Hesse, the reading of her choice of materials is influenced by an imposed reading of her illness. Art historian Anne Wagner criticizes this romanticisation of Hesse, stating that it creates a myth which does a disservice to the artist’s work.[xv] In the absence of the artist, traditionally one could expect the work to speak of the artist’s intention. Yet as we see with Hesse, and with some other artists’ works from the twentieth century, this is problematic. When deciding upon possible treatments, camps are divided. Art critic Stuart Morgan argued that ‘any attempt to ‘restore’ these late pieces by Hesse would be a travesty.’[xvi]  However, in opposition, fellow artist and friend Sol Lewitt argued that Hesse would not have wanted her work to completely vanish, arguing ‘She wanted her work to last’.[xvii] Yet this seems contrary to some of Hesse’s statements about her work, such as: ‘I think people should see it in all its faded glory.’[xviii] Discussions around Hesse’s work have formed part of the discourse on contemporary conservation and display practice and come to grips with material and artist’s intent – both shaping and being shaped by current conservation ideas on when to intervene with a material work, how to display it and when a work should be deaccessioned.

Moreover, the extent and manner in which an artist should control their work, particularly after the work has already been completed, is controversial.[xix] The artist is not always right. Artists’ concerns for their work are at times different from the conservators and the collectors. Furthermore, the artist’s original intent is a concept in flux, as artists may change their minds.[xx] In particular, later interventions suggested by the artist may no longer represent the artist’s own original intent when they first conceived of and made a work. This is notably a question of ethics, raising the issue of trying to evaluate at which stage the artist’s intention is most authentic, and equally when it ceases to be.

Taking an anthropological approach, philosopher and sociologist Renée van de Vall and art theorist Vivian van Saaze both propose that the artwork can be understood as having a biography, which is layered and dynamic.[xxi] The idea of an artwork as having a biography is indebted to anthropologist Arjun Appadurai, who first used the concept of a biography in application to things and whose work focused on the ‘life’ of things.[xxii]  Additionally, the notion that an artwork can have multiple authenticities is also acknowledged.[xxiii] It therefore follows that the artist’s earlier and later ideas can both be seen as part of the work. Through having a series of interviews with an artist over time, where possible, a change in the artist’s ideas can be documented and taken into account.[xxiv] However, at times artists may change their minds and express interests which are ‘either unachievable or undesirable by current owners.’[xxv] In these instances there is a clear conflict and the artist’s interests and intent cannot always be accommodated. When the artist’s intent is converted into action, it becomes what art theorist Sherri Irvin discusses as the ‘actionable sanctions’ which must relate to the identity of the artwork, lest this identity be changed and the work ultimately transformed into another work.[xxvi] The artwork’s identity is at the heart of what is at stake.

Temporary works are created with a particular limited lifecycle in mind, within a particular time and context. What defines the artwork and is critical to its state(s) is dependent on the conditions that the artist has intended and specified for the work.[xxvii] In cases such as German artist Gustav Metzger’s (b. 1926) auto-destructive art, the artist intriguingly decided to recreate his acid action painting from the Sixties for a retrospective of his work for Tate Britain in 2004. The remade work’s relationship towards the first work, made more than four decades prior, is not straightforward and how it is understood depends in part on how the artist sees this relationship. The compilation ‘Out of Actions: Between Performance and the Object, 1949-1979’ sets the framework for much of the discourse around the debate of performance and object and how to keep artworks ‘alive’.[xxviii]

Figure 3
Damien Hirst, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, 1999.

Related to the complex discussion of remaking work and the life of the artwork, British artist Damien Hirst (b. 1965), infamously replaced the core material, namely the shark, in his piece The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1999) when the work was sold from one collector to another in 2004, and the artwork had aged poorly. The work consisted of a tiger shark preserved in formaldehyde solution suspended in a glass and steel vitrine. After the artist replaced the contents, the vitrine was the sole ‘original’ material from the initial work. Nevertheless, Hirst maintained that it was the same artwork. The conservation treatment of the work in question poses considerable ethical questions around how to define and understand the ‘authentic’ artwork and where the boundaries of its integrity lie. Hirst has claimed that material posterity is not one of his concerns, but rather that he is focused on communicating an idea.[xxix] Cases such as Hirst’s are interesting because they signal the artist’s voice as the primary source of authority. They mark the stark shift away from a focus on original material.

Working with the artist at the time that a work is created and directly documenting their ideas regarding the constraints of the work is desirable, where possible. This helps to avoid the confusion, or later change of heart, which comes from reflection and time and might interfere with the work. We need to rely on the artist to disclose additional information which cannot be read from the work’s material alone, but we must also be sensitive to factors which are introduced and which may change and influence the artist’s understanding of their own work. These include considering when the artist’s intent is recorded – right after the work is made or much later, whether the work behaves as the artist has anticipated, and being wary of not influencing the artist. Jill Sterret, Director of Collections and Conservation at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, notes ‘the artist’s intent is still our touchstone. But it shifts. You interview artists when their work first comes into the collection and then, years later, call for a clarification.’[xxx] It is worth noting here that for some of the works in question, there are no years.

The process of material unmaking as used in temporary works removes the focus from the object and places it instead on what curator Maria Lind refers to as the ‘performative structures’ – that which the material object ‘does’.[xxxi] The essence of the artwork and the purpose of the object are reconsidered through its material unmaking. The process of material obsolescence becomes part of how the work is read. The reality of its inability to physically survive is in accordance with the artist’s wishes.

Keeping a temporary artwork relevant, and indeed whether a work should be kept at all, for future generations of audiences depends on understanding how the artwork is made, and in this exploration also on figuring out where the artwork draws its perimeters, how it is defined, and the point at which is ceases to be – the artwork’s ‘death’. By necessity, the future of the work includes a kind of variability in understanding that what the work is in its material presence is not the same thing as the experience of the work in its absence. The artwork that no longer physically exists can continue to resonate with new generations of audiences and new experiences can be shaped from second-hand information. In trying to keep the work relevant, what matters is how its absence is contextualised. What exists after the work’s initial primary existence is no longer the material artwork, but rather as traces of the work, documentation and the memory of something that no longer is. The experience of absence does not replace the experience of the material presence of the artwork, but rather complements it, and could even be said to be an extension of the artwork’s life.

Conclusion

The importance of a temporary artwork’s material life is highlighted through an examination of the role that material selection, action and singular physical embodiment play in the work as a whole. The examples given illustrate the difficulty of placing a work in a stable object-position based on material alone. The changed nature of material and how it shapes the artwork conflates the idea of what it means to care for an artwork, and what it means for a work to endure. As the role of material within the art object has opened up with practices from the twentieth century onwards, our understanding of when and where there is material irretrievability has been challenged, and the myth that the work’s longevity can be read from material alone has been dispelled.

Conservators Salvatore Lorusso et al. maintain that in considering treatment for the artwork, ‘One must employ a methodology based on the critical study of not only the materials used, but also the philosophy and creative conceptual intentions of the artist.’[xxxii] Temporary artworks can be made out of traditional materials which include but are not limited to: bronze, wood, oil paint, marble, terracotta, as well as the non-traditional, including for example: perishables, fat, flowers, twigs, ice, blood, excrement, and cardboard. Knowledge is needed not only of the material, but also the artist’s philosophy behind using and applying the material. Where possible this requires direct input from the artist, or else from the artist’s associates who can clarify the artist’s intention. And even here we need to be wary of how time influences opinion, even that of the artist. What becomes clear is that there is no one-size-fits-all answer, but that all of these works pose similar questions and issues. Critically, materialism puts into question the desirability of permanence. And yet, if there is a desire to preserve these works, it is necessary to understand how their temporary nature is framed, so that we might conceive of ways to address the works’ evanescent quality while still conserving some aspects for future non-primary audiences. Understanding the role of material becomes the first step towards understanding how the artwork is made present and experienced.

***

[i] Martha Buskirk, The Contingent Object of Contemporary Art (London: MIT, 2003).

[ii] The use of lowercase within the title of the work is a conscious decision made by the artists.

[iii] Jonathan Padget, ‘For Snails, The Slimelight Is Fleeting’, The Washington Post (December 22, 2005),

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/21/AR2005122102274.html, (accessed, March 7, 2015).

[iv] Fernando Dominguez Rubio and Elizabeth B. Silva, ‘Materials in the Field: Object-trajectories and Object-positions in the Field of Contemporary Art’, Cultural Sociology vol. 7 no. 2 (June 2013):161-178, 164.

[v] The field of Material Studies researches the relationship between people and material objects, including their history, making, use, preservation and interpretation. Material Studies takes an interdisciplinary approach, drawing from multiple fields, including art history, archaeology, anthropology, history, and museum studies.

[vi] Webb Keane and Christopher Tilly, ‘Subjects and Objects’, Handbook of Material Culture, ed., Christopher Tilley, Webb Keane, and Susanne Kuechler-Fogden (London: SAGE Publications Ltd, 2013), 198.

[vii] Note that these can be organic e.g. foodstuffs, or inorganic e.g. plastics.

[viii] Michael Archer, ‘Contemporary art is not ephemeral’, The Guardian, (November 18, 2009),

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2009/nov/18/contemporary-art-ephemeral,

(accessed March 7, 2015).

[ix] Francesco Poli, ‘Preface’, Conserving Contemporary Art: Issues, Methods, Materials, and Research, ed., Oscar Chiantore and Antonio Rava (Los Angelos: Getty Publications: 2012), 7.

[x] Ibid., 9.

[xi] Eva Hesse, ‘Eva Hesse on Impermanence of Her Materials’ http://www.sfmoma.org/explore/multimedia/videos/128, (accessed March 9, 2015).

[xii] Ibid.

[xiii] Ibid.

[xiv] Tate Modern, ‘Teacher and Group Leaders’ Kit – Eva Hesse 13 November 02 – 9 March 03’, 12, http://www.tate.org.uk/modern/exhibitions/hesse/hesse_tp.pdf, (accessed April 19, 2015).

[xv] Mignon Nixon and Cindy Nemser, Eva Hesse (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002).

[xvi] Stuart Morgan, ‘Oh! More Absurdity!’, Frieze Magazine, Issue 11, (June-August 1993). http://www.frieze.com/issue/article/oh_more_absurdity/, (accessed February 19, 2012).

[xvii]Jonathan Keats, ‘The Afterlife of Eva Hesse’, Art and Antiques Magazine, (April 2011), http://www.artandantiquesmag.com/2011/04/the-afterlife-of-eva-hesse/, (accessed February 17, 2012).

[xviii] Washington Pullman, ‘Eva Hesse sculptures deteriorating at WSU museum’, North County Times (October 4, 2006), http://www.nctimes.com/entertainment/art-and-theater/visual/article_0c0a1951-8ea5-5f58-8dd4-9ce196b3d30c.html#ixzz1ng3n3jXq, (accessed February 16, 2012).

[xix] This is indicated throughout conservation discussion by amongst others: Barbara Ferriani, ‘How to Pass on an Idea’, Ephemeral Monument – History and conservation of Installation Art, ed., Barbara Ferriani and Marina Puegliese (Los Angelos: Getty Publications, 2009), 120.

[xx] David Lowenthal, ‘Changing Criteria of Authenticity’, Proceedings of the Nara Conference on Authenticity in Relation to the World Heritage Convention, ed., K. E. Larsen (Norway: Riksantikvaren 1995): 121-135; David Lowenthal,  ‘Managing the Flux of Authenticity’, Proceedings of the Nara Conference on Authenticity in Relation to the World Heritage Convention, ed., K. E. Larsen (Norway: Riksantikvaren 1995):  369-370.

[xxi] Renee van de Vall et. al., ‘Reflections on a biographical approach to contemporary art conservation’, Proceedings ICOM-CC 16th triennial conference, Lisbon, ed. J. Bridgland (Critério, 2011); Vivian van Saaze, ‘authenticity in Practice: An Ethnographic Study into the Preservation of One Candle by Nam June Paik’, Art, Conservation and Authenticities: Material, Concept, Context, ed., Erma Hermens and Tina Fiske (London: Archetype Publicaitons, 2009): 190-198.

[xxii] Arjun Appadurai, ‘Introduction: Commodities and the Politics of Value’, The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective, ed. Arjun Appadurai (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986): 3-63.

[xxiii] Erma Hermens and Tina Fiske, Art, Conservation and Authenticities: Material, Concept, Context,  (London: Archetype Publications, 2009): 190-198.

[xxiv] Crystel Sanchez, ‘VOCA’S Artist Interview Workshop: Crystal Sanchez’s Experience’, Voices in Contemporary Art (June 6, 2013, http://www.voca.network/crystal-sanchezs-experience/, (accessed March 4, 2015).

[xxv] Glenn Wharton, ‘The Challenges of Conserving Contemporary Art,’ Collecting the New, ed., Bruce Altshuler (Princeton University Press, 2005).

[xxvi] Sherri Irvin, ‘The Artist’s Sanction in Contemporary Art’, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 63 (2005): 315-326.

[xxvii] Pip Laurenson, ‘Authenticity, Change and Loss in the Conservation of Time-based Media Installations’, [Im]permanence. Culture In/Out of Time, ed., Judith Schachter and Stephen Brockman (Pittsburgh: Center for the Arts in Society, Carnegie Mellon University, 2008).

[xxviii] Paul Schimmel and Kristine Stiles, Out of Actions: Between Performance and the Object 1949-1979 (London: Thames & Hudson, 1998).

[xxix] Alison Bracker, ‘Oh, The Shark Has Pretty Teeth, Dear’, Conservation Journal, Issue 35 (Summer 2000), http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/journals/conservation-journal/issue-35/oh,-the-shark-has-pretty-teeth,-dear/, (accessed August 20, 2015).

[xxx] Jill Sterret, ‘Competing Commitments: A Discussion about Ethical Dilemmas in the Conservation of Modern and Contemporary Art’, The GCI Newsletter 24, no. 2 (Fall 2009): 18–24, http://www.getty.edu/conservation/publications_resources/newsletters/24_2/dialogue.html, (accessed March 11, 2015).

[xxxi] Carlos Motta, ‘Relations in Real Time: A conversation with Maria Lind’, Sjónauki 3, (2008), 1.

[xxxii] Salvatore Lorusso et al., ‘The Traditional, The Innovative, The Ephemeral: Conception, realization, intervention in contemporary art’, Conservation Science in Cultural Heritage, Vol. 9 (Mar. 2009,): 170-214.

 

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