Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Systems Art

Term loosely applied to art produced by means of a systematic or highly organized approach to an image or concept. It is often manifested by repetition, series, simplification and progressive variation. Other related terms include systemic or systematic painting, one-image or serial art. It is perhaps rooted in Cubism and its exponents' objective of exploring the notion of painting as its own independent system. Systems art was further explored in Constructivism. Artists who may be associated with the term include Josef Albers, Donald Judd, Carl André, Sol LeWitt, Gerhard Richter, Mario Merz, Kenneth Martin and Mary Martin, among many others.

In 1968 the artist and writer Jack Burnham prophesised that, ‘a Systems Aesthetic will become the dominant approach to a maze of socio-technical conditions rooted only in the present. This symposium investigates this claim by responding to, provoking and presenting a sustained discussion on systems-theory and art. Speakers discuss art’s relationship to the operation of social systems, provide the basis for an account of the diverse art practices that occur after modernism in terms of a systems aesthetic and explore a definition of artistic media which is not materially specific.

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