The assumptions of aesthetic autonomy are being renegotiated.

Interviewee: Grant Kester

In conventional art practices the autonomy, we might even say, sovereignty of the artist is absolutely central. The artist serves as an external agent of critique or destabilization, who occupies a clearly differentiated cognitive field, while the viewer is defined a priori as the victim of a habitual form of thought that requires the experience of destabilization which the artist can provide. In a sense it reproduces the relationship between the work of art and it’s other in terms of autonomy, critique and contamination. In dialogical practices this set of cognitive differentiations is more fluid; the artist is not always the one “presumed to know,” and the viewer qua participant is able to produce his or her own transformative knowledge. The subject positions, author and recipient of authored material, for example, and modes of agency, fluctuate through the course of a given project.

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