Systems Aesthetics, Catalogue Essays, 2007-2010

Artspace; Museum of Contemporary Art
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This portfolio presents three essays commissioned and published by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, and Artspace, Sydney, exploring manifestations of systems aesthetics in contemporary art. Drawing from the writing and theories of Jack Burnham in the 1960s and 70s the essays argue that different kinds of systems â including ecological, cybernetic, financial and linguistic â are mobilised by artists to create dynamic and often interactive works that involve the audience. The essays accompany exhibitions by artists Diego Bonnetto, James Charlton, Alex Davies, Lucas Ihlein, Brad Miller and The Artist as Family. This collection contributes a substantial body of creative critical writing that links historical research with contemporary art practice. It reveals common impulses and connections across disparate forms, including the dematerialisation of the object, and an emphasis on the flow of individual experience and the circulation of information. The essays argue for the relevance of contemporary art to social issues such as the environment, global financial markets and immigration. The MCA and Artspace are two of the most influential contemporary arts institutions in Australia, and both are known for their high quality publications. The catalogues in which the essays are published have been widely distributed both in Australia and internationally. Their inclusion of creative scholarly writing provides a significant opportunity to maintain a vital connection between research and professional and general audiences.
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