Relational Aesthetics is an art movement that emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

It was founded by artists such as Nicolas Bourriaud, Claire Bishop and Michael Fried who were interested in how social interactions affect our perception of art.

In this article, we’ll discuss:

What is relational aesthetics?

Its historical background?

Overview of the movement.

Key Figures in the Movement

Nicolas Bourriaud,

Liam Gillick,

Philippe Parenno,

Rirkrit Tiravanija.

Characteristics of Relational Aesthetics Art Movement

Focus On Relationships

The concept of relational aesthetics is based on the idea that art can be found in everyday life.

It focuses on the relationships between people, places and things.

Artists who practice relational aesthetics look at the world around them with a fresh eye, seeing connections where others might not see them.

They often use ordinary materials as their mediums for creating art–things like clothing or food items that are commonplace but also have meaning for themselves or others involved in the piece.

Use Of Everyday Objects

The works created by artists practicing relational aesthetics often incorporate everyday objects into their pieces instead of using traditional materials like paintbrushes or canvases (which can cost hundreds or thousands dollars).

This allows anyone who sees these works to relate back to something they know personally which helps create more connection between viewer and creator than if they were simply viewing something unfamiliar from afar without any context behind it.

Emphasis On Interactivity

One thing you’ll notice about most examples of relational aesthetics art is how interactive they are:

whether it’s asking viewers questions about themselves before allowing access inside an installation space,


inviting participants along on an artist’s journey through nature via social media platforms like Instagram or Twitter,

inviting visitors into someone else’s home where everything has been arranged according to specific rules set forth beforehand such as “no shoes allowed,” etcetera.

Examples of Relational Aesthetics Artworks

The Artist is Present (2010) by Marina Abramovic

In this piece, Abramovic sat in a chair at the Museum of Modern Art in New York for 7 hours a day for three months.

She did not speak to anyone or move from her seat during that time period.

The only interaction she had was with visitors who were allowed to sit across from her for as long as they wanted.

This piece was meant to show how people can be affected by art even though there may not be any physical object present at all times during its exhibition;

instead, Abramovic’s presence alone served as enough stimulus for viewers’ reactions and emotions.

Influence of Relational Aesthetics Art Movement

The Relational Aesthetics art movement has influenced many other art movements and genres.

The influence of relational aesthetics on performance art is evident in works like Marina Abramovic’s Rhythm 0 (1974), which featured performers who were asked to do absolutely nothing for six hours, or Chris Burden’s Shoot (1971), where he was shot in the arm by an assistant.

Relational aesthetics also had a strong impact on installation art, as seen in pieces such as Richard Long’s Walking Sculpture (1970) and Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1970).

In these pieces, the artist used natural materials to create an environment that invited viewers to participate with them.

This idea was later expanded upon by artists like James Turrell who created entire buildings designed specifically for people to enter and experience light effects produced through skylights within them.

Social Practice Art forms another branch off Relational Aesthetics because it focuses on community involvement rather than individual self-expression.

Howeve, this type of work draws heavily from Postmodernist ideas about gender construction and identity politics so it can still be considered part of this movement even though there isn’t much direct influence between these two types.

Criticism of Relational Aesthetics Art Movement

The art movement has been criticized for its elitism, lack of formality and substance.

Critics argue that relational aesthetics is an elite movement because it is only accessible to those who can afford to travel around the world and meet with other artists.

They also claim that the art produced by relational aesthetics lacks formalism because it does not adhere to any particular style or technique.

Furthermore, they claim that there is very little substance in this type of art since it focuses more on social interactions than on creating something tangible like painting or sculpture


Contemporary Relational Aesthetics Artworks

Relational aesthetics artworks are often interactive, with the artist encouraging viewers to become part of the art.

One example of this is Marina Abramovic’s “The Cleaner,” where she hired a professional cleaner to do her job for her while she sat in front of an audience and watched.

The performance lasted six hours and was meant to be an exploration of power dynamics between artist and audience member.

Another example is Olafur Eliasson’s “The Collectivity Project,” which featured a large-scale installation made up of hundreds of lamps hanging from trees in Central Park.

Visitors could walk through the installation at night and experience how their movements changed how light was reflected off each lamp–and therefore how it looked from different angles throughout their journey through the piece.

Rirkrit Tiravanija’s “Untitled 2021,” meanwhile, invited visitors into his studio so that they could see what goes into making food for himself (and eventually others) every day:

chopping vegetables; boiling water; mixing ingredients together.

The Future of Relational Aesthetics Art Movement

The Relational Aesthetics Art Movement has continued to influence performance art, digital art and other related movements.

Performance artists continue to use relational aesthetics as a way of connecting with their audience and creating interactive experiences.

Digital artists also use relational aesthetics in their work by making it possible for people from all over the world to interact with one another through technology.

The Relational Aesthetics Art Movement has also inspired new artistic movements such as Post-Internet Art which emerged in 2010 when artist Seth Price created an installation called Post.

Internet that consisted of photographs taken from Google Images searches for terms like “Internet,” “Art” and “Postmodernism.”

Relational Aesthetics – Wrapping Up

In conclusion, the relational aesthetics art movement is a reflection of how society has changed over time.

The movement’s focus on relationships and social interactions reflects the increasing importance of these things in our lives as technology advances.

The artists involved in this movement have created works that explore how we interact with each other, whether it be through physical objects or digital media.

The goal is to make people think about their own experiences and consider how they relate to others around them.