Key concepts: Site Specific Art – Lecture with Andre Stitt

Site specific art is art that is specifically created to exist in a certain space. Obviously this means the artist takes the physical space into account when creating the work, meaning the work may develop differently to what it would if it weren’t intended to be site specific. ‘Site’ being the constituent physical space, appreciating mass, space, light, duration, material processes. Andre said this is different to ‘place’ which is more about the practical and psychological way in which we inhibit space.

Andre spoke about Psycho-geography, which is an approach to geography that emphasizes playfulness around urban environments. Artists use this as a playful and inventive way for exploring cities and allows them to use the environment to put awareness of the actual urban environment into their work. This would be something that some of the artists I’ve recently been studying would have incorporated: Shepard Fairey, Banksy etc. It’s also something I can consider with my work at the moment in regard to social issues. I can create a playfulness with it so that it appeals to the public more and therefore would potentially be approached and observed more.

Architecture in terms of site specific is in regard to specific period, place and culture because of the qualities of the architecture and how it fits into a site in which it belongs when it is constructed. This can also relate to the brain and the internet and the networks within them, which would not exist the way they do if they were existing in a different way: in a different site. What happens when you take your work, your idea, away from it’s original site? Does it still work? Does it still portray the same moods and ideas? I must think about what it is that alters the work and it what way aswell, in order to maybe change aspects of a piece so that it can be as meaningful for an audience in a different environment.

Andre introduced the term Social Space aswell. This could be either physical or virtual but relates to a scenario where people interact. Humans invent spaces in which they interact: pubs, common rooms, living rooms, cafes. This is potentially a consequence of the idea of site. We interact in sites we perceive as appropriate, but this does not mean that we should not or would not interact in another space. We adapt to other spaces in order to interact, i.e. lower our voice, move seating around. So our work can be adapted too in order to be audience relevant or even just noticed when it is out of it’s original site (where it was created).

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