Reboot #2 — Ontologies, au sujet de n’importe quoi


Mixed media

Reboot #2
Ontologies, au sujet de n’importe quoi

Past: Thursday, March 24, 2011 7 PM → 10 PM

Organized by Christophe Kihm and David Zerbib

With the participation of Judith Ickowicz (lawyer), Mud Office (Charlie Jeffery and Dan Robinson), the production of The Raft of Measure and Thierry Mouillé (artist).

This session’s goal is to reopen the cold case of the definition of art for one evening, and to restart, to “reboot” the system of practices and theories that enforce the usual boundaries between what is art and what isn’t. We might say the aesthetic markers have been lost. The only thing to do is to become aware of the linguistic, economic, legal, and institutional ramifications of art’s flimsy provocations. Let’s see how evaluating, judging, and quantifying the notion of “just about anything” can reinvent these ramifications and then weigh as precisely as possible what really matters here and why.

In case studies and artists’ interventions, we attempt to shine light on the notion of “just about anything” — a category which regularly leads to numerous polemics against contemporary art, ranging from negative to outright libelous. This idea, which has been unfairly criticized, flies in the face of categorization and we hypothesize that it can enable us to think differently about the fundamental properties of art. However, we must make no mistake about the concept of “just about anything:” it is not the first sign of the breakdown of artistic values, but instead the condition that limits what the artist can produce. It informs at least three decrees that determine the parameters of the definition of art: indistinction, indiscernability, and insignificance. These limits will be explored through the examination of artistic case studies as well as objects that don’t look like artworks or that they’d become them, but which nevertheless fascinate artists so much that they can’t do without such objects: rubbish and intrusion, doodad and machines, a surplus of objects or a lack, being too empty or too full, awaiting or vigilant…

Yves Klein’s L’Exposition du vide (The Void) yielded a 40% satisfaction rate amongst the visiting public. It is curious that “immaterial sensibility” can be measured with a percentage. This proves that we can try to measure everything, even that which appears at first impossible to quantify. Nothing more than the void, this “just about anything” isn’t aesthetically indifferent or undifferentiated. Keeping this calculation in mind, might this tactic be one of the best ways to transform the standards that inform our experiences in general and with contemporary art in particular? After all, the point here is to challenge how we quantify “just about anything.”

For this evening, we have invited each artist to bring an example of just about anything to the Palais de Tokyo and to specify the boundary or threshold that it threatens. These objects will remain until the next Reboot event. They will be laid out on The Raft of Measure, an artwork by Mud Office, and a system of measurement will be attached to it for this occasion in order to organize them. We will attempt to glean new criteria for the definition of contemporary art.

16 Trocadéro Zoom in 16 Trocadéro Zoom out

13, av. du Président Wilson

75016 Paris

T. 01 81 97 35 88

Alma – Marceau

Opening hours

Every day except Tuesday, noon – midnight

Admission fee

Full rate €12.00 — Concessions €9.00

Free admission under 18 years-old, job seekers, those in receipt of income support…

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Venue schedule

The artists

  • Charlie Jeffery
  • Dan Robinson
  • Thierry Mouillé