by any other name

The effects of time, education and distance inform by any other name, an installation of text and words relative to tourism and mobility and the ‘standing on the edge of…empire…falling off’ project’s context as a body of research and an open-ended environment. The installation uses a font available from the website of M/M Paris, a French design firm notable for its collaborations with artististic practitioners. It was designed for the Palais de Tokyo under Nicholas Bourriaud’s directorship and has since been discontinued. I’ve used it here in reference to the Palais de Tokyo’s relationship with the development of relational aesthetics and the understanding that digital developments are rapidly overtaking the dialogic component of relational work. This is also why I have preferred to use the term open-ended practice rather than relational aesthetics.[1] The extended Historical Avant-garde and Postmodern exploration of anti-aesthetic practice is negated by the return to the concept of aesthetics within this definition. This easy forgetting of the social basis for critical practice is echoed within the social media environment that is becoming an intrinsic force within contemporary relationships and can undermine embodied social contact. As Henry Cowling, Head of Viral Factory, (based in London but Cowling is the Head of the United States of America’s branch)—advertising agency known for its concentration on viral marketing) suggests, ‘…when you have discussion, you have viral…it’s a brand that taps into that broader metaconversation, as it were.’[2] The text itself derives from a list of words compiled by Mike Wessler, a researcher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, from Roget's Thesaurus (1911).[3] The deliberate sampling of his research highlights an academic meta-conversation of tourism theory that this practice has had to negotiate to explicate a theory of contemporary art practice in relation to globalisation, tourism and empire. The golden yellow colour was chosen to reflect the use of yellow in advertising to denote the consumption of food. The absorption of food and the absorption of knowledge references the cannibalistic absorption of colonial influences denoted in the work of Hélio Oititicica.

1 Ashok Sukamaran, Space, Light and Democracy (quote taken from conference notes), Artspace, Sydney, 2008.
2 Bill Wasik, And Then There’s This: How Stories Live and Die in Viral Culture, New York: Viking, 2009, 128 – 29.
3 Mike Wessler,, date accessed November 2008.


by any other name (detail), 'Performing the Digital', Inflight Gallery, Hobart, Tasmania, June, 2010.