Craig Smith

Title: The Demonstration Image

Abstract: The Demonstration Image describes the emergence and critical attention paid to art practices in the late 1990s and early 21st Century. These are practices that the article classifies as relational. Relational art practices are multi-media art formats contributing to an exhibition of multi-sensory and participatory viewer experiences. Relational art practices conceptually prioritize the arrangement of humans coming together in the space and time of the artwork's exhibition. The use of photography in these practices is performs both a documentary function and an operation the article labels as 'demonstration.' Relational art's use of documentary and demonstration are historically founded by the article on objectives of 1930s social documentary, and are made possible by the sculptural display and integration of new communication technologies in the exhibition of the artwork.
As an example of this coupled process performed by the photograph, the article addresses the work of Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and his series entitled: "Relational Architecture." In 2005 and 2006, Lozano-Hemmer completed a multi-city installation of portraits, visual diagrams and robotic projectors. Entitled Under Scan and installed in five cities across the United Kingdom, the series used photographs to visually and textually define the elements of its own relational system.

Bio: Dr. Craig Smith is an artist from the United States. His photography, performance art and lectures have been featured internationally at venues including the PS1MOMA Contemporary Art Institute, The Tate Modern, The George Eastman House and galleries including Galerie Schuster Photo (Berlin), RARE Art (New York), and White Columns (New York). Smith's current research and practice investigates human to human interactivity and will be featured in an upcoming solo exhibition and monograph entitled: Training Manual for Relational Art with support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the University of the Arts London. Smith currently teaches Photography Practice at the London College of Communication.

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