Installation art is an artistic genre of three-dimensional works that often are site-specific and designed to transform the perception of a space. Generally, the term is applied to interior spaces, whereas exterior interventions are often called public art, land art or intervention art; however, the boundaries between these terms overlap.
Installation art can be either temporary or permanent. Installation artworks have been constructed in exhibition spaces such as museums and galleries, as well as public and private spaces. The genre incorporates a broad range of everyday and natural materials, which are often chosen for their "evocative" qualities, as well as new media such as video, sound, performance, immersive virtual reality and the internet. Many installations are site-specific in that they are designed to exist only in the space for which they were created, appealing to qualities evident in a three-dimensional immersive medium. Artistic collectives such as the Exhibition Lab at New York's American Museum of Natural History created environments to showcase the natural world in as realistic a medium as possible. Likewise, Walt Disney Imagineering employed a similar philosophy when designing the multiple immersive spaces for Disneyland in 1955. Since its acceptance as a separate discipline, a number of institutions focusing on Installation art were created. These included the Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, the Museum of Installation in London, and the Fairy Doors of Ann Arbor, MI, among others.
Installation art came to prominence in the 1970s but its roots can be identified in earlier artists such as Marcel Duchamp and his use of the readymade and Kurt Schwitters' Merz art objects, rather than more traditional craft based sculpture. The "intention" of the artist is paramount in much later installation art whose roots lie in the conceptual art of the 1960s. This again is a departure from traditional sculpture which places its focus on form. Early non-Western installation art includes events staged by the Gutai group in Japan starting in 1954, which influenced American installation pioneers like Allan Kaprow. Wolf Vostell shows his installation 6 TV Dé-coll/age in 1963 at the Smolin Gallery in New York.
Installation as nomenclature for a specific form of art came into use fairly recently; its first use as documented by the Oxford English Dictionary was in 1969. It was coined in this context, in reference to a form of art that had arguably existed since prehistory but was not regarded as a discrete category until the mid-twentieth century. Allan Kaprow used the term "Environment" in 1958 (Kaprow 6) to describe his transformed indoor spaces; this later joined such terms as "project art" and "temporary art."
Essentially, installation/environmental art takes into account a broader sensory experience, rather than floating framed points of focus on a "neutral" wall or displaying isolated objects (literally) on a pedestal. This may leave space and time as its only dimensional constants, implying dissolution of the line between "art" and "life"; Kaprow noted that "if we bypass 'art' and take nature itself as a model or point of departure, we may be able to devise a different kind of art... out of the sensory stuff of ordinary life".
The conscious act of artistically addressing all the senses with regard to a total experience made a resounding debut in 1849 when Richard Wagner conceived of a Gesamtkunstwerk, or an operatic work for the stage that drew inspiration from ancient Greek theater in its inclusion of all the major art forms: painting, writing, music, etc. (Britannica). In devising operatic works to commandeer the audience's senses, Wagner left nothing unobserved: architecture, ambience, and even the audience itself were considered and manipulated in order to achieve a state of total artistic immersion. In the book "Themes in Contemporary Art", it is suggested that "installations in the 1980s and 1990s were increasingly characterized by networks of operations involving the interaction among complex architectural settings, environmental sites and extensive use of everyday objects in ordinary contexts. With the advent of video in 1965, a concurrent strand of installation evolved through the use of new and ever-changing technologies, and what had been simple video installations expanded to include complex interactive, multimedia and virtual reality environments".
In "Art and Objecthood", Michael Fried derisively labels art that acknowledges the viewer as "theatrical" (Fried 45). There is a strong parallel between installation and theater: both play to a viewer who is expected to be at once immersed in the sensory/narrative experience that surrounds him and maintain a degree of self-identity as a viewer. The traditional theater-goer does not forget that he has come in from outside to sit and take in a created experience; a trademark of installation art has been the curious and eager viewer, still aware that he is in an exhibition setting and tentatively exploring the novel universe of the installation.
The artist and critic Ilya Kabakov mentions this essential phenomenon in the introduction to his lectures "On the "Total" Installation": "[One] is simultaneously both a 'victim' and a viewer, who on the one hand surveys and evaluates the installation, and on the other, follows those associations, recollections which arise in him[;] he is overcome by the intense atmosphere of the total illusion". Here installation art bestows an unprecedented importance on the observer's inclusion in that which he observes. The expectations and social habits that the viewer takes with him into the space of the installation will remain with him as he enters, to be either applied or negated once he has taken in the new environment. What is common to nearly all installation art is a consideration of the experience in toto and the problems it may present, namely the constant conflict between disinterested criticism and sympathetic involvement. Television and video offer somewhat immersive experiences, but their unrelenting control over the rhythm of passing time and the arrangement of images precludes an intimately personal viewing experience. Ultimately, the only things a viewer can be assured of when experiencing the work are his own thoughts and preconceptions and the basic rules of space and time. All else may be molded by the artist's hands.
The central importance of the subjective point of view when experiencing installation art, points toward a disregard for traditional Platonic image theory. In effect, the entire installation adopts the character of the simulacrum or flawed statue: it neglects any ideal form in favor of optimizing its direct appearance to the observer. Installation art operates fully within the realm of sensory perception, in a sense "installing" the viewer into an artificial system with an appeal to his subjective perception as its ultimate goal.
An interactive installation frequently involves the audience acting on the work of art or the piece responding to users' activity. There are several kinds of interactive installations that artists produce, these include web-based installations (e.g., Telegarden), gallery-based installations, digital-based installations, electronic-based installations, mobile-based installations, etc. Interactive installations appeared mostly at end of the 1980s (Legible City by Jeffrey Shaw, La plume by Edmond Couchot, Michel Bret...) and became a genre during the 1990s, when artists became particularly interested in using the participation of the audiences to activate and reveal the meaning of the installation.
With the improvement of technology over the years, artists are more able to explore outside of the boundaries that were never able to be explored by artists in the past. The media used are more experimental and bold; they are also usually cross media and may involve sensors, which plays on the reaction to the audiences' movement when looking at the installations. By using virtual reality as a medium, immersive virtual reality art is probably the most deeply interactive form of art. By allowing the spectator to "visit" the representation, the artist creates "situations to live" vs "spectacle to watch".
"Installation art can facilitate a direct, immediate interaction with the viewer," [Cindy] Hinant said.
Acton is an artwork created by American artist James Turrell in 1976, located in the Indianapolis Museum of Art, which is in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States of America. It consists of two rooms with an aperture between them, carefully illuminated such that the rectangular hole appears to be a flat, gray canvas until closer inspection reveals its three-dimensional nature.Digital art
Digital art is an artistic work or practice that uses digital technology as part of the creative or presentation process. Since the 1970s, various names have been used to describe the process, including computer art and multimedia art. Digital art is itself placed under the larger umbrella term new media art.After some initial resistance, the impact of digital technology has transformed activities such as painting, drawing, sculpture and music/sound art, while new forms, such as net art, digital installation art, and virtual reality, have become recognized artistic practices. More generally the term digital artist is used to describe an artist who makes use of digital technologies in the production of art. In an expanded sense, "digital art" is contemporary art that uses the methods of mass production or digital media.
The techniques of digital art are used extensively by the mainstream media in advertisements, and by film-makers to produce visual effects. Desktop publishing has had a huge impact on the publishing world, although that is more related to graphic design. Both digital and traditional artists use many sources of electronic information and programs to create their work. Given the parallels between visual and musical arts, it is possible that general acceptance of the value of digital visual art will progress in much the same way as the increased acceptance of electronically produced music over the last three decades.Digital art can be purely computer-generated (such as fractals and algorithmic art) or taken from other sources, such as a scanned photograph or an image drawn using vector graphics software using a mouse or graphics tablet. Though technically the term may be applied to art done using other media or processes and merely scanned in, it is usually reserved for art that has been non-trivially modified by a computing process (such as a computer program, microcontroller or any electronic system capable of interpreting an input to create an output); digitized text data and raw audio and video recordings are not usually considered digital art in themselves, but can be part of the larger project of computer art and information art. Artworks are considered digital painting when created in similar fashion to non-digital paintings but using software on a computer platform and digitally outputting the resulting image as painted on canvas.Andy Warhol created digital art using a Commodore Amiga where the computer was publicly introduced at the Lincoln Center, New York in July 1985. An image of Debbie Harry was captured in monochrome from a video camera and digitized into a graphics program called ProPaint. Warhol manipulated the image adding colour by using flood fills.Land art
Land art, variously known as Earth art, environmental art, and Earthworks, is an art movement that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s, largely associated with Great Britain and the United States, but which included examples from many countries. As a trend "Land art" expanded boundaries of art by the materials used and the siting of the works. The materials used were often the materials of the Earth including for instance the soil and rocks and vegetation and water found on-site, and the siting of the works were often distant from population centers. Though sometimes fairly inaccessible, photo documentation was commonly brought back to the urban art gallery.Concerns of the art movement centered around rejection of the commercialization of art-making and enthusiasm with an emergent ecological movement. The art movement coincided with the popularity of the rejection of urban living and its counterpart, an enthusiasm for that which is rural. Included in these inclinations were spiritual yearnings concerning the planet Earth as home to mankind.London Noses
The London Noses or Seven Noses of Soho are an artistic installation found on buildings in London. They are plaster of Paris reproductions of the artist's nose which protrude from walls in an incongruous and unexpected way. They were created by artist Rick Buckley in 1997. Initially, about 35 were attached to buildings such as the National Gallery and Tate Britain but by 2011 only about 10 survived.The artist was provoked by the controversial introduction of CCTV cameras throughout London and, inspired by the Situationists, installed the noses under the noses of the cameras. The prank was not publicised and so urban myths grew up to explain the appearance of the noses. For example, the nose inside the Admiralty Arch was said to have been created to mock Napoleon and that the nose would be tweaked by cavalry troopers from nearby Horse Guards Parade when they passed through the arch. Another story told of the Seven Noses of Soho which would give great fortune to those who found them all.Rock balancing
Rock balancing or stone balancing (stone or rock stacking) is an art, discipline, or hobby in which rocks are naturally balanced on top of one another in various positions without the use of adhesives, wires, supports, rings or any other contraptions which would help maintain the construction's balance.Sister Chapel
The Sister Chapel (1974-78) is a visual arts installation, conceived by Ilise Greenstein and created as a collaboration by thirteen women artists during the feminist art movement. Before its completion, the critic and curator Lawrence Alloway recognized its potential to be "a notable contribution to the long-awaited legible iconography of women in political terms."Site-specific art
Site-specific art is artwork created to exist in a certain place. Typically, the artist takes the location into account while planning and creating the artwork. Site-specific art is produced both by commercial artists, and independently, and can include some instances of work such as sculpture, stencil graffiti, rock balancing, and other art forms. Installations can be in urban areas, remote natural settings, or underwater.Sound installation
Sound installation (related to sound art and sound sculpture) is an intermedia and time based art form. It is an expansion of an art installation in the sense that it includes the sound element and therefore the time element. The main difference with a sound sculpture is that a sound installation has a three-dimensional space and the axes with which the different sound objects are being organized are not exclusively internal to the work, but also external. A work of art is an installation only if it makes a dialog with the surrounding space. A sound installation is usually a site-specific but sometimes it can be readapted to other spaces. It can be made either in close or open spaces, and context is fundamental to determine how a sound installation will be aesthetically perceived.
The difference between a regular art installation and a sound installation is that the later one has the time element, which gives the visiting public the possibility to stay a longer time due possible curiosity over the development of sound. This temporal factor also gives the audience the excuse to explore the space thoroughly due to the dispositions of the different sounds in space.
Sound installations sometimes use interactive art technology (computers, sensors, mechanical and kinetic devices, etc.) but we also find this type of art form using only sound sources placed in different space points (like speakers), or acoustic music instruments materials like piano strings that are played by a performer or by the public (see Paul Panhuysen).Street installation
Street installations are a form of street art. While conventional street art is done on walls and surfaces street installations use three-dimensional objects set in an urban environment. Like graffiti, it is generally non-permission based and the installation is effectively abandoned by the artist upon completion. Street Installations sometimes have an interactive component.Visionary environment
A visionary environment or fantasy world is an extensive/large-scale artistic installations (buildings, sculpture parks, etc.) intended to capture intense subjective/personal experiences (dreams, fantasies, obsessions, etc.) of their creators. The subjective/personal nature of these projects often implies a marginal status for the artists involved, and there is a strong association between visionary environments and outsider art.Yale student abortion art controversy
The Yale student abortion art controversy concerns reactions to a work of performance art by Aliza Shvarts, Untitled [Senior Thesis], 2008 which she conducted during 2008, the final year of her visual arts degree at Yale University. The piece was controversial, and considerable debate revolved around whether or not the project was a “hoax” or “creative fiction.”