Art as Commoning and Compatibility

Lecture by Stephen Wright

According to Paul Devautour “Compatibility has replaced specificity as a key factor shaping artistic practice” Modernist obsession with the specific visibility of art – and its specific ontology – has given way to demands for its compatibility with other activities, practices and circulations: interventions specific to the locations in where they take place, tools compatible with the media used and the competences of users of art, objects in conformity with the environment in where they are being established… Art seen in this way is a kind of open-source plugin that can be freely and usefully adapted to anything that appears. This is mainly due to the “commoning” of artistic competences, and thus a practice radically different from the modernistic custom of displaying works of art. The latter removes art from the area of useful things, while the mutualisation assumes that art belongs to the area of the commons – it is happening anytime, anywhere and however – and focuses on mutual adherence to it as a common good.