The Anti-Social Sculptures
are deliberate and explicit exploitations of individuals' sensitive information as raw material for a work of art.
These sociological exhibitions are art performances composed of selected qualities or mass quantities of appropriated personal data. It is the ultimate transgressive artistic practice that media provide to the artist in the information society. The artist can engage the public through the power of sorting and arranging its personal information and interactions, thereby molding social forms and norms. Performances made by masses of people without their consent push the notion of spectatorship and creative expression in art to new frontiers.
The social systems generated by media platforms that collect people's personal information can function as a set of instruments for artistic creation. Today, artists can assemble sensitive, ready-made informational material and recontextualize it in new scenarios that comment on contemporary society and reveal its social condition.
The social forms created through the Anti-Social Sculptures
are the reenactments of today's social reality: mass surveillance, obsessive stalking, isolated public debates within social bubbles, profiling individuals as micro-targets, the social manipulation of public opinion, public disclosure of affinities, and misappropriation and exploitation of personal and private information by companies and authorities.
create new, anti-social performances through coercing individuals to participate in artworks intended as provocative spectacles. The stage of these cruel performances is framed by the mediated space of the Anti-Social Sculpture
. Individuals become participants, without their consent, in a show made for the sadistic spectators of the popular media's theatre.
These anti-social experiments, which take form within performative social sculptures, are defined by expanded notions of space, body, and audience. These conceptual artworks use people's informational material that flows through a new public space, between online and offline environments, configured by a dispersed audience of isolated individuals.
These social sculptures confront their viewers and participants with distressing experiences that undermine and foreground their complicity with the uneasy system of social control enabled by personal media. Whether passively or actively, the audience and participants of Anti-Social Sculptures
are captured in social interactions that reveal their present sociological state through artistic creations.
The Anti-Social Sculpture
refers to the possibility of affecting social systems by reprogramming information flows through hacks and algorithms. These technical and design attributes of the media serve as tools for the artist's visions and concepts in creating altered social structures, which are the final works of art.
Ultimately, these sculptural performances of information's power aim to uncover alienating social conventions. They seek to raise awareness about problematic conditions by engaging randomly selected people in works of art, thus reaching publics who are usually excluded by art and sociocritical discourses. In doing so, the Anti-Social Sculptures
break the tedium and passivity of media and art consumption.
Paolo Cirio, 2014.
Notes and bibliography:
- Reference to other artists: Pi Lind, Oscar Bony, Oscar Masotta, Santiago Sierra.
- Artificial Hells, Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship, by Claire Bishop.
- Social Sculpture by Joseph Beuys on Wikipedia.
- Slides about Anti-Social Sculptural Performances related to art history