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The transition from an object-oriented to a systems-oriented approach in art, leading to a redefinition of the concept of sculpture

Keyser, Nicolet (2000-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2000

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In this thesis I look at the impact of technology on the concept of sculpture. However, I am more concerned with the principles behind technological change as influence, than looking at high-technology advances. A key issue that I address is the consideration of changes in society and art, and I ask the question, to what extent does three-dimensional art remain in any traditional sense 'sculpture'? It is my objective to show these changes, indicated by the transition from an object-oriented to a systems-oriented approach in art leading to a redefinition of the concept of sculpture. Although I deal with my practical work as a separate part in the thesis, there is a close integration and mutual objectives between the practical and theoretical components. The transition occurring in sculpture can directly be traced to the technological advances in society. Scientific knowledge in any period of history reflects the way people understand their world, thus affecting human perceptions of the natural world and in turn influencing artistic creation. In Chapter One, attention is given in general to some of these scientific discoveries, for example the shift from classical science to an organismic approach with its focus on the interconnectedness of all things. Also of importance is the beginning of Chaos Theory, introducing the element of chance. In Chapter Two, more specific changes in the concept of art and sculpture are dealt with. Referring to some important predecessors earlier in the zo" century. I look at art becoming an interactive system, and find the interrelationship between sculpture and architecture useful in illustrating this, because of the foregrounding of the concept of space. In Chapter Three, I examine the different way that artists deal with the issues of urbanity', for example, the Minimalists putting emphasis on the idea of sculpture as an infinitely malleable category. Shifting definitions of urbanity were responses to specific new conditions in the environment, for example, as seen in the changing features of the city. Chapter Four deals with contemporary artists' response to these conditions, starting with examples of an object-oriented approach to sculpture, moving step by step towards a different systems-oriented approach. To conclude, I speculate on all the possibilities that the virtual environments that modern computers allow us to create may for the first time open up. We are at the beginning of a new century full of promise to artists in all fields.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In hierdie tesis kyk ek na die impak van tegnologie op die konsep van beeldhou. Maar, ek is egter meer geintereseerd in die invloed van die beginsels agter tegnologiese verandering as in die gebruik van uiters gevorderde tegnologiese instrumente. 'n Belangrike aspek vir my is die wyse waarop die veranderinge in die samelewing afgedruk work op kuns. Derhalwe vra ek tot watter mate drie-dimensionele kuns op enige tradisionele wyse steed as 'beeldhou' beskou kan word? Dit is my doelwit om hierdie veranderinge uit te wys, soos gesien kan word in die transformasie vanaf 'n objek-gerigte benadering na 'n sisteem-gerigte benadering tot die konsep van beeldhou. Hoewel ek die praktiese werk as 'n aparte deel van die tesis hanteer, is daar in nabye integrasie met gemeenskaplike doelwitte tussen die praktiese en teoretiese komponente. Die transformasie in beeldhou kan direk verbind word met die tegnologiese vooruitgang in die samelewing. Wetenskaplike kennis van enige tydperk, is 'n indikasie van die wyse waarop die mense hulomgewing verstaan. Dus affekteer dit mense se persepsie van die natuur, en in reaksie die persepsie van die kunstenaar. In hoofstuk een, word aandag gegee in die algemeen aan sommige van hierdie wetenskaplike ontdekkings, byvoorbeeld die skuif vanaf klassieke wetenskap na 'n organismiese benadering met sy fokus op die integrasie van alle dinge. Ook belangrik is die onstaan van Chaos Teorie wat klem plaas op die onvoorspelbaarheid van dinge. In hoofstuk twee kyk ek na meer spesifieke veranderinge in die konsep van kuns in die algemeen, asook beeldbou. Daar word terugverwys na sommige belangrike kunstenaars aan die begin van die 20ste eeu. Klem word geplaas op kuns as interaktiewe sisteem, en ek vind die interverhouding tussen beeldhou en argitektuur as 'n belangrike voorbeeld, as gevolg van die benadering tot die konsep van ruimte. Hoofstuk drie ondersoek die verskeie wyses waarop beeldhouers kyk na kwessies soos verstedeliking, byvoorbeeld die Minimaliste met hul beklemtoning van die idee van beeldhou as manipuleerbare kategorie. AI hierdie veranderinge is 'n reaksie op spesifieke nuwe kondisies binne die samelewing, byvoorbeeld soos gesien in die veranderende kenmerke van stede. Hoostuk vier deel dan spesifiek met hedendaagse beeldhouers se reaksie op hierdie kondisies, met die doelom voorbeelde te bespreek van van 'n objek-gerigte benadering tot beeldhou asook 'n sisteem-gerigte benadering tot beeldhou. Om af te sluit, spekuleer ek oor al die nuwe moontlikhede wat 'virtuele realiteif, daar gestel deur die moderne rekenaars, aan beeldhou kan bied. Ons staan aan die begin van 'n nuwe eeu vol potensiaal vir kunstenaars op alle gebiede.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52031
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