Keith Donnelly (Seminar 1 Q&A)

How do you compare the development process and the results of art? 

Keith Donnelly, South Lanarkshire Council

Keith Donnelly (Core Group):  I would like to go back to the first example that you showed, which is the German group, Park Fiction.  I think there is almost a juxtaposition between the group themselves, the development process as art and the result. How do you compare these? Do you strictly look at two separate art practices going on there – in terms of the design and the object or is the outcome an integral part of the art delivery?

Grant Kester: So one practice would be the process that led up to the creation, and then the second would be the form that the creation took, the particular configuration of elements and how they were designed, and so on?

Keith Donnelly: Yes, I’m interested in how one assesses that in terms of art forms. Are they two distinct aspects sitting in parallel to one another, or can there be a cross-reference between the two?

Grant Kester: That’s a really good question.  I don’t know if I have an answer for that and I have to think about that, to be honest. I have tended to focus on the process, rather than the product, since this is the area that is least developed in current critical writing. There is a corollary, for example, between, say, the form the process took and the traditions of what we call participatory planning in the US, which is an area of architectural practice that has long been regarded as naïve or retrograde by the architectural theory establishment. I think for a long time that the participatory planning approach was kind of the poor sibling of “real” architecture. Aside from the focusing on that history, I don’t know! It’s something I want to think about in this book, but I haven’t been able to work it out yet, so thank you for that.

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