Now that increasing numbers of people are stuck at home and sheltering in place, I figured I’d do a little series. Every weekday for the duration of this intense period, I’ll post a short definition of some term in/related to aesthetics and philosophy of art. Let’s see how this goes! See them all here.
The theme this week is art world stuff. Up today:
Terms of Art #24:
Pronunciation: you know how
Definition: Any piece of art can be installed (that just means placing it: hanging it up or putting it under its glass cabinet or whatever). But when people talk about “installations” – or installation art – they mean art pieces that are usually:
bigger than a normal sculpture on a pedestal
you be surrounded by it, or it’s big enough to change the feel of the entire space
it was designed to go in THIS room in THIS museum
- mixed media
it may involve non-traditional materials or video, special lighting, sound, etc.
“installation” implies temporary; if it’s permanent, it’s often called a “permanent installation”
if it’s outside, it’s usually called something else, like land art
These six features aren’t necessary, but they’re very common. Installations are also sometimes:
you can interact with it, by moving around physical pieces of it or moving your body to affect the video/light/sound effects
artists or actors doing something – like lying in a bed, maybe for you to talk to
The rotating installations in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern. This is the most famous contemporary installation space in the world.
installation art – one of them is usually just called an installation, as a genre or category, it’s installation art
Not to be confused with:
installation – the thing that every app wants you to do, that makes you annoyed because it takes so long, that makes you want to throw your computer and/or phone out the window BECAUSE JESUS CHRIST WHY CAN’T I JUST OPEN IT WITH ONE OF THE DOZENS OF PROGRAMS I ALREADY HAVE
And now… the installations that inspired Drake’s Hotline Bling video: