[T]he political effectiveness of art ‘does not reside in transmitting messages’, but ‘in the first place consists of dispositions of bodies, the partitioning of singular spaces and times that define ways of being together or apart, in front or at the centre of, within or without, nearby or far away’ (Bourriaud, N. http://www.skor.nl/article-4416-nl.html?lang=en)
Bourriaud and Ranciere agree that art gains its political efficacy through its capacity to reconfigure the field of lived dispositions. Rather than just reflecting upon the world, art articulates and is enmeshed within regimes of spatio-temporal configuration. This suggests the need to consider not only the contours of the finished artistic work but also the space of artistic production and how it relates to other fields of labour and social organisation. If contemporary art, particularly visual art, tends to stress the conceptual character of art, questioning any sense of an intimate relation to medium and material, then how are we to conceive the time and space of artistic labour? Without wishing to return to some nostalgic vision of artisinal labour, we can still recognise the awkwardness of the current situation – the difficulty of positing recognisable spatial and temporal frameworks necessary to – and emerging from – artistic practice. In my view there is an urgent need to question the hierarchical division between dimensions of aesthetic conceptualisation and production, and to re-evaluate the nature of art-making. Rather than treating the latter as subordinate and notionally distinct from the proper space of (indeterminately positioned) conceptual-aesthetic production, we need to find means to think through the creative implications of evolving and implementing a process in space and time.