If it is true that we are living through a transformative condition among societies on a global level as some developments in politics, economics, and aesthetics dramatically suggest, it seems imperative to scrutinize the building blocks on which the field that we think of as contemporary art rests. Aernout Mik
proposes we begin with the notions of audience and participation—two concepts that have become paramount, albeit from different perspectives, in both the progressive and conservative debates about the meaning of art for society. It might be that we witness a shift from the “viewer” and “consumer-spectator” to a radically new public fabric as it were while the world and with it the world of art struggles with the moment and legacy of the “insurgent citizen.” If at the end of receiving and co-creating the meaning of art stands an angry, rebellious, dissatisfied, and disillusioned citizen, who no longer develops her sense of being in this world from the permissions provided by a state or status, but from the very values of freedom, equality, and justice—what art, what art institutions, what subjects, what sorts of being together must we create? Just as the discussions during FORMER WEST
: Documents, Constellations, Prospects examine these questions, Mik further complicates things with a performance in which he tests the limits of disobedience and noncompliance, drawing attention to the condition of our society wherein even instances of revolt and rebellion can be turned into tradable goods.