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Mirror Affect: Interpersonal Spectatorship in Installation Art since the 1960s

Albu, Cristina (2012) Mirror Affect: Interpersonal Spectatorship in Installation Art since the 1960s. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This dissertation traces the genealogy of interpersonal spectatorship in contemporary installations that encourage viewers to affectively relate to one another by watching themselves seeing and acting individually or as a group. By incorporating reflective surfaces, live video feedback, or sensors in their works, contemporary artists around the world have been challenging what had come to be a binary relation between the beholder and the art object, thereby, heightening viewers' awareness of the social and spatial contexts of aesthetic experience. Starting with the 1960s there has been not only an increasingly sharp departure from the autonomy of the art object on the part of artists, but also a rejection of prevailing self-focused and private modes of art spectatorship on the part of viewers of art.
Situated between theories of relational aesthetics and new media theories of interactivity, my dissertation examines the social, cultural, and technological factors that have contributed to the production of installations that act as affective interfaces between multiple viewers. I argue that contemporary artworks with mirroring properties have triggered a shift towards increasingly public and interpersonal forms of art spectatorship that are consonant with the emergence of new modes of perception and sociability shaped by enhanced surveillance, unavoidable multitasking, and online networking.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Albu, Cristinacra9@pitt.eduCRA9
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairSmith, Terrytes2@pitt.eduTES2
Committee MemberEllenbogen, Joshjme23@pitt.eduJME23
Committee MemberLowenstein, Adamalowen@pitt.eduALOWEN
Committee MemberMcCloskey, Barbarabmcc@pitt.eduBMCC
Date: 11 June 2012
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 14 February 2012
Approval Date: 11 June 2012
Submission Date: 31 March 2012
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 533
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > History of Art and Architecture
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Installation art, affect theory, relational aesthetics, participatory art, new media, interpersonal spectatorship
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2012 15:30
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2017 05:15


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