The field of artistic practice has become rather complex. The “arts” lose their clear focus, interdisciplinary crossings and hybridizations abound, but the institutions of the various disciplines prove to be rather tenacious. Neither the general concept of art in the singular nor the plural of the arts is particularly suitable for describing this situation.
The project works out a new way of delineating contemporary artistic production by employing the concepts of material and site. Material is a category that relates to artistic creation as well as critical reflection and describes the specific relations of works of art to what they take as their predecessors; site characterizes their situatedness in the geographical, geopolitical, institutional and architectural sense and with regard to the various disciplines.
After fleshing out this conceptual matrix, it will be put to the test in four exemplary fields: institutional critique, the role of scores in fields other than music, artists who change their institutional and disciplinary affiliations and the establishment of seemingly universal sites of artistic presentation.