Where is the meaning of an artwork? Does it come from the object that we view? From the artist’s intention? From the viewer’s interpretation? Or from the culture and institutions which enshrine it? The late 20th century saw an explosion of texts such as Arthur Danto’s “The End of Art” that recognized a crisis in the meaning of art that has not been resolved today. As the use of media expanded and the monopoly of a single Western metanarrative was increasingly challenged, art could no longer be defined according to historic notions of aesthetic beauty. The conceptualist trajectory inaugurated by Duchamp complicated the remit of art, suggesting its meaning came not just from how it looked, but also a content that was extraneous to its presentation. More recently, technology and science have transformed the processes by which art is developed and our understanding of the minds that perceive it. Taking recent essays by writer and artist Claire Lehmann and philosopher Peter Wolfendale, and new work by artist Pieter Schoolwerth as a point of departure, this report examines the multiple channels which inform the production and reception of art, and attempts to locate new ways of thinking through these processes.

This report encompasses recording and materials drawn from event at Miguel Abreu Gallery on  July 26th, 2016 and moderated by Joshua Johnson. OfAC would like to thank Claire Lehmann, Pieter Schoolwerth, and Pete Wolfendale for their time and presentations, as well as Miguel Abreu Gallery, for the assistance in presenting and organizing this event.