Morten Straede
The Artist´s Social Traditions

Rule number one.We don´t eat each other.

We could talk about behaviour. Behaviour/individual conduct is an expression of the space that each and every one of us possesses, which we continuously seize from each other. This applies not only to the physical space, where we form our own life in accordance with our aspirations, but also to the economical space, status-space and meaning-space. These spaces and a number of others, are mutually contingent on one another and modulate each other in relation to a locally confined situation. The social space is without form, because the afore mentioned spaces are conditioned by our social interchange with each other, which results in the social space consisting of composite relations of a limitless and unpredictable character. Therefore certain rules, reflecting this interconnection emerge, either as a result of praxis or conscious creation. This we could call tradition.

Rules cannot however avoid being influenced by praxis, by intentions and by sensitivities. This is where art and the social space resemble one another. Both demand a tradition that can regulate expressions and conduct/behaviour. Tradition manifests itself in specific forms, the purpose of which is to manage the single individual´s demand of space in relation to the demand of others. In both cases, the relationship between the rule/tradition and its transgression is uncertain - and always determined locally.

Rule number two.Behaviour/conduct unfolds in certain frames, which cannot be negotiated locally.

It is one thing to speak of the human, mutual negotiation in an open space. The physical form of this space is quite another, in that this can only be changed by urban planning, earthquakes and epidemics. Some forms are more behaviourally regulating than others. To these forms belong for example construction: houses, roads, airports, car parks, malls etc. To manage and formulate the building and city space, so that this does not come across as coercion, we have architecture. To manage the other frames for behaviour, we have the ballot box.

Rule number three. There are objects in the social space, which codetermine concurrent behaviour. Most of these objects are produced by industries. By possessing these objects or desiring to possess them, we can constantly construct and reconstruct ourselves. This demands forgetfulness. The more forgetfulness, the better the consumption. If we leave the materia to the instances that have the enhancement of consumption of the materia and behaviour as an objective, means that we have permitted these forms of social conventions to be translated and taken over by consumer patterns. To manage this we have economy.

Assumption: There are objects that cannot be produced with the intention of possession. Their value cannot solely be determined by their ability to be form a part of the consumption. These cannot be handled by economy alone. These objects are tolerated, because they can endow the objects produced by the industry with a significance, with a memory, with a legitimacy that implies that these are more than goods. And they can be utilised against that very tendency, by actually pointing towards aspects of behaviour, which cannot be objectified for consumption. To manage these objects and their connection to behaviour, we have the tradition. Or in other words: Knowledge as a move against forgetfulness. Tradition hereby denotes something other than the usual, avant-garde meaning, which views tradition as frozen forms or fossils of a consciousness long past.

Quote:"The objects hold the infinite" Claude Royet- Journaud.



Published in "The catalog of OSLO and the social dexign" by FOS, feb.2000