I’ve been thinking again about relational aesthetics thanks to Kris Cohen who has been shooting me some of the discussions occurring around it and related matters in art theory, and generally hurting my brain, in a really good way. Being the intellectual dilettante I am, I’m just genuinely interested, but as before, I’m also trying to think through whether there’s any mileage in reworking art or literary theory concepts for popular culture and/or “vernacular creativity”. Not just whether I could do it, but whether I should bother.
Because maybe I’ve just got it back to front. Not for the first time, it’s crossed my mind that maybe cultural studies approaches to the active audience in relation to both television and music already has me where I need to go. I’m really just talking about identifying media that constitutes the relationship between the ‘producer’, the ‘text’, and the ‘audience’ in a particular way – a way that respects the audiences’ intelligence, demonstrates an understanding of the dynamics of engagement as social practice, and constitutes textuality as a vehicle for that engagement, and not the other way round. That is the juice that participatory popular culture runs on, and this beautiful video does just that, with grace, warmth and a sense of humility. It represents audienceing quite literally as the practice of folding music into individual but shared social experience.
And hey, it helps that it’s one of my favourite love songs.
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Plus, it’s the best acting performance I’ve ever seen from Daniela Sea.
Meanwhile, I will persist with my book larnin’ about relational aesthetics and art theory.