École doctorale 20 Different modes of disseminating the artwork: the improbable as a generator of meaning in contemporary artDifferent modes of disseminating the artwork: the improbable as a generator of meaning in contemporary art

  • type: Article
  • ref: DOC.2023.42
  • Publication date: May 3 2023
  • tags: contemporary art, research-creation, dissemination, artwork, Art and art sciences, sociology of art, bricolage, critical approach, improbable, uncertain coefficient of visibility

In the form of a research-creation, this thesis focuses on different modes of artwork dissemination in contemporary art and their impacts on the production and the process of disseminating artworks. Here artwork dissemination refers to the moment when an artwork meets any public, regardless of size. The means of dissemination are defined as the strategies and tactics implemented so that a work of art finds an audience. Our hypothesis is that disseminating artworks is in itself a field for experimentation, a space for creation, and not a mere means of exhibition or promotion of the artworks.

This research aims to understand, from the artist's point of view, how the moment of art dissemination actively participates in the meaning of the artwork and its poetics. It also situates art dissemination in the historical process of autonomisation [self-reliance] and legitimization of the artist. By observing and analyzing the interactions and mechanisms at work during its dissemination, how can we elaborate unconventional forms of art dissemination, thus proposing a counter-model for dissemination of contemporary art?

This thesis relies on a descriptive and qualitative methodology based on the principle: faire de l’art ici et maintenant, avec ce qu’on a [make art here and now, with what we have]. The dissemination experiments developed attempt to understand possible alternatives to the existing conventional modes (gallery, museum and their related networks). In addition it also reveals the relationships between the modes of dissemination and the artworks, the artist’s autonomy and the art worlds. We try to show that the devices created during our experiments rely on an operating concept that we name improbable – improbable in terms of the place, of the mode of exhibition, of what is said about it. This research questions the current parameters of art dissemination to propose a new paradigm, namely the improbable as generator of sense in contemporary art, and a counter-model based on the uncertainty that lies in every artistic creative process.


PhD thesis defended in 2022-2023, co-supervised by the Ecole de recherche graphique (ERG) and the Université Libre de Bruxelles.