'Where does our current obsession for interactivity stem from? After the consumer society and the communication era, does art still contribute to the emergence of a rational society?
Nicolas Bourriaud attempts to renew our approach towards contemporary art by getting as close as possible to the artists' works, and by revealing the principles that structure their thoughts: an aesthetic of the inter-human, of the encounter; of proximity, of resisting social formatting.
The aim of his essay is to produce the tools to enable us to understand the evolution of today's art. We meet Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Louis Althusser, Rirkrit Tiravanjia or Félix Guattari, along with most of today's practising creative personalities.' (Back cover, Relational Aesthetics)

This book was written originally in French and published in 1998. It was translated to the current English version by Simon Pleasance and Fronza Woods with the participation of Mathieu Copeland.
Access level


Location code REF.BON



art theory

Publication/Creation date


No of pages




No of copies


Content type


Chapter headings
Relational Form
Contemporary Artistic Practice and Its Cultural Plan
Artwork as Social Interstice
Relational Aesthetics and Random Materialism
Form and Others' Gaze
Art of the 1990s
Participation and Transitivity
Connections and Meetings
Convivialities and Encounters
Collaborations and Contracts
Professional Relations: Clienteles
How to Occupy a Gallery
Space-time Exchange Factors
Artworks and Exchanges
The Subject of the Artwork
Space-time Factors in 1990s' Art
Joint Presence and Availability: The Theoretical Legacy of Felix Gonzalez-Torres
Homosexuality as a Paradigm of Cohabitation
Contemporary Forms of the Monument
The Criterion of Co-existence (Works and Individuals)
The Aura of Artworks Has Shifted Towards Their Public
Beauty as a Solution?
Screen Relations
Today's Art and Its Technological Models
Art and Goods
The Law of Relocation
Technology as an Ideological Model (From Trace to Programme)
The Camera and the Exhibition
The Exhibition-set
Post VCR Art
Rewind/Play/Fast Forward
Towards a Democratisation of Viewpoints?
Towards a Policy of Forms
Cohabitations: Notes on Some Possible Extensions of a Relational Aesthetics
Visual Systems
The Image is a Moment
What Artists Show
The Boundaries of Individual Subjectivity
The Engineering of Intersubjectivity
An Art with No Effect?
The Political Development of Forms
Rehabilitating Experimentation
Relational Aesthetics and Constructed Situations
The Aesthetic Paradigm (Félix Guattari and Art)
Subjectivity Pursued and Produced
De-naturalising Subjectivity
Status and Operation of Subjectivity
Subjectivization Units
The Aesthetic Paradigm
The Critique of Scientistic Paradigm
Ritournelle, Symptom and Work
The Work of Art as Partial Object
For an Artistic-ecosophical Practice
The Behavioural Economy of Present-day Art
Relational Aesthetics
Rights statement

In Copyright

What does this mean?

This item is covered by one or more copyrights. It is available for research only or use within Hong Kong’s fair dealing rules. Please do not copy, re-use or reproduce this item without the permission of the copyright holder.

Relational Aesthetics

AAA relies on your generous support to grow, activate, and make freely accessible our collection of materials on art in Asia. Please consider making a small donation to our 2021 Annual Fundraiser, ending on 29 Oct.