The lifecycle framework asks you think about an art project as more than an object or experience. What if any art project were actively perceived as a system of relationships? For example, when you look at a painting or a sculpture, or watch a video or a performance, think about all of the people who labored to get that art project into the place where you encounter it and of all of the materials that were sourced to create the work. How might this change the way you make projects? Adrian Piper created her own “Conditions of Production,” or rules for the production and circulation of her work. See Chapter 7: Lifecycle Phases and Framework for a reminder of Piper’s work.

The idea that “art is a system of relationships” has a long history, ranging from art historian Otto Karl Werckmeister’s Marxist historical materialism to Pierre Bourdieu’s sociology of art. This history suggests that culture is always produced in relationship to political and economic conditions.

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