The In-Between World of Contemporary Painting: Praxis and Reception in an Age of Pluralism

Jeff Nye
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This paper will summarise the results of the Dialogic Studio project. The objective of the Dialogic Studio is to situate the process of painting within an interactive, public realm by employing digital technologies and the World Wide Web. My research represents a praxis-based inquiry into authorship and authenticity within the production and reception of art. Following the trend toward time-based, collaborative, and interdisciplinary art practices, and Arthur Danto’s suggestion that the momentum of art has shifted from the historical development of form to a model of “philosophical self-consciousness,” questions must be addressed regarding new possibilities for painting (Danto 36).
What strategies can painters adopt to creatively address the static, author-centric, and location specific properties of their art? How would an interactive form of painting affect the artist's and the viewer's experience of the work? In response to these questions, the Dialogic Studio provides a space in which viewers are encouraged to collaborate in the development of a series of paintings. The interactions are dialogic, involving negotiation and discussion regarding subject matter, composition, and theory.
This paper will discuss the the data that I have gathered through the Dialogic Studio web site, the problem of situating authenticity within a collaborative creative moment, and the benefits and difficulties of sustaining a socially oriented art practice. The Dialogic Studio project reveals the hidden aspects of the painting process. Authorship is negotiated with the interactive web participants. In addition, the activity of painting becomes performative through the web camera’s presence. Consequently, many of the precepts about painting are reconfigured, and the scholarship deepened regarding the de-centring of authorship, the creation and interpretation of paintings, and the relevance of the contemporary practice of painting. Thus, the project struggles dialogically to bring the production and reception of post-historical painting into full view.

Keywords: Contemporary Painting, Interactivity, Social Art Practice, Answerability, Post-Historical Art, Dialogism, Studio Praxis, Collaboration
Stream: Art in Communities, Analysing Artforms
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Painting in the Crux, The Dialogic Studio

Jeff Nye

Master of Fine Arts Candidate, Department of Visual Art, 
Department of Fine Arts, Universtiy of Regina


Jeffrey D. Nye is a Master of Fine Arts Candidate at the University of Regina. His research interests include contemporary painting; interactivity; the social roles of the artist; and the phenomenology of painting. He has exhibited his paintings and site-specific installations in Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec, and held the position of director of the Corner Artist’s Cooperative Gallery in Newmarket, Ontario. Jeff has taught classes in painting and drawing at the community and university levels. He has received awards from the Saskatchewan Arts Board, and the Ontario Arts Council. He is currently working on the Dialogic Studio project which is an on-line interactive painting experiment located at He is also a Curator of the University of Regina's President's Art Collection. Jeff currently holds a SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship, is the recipient of a University of Regina Scholarly Research Award, and won the Canada Life Graduate Award in 2004.

Ref: A06P0205