Glossary of Common Knowledge

Beyond the conventional usage of the language in contemporary art

A list of terms associated with six referential fields, as proposed by a number of narrators in the course of several seminars, to negotiate various positions, contexts and local narratives about contemporary art referential fields. The aim of proposing six referential fields (historicization, subjectivization, geopolitics, constituencies, commons, and other-institutionality) is to meet the need for discussions that can address various localities and temporalities. Contemporary art contains a variety of social, historical, cultural and political references that exist as referential fields outside the focal ideas, concepts, and artworks themselves. These references also condition the form and practice of artistic production.

The narrators describe the consequences of the discursive and practical realizations of subjectivization, which happen outside the models of representation or categories, in the interstices or spaces of transition, constantly "in becoming", in the formation of a subject in relation to another. They speak of subjectivization not only as a process in which an individual affirms or chooses his/her role in society as an autonomous entity, but also as the impossibility of choice or affirmation under neocapitalist production conditions and as the highly regulated pursuit of the realization of one's aspirations or potential, which manifest as tension, or exhaustion, or non-stop production.