…Art critic, curator, and historian Nicolas Bourriaud coined the term “relational aesthetics” in his 1998 book of the same name.… In the book, he defines the term as:
A set of artistic practices which take as their theoretical and practical point of departure the whole of human relations and their social context, rather than an independent and private space. (pg. 113)
…The most famous work, and probably the most famous practitioner, is Argentinean-born Thai artist Rikrit Tiravanija’s first untitled solo show at 303 Gallery, New York in 1992. During the length of that exhibition, Tiravanija cooked Thai food for visitors in a kitchen set up within the gallery. The food is the art, but not in the fine cuisine sense: “it is not what you see that is important but what takes place between people,” Tiravanija says. The communal experience of cooking and eating the food becomes the object on display, under the direction of the artist, who acts as a sort of experience “curator,” or maybe “ringmaster” would be a better term.
…read it all: WTF is… Relational Aesthetics? by Kyle Chayka