The Square

The Square (4 Art trends)

1. “Relational Aesthetics” coined by curator Nicolas Bourriaud.

2. “Beige” created by Olivier Zahm and Elein Fleiss, (Purple Institute, Paris).

3. “Telic” coined by Miltos Manetas and Lexicon Branding

4. “Neen” coined by Miltos Manetas and Lexicon Branding

Beige starts with Araki and ends with Vanessa Beecroft. It includes photographers Terry Richardson and Wolfgang Tillmans, directors Sophia Coppola and Guys Van Saint, the rock group Sonic Youth, writer J.T Leroy and his friend Asia Argento, certain fashion icons such as Kate Moss, fashion brands Comme Des Garcons, Cosmic Wonder, Bless and Undercover as many young Japanese photographers and an infinite number of Fashion-magazine editors. Beige is feelings that are properly “human” - love, despair and vanity for example- although the first computers of the 80`s and 90`s were mostly beige! Beige, a color that's neither black nor white, is about young people, their love and loneliness, the way they crash sometimes onto the wall of the everyday. "Beige", is the aesthetic of the snapshots we take while we are crashing on that wall.

Relational Aesthetics starts with Guy Debord and (hopefully) ends with Maurizio Cattelan. An art method cultivated in and out of art-schools, strongly supported by curators, Relational Aesthetics has developed into a dominant international art-language. Relational Aesthetes such as Philippe Parreno, Pierre Huyghe and Rirkrit Tiravanija, are usually highly professional and serious, even when they makes jokes. "An entrepreneur/politician/director", writes Nicolas Bourriaud: "Today’s artist appears as an operator of signs, modeling production structures so as to provide significant doubles.” In Fashion, only Martin Margiela has the conceptual vigor of Relational Aesthetics: in all his shows, his assistants are always dressed in white tunics as if they were medical workers.

Telic covers pretty much everything that has to do with technology. You find all you need to know about Telic in Wired Magazine but Telic it's not only about computers, Telic is everywhere! The term "telic" comes from the Greek world Telos (the end) and means something aiming to a specific destination. Telic is busy and productive. Cool and not-that-cool design, such as Apple but also IBM and Microsoft, fashion houses such as Prada and Calvin Klein, designers like Bruce Mau are Telic. Magazines are usually Telic unless they become manifestos. And of course most art made with computers-but also most of conceptual art- is Telic. Computer-telic artists exhibit their works at the Ars Electonica festival in Austria and they are often boring to watch types, dressed unremarkable. Still, they are all quite genius people once you come to know them.

Neen is something that a very few people or objects have in common, but still it's so clear and recognizable, that even someone who never heard this word before can easily pin-point. Neen is a frame of mind, it talks about a new type of feelings that rise in us through certain computer programs and certain videogames. But even if we encounter Neen grows mostly online and on computer screens, Neen not your father's “Net Art” . In old Greek, "Neen" means “exactly now”: this moment, not a second later! At this moment, Neen comes mostly in form of peculiar websites but tomorrow we may find in certain characteristics of our genetically engineered bodies. Neen fashion doesn’t really exist...

These 4 art trends, form a square with each trend on each corner. Most of the art and style that started in the late 90's, can be found in that square. Takashi Murakami for example, is a combination of Relational Aesthetics and Otaku-Neen. Some of the artists he promotes are a new flavor of Manga-Beige. Matthew Barney is a Telic-Futurista, while his ex-wifeBjork is Beige-meets-Neen-meets-television. Martin Margiela is Telic but sometimes he is also Beige-for-the Pope and Bernhard Wilhelm is Neen-Naive. Nike is Telic-goes-to-the Analyst, while Adidas is classy Telic. Doug Aitken is Telic-Relational-Spectacular, whileMariko Mori dreamy Telic. The magazine Dazed and Confused is a "Relational Pizza", the Italian Vogue a Telic Fashion Miracle while Butt- the gay magazine- is gay in such a Beige way that it is actually Neen!

Miltos Manetas, "The Square (4 Art trends)", 2005