At one time, installation art was a weird thing only artists appreciated. Now, our surroundings are so disorienting most everyone gets it to some degree. Partially, this comes from our apparent insignificance in a world that is so obviously gaining in complexity. Additionally, the transparency of economic drivers these days makes it clear that experience is a commodity.
In the 70s and 80s, things were less confusing. We had fewer choices and the fabric of society was relatively invisible. We knew there were a lot of people out there. But the connections between people were on the local level. Rarely, did the average Joe question his existence. Your surroundings were your surroundings, and that was pretty much it. If you were to take a friend to a Joseph Beuys exhibit during the 70s, they’d look at you like you were nuts.
However today, installation art is common, and a commodity. Museums, Pinterest and shopping malls abound with it. Installation art visualizes our underlying feelings about being placed in such an odd time where everyone knows our business and we feel a part of an endless conversation about nothing. It comes in different aesthetic levels, from collections of stuff to really thought provoking transformations of space. But in general, it is a reflection of our times. We feel uncomfortable with where we are going. And this art form is great for expressing this state of uncertainty. Below are some examples. Or just type “Installation Art” in Pinterest. You’ll be there all day.