To be Compromising Aesthetic Quality or to be Optimizing Aesthetic Experience On the interdependent relationship between programming and audiences of nonprofit theater within the relational view of art
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The main argument presented in this study is that, within the relational view of arts, the programming of art needs to be understood as a social process. The belief discussed is that the audience is a co-producer of the value of art and so this has consequences on the position of the programmer. Although, audience involvement in the programming of arts institutions is often perceived to compromise the artistic quality of the work, it is argued in this thesis that since the process of programming takes place in a social environment, it is always influenced by this social context. The programmer should therefore be understood as a person who makes a pre-selection of works, which may gain artistic value in the experiences of the audiences. The programmer does not have the autonomy to ‘pre-produce’ this artistic value for these audiences. The deconstruction of the autonomy of art has lead to the position of the audiences as co-producers, which should subsequently mean the end of the autonomy of the programmer. The programmer is, how unwanted or unseen as it may be, always influenced by the audiences and both are equally viable co-producers of the value of art. When a programmer acknowledges the position of being a person belonging to the same group of co-producers of art (the audiences), he/she is able to select works that can lead to a strong artistic experience for the audiences. These artistic experiences can lead to the creation of important intrinsic values of art for the audiences, and therefore, for society.