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could be conceived of as a closed system endowed with an integrity that enabled works of art to function as autonomous objects within, yet at the same time independent of, the social, ­economic, political and media systems of the societies that encompass it. Today, art should be seen, rather, as an open system, increasingly entangled in global ‘financescapes’ and ‘mediascapes’3 – in the former, given art’s role 2 Migration into art as a crucial sphere of capital investment and ‘a vector for the flight of global ­capital’;4 and in the latter through art’s growing

in Migration into art
ACT’s procedures of ‘pure creation’, 1993–96

fanatical beliefs in art’s capacity to transform all spheres of human activity, and behind their totalizing discourses about conceptual art’s function within the institution of art on the one hand and within larger social and cultural conditions on the other. A consideration of the underlying structural conditions of artistic practice informs my discussion of ACT’s vision of the newly emerging relations between art and society, as well as the group’s claims of developing new modes of artistic production, representation and reception. I argue that the group’s example

in The political aesthetics of the Armenian avant-garde