As Bruce Ellis Benson’s recent book Liturgy as a Way of Life reminds us, “in making art, we always start with something.”[1] To be an artist is not to create ex nihilo but to creatively reinterpret and rework the preexisting forms of art, nature, and culture—including the stories and images that shape and direct our lives—into new, often radically different shapes and patterns. This process of drawing on past sources, even as one employs one’s individual vision in their creative use, is often referred to as appropriation. A less charitable word might be stealing.

When we consider appropriation or recycling in the context of art history we may think of pop art, Situationist détournement, Marcel Duchamp’s readymades, or the collagist practices of Dada. We may also think of hip-hop and DJ culture, which draw much of their potency from the creative sampling of earlier material. But appropriation is nothing new. Artists have always creatively engaged their historical, social, and aesthetic contexts to transform preexisting stories into new, unexpected patterns, from John Milton’s rewriting of Genesis in Paradise Lost and Shakespeare’s notorious plot thefts to folk music, which exists as a culture of constant recycling and reinterpretation.[2] To be an artist is to work out of what has come before while freely and spontaneously working material into new aesthetic and narrative possibilities.[3]

This process of creative appropriation, however, takes on additional complexity in an artistic and cultural age of postproduction. We live in a global culture of use where almost everyone has access to digital editing technology. The appropriation, creative transformation, and free sharing of video and audio content online has troubled the boundaries between the traditional polarities of production and consumption—suddenly everyone is an artist. This raises questions about art itself—for example, can the concept of art be restricted to a single product or object, or does the term describe a larger cultural process that breaks such boundaries by its very nature? It also raises questions about what it means to tell and inhabit particular stories in the digital age.

Postproduction is a term used in film and video-making to describe the editing process—cutting and splicing, rendering graphics, sound mixing and mastering—everything that goes into making a film after the cameras stop rolling. Nicholas Bourriaud, the controversial French curator and theorist, employs this term in his book of the same name to describe a new way of understanding art and culture at the beginning of the millennium.[4] For Bourriaud, art is no longer simply a matter of production but of creative, appropriative postproduction. What Bourriaud famously termed relational aesthetics is the social framework in which this new schema emerges.

I come to this discussion as a video editor interested in exploring what you might call an ontology of editing. Such an ontology seeks to understand what kind of a world—what kind of being—is disclosed in the process of editing images and sound together. I suggest that even with the most basic combination of two disparate shots, there is a process of narrativization, of putting things together into narrative sequences.[5] This suggests another useful term in thinking about the ongoing role of art as appropriation: renarrativization, the process of telling a new story that simultaneously deconstructs and reconstructs earlier narratives, symbols, and networks of meaning. Fredric Jameson employed this term as a way of describing appropriative artworks that reconfigure preexisting texts and images into new, hybrid “textualities”; it has also been widely used in feminist and postcolonial criticism.[6] I believe that considering renarrativization may help bring out important aspects of Bourriaud’s thought while pushing it in new, story-oriented directions.

If, as Bourriaud writes, the artwork rather than being a static, fixed object now “functions as the temporary terminal of a network of interconnected elements, like a narrative that extends and reinterprets preceding narratives,”[7] we must further ask how a relational aesthetic, in an age of digital postproduction, alters our experience of narrative, including the political, social, and religious narratives that shape and direct our lives. Postproduction enacts a kind of subversive, creative renarrativization of these controlling narratives, a new iteration of what art (from Milton to Andy Warhol) has always accomplished.

Relational Aesthetics

To better understand Bourriaud’s concept of the artist as an agent of cultural postproduction, it is helpful to begin with his suggestive and controversial notion of a relational aesthetics, which draws attention to the way the production and reception of art are always already embedded in the “realm of human interactions and social context.” This seemingly innocuous contemporary appropriation of the age-old question of aesthetics represents a significant break from the Kantian philosophical tradition, which posits an “independent and private symbolic space” in an individual’s encounter with a work of art. While, for Bourriaud, TV and books force one back to a private “space” of contemplation, art “tightens the space of relations” between human beings, in a way analogous to the way urbanization brings people closer together. Taking a stand against neo-Kantians like Thierry de Duve, Bourriaud suggests that an experience of art is not a “sum of judgments” made by isolated, discerning individuals in the hermetically pure space of the gallery but, rather, “a bundle of relations with the world, giving rise to other relations.” Each work of art posits “a proposal to live in a shared world.” The question is no longer “Is this art beautiful?” or “What does this piece mean?”—questions of taste and subjective response—but something along the lines of “Does this work permit me to enter into dialogue? Could I exist, and how, in the space it defines?”[8]

Bourriaud offers us an aesthetics of sharing and “interhuman exchange,” where our encounter with an artwork is not a private, individual affair but a “collective elaboration of meaning.”[9] Rather than being walled off from the real social world, art is, for Bourriaud, a “social interstice” that finds its place as a zone of alternative economic, relational, and cultural possibilities with real, if sometimes unorthodox, potentialities for “inter-human commerce” and exchange. Art is, in short, an “inter-human game.”[10] Art history can thus be thought of as the trajectory whereby aesthetic concern moves from consideration of humankind in relation to the gods (the classical paradigm) to humankind in relation to the object (modernism) to, finally, humankind and interhuman relations.[11]

Bourriaud first developed the term relational aesthetics in reference to a number of diverse artists working in the mid- to late nineties, notably Rirkrit Tiravanija, Douglas Gordon, Liam Gillick, Pierre Huyghe, Gabriel Orozco, Maurizio Cattelan and Vanessa Beecroft, who in his estimation were producing work that demanded a new theoretical structure in relation to contemporary art history. For example, Tiravanija’s Pad Thai (1990) was, rather than an art object or performance piece per se, a kind of social experiment where the artist cooked dinner for whoever came to the gallery—the transitive, communal experience of eating and conversing itself being the work of art. For such a relational artwork, Kantian (and Greenbergian) categories are not fully adequate for there is no art object. Equally unsatisfactory, however, are antecedent notions of “happening” or “drift” (derive) we might associate with the Situationists, Fluxus, or performance or conceptual art. In relational aesthetics, art does not stand autonomously against social conditions, but is itself a social, cultural phenomenon. By opening up a dialogue—by opening up the space of the gallery into an ad hoc dinner party—the rules of the game of art are altered.

Relational aesthetics also differs from earlier aesthetic models by the way it aims to effect social change. Rather than seeking to entirely reconstruct the architecture of human culture, tearing down the old world to build a new one guided by aesthetic ideals—a Romantic view that seems to have persisted in much postmodern theory—relational art is about “learning to inhabit the world in a better way.” Rather than escaping the narratives and systems that shape and direct our lives, the artist must work from within this given real, exerting creativity as a perpetual “tenant of culture,” in a phrase Bourriaud borrows from Michel de Certeau. Art becomes not just the creator or destroyer of imaginary utopias but an agent working within “the realm of human interactions and its social context.”[12]

Bourriaud describes relational aesthetics as less a theory of art than a theory of form, form being defined in quasi-Heideggerian terms as “a structure . . . which shows the typical features of a world.” Form emerges from “lasting” encounter, where the “components” of a work “form a whole whose sense ‘holds good’ at the moment of their birth, stirring up new ‘possibilities of life.’”[13] Here I find echoes of Hans-Georg Gadamer’s notion of art as transformation into structure.[14] There is still such a thing as the work of art, but it exists in the mode of a momentary crystallization—a synaptic connection within a constantly evolving network—rather than as a static, flat object: “The upshot of this is that the fixed, final form of the work of art is destabilized in favor of a perpetual open-endedness, where the artwork serves as an ‘unfolding scenario,’ comparable to a musical score or screenplay, which spurs on further artistic creation.”[15] Such scenarios are, I suggest along with Bourriaud, narrative in nature. Yet they must always be relational, evolving out of interhuman stories. For Bourriaud, form only becomes form through human interactions.[16]


It is in Bourriaud’s follow-up to Relational Aesthetics, however, that his theory of the interplay of multiple forms and scenarios becomes most evocative. In Postproduction: Culture as Screenplay, Bourriaud extends his account of the relational, contextual character of art to describe the nature of creativity in a digital culture characterized by the ceaseless reprogramming, remixing, and transmission of preexistent cultural forms—a global culture of sharing and the free flow of images. Here the dominant mode of creativity is the constant recycling and recontextualization of sound and images. Digital video and audio editing technology, along with the mass accessibility of video hosting websites, have pushed the reinterpretation and reuse of earlier forms to the point of oversaturation:

Notions of originality (being at the origin of) and even of creation (making something from nothing) are slowly blurred in this new cultural landscape marked by the twin figures of the DJ and the programmer, both of whom have the task of selecting cultural objects and inserting them into new contexts.[17]

For Bourriaud, video artists like Douglas Gordon and Pierre Huyghe push the idea of appropriation one step further by “deeply reexamin[ing] notions of creation, authorship, and originality.”[18] For such artists, the working model is not the “art of appropriation” (à la Duchamp or Warhol, or found-footage filmmakers like Bruce Conner or Craig Baldwin), which still “infers an ideology of ownership” and thus of stealing, but an ecology of sharing—a culture of use, where cultural forms are tools, equipment to be freely employed by all.[19] It is in this context that Bourriaud posits the emergence of a “culture of use” or “culture of activity,” where the artwork functions as a kind of disruptive, subversive “narrative that extends and reinterprets preceding narratives.”[20]

As I previously mentioned, the term Bourriaud applies to this paradigm shift is postproduction, which he draws from video editing. The artist becomes a kind of curator or editor of cultural forms, putting elements together in recombinant patterns. Bourriaud’s language here is of the artist as semionaut, an explorer who navigates signs and who must practice the “invention of paths through culture.” In a culture of use, one seeks not only to ingest social artifacts but also to “actively inhabit” these forms. The “recycling of sounds, images, and forms implies incessant navigation within the meanderings of cultural history”; here as in relational aesthetics, the artist does not leave culture behind but dwells in it more fully.[21] By investigating and reinterpreting various scenarios, artists renarrativize the stories that make up culture.

Here a key example is the work of the Scottish video artist Douglas Gordon. Gordon, whose work Bourriaud describes at length in both Relational Aesthetics and Postproduction, is best known for his works that use found footage from classic Hollywood films to explore themes of memory, ownership, and our collective reception of these iconic texts. As one commentator puts it, “Gordon’s art [thus] resides not in the physical object but rather in the memory and actions of the viewer.”[22] In what is arguably his most famous piece, Twenty Four Hour Psycho, he slows Alfred Hitchcock’s classic horror film Psycho down to two frames per second, so the film now plays for twenty-four hours. Here is found footage filmmaking taken to an extreme: a slowing down of time so that the narrative that originally contained these images is dislocated. Even the most banal of scenes may take hours to progress. The audience must reach into their memories, individual and collective, in order to reconstruct the narrative and their current place in it. The process of renarrativization is thus not just the way Gordon “appropriates the entire story of Psycho in which one now-iconic shot follows the next,” but also the whole process by which viewers encounter the film, not least of all, as a sculptural freestanding projection in the center of the gallery around which they must physically locate themselves. The narrative of Psycho is renarrativized by its relation to the viewers.[23]

Hitchcock’s Psycho is so well known, however, that we are dealing not just with the “text” but with “paratexts”—what we already know about Psycho from mass culture, as well as our own personal experiences related to the film. All of these narratives intersect at the work of art, which shows itself to be a node in a larger social network and network of meanings. Gordon’s 2008 redaction, 24 Hour Psycho Back and Forth and To and Fro (2008), takes Psycho and instead plays it on two screens side by side: one running forward, one running backward. Thus, there will only be one single frame, at the very midpoint of the film, where both screens show the same image. Gordon has used similar strategies in other video installations: his left is right and right is wrong and left is wrong and right is right (1999) takes Otto Preminger’s film Whirlpool (1949) and separates “the odd numbered frames on one screen and the even on the other,” with the missing frames respectively filled in with black and the left projection playing in reverse.[24] In 24 Hour Psycho, in both its iterations, the interplay of memory, progression of time, and our collective reverence for Hitchcock’s film coalesce into a Zen-like meditation on the cinematic medium itself as the ontology of postproduction is made manifest. There is also no small significance to the choice of Psycho as material for the piece—is it too much to draw a link between the cuts of the knife entering the protagonist’s skin and the (now slowed down) cuts of the film editor? Psycho was also revolutionary for killing off its main character in the first quarter of the film, yet in 24 Hour Psycho Back and Forth and To and Fro, death turns backward into life.

We can, of course, take this to an even greater extreme, as Gordon has himself. His 1995 film 5 Year Drive-By (1995), rarely screened for obvious reasons, takes John Ford’s The Searchers (1956) and extends it to play for five years. Here again the extreme lengthening of the narrative calls for the initiation of multiple renarrativizations—stripped of the discernible flow of time, viewers themselves become searchers seeking to relate Wayne’s iconic image to their own cultural and cinematic memories.

24 Hour Psycho has been described as a “cinematic ready-made,”[25] and the description is appropriate. Like Duchamp, here the appropriation—or more pointedly for Bourriaud, the use—of a preexisting form is largely characterized by the decision to use that form. Gordon’s work is of particular interest in the Internet age as it is linked to fan practices and bootlegging. Indeed, his own bootleg recording of Andy Warhol’s Empire (an eight-hour long static shot of the Empire State Building) has led to other bootlegs and copies, just as bootleg selections from 24 Hour Psycho exist on the web. The Internet gives us the most striking example of a culture of use, where images and sounds with no record of their provenance suddenly appear, posted on YouTube, and then absorbed into the constant cycle of digital postproduction that endlessly reshuffles and recombines old footage into new memes and viral videos.

There are countless other important film and video artists working today with appropriated images.[26] However, the most accessible practitioners of “use” remain the thousands, if not millions of video makers making new stories out of preexisting footage on iPads and laptops across the globe. It is they who truly define the culture of activity Bourriaud sees reflected in the art world. As Bourriaud writes, “To learn how to use forms, as the artists in question invite us to do, is above all to know how to make them one’s own, to inhabit them.” We are learning to inhabit these forms, learning how to become tenants of digital culture. In the digital landscape, the romantic ideal of the solitary artist is exploded in favor of a collaborative, open-source mode of creativity that is continually re-creating and recycling preexisting material. Here, in Bourriaud’s words, “there is not living creation, on the one hand, and the dead weight of the history of forms, on the other: postproduction artists do not make a distinction between their work and that of others, or between their own gestures and those of viewers.”[27]

All this may seem to be making a mountain out of pad thai. The fact that anyone can reedit the Star Wars movies and post the result on YouTube does not mean everyone can make great new works of art. Bourriaud’s theories are not without their critics; his work has been called scattered, too “1990s,” misrepresentative of the work of the artists he cites, and perhaps guilty of turning artists into merchants and reinforcing the economic “scenario” of production and consumption rather than subverting it.[28] However, I do not wish to simply reiterate Bourriaud’s rather controversial claims about relational aesthetics and the use of forms, holding them up as the final word on the matter. Rather, I want to appropriate from Bourriaud a concern with the rewriting of narratives, the digital “culture of activity” in which we find ourselves, and the communal experience of art in culture as providing helpful ways forward for aesthetic discourse.

When You Know the Notes to Sing

Narrative is vitally important. As James K. A. Smith notes in Imagining the Kingdom, story subsists not at a refined, abstract level but in our bones. For Smith, following the French phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty, story is “the transparent envelope of meaning” we live within on a somatic, incarnational level, a meaning-making activity extending deep down into the prelinguistic, primordial structures of our bodies. In fact, for Smith, our body itself is a “nexus of living meanings” to such an extent that an analogy can be drawn between bodies and works of art. (Here are echoes of Bourriaud’s language of art as “terminal”). Narrative shapes and guides us in the constellation of desires and phenomenological “intentions” that frame our embodied experience;[29] economic, political, ideological and religious narratives inform us at every moment of our lives. To be human is to be continually inscribed and reinscribed into various cultural stories. And as Bourriaud writes, “for artists today contributing to the birth of a culture of activity, the forms that surround us are the materializations of these narratives,” and so they are the raw material for works of artistic invention. To be an artist is not only to be aware of the “immaterial” scenarios that manifest themselves in the objects, texts, images, and, above all, relationships which pervade our lives but also to use these “precarious structures” as tools in the pursuit of “particular narrative spaces.”[30]

Here, if you’ll forgive me, I should mention my own work. In 2011 I created a video installation for Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, an all-night art event in Toronto, to accompany the Toronto Choral Artists’ production of a contemporary piece by Joby Talbot. We had over seven thousand visitors through our venue, the historic Church of the Redeemer in downtown Toronto, over the course of the twelve hours from dusk until dawn. The theme of both the videos and the choral piece was the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain to see the bones of Saint James. Using found footage from an array of sources—The Wizard of Oz, old sci-fi films, religious epics—I attempted to renarrativize through sound and images the stories of the saints whose relics lie along the road to Compostela. We attempted to introduce a relational, experiential component to the installation by having viewers move through the church in a kind of pilgrimage through moving images and by inviting them to reflect on the video meditations at each station. Our thought was that relics and bones, such as the bones of St. James, which were miraculously uncovered at Compostela, are re-membered as living bodies through our consideration of the narratives of the saints. This echoes the way art can produce an embodied, relational entrance into other narrative worlds.

I will conclude, however, with an even stranger example. A few months ago, I had the opportunity to participate in an odd cultural ritual: the Sing-a-Long Sound of Music. Though I did not dress up for the occasion, many of my fellow cinemagoers came clad as nuns, Austrian children, raindrops on roses, and brown paper packages tied up with string. The basic premise of the wildly popular cinematic sing-along phenomenon, which originated in the United Kingdom and has made its way to North America, is classic film watching as “audience participation.”[31] The audience sings along with the musical numbers, making use of subtitles provided for this purpose, and throughout a film various plot points call for specific vocal responses. It is a surprisingly engaging way to view a film—at times quite ridiculous and at other times oddly moving. For me, singing “Edelweiss” in a theater packed with Sound of Music diehards engendered an earnest, if self-reflexive, sense of communitas.

This admittedly strange experience prompted me to consider a number of questions about the nature of our experience of art. What does something like the Sing-a-Long Sound of Music presuppose? On its surface, it generally seems to rely on familiarity with the story—you are watching a movie you have watched a dozen or more times before—yet this time you are part of a community of people moved by the same narrative. Does the narrative itself somehow create the community? What is happening in the sing-along theater seems to fly in the face of the traditional, perhaps Kantian archetype of movie watching, where we sit alone in a darkened room staring silently at the luminous silver screen. Here, the balance of energy has shifted to the audience; the experience of watching, responding, and joining in with the film together becomes the art’s work, kitschy and overly sentimental as it all may be. There is the familiar narrative of the Sound of Music, but this narrative is being communally rewritten in this new, bizarre iteration.

Perhaps the Sing-a-Long Sound of Music is a small symbol of the positive trajectory of a relational, narrative approach to appropriation, a rethinking of the ontology of postproduction that draws out its interhuman aspect. If we are to tell new stories in an age of postproduction, characterized by a digital culture of use where forms circulate, proliferate, and endlessly recombine into new networks of interconnecting narratives, perhaps we need to turn our attention to our relationships with each other as viewers. Far from being passive spectators, enthralled by the society of the spectacle, we are summoned to participate in the creative renarrativization of culture. Art takes the stories that shape us and reshapes them in order to shape new narratives, new possibilities, allowing us to inhabit culture more authentically and with a radical openness to alternative modes of exchange, production, and postproduction. The narrative, relational being of film and video editing helps us approach art and culture as interhuman projects.

Benson suggests that thinking of art as appropriation does not deny the possibility of originality but rather locates artistic creativity in the generative, while still appropriative, practice of improvisation. Benson’s underlying model is that of the jazz combo, which takes a fake book tune and interprets it in a way that is both faithful to the original and radically different. Here, there is a move away from Harold Bloom’s so-called “anxiety of influence,”[32] which still relies on the outmoded model of the lone artist who must become a singular “strong poet” against the crushing weight of undead tradition, and toward a sense of authentic, tradition-sensitive community in art making and enjoyment:

As a jazz improviser, one becomes part of a community of improvisers. As improviser, one works with material that already exists rather than creating ex nihilo. As improviser, one is aware of being wholly indebted to the past. . . . As improviser, one joins a conversation.[33]

Joining a conversation, being “indebted to the past” without being constrained by it—these are helpful ways to conceive of the relationships between artistic creativity and preceding forms, between new stories and old stories, in a digital age.

[1] Benson, Liturgy as a Way of Life: Embodying the Arts in Christian Worship (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2013), 80–81. Italics are Benson’s.

[2] Going back even further, one could examine the way the Genesis narrative itself appropriates imagery and narrative elements from ancient Near East mythologies; looking forward, we could look at William Blake’s renarrativization of John Milton.

[3] The nature of this process of influence and appropriation can in a sense be thought of as a two-way relationship. As T. S. Eliot famously writes, “what happens when a new work of art is created is something that happens simultaneously to all the works of art which preceded it.” See Eliot, “Tradition and the Individual Talent,” in The Sacred Wood and Major Early Essays (New York, NY: Dover, 1998).

[4] Nicholas Bourriaud, Postproduction: Culture as Screenplay: How Art Reprograms the World (New York, NY: Lukas & Sternberg, 2002).

[5] I am thinking here of the famous Kuleshov experiment: if you put two disparate shots together, like an expressionless face and a bowl of soup, the viewer will attempt to construct a narrative from just two images. Is the actor hungry? Is he looking at the soup?

[6] See Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1991), 96.

[7] Bourriaud, Postproduction, 19.

[8] Bourriaud, Relational Aesthetics, trans. Simon Pleasance and Fronza Woods (Dijon, France: Les Presses Du Reel, 2002), 14, 15, 15–16, 22, and 109. All italics are Bourriaud’s.

[9] Ibid., 15; this sentiment is echoed in Postproduction.

[10] Ibid., 19.

[11] Ibid., 28.

[12] Ibid., 13 and 14. All italics are Bourriaud’s.

[13] Ibid., 19, 19–20.

[14] See Hans-Georg Gadamer, Truth and Method (New York, NY: Crossroad, 1975).

[15] Bourriaud, Postproduction, 10.

[16] Bourriaud, Relational Aesthetics, 22.

[17] Bourriaud, Postproduction, 6.

[18] Ibid., 2.

[19] See here the work of Lawrence Lessig on “free culture,” particularly in the Internet age.

[20] Bourriaud, Postproduction, 19.

[21] Ibid., 9.

[22] Michael Alex Hauger II, “Dematerializing the Medium: How Sol LeWitt, Douglas Gordon, and Lawrence Wiener Reinvented the Art Object,” PhD dissertation, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, New York (2013), 22.

[23] “By being temporally stretched, the film plays in extreme slow motion. Changes in images occur almost imperceptibly, and the sound can no longer be identified. The plot appears to barely progress, so that an audience familiar with the details of the film classic must mentally add foregoing and succeeding events to the moment of viewing the image—that is, completing the story either before or after it has taken place on screen. Thus various time dimensions—past, future, and present—consolidate into an amplified experience of time” (Sylvia Martin, Video Art [Cologne, Germany: Taschen, 2006], 52).

[24] Elizabeth Affuso, “The Sculptural Screen: Spectatorship, Exhibition, and Hollywood in Contemporary Film/Video Art,” PhD dissertation, University of Southern California (2011), 93 and 38.

[25] Martin, Video Art, 52.

[26] Perhaps most notable in recent (Canadian) memory is the work of Christian Marclay, whose twenty-four-hour video loop The Clock played to great acclaim at the National Gallery in Ottawa in 2012. Marclay appropriated footage having to do with time and clocks from a vast array of classic films and then stitched them together to cover the entire stretch of the day. Here again we are dealing with notions of cinematic time, the appropriation and cultural reception of visual texts, and the nature of narrativity—a creative renarrativization of our own experience of time, filtered through the Hollywood dreamscape. A longer list of artists might include filmmakers like Douglas Aitken, Thom Anderson, Matthias Muller, Matt McCormick, Jay Rosenblatt, and Craig Baldwin. In Canada, we also have Mike Hoolboom and Anne McGuire; McGuire’s Strain Andromeda The is a shot by shot reconstruction of The Andromeda Strain where each shot is taken out of its position in the film and moved to the exact opposite position, so the last shot becomes the first shot, the second-to-last shot becomes the second shot, but it still plays in “forward motion.”

[27] Bourriaud, Postproduction, 19 and 23.

[28] See especially Claire Bishop, “Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics,” October 110 (2004): 51–79. Also insightful are Stewart Martin, “Critique of Relational Aesthetics,” Third Text 21, no. 4 (July 2007): 369–86; Toni Ross, “Aesthetic Autonomy and Interdisciplinarity: A Response to Nicolas Bourriaud’s ‘Relational Aesthetics,’” Journal of Visual Art Practice 5, no. 3 (2006): 167–81.

[29] Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception, 153 and 175, as quoted in Smith, Imagining the Kingdom: How Worship Works (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2013), 59 and 60.

[30] Bourriaud, Postproduction, 23. All italics are Bourriaud’s.

[31] Other Sing-A-Long iterations include participative versions of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Grease; there is now even the rise of the “quote-a-long” version of Will Ferrell’s Anchorman.

[32] See Harold Bloom, The Anxiety of Influence (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1973).

[33] Benson, Liturgy as a Way of Life, 93.