This – all of it – is work in progress. The models on this page are drafts; our attempt, after talking to artists, to define what is Metro Arts’ ‘aesthetic field’ – the type of contemporary art that Metro Arts facilitates.

We are publishing them because it’s important to communicate with artists and audiences where we invest and locate our vision in the field of contemporary arts. It’s our desire that these models generate a productive conversation about the nature of contemporary art and hopefully artists, academics and arts workers may be able to help us refine these ideas.

David Fenton PhD – CEO
Metro Arts


Underpinning Metro Arts’ vision to develop the future of Australian contemporary art now, there are philosophical questions that go to the heart of why Metro Arts exists. They are prompted by the notion that all great art asks questions. Through our programming and curation, we challenge and enable artists to:

Posing these questions – and posting answers to them – demands a few things be clarified.


Metro Arts champions the evolution and extension of artists and their work by facilitating experimentation and contemporary processes.





Below is a model of how we curate and process diverse artists and their work through development to market.

Click on the model below to enlarge.

Aesthetic Field Diagram


The table below is a first draft – some sections haven’t been filled as we are still investigating, consulting and discussing those particular forms of contemporary art with artists and academics.

Click on the table below to enlarge.

Aesthetic Field Table


Read more:

These are some of the works that have informed our modelling of the Aesthetic Field of contemporary arts.

1. Barthes, R., ‘Camera Lucida’, Hill & Wang, USA, 1980
2. Baudrillard, J., ‘Simulacra & Simulation’, Editions Galilee, France, 1981/University of Michigan Press, USA, 1994.
3. Bishop, C., ‘Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship’, Verso, UK, 2012.
4. Bourriaud, N., ‘Relational Aesthetics’, Les Presse Du Reel, France, 1998.
5. Brooks, P., ‘The Empty Space’, Penguin Books, USA, 1998 (reprint). First edition 1968.
6. Burrows, J., ‘A Choreographers Handbook’, Routledge, UK, 2010.
7. Burt, R., ‘Judson Dance Theater: Performative Traces’, Routledge, USA, 2006
8. Cage, J. & Charles, D., ‘For the Birds’, Boyars, USA, 1995.
9. Dirmoser, G. & Nieslony, B., ‘Performance Art Context Map’, 2001.
10. Eco, U., ‘The Open Work’, Harvard University Press, USA, 1989.
11. Goldberg, R., Performance: Live Art Since 1960′, Harry N. Abrams, USA, 1998.
12. Gomez-Pena, G. (ed), ‘Ethno Techno: Writings on Performance, Activism and Pedagogy’, Routledge, UK, 2005.
13. Heartney, E., ‘Art & Today’, Phaidon, USA, 2013.
14. Kaprow, A., ‘Essays on the Blurring of Art & Life: Expanded Edition’, University of California Press, 2003.
15. Keidan, L. & Mitchell, C.J. (ed’s), ‘Programme Notes: Case Studies for Locating Experimental Theatre’, Oberon Books & Live Art Development Agency, 2013.
16. Lehmann, H., ‘Postdramatic Theatre’, Routledge, UK, 2006.
17. McLean, I.A., ‘How Aborigines Invented the Idea of Contemporary Art’, IMA, Australia, 2011.
18. Rainer, Y. ‘No Manifesto’, 1965.
19 Ranciere, J., ‘The Emancipated Spectator’, Verso (Reprint Edition), UK, 2009.

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