Marcel Duchamp is one of the most important and influential artists of the 20th Century who has challenged how art is perceived. He was considered avant garde during his time. One of his most iconic artworks is that of an ordinary urinal which he dubbed “Fountain” (1917). It caused an uproar during his time, but led to the concept of the ‘readymade’ or ‘found object’ (i.e. everyday objects represented as art), an art strategy closely associated with the Dada movement, but also used by many artists today.
Why I choose to write about Marcel Duchamp is because he is probably one of the first well-known artists who used the idea of interactivity in his works. Duchamp’s kinetic sculptures pioneered the use of human or environmental variables that would influence how the artwork would look. For example, the artwork ‘Rotary Glass Plates’ requires the viewer to spin the apparatus to create the optical illusion of concentric circles. ‘The Large Glass’, which depicts the erotic and humourous encounter between the bride and nine bachelors, uses chance procedures, custom rules of physics, plotted perspectives and laborious craftsmanship. This led to a new kind of interaction between artwork and viewer which makes each viewer’s experience of the artwork a unique one. Today, these kind of artworks are called ‘mobiles’.