Can a concert become a tool for criticism? What sorts of social relations would be practiced at such an event? What would an Open Form concert even look like?
While we take for granted the concert experience and the logic of its organization — both in spatial terms (the clear division between the stage and audience) and in the sensual sense (the silent and passive spectator listening to what the composer or performer has to offer), this doesn’t necessarily need to be the case. As Martin Tröndle explains, the particular concert format with which we are familiar today has certain specific functions and emerged as the hegemonic form at a particular point in history. It dates back to the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, when it began to supplant less formal musical experiences (e.g., a mobile artist performing for an audience gathered in a circle or freely conversing around a table). With the rise of the concert hall came the privileging of the figure of the individual spectator and increasingly limited opportunities for interaction among the audience. According to Tröndle, this concert format was intended to provide the upper classes with a purely aesthetic experience, or, in the words of Pierre Bourdieu, to satisfy their sense of distinction. In the neoliberal order, the stage/audience division and the atomization of the spectators also facilitated the growth of the music industry, which began to hold large-scale concerts at stadiums and other large venues, thus contributing to the performers’ celebrity status and treating the audience as little more than consumers.
More at: artmuseum.pl/en/doc/video-billy-bao-albo-koncert-formy-otwartej