Systems art shares it roots with 'post-structuralism'; the critical discourse from the arts that can account for both 'open' system of structural relations and 'death of the author'; where the 'reader' is credited with an active part in emergent, multiple and evolving interpretations of a cultural artefact.
Katerina Alexiou, Jeffrey Johnson, Theodore Zamenopoulos (2009). Embracing Complexity in Design, p. 135
Systems Art is systems thinking in art practices – an explicated dialogic approach to cultural systems that engages with the forms of popular culture.
Katerina Alexiou, Jeffrey Johnson, Theodore Zamenopoulos (2009). Embracing Complexity in Design, p. 140
The neoconceptual formalism which, by way of systems art, has become the norm of data visualization as cultural practice is indicative of another condition specific to data visualization, which is that the proximity of the work to its critics has become unbridgeable, just as their distance was unbridgeable in modernism, even for artist-critics like Pound and Olson faced with the pag between poetry and criticism.
David M. Berry, Michael Dieter (2015). Postdigital Aesthetics: Art, Computation And Design. p. 236
A Systems Esthetic will become the dominant approach to a maze of socio-technical conditions rooted only in the present.
Jack Burnham (1968), cited in: Francis Halsall. "Systems Aesthetics and the System as Medium," in: Francis Halsall, Systems of Art, Peter Lang, 2008
At a gut level Haacke is asking this question: is there really any difference between the power of money to control the direction of art and the power of money to keep rotten slums in existence?
Haacke, being an artist, has not consciously set out to organize the relationships I have indicated. But it is obvious that his "Systems Art" has entered a new phase. In its semiotic structure it draws closer to the ritual drama (where the artist's premises are recapitulated in everyday life) and away from the plastic arts...
Amy Baker Sandback (1984). Looking Critically: 21 Years of Artforum Magazine, p. 109
Hans Haacke's "Visitor's Profile" encouraged visitors to interact with a computer by inputting personal information, which was then tabulated to output statistical data on the exhibition's audience. Such demographic research - as art - opened up a critical discourse, following Foucault and others, on the exclusivity of cultural institutions and their patrons, revealing the myth of public service as a thin veneer justifying the hierarchical values that reify extant social relations. Similarly, "Interactive Paper Systems" by Sonia Sheridan, engaged museum-goers in a creative exchange with the artist and 3M's first commercially available color photocopying machine, dissolving conventional artist-viewer-object relations. In "The Seventh Investigation (Art as Idea as Idea)" Joseph Kosuth utilized multiple forms of mass media and distribution (a billboard, an newspaper advertisement, a banner, and a museum installation) to question the conceptual and contextual boundaries between art, philosophy, commerce, pictures, and texts.
Systems art : Loosely describes a group of radical artists working in the late 1960s early 1970s who reacted against art’s traditional focus on the object with the aim of making their art more responsive to the world around them.
Tom Phillips, a creature of habit working naturally within systems art, has used routine — the walk to his studio, for instance - to investigate the invisible 'usual', while also, in the wondrous Twenty Sites, n Years, an artwork consisting of an annual return to and photographing of sites marked on a circle centred on his studio, establishing a routine that will survive him.
Alan Woods, Ralph Rumney (2000), The Map is Not the Territory. p. 88