An installation can be described as a space-engaging, three-dimensional work of art that typically arises in relation to a specific location or situation. While sculptures can generally be reduced to an autonomous volume, installations are comprised of multiple components and may link various media and art forms. Installations usually involve an arrangement of multiple elements, including sculptures, structures and other objects, in a room or architectonic situation for reception as unified works. Time, light and the movement of the beholders may also be an integral part of an installation. The combination of the individual elements typically takes place on the basis of a conceptual approach.
The term installation was first used in the 1970s by Dan Flavin who was attempting to capture a broader spatial experience for his serially arranged fluorescent lights and their colorful luminosity. In using the term, Flavin emphasized the significance of the recipient who would be required to engage installations differently than other traditional forms of art. The work of art that is oriented towards its exhibition space or broader context also functions as a form of criticism directed against conventional exhibition practices and the museum as an institution.