Theories,Practices and Protocols of working in the Public Realm with Rachel Fermi.

Research of Artists involved in  this subject:

The following shows how art has become very public indeed. The following information was found on google search/images.

Some of the pieces that have been created are amazing and worth a look.

Enjoy the read and looking at the pictures also.


Beverly Naidus: Eden Reframed

Beverly Naidus (born 1953) is an American artist, author and current faculty member of University of Washington Tacoma. She is the author of several artist books including One Size Does Not Fit All (1993) and What Kinda Name is That? (1996) which has been discussed by academics in the field including Paul Von Blum, Lucy R. Lippard and reviewed by contemporary journals. She has received multiple grants including the Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist’s Grant in Photography (2001) to fund her art creations and teaching. She was also a finalist in the Andy Warhol Foundation and Creative Capital’s Art Writers Grant Program (2007). Her most recent book Arts for Change: Teaching Outside the Frame (2009)[1] is her personal pedagogy on teaching and creating socially engaged art.[2] She also provides suggestions on engaging students in what is most important to them.[3][4] 

demonstration of soil remediation via plants and mushrooms. In the center of the garden is a story hive that houses the stories of farmers and gardeners on the island who responded to the question: why do you plant seeds in a time of ecological crisis?


Eden Reframed gets a HUGE BOOST via the newly formed Eden Society

So it’s clear from my lack of posting on this blog, that I have not had much time and energy for this project. While I HAVE been hosting events for the solstices and equinoxes at Eden Reframed consistently since September 2011, these past two years have been full-tilt demanding in other areas of my life and practice. So for that reason alone, I am enormously grateful that the folks on Vashon have formed the Eden Society to maintain and nourish this eco-art project. Given that it is the first and only food forest on Vashon, and perhaps one of the first in the Puget Sound, it is really important that this project doesn’t sink into disrepair or get choked by invasive weeds. If you have an interest in joining the Eden Society, please contact Margot Boyer – the next meeting is at Eden Reframed on August 14th at 4 pm. Here’s some photos of the amazing folks of Eden Society who came out on July 10th, 2014 to remove weeds and return the project to its best self. Kudos to Margot Boyer, Nan Wilson, Swaneagle Harjian, Phillip Devanter, Charlie and Elizabeth. 

i love the above introducing an eco-garden is an amazing thing to do, and i would love to do this in the future to encourage my local community to get together to create something worth while. It  give a sense of well being and encourages people to take care of the planet we live on. It educates and constantly gives a reminder of how simple it is to play a part in the protection of the planet.

Joseph Beuys :7000 Oaks

With the help of volunteers, Beuys planted 7,000 oak trees over several years in KasselGermany, each with an accompanying basalt stone. In regard to the extensive urbanization of the setting the work was an extensive artistic and ecological intervention with the goal of enduringly altering the living space of the city. The project, though at first controversial, has become an important part of Kassel’s cityscape.

The artwork, circa 2008.

The project was of enormous scope, and met with some controversy. While the biggest difficulty of the project was raising the money, the project had its share of opponents. Much of it was political, from the conservative state government dominated by the Christian Democrats. (The mayor of Kassel was a social democrat who stood by Beuys). Some people thought the black stone markers were ugly, even piling pink stones on the sites in 1982 as a prank. Also, a motorcyclist had died as a result of one of the stone markers. However, as more trees were planted people’s perception of the project as a parking lot destroyer had met with increasing tolerance.[1]

“I think the tree is an element of regeneration which in itself is a concept of time. The oak is especially so because it is a slowly growing tree with a kind of really solid heart wood. It has always been a form of sculpture, a symbol for this planet ever since the Druids, who are called after the oak. Druid means oak. They used their oaks to define their holy places. I can see such a use for the future…. The tree planting enterprise provides a very simple but radical possibility for this when we start with the seven thousand oaks.” (Joseph Beuys in conversation with Richard Demarco, 1982 )

“The planting of seven thousand oak trees is only a symbolic beginning. Contrary to its initiative, progressive features such a symbolic beginning requires a marker, in this instance a basalt column. Future goals for the project included: a) an ongoing scheme of tree planting to be extended throughout the world as part of a global mission to effect environmental & social change “the purpose of educational activities”; b) a growth of awareness within the urban environment of the human dependence on the larger ecosystem educational outreach ; and c) an ongoing process whereby the society would be activated by means of human creative will social sculpture.”

Beuys’ art works and performances are not about entertaining and amusing the audience. It is an awakening message from the tradition, a recognition of the whole based upon a new concept of beauty that extends beyond the instant gratification.

“I not only want to stimulate people, I want to provoke them.” (Bastian, Heines and Jeannot Simmen, “Interview with Joseph Beuys,” in the catalog exhibition, Joseph Beuys, Drawings, Victoria and Albert Museum, Westerham Press, 1983, no folio)

The above i think was totally inspiring as not only does it bring the community together but it also give back to the planet. No matter how mundane you think the tree is, in actual fact it is a very important part of our eco-system. The tree’s are the lungs of the earth and produce oxygen which we as a species need to survive. Giving back in this way is an amazing thing to do and should be done all over the planet.



Relational Aesthetics: The Art of Sociability | New Britain Museum …

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Relational Aesthetics: The Art of Sociability


Relational Aesthetics is the New Black: DIY Art School | ART21 …

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Relational Aesthetics is the New Black: DIY Art School


Ben Lewis TV » Relational Art

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relational_GonzalezTorres …


Towards a critical relational art (illustrated talk) | D Rosier

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I want to take you on a brief critical journey of relational art by looking at 3 works.



Hungry Hyaena: Her Colorful Obliteration

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Yayoi Kusama “Obliteration Room” 2011-12



Relational Painting aka Black is Beautiful… | William Pope… | Flickr × 294Search by image

Relational Painting aka Black is Beautiful… | by Art or Idiocy?



What is Participatory and Relational Art?


This introductory text provides a brief overview of Participatory and Relational Art. Terms associated with Participatory and Relational Art are indicated in CAPITALS and are elaborated on in the glossary or by hovering the cursor over the term.


PARTICIPATORY ARTS refers to a range of arts practice, including RELATIONAL AESTHETICS, where emphasis is placed on the role of the viewer or spectator in the physical or conceptual realisation and reception of the artwork. The central component of Participatory Arts is the active participation of the viewer or spectator. Many forms of Participatory Arts practice foreground the role of collaboration in the realisation of an artwork, deemphasising the role of the professional artist as sole creator or author of the artwork, while building social bonds through communal meaning and activity. The term Participatory Arts encompasses a range of arts practices informed by social, political, geographic, economic and cultural imperatives, such as COMMUNITY ARTS, ACTIVIST ART, NEW GENRE PUBLIC ART, SOCIALLY-ENGAGED ART and DIALOGICAL ART.


Participatory Arts can be artform specific, such as visual arts, music or drama, or they can be INTERDISCIPLINARY involving COLLABORATION across a range of artforms. They can also involve collaboration with non-art agencies, such as social inclusion organisations, local authorities and community development groups. The artwork produced can take many forms and, due to the collaborative nature of Participatory Arts, this may comprise an event, a SITUATION or a PERFORMANCE, rather than the production of an object. The interactions that emerge from these encounters are often translated into DOCUMENTARY mediums, such as PHOTOGRAPHY, VIDEO or TEXT.


The emergence of Participatory Arts is informed by earlier AVANT-GARDE movements such as DADA, CONSTRUCTIVISM and SURREALISM, which raised questions with regard to notions of originality and authorship and challenged conventional assumptions about the passive role of the viewer or spectator. In doing so they adopted an anti-bourgeois position on the role and function of art.


The social, political and cultural upheavals of the 1960s and the perceived elitism, social disengagement and COMMODIFICATION of art associated with MODERNISM contributed to new forms of politicised, reactionary and socially engaged practice, such as CONCEPTUAL ART, FLUXUS and SITUATIONISM. The development of new technologies and improved mechanisms of communication and distribution, combined with the break down of medium-specific artforms, provided greater possibilities for artists to physically interact with the viewer. New forms of practice were developed by artists, who proactively sought out new artistic mediums to shape mutual exchange through open and inclusive practices. These new forms of practice appropriated non-hierarchical social forms and were informed by a range of theoretical and practical disciplines, such as FEMINISM, POSTCOLONIAL THEORY, PSYCHOANALYSIS, CRITICAL THEORY and LITERARY THEORY. While questions of authorship raised concerns about who participates in the definition and production of art, the relationship of the artwork to its audience became a central axis for these emerging forms of arts practice.


The presumed authorial control of the artist was challenged in particular by Conceptual artists who placed an emphasis on the idea or concept rather than a tangible art object. They created artworks which could be realised by others without the direct intervention of the artist. Artworks could take the form of a set of instructions, where participants were directly involved in the co-creation of the artwork. Instructions were communicated through a variety of media, such as photography, video, drawing, text, performance, SOUND, SCULPTURE and INSTALLATION.


Similarly, Fluxus artists rejected traditional principles of craftsmanship, permanency of the art object and the notion of the artist as specialist. Fluxus artists viewed art not as a finite object but as a time-based experience, employing performance and theatrical experiments. Fluxus artists were interested in the transformative potential of art through collaboration. Spectators were encouraged to interact with the performer, while plotless staged events left artworks open to artistic chance and interpretation. Artworks were realised in a range of media, including musical scores, performances, events, publications, MULTIPLES and assembled environments constructed to envelop the observer. These initiatives were often conceived with workshop characteristics, whereby the artist operated as facilitator, engaging the audience in philosophical discussions about the meaning of art. Artworks often took the form of meetings and public demonstrations, HAPPENINGS or SOCIAL SCULPTURE, whereby the meaning of the work was derived from the collective engagement of the participants. A common goal of Fluxus, Happenings and Situationist events was to develop a new synthesis between politics and art, where political activism was mirrored in streetbased arts practice as a radical means to eliminate distinctions between art and life.


The development of Participatory Arts practice has also been informed and shaped by the development of PUBLIC ART programmes, many of which evolved in the context of large-scale urban renewal and regeneration initiatives. Participatory Arts programmes with their emphasis on public engagement and participation can be an important element in both the consensus-building process and critique of such regeneration initiatives. The economic downturn and social political turmoil of the 1980s combined with the alienating effects of capitalism and its impact on community structures, resulted in an increasing awareness of the potential of the arts as a vehicle to address social issues, in particular issues of social inclusion. Influenced by earlier forms of socially-engaged and activist art, many Community Arts organisations and initiatives emerged during this period. Community Arts emphasised the role of art in bringing about social aspects of the art initiative were imperative. Dialogical Aesthetics is a term used to describe the active role of dialogue in such socially-engaged art. During this period, state bodies funding the arts began to impose contingencies on their client organisations, such as MUSEUMS, GALLERIES, theatres and arts organisations, with regard to encouraging public participation in the arts, especially on the part of marginalised or socially excluded constituencies. The utilisation of the arts to address non-arts agendas contributed to an ongoing debate about the role of art and its relationship to its audience, which continues to inform consideration of Participatory Arts today.


In the late 1990s participatory concepts have been expanded upon by a new generation of artists identified under the heading of RELATIONAL ART or Relational Aesthetics. This is a term coined by the French curator Nicolas Bourriaud to describe a range of open-ended art practices, concerned with the network of human relations and the social context in which such relations arise. Relational Art also stresses the notion of artworks as gifts, taking multiple forms, such as meals, meetings, parties, posters, casting sessions, games, discussion platforms and other types of social events and cooperations. In this context, emphasis is placed on the use of the artwork. Art is regarded as information exchanged between the artist and the viewer which relies on the responses of others to make it relational.


In response to the rapid acceleration of real time communications in the twenty first century a new term, ALTERMODERN, also devised by Bourriaud, proposes an alternative to the conceptual lineage of POSTMODERNISM. According to Bourriaud, the opening of new market economies and the mobility of artist and audience has stimulated new models for political and cultural exchange and participation. Through global distribution systems, artists can cut across geographic and political boundaries. A new cultural framework consisting of diaspora, migration and exodus offers alternative modes of interpretation and understanding of the artwork. The decentralisation of global culture presents new formats for exchange between artist and audience, which are continually susceptible and adaptable to readily-available technologies. DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY and the INTERNET’S global social networks can promote a sense of participation without the physical gathering of people in any one location. This represents a fundamental shift in traditional notions of community and our experience of artworks.


Participatory and Relational Art raise important questions about the meaning and purpose of art in society, about the role of the artist and the experience of the audience as participant. Many arts organisations and museums and galleries, such as the Irish Museum of Modern Art, integrate the inclusive principles of Participatory Arts in their policy and practice, informing strategies for programming and audience development to provide opportunities for meaningful engagement with Contemporary Art.


Irish Museum of Modern Art, Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, Ireland


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Relational art or relational aesthetics is a mode or tendency in fine art practice originally observed and highlighted by French art critic Nicolas Bourriaud. Bourriaud defined the approach as “a set of artistic practices which take as their theoretical and practical point of departure the whole of human relations and their social context, rather than an independent and private space.”[1] The artist can be more accurately viewed as the “catalyst” in relational art, rather than being at the centre.[2]




Main article: Traffic (art exhibition)

One of the first attempts to analyze and categorize art from the 1990s,[3] the idea of Relational Art[4] was developed by Nicolas Bourriaud in 1998 in his book Esthétique relationnelle (Relational Aesthetics).[5] The term was first used in 1996, in the catalogue for the exhibition Traffic curated by Bourriaud at CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux.[6] Traffic included the artists that Bourriaud would continue to refer to throughout the 1990s, such as Henry Bond, Vanessa Beecroft, Maurizio Cattelan, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Liam Gillick, Christine Hill, Carsten Höller, Pierre Huyghe, Miltos Manetas, Jorge Pardo, Philippe Parreno, and Rirkrit Tiravanija.[7][7][8][9]


Relational aesthetics

Bourriaud wishes to approach art in a way that ceases “to take shelter behind Sixties art history”,[10] and instead seeks to offer different criteria by which to analyse the often opaque and open-ended works of art of the 1990s. To achieve this, Bourriaud imports the language of the 1990s internet boom, using terminology such as user-friendliness, interactivity and DIY (do-it-yourself).[11] In his 2002 book Postproduction: Culture as Screenplay: How Art Reprograms the World, Bourriaud describes Relational Aesthetics as a book addressing works that take as their point of departure the changing mental space opened by the internet.[12]


Relational art

Artists included by Bourriaud under the rubric of Relational Aesthetics include Rirkrit Tiravanija, Philippe Parreno, Carsten Höller, Henry Bond, Douglas Gordon and Pierre Huyghe.


Bourriaud explores this notion of relational aesthetics through examples of what he calls relational art. According to Bourriaud, relational art encompasses “a set of artistic practices which take as their theoretical and practical point of departure the whole of human relations and their social context, rather than an independent and private space.”[13]


The artwork creates a social environment in which people come together to participate in a shared activity. Bourriaud claims “the role of artworks is no longer to form imaginary and utopian realities, but to actually be ways of living and models of action within the existing real, whatever scale chosen by the artist.”[14]


Robert Stam, the head of new media and film studies at New York University, coined a term for the shared activity group: witnessing publics. Witnessing publics are “that loose collection of individuals, constituted by and through the media, acting as observers of injustices that might otherwise go unreported or unanswered.” The meaning of relational art is created when arts perception is altered while leaving the original artifact intact.[15]


An example of this is “Frenchising the Mona Lisa”, where artist Amir Baradaran invited patrons of the Louvre Museum in Paris to experience the Mona Lisa draped in a French flag in the style of a hijab. Baradaran used augmented reality to call upon paradoxes. Augmented reality layers virtual content upon real places or things experienced in direct time and place with the use of a mobile- format AR application.[16]


The paradoxes called upon are that Mona Lisa also wears a veil, but one that is socially approved. This refers to the law enacted in France that made it illegal for women to wear headgear, such as a niqāb, that covers their face in public.


In Relational art, the audience is envisaged as a community. Rather than the artwork being an encounter between a viewer and an object, relational art produces intersubjective encounters. Through these encounters, meaning is elaborated collectively, rather than in the space of individual consumption.[17]


In “Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics”, published in 2004 in October, Claire Bishop describes the aesthetic of Palais de Tokyo as a “laboratory”, the “curatorial modus operandi” of art produced in the 1990s.[19] Bishop writes, “An effect of this insistent promotion of these ideas as artists-as-designer, function over contemplation, and open-endedness over aesthetic resolution is often ultimately to enhance the status of the curator, who gains credit for stage-managing the overall laboratory experience. As Hal Foster warned in the mid-1990s, ‘the institution may overshadow the work that it otherwise highlights: it becomes the spectacle, it collects the cultural capital, and the director-curator becomes the star.'”[20] Bishop identifies Bourriaud’s book as an important first step in identifying tendencies in the art of the 1990s.[21] However, Bishop also asks, “if relational art produces human relations, then the next logical question to ask is what types of relations are being produced, for whom, and why?”[22] She continues that “the relations set up by relational aesthetics are not intrinsically democratic, as Bourriaud suggests, since they rest too comfortably within an ideal of subjectivity as whole and of community as immanent togetherness.”[23]


Nanas by Niki de Saint Phalle in HanoverGermany

Cher Krause Knight states, “art’s publicness rests in the quality and impact of its exchange with audiences … at its most public, art extends opportunities for community engagement but cannot demand particular conclusion”, it introduces social ideas but leaves room for the public to come to their own conclusions.[1] In recent years, public art has increasingly begun to expand in scope and application — both into other wider and challenging areas of artform, and also across a much broader range of what might be called our ‘public realm’. Such cultural interventions have often been realised in response to creatively engaging a community’s sense of ‘place’ or ‘well-being’ in society.

Such commissions can still result in physical, permanent artworks and sculptures. These also often involve increasingly integrated and applied arts type applications. However, they are also beginning to include other, much more process-driven and action-research based artistic practices as well. As such, these do not always rely on the production of a physical or permanent artwork at all (though they still often do of course). This expanded scope of public art can embrace many diverse practices and artforms. These might be implemented as stand-alone, or as collaborative hybrids involving a multi-disciplinary approach. The range of its potential is of course endless, ever-changing, and subject to continual debate and differences of opinion among artists, funders, curators, and commissioning clients.

Monuments, memorials and civic statuary are perhaps the oldest and most obvious form of officially sanctioned public art, although it could be said that architectural sculpture and even architecture itself is more widespread and fulfills the definition of public art. Increasingly most aspects of the built environment are seen as legitimate candidates for consideration as, or location for, public art, including, street furniturestreet lightingLock On sculptures and graffiti. Public art is not confined to physical objects; danceprocessionstreet theatre and even poetry have proponents that specialize in public art.

Sculpture intended as public art is often constructed of durable, easily cared-for material, to avoid the worst effects of the elements and vandalism; however, many works are intended to have only a temporary existence and are made of more ephemeral materials. Permanent works are sometimes integrated with architecture and landscaping in the creation or renovation of buildings and sites,an especially important example being the programme developed in the new city of Milton Keynes, England.

Some artists working in this discipline use the freedom afforded by an outdoor site to create very large works that would be unfeasible in a gallery, for instance Richard Long’s three-week walk, entitled “The Path is the Place in the Line”. In a similar example, sculptor Gar Waterman created a giant arch measuring 35x37x3 feet which straddled a city street in New Haven, Connecticut.[2] Amongst the works of the last thirty years that have met greatest critical and popular acclaim are pieces by ChristoRobert SmithsonAndy GoldsworthyJames Turrell and Antony Gormley, whose artwork reacts to or incorporates its environment.

Artists making public art range from the greatest masters such as MichelangeloPablo Picasso, and Joan Miró, to those who specialize in public art such as Claes Oldenburg and Pierre Granche, to anonymous artists who make surreptitious interventions.

In Cape Town, South Africa, Africa Centre presents the Infecting the City Public Art Festival. Its curatorial mandate is to create a week-long platform for public art – whether it be visual or performative artworks, or artistic interventions – that shake up the city spaces and allows the city’s users to view the cityscapes in new and memorable ways. The Infecting the City Festival believes that public art should to be freely accessible to everybody in a public space[3]


History of public art

In the 1930s, the production of national symbolism implied by 19th century monuments starts being regulated by long-term national programs with propaganda goals (Federal Art Project, United States; Cultural Office, Soviet Union). Programs like President Roosevelt’s New Deal facilitated the development of public art during the Great Depression but was wrought with propaganda goals. New Deal art support programs intended to develop national pride in American culture while avoiding addressing the faltering economy that said culture was built upon.[1] Although problematic, New Deal programs such as FAP altered the relationship between the artist and society by making art accessible to all people.[1] The New Deal program Art-in-Architecture (A-i-A) developed percent for art programs, a structure for funding public art still utilized today. This program gave one half of one percent of total construction costs of all government buildings to purchase contemporary American art for that structure.[1] A-i-A helped solidify the principle that public art in the US should be truly owned by the public. They also established the legitimacy of the desire for site-specific public art.[1] While problematic at times, early public art programs set the foundation for current public art development.Wolf Vostell Ruhender Verkehr / Stationary traffic, Cologne, 1969

This notion of public art radically changes during the 1970s, following up to the civil rights movement’ claims on the public space, the alliance between urban regeneration programs and artistic interventions at the end of the 1960s and the revision of the notion of sculpture.[4] In this context, public art acquires a status which goes beyond mere decoration and visualization of official national histories in public space, therefore gaining autonomy as a form of site construction and intervention in the realm of public interests. Public art became much more about the public.[1] This change of perspective is also present by the reinforcement of urban cultural policies in these same years, for example the New York-based Public Art Fund (1977) and several urban or regional Percent for Art programs in the United States and Europe. Moreover, the re-centring of public art discourse from a national to a local level is consistent with the site-specific turn and the critical positions against institutional exhibition spaces emerging in contemporary art practices since the 1960s. The will to create a deepest and more pertinent connection between the production of the artwork and the site where it is made visible prompts different orientations. In 1969 Wolf Vostells Stationary traffic was made in Cologne.

Land artists choose to situate large-scale, process-oriented interventions in remote landscape situations; the Spoleto Festival (1962) creates an open-air museum of sculptures in the medieval city of Spoleto, and the German city of Münster starts, in 1977, a curated event bringing art in public urban places every 10 years (Skulptur Projekte Münster). In the group show When Attitudes Become Form,[5] the exhibition situation is expanded in the public space by Michael Heizer and Daniel Buren’s interventions; architectural scale emerges in the work of artists such as Donald Judd as well as in Gordon Matta-Clark’s temporary interventions in dismissed urban buildings.


Environmental public art

La Joute by Jean-Paul Riopelle, an outdoor kineticsculpture installation with fire jets, fog machines, and a fountain in Montreal.

Between the 1970s and the 1980s, gentrification and ecological issues surface in public art practices both as a commission motive and as a critical focus brought in by artists. The individual, Romantic retreat element implied in the conceptual structure of Land art and its will to reconnect the urban environment with nature, is turned into a political claim in projects such as Wheatfield – A Confrontation (1982), by American artist Agnes Denes, as well as in Joseph Beuys’ 7000 Oaks (1982). Both projects focus on the raise of ecological awareness through a green urban design process, bringing Denes to plant a two-acre field of wheat in downtown Manhattan and Beuys to plant 7000 oaks coupled with basalt blocks in Kassel, Germany in a guerrilla or community garden fashion. In recent years, programs of green urban regeneration aiming at converting abandoned lots into green areas regularly include public art programs. This is the case of High Line Art, 2009, a commission program for the High Line Park, derived from the conversion of a portion of railroad in New York City; and of Gleisdreieck, 2012, an urban park derived from the partial reconversion of a railway station in Berlin which hosts, since 2012, an open-air contemporary art exhibition.

The 1980s also witness the institutionalisation of sculpture parks as curated programs. While the first public and private open-air sculpture exhibitions and collections dating back to the 1930s[6] aim at creating an appropriate setting for large-scale sculptural forms difficult to show in museum galleries, experiences such as Noguchi’s garden in Queens, New York (1985) state the necessity of a permanent relationship between the artwork and its site.

This line also develops in Donald Judd’s project for the Chinati Foundation (1986) in Texas, advocating for the permanent nature of large-scale installations, which fragility may be destroyed when re-locating the work. The trial instructed by judge Edward D. Re in 1985 to re-locate American artist Richard Serra’s Tilted Arc, a monumental intervention commissioned for Manhattan‘s Federal Plaza by the “Art-in-Architecture” Program, also contributes to the debate about public art site-specificity. In his line of defence for the trial, Richard Serra claims: “Tilted Arc was commissioned and designed for one particular site: Federal Plaza. It is a site-specific work and as such not to be relocated. To remove the work is to destroy the work”. The trial around Tilted Arc shows the essential role played by site-specificity in public art. Moreover, one of the arguments brought into the trial by judge Edward D. Re is the intolerance of the community of users of the Federal Plaza towards Serra’s intervention and the support of the art community, represented by art critic Douglas Crimp’s testimony. In both cases, the audience positions itself as a major factor of the artistic intervention in public space. Within this context, the definition of public art comes to include artistic projects focusing on public issues (democracy, citizenship, integration); participative artistic actions involving the community; artistic projects commissioned and/or funded by a public body, within the Percent for Art schemes, or by a community.


New genre public art in the 1990s: anti-monuments and memorial practices

In the 1990s, the clear differentiation of these new practices from previous forms of artistic presence in the public space calls for alternative definitions, some of them more specific (contextual artrelational artparticipatory artdialogic artcommunity-based artactivist art), other more comprehensive, such as “new genre public art”.

In this way, public art functions as a social intervention. Artists became fully engaged in civic activism by the 1970s and many adopted a pluralist approach to public art.[1] This approach eventually developed into the “new genre public art”, which is defined by Suzanne Lacyas “socially engaged, interactive art for diverse audiences with connections to identity politics and social activism”.[1] Rather than metaphorically discussing social issues, as did previous public art, practitioners of the “new genre” wanted to explicitly empower marginalized groups, all while maintaining aesthetic appeal.[1] Curator Mary Jane Jacob of “Sculpture Chicago” developed a show, ‘’Culture in Action’’, in summer 1993 that followed principles of new genre public art. The show intended to investigate social systems though audience participatory art, engaging especially with audiences that typically did not participate in traditional art museums.[1] While controversial, Culture in Action introduced new models for community participation and interventionist public art that reaching beyond the “new genre”.

Earlier groups also used public art as an avenue for social intervention. In the 1960s and 70s, the artist collective Situationist International created work that “challenged the assumptions of everyday life and its institutions” through physical intervention.[1] Another artists collective interested in social intervention, Guerrilla Girls, started in the 1980s and persists today. Their public art exposes latent sexism and works to deconstruct male power structures in the art world. Currently, they also address racism in the art world, homelessness, AIDS, and rape culture, all socio-cultural issues the greater world experiences.[1]

In artist Suzanne Lacy’s words, “new genre public art” is “visual art that uses both traditional and non traditional media to communicate and interact within a broad and diversified audience about issues directly relevant to their life”.[7] Her position implies pondering over the conditions of commissioning public art, the relation to its users and, to a larger extent, a divergent interpretation of the role of the audience. In the Institutional critique practice of artists such as Hans Haacke (since the 1970s) and Fred Wilson (since the 1980s), the work’s publicness corresponds to making visible for the public opinion and in the public sphere controversial public issues such as discriminatory museum policies or illegal corporation acts.

Making visible issues of public concern in the public sphere is also at the basis of the anti-monument philosophy, whose target is mining the ideology of official history. On the one hand, introducing intimate elements in public spaces normally devoted to institutional narratives, such as in the work of Jenny Holzer,[8] Alfredo Jaar’s project Es usted feliz? / Are you happy?[9] and Felix Gonzales-Torres’ billboard images.[10] On the other, through pointing at the incongruities of existing public sculptures and memorials, such as in Krzysztof Wodiczko’s video projections onto urban monuments, or in the building of counter-monuments (1980s) and Claes Oldenburg’s Lipstick (Ascending) on Caterpillar Tracks (1969-1974), a giant hybrid pop object – a lipstick – which base is a caterpillar track. Commissioned by the association of architecture students of the Yale University, the latter is a large-scale sculpture situated in the campus in front of the memorial to World War I. In 1982, Maya Lin, at the time a senior student in Architecture at Yale, completed the construction of Vietnam Veterans Memorial, listing 59’000 names of American citizens who died in the Vietnam war. Lin chooses for this work to list the names of the dead without producing any images to illustrate the loss, if not by the presence of a cut – like an injury – in the installation site floor. The cut and the site / non-site logics will stay as a recurrent image in contemporary memorials since the 1990s.[11]

Another memorial strategy is to focus on the origin of the conflict responsible for the casualties: in this line, Robert Filliou proposes, in his Commemor (1970), to have European countries exchange their memorials; Esther Shalev-Gerz and Jochem Gertz built a Memorial against Fascism (1983) in the German city of Hamburg. Others, such as Thomas Hirschhorn, build, in collaboration with local communities, precarious anti-monuments devoted to thinkers such as Spinoza (1999), Gilles Deleuze (2000) and Georges Bataille(2002).


On the occasion of the 13th Istanbul Biennial and following the protests in Turkey 2013 the Istanbul-based platform InEnArt launched an online research about Public Space as a Political Forum, opening under the title Urban Voices a critical view on cultural practices and phenomena that expresses the ethos, aspirations, and dreams of a specific population during a well-defined era and that triggered dramatic cultural changes. Urban Voices focuses on phenomena that are leaving a lasting impact on mainstream cultural values as the Situationist International did with the practices of drifting and détournement. The protest culture in Turkey as described with the neologism Çapuling became as well a focus point of Urban Voices.[26]

In December 2013, the Bristol, UK based organisation Situations published The New Rules of Public Art. Situations reimagines what public art can be and where and when it can take place. They like to think and reflect on what happens when the spark of an idea is lit. These rules open up the potential for artists to make extraordinary ideas happen in unusual and surprising places, through which audiences and participants are inspired to explore new horizons.[27]

Interactive public art[edit]

Public fountain sculpture that is also a musical instrument (hydraulophone), which any member of the public can play at any time of the day or night.

Daan Roosegaarde – Crystal exists out of hundreds of individual salt crystals that light up when you interact with them.

Some forms of public art are designed to encourage audience participation in a hands-on way. Examples include public art installed at hands-on science museums such as the main architectural centerpiece out in front of the Ontario Science Centre. This permanently installed artwork is a fountain that is also a musical instrument (hydraulophone) that members of the public can play at any time of the day or night. Members of the public interact with the work by blocking water jets to force water through various sound-producing mechanisms inside the sculpture.

Federation Bells in Birrarung MarrMelbourne is also public art which works as a musical instrument.

Rebecca Krinke’s “Map of Joy and Pain” and “What Needs to be Said” invite public participation. In “Maps” visitors paint places of pleasure and pain on a map of the Twin Cities in gold and blue; in “What Needs to be Said” they write words and put them on a wall. Krinke is present and observes the nature of the interaction.[28] Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde explores the nature of the public. His interactive artwork Crystal in Eindhoven can be shared or stolen. Crystal exists out of hundreds of individual salt crystals that light up when you interact with them [29]

An outdoor interactive installation by Maurizio Bolognini (Genoa, 2005), which everybody can modify by using a cell phone.

Public art on display at Clarence DockLeedsUK

From a broader framework of art and its relationship to film,[30] and the history of motion picture; additional types of ‘public art’ worth considering are media and film works in the digital art space.[31]According to Ginette Vincendeau and Susay Hayward, who argue in their book “French Film: Texts and Contexts”, taught in introduction to cinema at University of London and European Higher Education, film is indeed an art form, and goes on to argue that film is also high art.[32] Furthermore, the context of film and public spaces in the history of municipal areas and monuments may be traced back to the Father of film, Georges Méliès, as well as the Lumière brothers who invented the moving image, more commonly known as motion picture in 1896, an artistic movement that culminated in the commercialization of film industry showcased at Paris World Fair of 1900.[33] As we fast approach 2016, many years since the concepts of post-modernity, smart cities and technology were produced by advanced capitalist societies,[34] also strengthens the idea of public art, as any art form that is digital and can also be electronically transmitted and shared via the internet and other technologies under general framework of internet governance by multi-lateral agencies.[35]

Guardians of Time 2011 Manfred Kielnhofer Festival of Lights Berlin Brandenburger Tor


Digital public art

Digital public art combines public art and digital art.[36][37] Like traditional public artworks, digital public artworks differ from those found in galleries and museums in that they take place in public, and it has been claimed,[citation needed] adhere to the following categories: [38]

  1. In a place accessible or visible to the public: in public
  2. Concerned with or affecting the community or individuals: public interest
  3. Maintained for or used by the community or individuals: public place
  4. Paid for by the public: publicly funded

Whilst digital public artworks and traditional public artworks may make use of new technologies in their creation and display, what distinguishes digital public artworks are their technological ability to explicitly interact with audiences. Examples might include works which respond to presence – as can be seen in Rafael Lozano-Hemmer‘s work UnderScan (2005), which tended towards formal relations between audience and work [39] and online works, such as those enabled through social networks. An example of the latter might be YouTube’s Life in a Day project, which asked the public to submit video clips of their day, which were then edited into a film.

These public art methodologies differ from digital community art works, (which have also been termed Socially Engaged New Media Art (SENMA) [40]) in terms of how they establish relationships with audience, site and outcome. In community based digital artworks these issues evolve via a dialogical process rather than as an explicit course of action, working or set of relationships (for example among artwork, artist and audience).



Public art and politics

Public art has often been used for political ends. The most extreme and widely discussed manifestations of this remain the use of art as propaganda within totalitarian regimes coupled with simultaneous suppression of dissent. The approach to art seen in Joseph Stalin‘s Soviet Union and Mao Zedong‘s Cultural Revolution in China stand as representative.

Public art is also often used to refute those propagandistic desires of political regimes. Artists use culture jamming techniques, taking popular media and reinterpreting it with guerrilla-style adaptations, to comment of social and political issues relevant to the public.[1] Artists use culture jamming to facilitate social interactions around political concerns in hopes of changing the way people relate to the world by manipulating existing culture.[1] Adbusters magazine explores contemporary social and political issues through culture jamming by manipulating popular design campaigns.[45]

In more open societies artists often find public art useful in promoting their ideas or establishing a censorship-free means of contact with viewers. The art may be intentionally ephemeral, as in the case of temporary installations and performance pieces. Such art has a spontaneous quality. It is characteristically displayed in urban environments without the consent of authorities. In time, though, some art of this kind achieves official recognition. Examples include situations in which the line between graffiti and “guerilla” public art is blurred, such as the art of John Fekner placed on billboards, the early works of Keith Haring (executed without permission in advertising poster holders in the New York City Subway) and the current work of Banksy. The Northern Irish murals and those in Los Angeles were often responses to periods of conflict. The art provided an effective means of communication both within and beyond a distressed group within the larger society. In the long run, these works, along with many others, prove useful in establishing dialogue and helping to bridge the social rifts that fuel human conflict.


Public art faces a design challenge by its very nature: how best to activate the images in its surroundings. The concept of “sustainability” arises in response to the perceived environmental deficiencies of a city. Sustainable development, promoted by the United Nations since the 1980s, includes economical, social, and ecological aspects. A sustainable public art work would include plans for urban regeneration and disassembly. Sustainability has been widely adopted in many environmental planning and engineering projects. Sustainable art is a challenge to respond the needs of an opening space in public.



 Social practice (art)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Social practice is an art medium that focuses on social engagement, inviting collaboration with individuals, communities, and institutions in the creation of participatory art.[1] It is also referred to by a range of different names: public practice,[2] socially engaged art,[3]community art, new-genre public art,[4] participatory artinterventionist artcollaborative art,[5] relational art and dialogical aesthetics.[6]Social practice art came about in response to increasing pressure within art education to work collaboratively through social and participatory formats.[7]

Artists working in social practice co-create their work with a specific audience or propose critical interventions within existing social systems that inspire debate or catalyze social exchange.[8] Social practice artwork focuses on the interaction between the audience, social systems, and the artist through topics such as aestheticsethicscollaboration, persona, media strategies, and social activism.[9]The social interaction component inspires, drives, or, in some instances, completes the project.[10] Although projects may incorporate traditional studio media, they are realized in a variety of visual or social forms (depending on variable contexts and participant demographics) such as performancesocial activism, or mobilizing communities towards a common goal.[11]


Community arts

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Community arts, also sometimes known as “dialogical art”, “community-engaged” or “community-based art,” refers to artistic activity based in a community setting. Works from this genre can be of any media and is characterized by interaction or dialogue with the community. Often professional artists collaborate with people who may not otherwise normally actively engage in the arts. The term was defined in the late-1960s and spawned a movement which grew in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia. In Scandinavia, the term “community art” means more often contemporary art project.

Often community art is based in economically deprived areas, with a community-oriented, grassroots approach. Members of a local community will come together to express concerns or issues through an artistic process, sometimes this may involve professional artists or actors. These communal artistic processes act as a catalyst to trigger events or changes within a community or even at a national or international level.

In English-speaking countries, community art is often seen as the work of community arts centre. Visual arts (fine art, video, new media art), music, and theater are common mediums in community art centers. Many arts companies in the UK do some community-based work, which typically involves developing participation by non-professional members of local communities.


Participatory art

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Participatory art is an approach to making art in which the audience is engaged directly in the creative process, allowing them to become co-authors, editors, and observers of the work. Therefore,this type of art is incomplete without the viewers physical interaction. Its intent is to challenge the dominant form of making art in the West, in which a small class of professional artists make the art while the public takes on the role of passive observer or consumer, i.e., buying the work of the professionals in the marketplace. Commended works by advocates that popularized participatory art include Augusto Boal in his Theater of the oppressed, as well as Allan Kaprow in happenings.

One of the earliest usages of the term appears in photographer Richard Ross (photographer)’s review for the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art journal of the exhibition “Downtown Los Angeles Artists,” organized by the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum in 1980. Describing in situ works by Jon Peterson (artist), Maura Sheehan and Judy Simonian anonymously placed around Santa Barbara, Ross wrote, “These artists bear the responsibility to the community. Their art is participatory.”[1]

Artwork that is interactive and participatory may be referred to as “participatory art;” it may also be categorized under terms including relational art, social practice, community art, and new genre public art.

Folk and tribal art are also considered to be “participatory art” in that many or all of the members of the society participate in the making of art. As the ethnomusicologist Bruno Nettl wrote, the tribal group “has no specialization or professionalization; its division of labor depends almost exclusively on sex and occasionally on age, and only rarely are certain individuals proficient in any technique to a distinctive degree … the same songs are known by all the members of the group, and there is little specialization in composition, performance or instrument making.” [2]

In the Fall/Winter issue of Oregon Humanities magazine, writer Eric Gold describes “an artistic tradition called ‘social practice,’ which refers to works of art in which the artist, audience, and their interactions with one another are the medium. While a painter uses pigment and canvas, and a sculptor wood or metal, the social practice artist often creates a scenario in which the audience is invited to participate. Although the results may be documented with photography, video, or otherwise, the artwork is really the interactions that emerge from the audience’s engagement with the artist and the situation.”

Participatory or interactive art creates a dynamic collaboration between the artist, the audience and their environment. Participatory art is not just something that you stand still and quietly look at–it is something you participate in. You touch it, smell it, write on it, talk to it, dance with it, play with it, learn from it. You co-create it. One example of participatory or interactive art in the US is Figment

After-school and community-based arts programs are an incredible opportunity to truly educate students through the arts and provide them with experiences and opportunities they are not getting in the school environment.  Teaching in this environment goes beyond measuring outcomes solely on artistic progression and academic performance. The approach puts the focus on the whole child and how they connect with their peers, their community, and the outside world. Outcomes are often based on developing critical life skills, social/emotional development, civic engagement, social change and justice, and college and career readiness in the arts and creative industries, amongst other indicators. These efforts have been defined as Creative Youth Development (CYD).



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