The Uses of Art in Public Space: 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

The Uses of Art in Public Space

1st Edition

Edited by Julia Lossau, Quentin Stevens


210 pages

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This book links two fields of interest which are too seldom considered together: the production and critique of art in public space and social behaviour in the public realm. Whilst most writing about public art has focused on the aesthetic, cultural and political intentions and processes that shape its production, this edited collection examines a variety of public artworks from the perspective of their actual everyday use. Contributors are interested in the rich diversity of peoples’ engagements with public artworks across various spatial and temporal scales, encounters which do not limit themselves to the representational aspects of the art, and which are not necessarily as the artist, curator or sponsor intended. Case studies consider a broad range of public art, including commissioned and unofficial artworks, memorials, street art, street furniture, performance art, sound art and media installations.

Table of Contents

1. Framing Art and its Uses in Public Space Julia Lossau and Quentin Stevens Part I: Perception 2. The Ergonomics of Public Art Quentin Stevens 3. Graffiti, Street Art and Theories of Stigmergy Lachlan MacDowall Part II: Interaction 4. Media Architecture: Engaging Urban Experiences in Public Space Martin Brynskov, Peter Dalsgaard and Kim Halskov 5. Trafalgar Square: of Play, Plinths, Publics, Pigeons and Participation Nicolas Whybrow Part III: Participation 6. Tree Planting: The Use of Public Art as a Social Practice Julia Lossau 7. Sound Response: The Public Reception of Audio Walks Angharad Saunders and Kate Moles Part IV: Appropriation 8. The Non-use, Re-use, Mis-use and Counter-use of Public Art in the Vilakazi Street Precinct, Soweto, South Africa Pauline Guinard 9. ‘You aren’t an Aussie if you don’t come’: National Identity and Visitors’ Practices at the Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux Shanti Sumartojo Part V: Reception 10. The Social Life of Artworks in Public Spaces: A Study of the Publics in the Quartier International de Montréal Laurent Vernet 11. Art Engagers: What Does Public Art Do to Its Publics? The Case of the ‘Butt Plug Gnome’ Martin Zebracki 12. As Prop and Symbol: Engaging with Works of Art in Public Space Karen A. Franck

About the Editors

Julia Lossau is Professor of Urban Geography at the University of Bremen, Germany

Quentin Stevens is Associate Professor of Urban Design and Director of the Centre for Design and Society at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Art and Visual Studies

This series is our home for innovative research in the fields of art and visual studies. It includes monographs and targeted edited collections that provide new insights into visual culture and art practice, theory, and research.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / Urban & Land Use Planning
ART / Criticism & Theory
ART / History / Contemporary (1945-)
ART / Performance
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies