The Journal of Public Space
EISSN : 2206-9658
Published by: City Space Architecture (10.32891)
Total articles ≅ 238
Latest articles in this journal
The Journal of Public Space, Volume 5, pp 313-322; https://doi.org/10.32891/jps.v5i4.1419
Text and textiles share etymological roots and also have cultural and historical similarities. Temporary Text(iles) is project led research which investigates the relationship between text and textiles in hopes of harnessing its communicative powers. Techniques such as subtraction cutting, embroidery and writing are utilised to produce textile installations that are both performative and ephemeral. These spatial interventions are activated within contemporary art contexts and public spaces such as Altona beach, Campbell Arcade, Testing Grounds and Assembly Point. These experimental sites offer a gentle disruption to people’s everyday routine as well as a space for critical reflection and conversation. In this chaotic time of global grief and tension, the author commits herself to understand the connections between environmental sustainability, forced migrations and the mistreatment against marginalized communities such as refugees and asylum seekers. Temporary Text(iles) describes the different spatial interventions in the research project and analyses its effect in relation to these major social issues.
The Journal of Public Space, Volume 5, pp 123-136; https://doi.org/10.32891/jps.v5i4.1407
From 2011’s Occupy movements to the Umbrella Movement Hong Kong to the recent Climate March in September 2019, typified by Extinction Rebellion’s performative acts of resistance, there’s been an exponential increase in protests around the world. People move together en masse to challenge economic inequality and political ineptitude; they demand racial justice and action against climate change and Indigenous land rights. Ideally, protests and forms of direct action generate new ideas where the use of bodies in space become conduits to spark debate, bring awareness, with the hope to change the discourse about urgent issues. The visual power of many bodies speaking both to each other and to a larger public offers a space everyone can safely participate in the social imaginary. This paper considers Extinction Rebellion's graphic and performative aesthetics.
The Journal of Public Space, Volume 5, pp 67-86; https://doi.org/10.32891/jps.v5i4.1385
Educational theorist Gert Biesta proposes that we need to be “in the world without occupying the centre of the world.” (Biesta, 2017, p. 3). This injunction provides a frame with which to interrogate the hybrid practice of ecoart. This practice can be characterised by a concern for the relations of living things to each other, and to their environments. Learning in order to be able to act is critical. One aspect is collaboration with experts (whether those are scientists and environmental managers or inhabitants, including more-than-human). Another is building ‘commons’ and shared understanding being more important than novelty. Grant Kester has argued that there is an underlying paradigm shift in ‘aesthetic autonomy’, underpinned by a ‘trans-disciplinary interest in collective knowledge production’. (2013, np). This goes beyond questions of interdisciplinarity and its variations to raise more fundamental questions of agency. Drawing on the work of key practitioner/researchers (Jackie Brookner (1945-2015); Collins and Goto Studio, Helen Mayer Harrison (1927-2018) and Newton Harrison (b 1932)) and theorists (Bishop, Kester, Kagan) the meaning and implications of not ‘occupying the centre of the world’ will be explored as a motif for an art which can act in public space.
The Journal of Public Space, Volume 5, pp 45-66; https://doi.org/10.32891/jps.v5i4.1391
This paper analyses five public art projects exhibited in documenta 14 in Athens in 2017 that redefine and interact with the public space and therefore, form three different narratives on public space. These narratives are outlined according to the different interpretations of ‘public space’, ‘public sphere’ and democracy by the various artists. Our argument is structured as follows; firstly, we present an analysis of public art and its basic features drawing from contemporary literature. Secondly, we provide a number of key facts regarding documenta and documenta 14, outlining the main reasons we selected it as a reference point. Thirdly, we describe the three narratives about public space that we came up with after our field research and interviews with the respective artists: Sanja Iveković, Joar Nango, Rasheed Araeen, Mattin and Rick Lowe. We then discuss the relations between them and develop a model that unravels the way artists explore the public domain, look for locations, and redefine public space and the lived experience in the city. To do so, we engage with theoretical approaches as well as elaborations on specific artworks that engage the shifts and changes of the lived urban experience through art.
The Journal of Public Space, Volume 5, pp 7-24; https://doi.org/10.32891/jps.v5i4.1311
The environmental problems of climate change and species decline can feel overwhelming. Individuals are often at a loss, questioning what impact they can actually have. Through chART Projects, we have witnessed the dramatic effect of community-engaged art as a direct path to environmental action and impact on local ecosystems. During the 27thInternational Ornithological Congress, bird enthusiasts from around the world focused their attention on Vancouver, Canada. This article is a reflection on how chART took advantage of this assembly, creating an ambitious venture aiming for a sustainable effect on the public’s relationship to urban birds. As the Crow Flies was a public art project bringing creative connections to urban birds directly into the hands of the public. Works included sited-sculpture, community-engaged interventions, projections, workshops, performances, and 6,000 ceramic crows. chART’s founder, Cameron Cartiere has been working with an interdisciplinary team to address the loss of pollinators through Border Free Bees. That research project used environment-based art to engage communities to take positive action in order to improve conditions for pollinators, with tremendous success. As the Crow Flies took a similar approach to highlight the loss of bird species and actions individuals could take to improve the odds for their feathered neighbours.
The Journal of Public Space, Volume 5, pp 87-106; https://doi.org/10.32891/jps.v5i4.1390
Contemporary mobile media affords new insights into social and creative practices while expanding our understanding of what kinds of public space matter. With the continual rise of the social in contemporary art which sees relationships as the medium, smartphones have become important devices for individual political expression, social exchange and now contemporary art. This article draws on media studies and contemporary art theories to discuss #unmaskedselfiesinsolidarity (2020), a socially engaged artwork engaging more than 300 contributors in a few short weeks within the online and physical spaces of RMIT University in the heart of Melbourne, Australia. This artwork was instigated during the initial February 2020 outbreak of the coronavirus in Wuhan, China in response to expressions of fear and isolation, travel bans, and growing racism targeting international students. It employed one of the most pervasive barometers of popular and public culture today, the selfie. Through its messages of care alongside signs of solidarity from Chinese students suffering anxiety and isolation, #unmaskedselfiesinsolidarity moved individual selfie expressions of identity into the realm of socially engaged arts and public space.
The Journal of Public Space, Volume 5, pp 353-367; https://doi.org/10.32891/jps.v5i4.1420
Play in Melbourne City outlines a series of playful incursions in Melbourne, Australia’s central city that hopes to act as a reminder of the potential power and influence that individual citizens have in disrupting, creating and recovering public space. This is a practice-based exploration that uses Melbourne city as its site. Through a series of playful guerrilla theatre style incursions, the artist creates and embodies fictional characters that spontaneously appear throughout the city. Notions of the carnivalesque are harnessed through the use of masks, costumes and puppetry. Each character investigates and responds to a specific issue of spatial politics within the city, with the works importantly sitting outside of the scheduled template of gallery exhibitions and festivals. For the conceptual framework, the artist draws on Henri Lefebvre’s ideas of the production of space and Chantal Mouffe’s ‘agonistic’ model of public space.
The Journal of Public Space, Volume 5, pp 177-192; https://doi.org/10.32891/jps.v5i4.1424
The photographic work of Aotearoa New Zealand artist Edith Amituanai generates the confident self-assertion of publics that potentially shifts misperceptions of people and place for both subjects and their audiences. A belief in service, a characteristic legacy of Amituanai’s Sāmoan family background has led her to document people, particularly diverse diaspora communities, in the western suburbs of Auckland city where she also lives, and to documenting people more broadly in their neighbourhoods or personal environments. Her images have enabled largely unnoticed and hence provisional publics associated with disregarded public spaces to see themselves presented in mainstream society in art galleries, publications and social media, thereby potentially shifting the stereotypes of people and local places to aid a more complete depiction of a society beyond the dominant European settler demographic. Amituanai’s images of youth, family, cultural and interest group communities and those connected with educational institutions convey the multiple associations that connect individuals. While these associations can be aligned with Grant Kester’s concept of politically coherent communities’ or Michael Warner’s ‘counterpublics’ I argue that the people visible in Amituanai’s work or who take agency to respond to her photos are making themselves publics on their own terms, creating publics that are equal to any other public. The activation of public identity that claims shared space has occurred during the institutional exhibition of Amituanai’s images where subjects and visitors respond to photographs in demonstrations of their own agency.
The Journal of Public Space, Volume 5, pp 323-338; https://doi.org/10.32891/jps.v5i4.1422
This portfolio examines the possibility of my project ‘Just Keep Going’ series to nurture resilience for those experiencing uncanniness during periods of change and re-organization in the aftermath of extreme experiences. Experiences in an action-oriented non-verbal polyphony environment that prioritizes the uniqueness of a holistic self while accepting the existence of diverse individuals who are participating in collective survival could foster that resilience. My practice-led research aims to explore an expanded application of my Ikebana practice to my public Spatial Neural-Architectures while exploring a new way of understanding security, survival, and wellbeing. My research informs my art practice that includes the practices arising out of my life experience as a transnational voluntary evacuee to Australia from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan. My portfolio shows the transformation of my artwork and my everyday life. I investigate how my art practice could offer a therapeutic experience as well as a new cultural framework by examining the methods of Open Dialogue, the Biophilia Hypothesis, Ikebana Philosophy, and Sand-play Therapy. These methods open up new possibilities for a socially engaged practice that addresses collective traumas in the midst/aftermath of global crisis and the social changes necessary for collective survival.
The Journal of Public Space, Volume 5, pp 137-154; https://doi.org/10.32891/jps.v5i4.1408
In recent times Singaporean artists have undertaken audacious artistic performances, actions and interventions in public space, highlighting the role of artists as provocateurs of debates around public space and their engagement with issues related to ethical urbanism. Between 2010 – 2020 artists working in diverse fields of artistic practice including visual art, street art, performance art, community arts and new genre public art begun to locate their artwork in public spaces, reaching new audiences whilst forging new conversations about access, inclusion and foregrounding issues around spatial justice. In contesting public space, artists have centralized citizens in a collective discourse around building and shaping the nation. The essay documents key projects, artists and organisations undertaking artistic responses in everyday places and examines the possibility of public art in expanding concepts of ‘the public’ through actions in Singapore’s public space, and demonstrating the role of artists in civil society.