Expanding Cultures

DSC02418, originally uploaded by valleygirl2005. 

July has been conference month. Starting with Live in Queensland – design in the world, The Great Leap Forum and then Expanding Cultures in Melbourne, where I was presenting the paper Co-publics: defended territories and citizenship. My presentation there was essentially concerned with an acknowledgment of the importance of processes in delivering more conceptually rigorous public art projects. Specifically, that there are barriers to taking responsibility for critique, but a need for it to be claimed. We really do need to open-up these decision-making processes and proactively invite public critique and debate concerning public art and design planning.

In addition to presenting projects that I’ve been a part of, I also referenced projects where both curators and artists proactively develop and utilise a critique of public art as material. And of course, emphasised that the benefits of working with curators are underlined by the history, knowledge and experience of the arts industry. There were lots of people, lovely people who seemed to be really enjoying the conference. The seminar I was a part of incited some interesting questions and discussions.

Some of the questions raised were relatively practical/easier to address, but of course some were big and require further reflection and analysis. Some comments were even helpful to projects I’m presently working on. Particularly, Richard Holt’s experience re communities appreciate interest and care regardless of which or where the community comes from. Supporting marginal voices was a concern shared by many. From memory, most issues raised came back to allocating appropriate time and research.

It was refreshing to be able to undertake a public critique and sound some of these issues. Even more refreshing that I’m not the only one interested in this kind of resolution-focused discussion; Very positive.


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