Public art and accountability: published papers

Martin Zebracki and Joni Palmer have forwarded notice of the latest issue of Art & the Public Sphere (Volume 2, Issues 1-3, 2014). This interdisciplinary special issue on “Public art and accountability: Whose art for whose city?” is co-edited by Zebracki and Palmer and is aimed at “those working at the crossroads of art, space, identity and social impact and inclusion”.



More miscellanea – conferences, symposia and calls for papers

I’ve not been thinking about art, or public art, as much as I’d like lately … but my bulging email inbox of news and events has finally lured me back to the blog! Here are a few forthcoming opportunities that should be of shared interest:

1. Symposium: Art and Activism in Post-Disaster Japan

University of Wollongong, NSW Australia
24 August 2013
A free, one day seminar. Please register by 16 August for catering purposes.
Full program and contact details here (pdf).

2. Call for Papers: Interdiscipline: AAANZ 2013

Art Association of Australia & New Zealand
7-9 December 2013
Submissions guidelines and session details here.
Deadline for abstracts 30 August 2013

3. Call for papers: Spectres of Evaluation

Centre for Cultural Partnerships, University of Melbourne & Footscray Community Arts Centre, Melbourne
6-7 February 2014

Today, the making of art is haunted by spectres of evaluation, competing claims and judgments about the limits, uses and value of art. This international conference examines creative and critical approaches to evaluation and value in relation to community-engaged arts practice. Taking its cue from an artwork by Thomas Hirschhorn, the conference looks to reconfigure the relationship between artists, art experts and what Hirschhorn terms the “non-exclusive audience.”

Through diverse formats and a range of local and international speakers, it also explores the relationship between established community arts practices and the appearance of new forms of community-engaged arts across a range of disciplines, from participatory design to social practice.

Proposals are invited for presentations, workshops and panel presentations that address the following themes:

  • Critical approaches to evaluation of community-based arts including negative value and potential for harm, network theories, dialogic methods, and new aesthetic language.
  • The use of creative, participatory and democratized methods in cultural measurement.
  • Re-presentational practices such as exhibition, evaluation, critical writing and curating involving community-based art.
  • The value of art as labour and the role of the artist in society.
  • The competing lenses of evaluation: perspectives from political, health, justice, international development, education, or arts sectors.
  • Alternative systems of value in community-based arts: gift exchange and reciprocity, creative commons, feminist economies, peer assessment, crowd funding, and risk assessment.
  • The implications of new technologies, open source hacking, digital research methods and communication, and data visualization on arts evaluation practice.

Submissions are due by 15 September 2013.
Full guidelines and submission details here.
Register with the website to receive updates, including future call-outs for artist participation in the conference.

4. Call for Papers: Texts/Cities: from the 1970s to the present

TVAD Research Group, University of Hertfordshire
23 January 2014
A one day seminar convened by Dr. Daniel Marques Sampaio and Mr. Michael Heilgemeir, University of Hertfordshire

This seminar will explore relationships between texts and urban spaces in contemporary culture and society. The aim is to bring together scholars within an interdisciplinary range of art, design, and media practices to examine, analyse and interpret the complexities of those relationships, looking at the movement from text to urban space and back.

Cities have often been compared to palimpsests, their streets, buildings, and subways pleated, crumpled, written and rewritten over and over again: as material texts, poïesis. What is at stake in this conflation of city and text? Can the city be read, does it indeed operate like a text? How do urban spaces relate to artistic, political, or economic texts and ideologies, and vice versa? What transformations occur between the designing and imaging of urban spaces, and the building and eventual inhabiting of those spaces? How do the technologies employed in designing and imaging architectural and urban spaces (computer modelling and simulation, CGI renderings of future buildings, etc.) contribute to the ‘idea’ or representations of a city? In what ways can data and imaging influence understanding of, and policies within cities?

Papers are invited that address these or related topics, including:

  • Analyses of representations (fictional, cartographic, theoretical) of urban spaces and of the ‘urban experience’
  • New media, Big Data, imaging technology, and daily life in contemporary cities;
  • Ideal cities, utopias, dystopias, heterotopias
  • Political and economic ideologies and urban spaces
  • Arts in the city
  • Textual interventions in urban spaces (graffiti, advertising, etc.)

Deadline for abstracts 13 September 2013.
Submission details here.

5. Call for Panel Sessions:  Monument/Anti Monument Conference

Sculpture City, St Louis Missouri
10-12 April 2014

Organised as part of Sculpture City St Louis 2014,

Monument/Anti-Monument is an international conference that will bring together artists, curators, art historians, architects, academics, urban planners, archaeologists and other experts to explore the intersection of sculpture and the public realm. While the public sculpture and monuments of the host city of St. Louis will be used frequently as a catalyst for discussion, the conference will also seek a broader dialogue that will encompass a global perspective on sculpture and its relationship to place. The conference keynote speaker will be artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer.

Deadline for proposals 16 September 2013
Further details here (pdf).

6. Call for Papers: The Future of the Past: Representing the Holocaust, Genocide, and Mass Trauma in the 21st Century

Deakin University and the Jewish Holocaust Centre,  Melbourne
6-8 July, 2014

This conference aims to expose and explore key issues relating to the Holocaust, genocide and mass trauma, contributing to ongoing debates over historical and cultural representation. Paper proposals might address, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • The limitations and possibilities of digital media in depicting traumatic pasts
  • New research in Holocaust and genocide film, literature, art, and testimony
  • The future of remembering traumatic events in monuments and museums
  • Mediating gender, sexual violence and trauma
  • The politics of identification and reception in representations of perpetrators
  • The appropriation of the Holocaust as a metaphor for contemporary traumas
  • Mediating trauma in the now via mobile screens and instant uploads
  • Pedagogical uses of genocide representations in and out of the classroom

Guidelines and submission details here.
Deadline for abstracts is 31 October 2013.

7. Call for papers:  Public Art Dialogue

Open Issue (Fall 2014)
Co-Editors: Cher Krause Knight and Harriet F. Senie
Submissions deadline: 1 March 2014

For this issue the editors invite submissions pertaining to any theme related to public art.

As with each issue, we aim to offer a lively mix of different  features. The wide range of submission types typical of the journal (such  as scholarly articles, artists’ projects, critical essays, interviews and book reviews), is both welcomed and encouraged here.

Guidelines and submission details here.

8. Exhibition and Conference: Shaping Canberra

Australian National University, Canberra
Conference (17-29 September 2013)
Exhibition (18 September – 19 October 2013)

On the occasion of the national capital’s centenary:

Shaping Canberra will generate new national scholarly discussion about the lived experience of Canberra as a place, home and capital. It starts from the position that the local and national dimensions of Canberra are not opposing or even separate aspects, but deeply entwined. On this basis it asks participants to consider how the local, national (and international) play out in instances and reflections of Canberra’s life and development in the context of four themes: histories and memories, collections and archives, spaces and places; expressions and interpretations. International and national as well as local speakers will be part of the program which aims to create a lively community of discussion across disciplines and practices, and establish a basis for further research and discussion.

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

The position of Postdoctoral Research Fellow is currently being advertised at the School of Architecture and Design, RMIT University, Melbourne
Deadline for applications: 10 December 2012
[Source: s-architecture  ]

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship available within RMIT University’s School of Architecture and Design (Quentin Stevens)

A position for a Postdoctoral Research Fellow is available within RMIT University’s School of Architecture and Design.  The fellow will work alongside Dr Quentin Stevens in connection with a major ARC-funded project exploring the design and public perception of contemporary memorials and other public artworks. The post would suit someone with a PhD in open space design, human-environment relations, or urban geography. Experience in the publication of academic research is desirable. The post is research-only and is available full-time from now until early 2015.

for more information, and to apply, go to:

Quentin Stevens

Associate Professor and ARC Future Fellow
School of Architecture and Design
RMIT University
Melbourne, Australia

Reader in Urban Design
Bartlett School of Planning
University College London

Call for Papers: Public Art, HCI and Evaluation Workshop

Where: Murramerang Resort NSW (south of Sydney)
When: 18-19 October 2012
Deadline for papers: 1 August 2012 (tomorrow!, extensions may be available- contact the organisers for further information).

(BTW HCI? That’s Human Computer Interaction to me and you…)

Papers are being sought for participation in a round table discussion/workshop on topics associated with interactive art in public places, including: Audience experience of interactive art, Evaluation methods for public digital art, Evaluation tools for public digital art, Curating public digital art, Development and production for public engagement, Forms of engagement with interactive art.

This workshop arises from the ACM CHI conference’s 2012 featured community Digital Arts and, in particular, its Special Interest Group meeting “Evaluation, Appreciation, Critique”. The dialogue of that discussion is continued in this forum with a focus on interactive art in public places. It will result in a book publication.

Further information:

[Source: Experimenta ebulletin]

Evaluating public art

One of my longstanding interests in public art is the question of evaluation – how is/should it be evaluated, and how does public art fit within the more general discussions that can be found in academic research journals about cultural policy and cost-benefit analyses of funding culture.  I hope to write something about this later this year, but in the meantime, many thanks to Lachlan MacDowall and Marnie Badham at the Victorian College of the Arts for the following links. (Both are currently engaged in the ARC funded project, “Towards an integrated evaluation framework for intrinsic and instrumental benefits of community-based arts”.)

The workshop organisers write:

“This workshop presents a new set of guidelines and eco-sustainability criteria for the analysis of public art. It will introduce the Curating Cities database, which aims to provide definitive analysis of public art for artists and art commissioners. The workshop will outline opportunities for art writers and researchers to contribute case studies to the database, peer reviewed by an international editorial board.”

Curating Cities is an Australian Research Council ARC funded project launched in late 2011 and led by Jill Bennett, Richard Goodwin, and Felicity Fenner (UNSW); partnering with City of Sydney, Object: Australian Centre for Design, Carbon Arts, and University of Cincinnati.

The project aims to investigate how and under what conditions public art interventions promote sustainability, developing an analytical database of national and international public art projects to guide the work of public art managers, as well as curators, artists and critics.


I’ve belatedly added some images of Angus’ Grow Your Own to my previous post…