Public Art and Higher Education

While I’ve been neglecting the blog over the last few months, I’ve been dabbling with a a Facebook group for Public Art Research… not sure how the relationship between the two sites will work out, but might allow for a little more dialogue…

and in the meantime, three opportunities concerned with the various relationships of art and public to the institutions of post-secondary education:

Call for Papers: Higher Ed: College Campuses and Public Art

Submissions deadline: 1 September 2016
Guest editor Monika Burczyk is now seeking proposals for essays, artists’ projects, dialogues and all other types of submissions on this subject for a forthcoming issue of the journal Public Art Dialogue.

As more and more colleges and universities feature public art on their campuses and in their pedagogy, it is a good time to address questions of how public art works at these specialized sites–for students, staff, faculty and community members. A Google search of “public art on campus” yields 110,000 results. While the definition of such “public art” ranges from university museums to social practice exchanges to collaborative community/classroom projects, the missions of these institutions often claim that art on campus is foundational to their intellectual culture and central to their educational vision. In this issue, the guest editor seeks to highlight the range of public art presented at colleges and universities, its various uses and effects, and strategies for evaluating such.

(Public Art Dialogue is sponsored by the organisation of the same name, here, and aims to provide platforms for dialogue across the wide range of professions and disciplines that public art encompasses.)

Submissions guidelines and further information here.

Public Art Studio Teaching Symposium

Saturday 4th July 2015
University of Auckland

NICAI called for submissions (now closed) to contribute to a one day symposium in conjunction with IAPA 2015: Cities in a Climate of Change: Public Art, Environmental and Social Ecologies (1-4 July), the second International Award for Public Art conference and exhibition.  IAPA 2015 is co-hosted by National Institute of Creative Arts & Industries (NICAI), University of Auckland, and the Shandong University of Art & Design, China, in association with the Hong Kong based Institute of Public Art (IPA).

IAPA 2015 includes the announcement of the 2nd International Public Art Award, administered by IPA.

The symposium is open to conference participants and others with an interest in the scholarship of studio teaching in the areas of public art and place-making practices.

and last but not least..

Public Art School (Now)

(with a nod to Situations and the Public Art (Now) blog for our adaptation of their title!)

Fiona Hillary (RMIT) and myself (Ruth Fazakerley, University of South Australia) are keen to discover what’s happening (or not happening) now in higher education institutions to prepare students to function as artists in the public realm.

As part of ACUADS 2015, the Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools’ annual conference, to be held in Adelaide (24-25 September 2015), we will shortly be seeking examples from educators of relevant curriculum and projects, reflections, challenges and provocations, to contribute to a roundtable discussion at the conference: How are art schools’ preparing students to work in and with public, community and social contexts? What now constitutes professionally relevant skills and capacities? What are the challenges and opportunities?

We’ll outline submission guidelines soon, but feel free to get in touch before then if you’d like to be involved.


On events past and present

While I’ve been neglecting the blog over the last few months, I’ve nevertheless been taking inspiration from a few local opportunities and events!

Suzanne Paquette at her recent Adelaide seminar reminded me that the city is always already photographic, drawing on Latour’s concept of the cascade of images (or inscriptions) to outline the work of the Art and Site project in charting out (and also intervening in) relationships between urban space and the virtual (incidentally sending me off to visit the Ugly Public Art flickr group!)

The Competing Urbanisms workshop in Melbourne, organised by Lachlan MacDowall and Alison Young  (author of the recent book Street Art, Public City. Law, Crime and the Urban Imagination) brought together “academics and graduate students from Law, Criminology, Art History, Politics, Architecture, Urban Geography and Cultural Studies”, as well as writers, artists, policymakers, curators and architects and others, to facilitate conversations on “how urban interventions such as graffiti, street art and skateboarding are re-shaping city spaces and the way in which we use, interpret, regulate and create public space”.

To give a brief flavour of the event: a highlight was the discussions with local graffiti and street art practioners; Professor Andreas Brighenti (University of Trento), in his keynote address, gave examples of changing practices of urban representation as one way to introduce the concept of (competing) valuing practices; Kurt Iveson highlighted that power is distributed, bringing attention to the competitions that take place among individuals and agencies over the authority to shape public spaces and asking what kinds of authority it is that street artists enact in particular situations;  Lachlan MacDowall raised Taussig’s discussion of defacement as a touchstone for thinking about graffiti.

Participant Sabina Andron, PhD researcher at UCL (“Skin Deep: The material site specificity of urban surface inscriptions”), also took the opportunity to promote the forthcoming Graffitisessions in London, at which Alison Young is a speaker….

so, on the principle of better late than never, here is some information about this and a collection of other events that I would have quite liked to attend (or perhaps still might!):


Call for proposals: P-E-R-F-O-R-M-I-N-G M-O-B-I-L-I-T-I-E-S

journeys – performances – exhibitions – symposium
17 September to 31 October 2015
Melbourne, Australia

via Mick Douglas and

P-E-R-F-O-R-M-I-N-G M-O-B-I-L-I-T-I-E-S is the Australian regional cluster contribution to Fluid States, a networked, year-long program initiated by Performance Studies international (PSi). Throughout 2015, fourteen regional performance gatherings will be staged in diverse global locations in order to rethink performance ideas and practices in terms of shifting geopolitical and socio-political realities.

P-E-R-F-O-R-M-I-N-G M-O-B-I-L-I-T-I-E-S explores how contemporary life in Australia, the world’s largest island continent, is framed by borders whilst constantly being reconstructed through dynamic processes of mobility. The project seeks to creatively and critically explore forms, forces, dynamics, meanings and consequences of performing mobility through a program of new experimental work. It proceeds from a series of journey-based projects throughout Australia over 2015, via a mobile performance program and gallery exhibitions, towards a symposium in Melbourne in October 2015.

Proposals are invited from artists, makers, writers and researchers for journeying projects and creative works for the performance and exhibition program, and contributions to a 3-day symposium. Cross-form and interdisciplinary creative projects and performances, temporary interventions, performative presentations and academic papers are sought which combine artistic research and critical reflection to investigate intersections of mobility and performance that are of specific relevance in Australia whilst being globally resonant.

mobile performance and gallery exhibition program
17 September to 31 October 2015
RMIT Gallery + Margaret Lawrence VCA Gallery + Melbourne environs

symposium: passages and traces performing mobilities
9-11 October 2015 / RMIT University + venues of Melbourne

CALL FOR CREATIVE PROJECTS [closes 31 October 2014]

Proposals for journey projects, mobile performances, creative works and research presentations are invited that will make a compelling contribution to one or more of the Performing Mobilities programs: a six-week gallery exposition program tracing journey-based projects performing mobility in Australia over 2015; a coinciding mobile performance program in and around the gallery expositions and Melbourne’s environs; a three-day symposium presentation and performance event in Melbourne. Proposals selected by the curatorial team will be offered an artist’s fee.

Project Proposals closing date: 31 October 2014.
Accepted proposals announced: December 2014.


Academic papers, performative presentations and performances are invited. Abstracts of proposals will be peer reviewed. Selected papers will be invited to be developed for publication in a special edition of the Australasian Drama Studies journal in 2016 and/or an edited volume reflecting upon the Performing Mobilities project.

Symposium Proposals closing date: 19 December 2014.
Accepted proposals announced: March 2015.

RESIDENCE IN MOBILITY with a journey project:

A number of journey-based projects throughout 2015 will invite artists, writers, makers and academics to undertake a participatory role. Details of mobile residency opportunities will be announced on the project website in December 2014.


Each Fluid States cluster invites members of the PSi international community to act as visiting correspondents to ‘log’ online posts and publications to the Fluid States website. Go to to express interest in corresponding from the Performing Mobilities Australian cluster.

Further information:

PERFORMANCE STUDIES INTERNATIONAL (PSi) is a professional association founded in 1997 to promote communication and exchange among artists, thinkers, activists and academics working in the field of performance. This is a dynamic field of encounters rather than a discipline grounded in one particular methodology or tradition.

PERFORMING MOBILITIES NETWORK is an unincorporated association producing the project. The network aims to further creative practice and research exploring intersections of performance and mobility by generating projects, events and forums.


Private Practice of the Public Artist

… and indeed February was so busy (and so hot) that it’s taken me ’til April to get back to the blog (well at least that’s one version of events!)  Here’s a quick flick of upcoming events and opportunities in the Sydney area to hopefully get us back into the swing:

Exhibition:  Private Practice of the Public Artist (PoPPA)

Art Space on The Concourse
409 Victoria, Chatswood, NSW
30 April – 25 May 2014

The exhibition Private Practice of the Public Artist (PPoPA), presented by The Willoughby City Council, aims to reveals the private practice of eight artists – Suzie Bleach, Hew Chee Fong, Richard Goodwin, Warren Langley, Wendy Mills, L.M. Noonan, Pamela See,  and Andrew Townsend. The exhibition explores “the complex inter-relationship between their public and private practices and how they may inform or diverge from one another”.

Further information here.

Symposium: Beyond the Face of Public Art

Orchestra Room on The Concourse
409 Victoria, Chatswood, NSW
6.00-7.15 pm, 30 April 2014

This is a ticketed event: $10/pp

Associated with the PoPPA exhibition, the symposium Beyond the Face of Public Art, invites the eight participating artists to discuss the relationship between their public and private practice, the role of the public artist in placemaking, how artists retain artistic integrity while satisfying stakeholders, and the integration of art into architecture and urban design. The discussion will be chaired by ABC television and radio presenter Fenella Kernebone.

For bookings and further information contact Kathie Najar / Willoughby City Council.

Invitation to participate – public lectures and symposium with Marc Augé

Anthropologist Professor Marc Augé, author of Non-Places: An Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity and In the Metro, among many others, will be visiting Australia in December…

Architecture and Non-places

… is the title of free public lectures to be given by Augé during his visit:

  • Brisbane: Thursday 12 December, 5-6pm (refreshments 6-7pm), University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus (Please RSVP for catering purposes by 9 December). Details here.
  • Melbourne: Friday 13 December, 1-2pm, University of Melbourne, Details and registration info here.

Using one of his most famous contributions to contemporary culture – the “non-place” – Professor Augé will examine concepts such as globalisation, urbanisation, city-world and world-city to define the opposition between “system” and “history”.

In this lecture, he will argue that great architecture today is an expression of the system and a part of the contemporary aesthetic of distance. He will question whether the very idea of world architecture alludes to a global society that does not yet exist and is therefore like a reversed mirror image of the relationship expressed by the sight of the ruins of the past. If this is the case, are we perhaps condemned to (re)discover beauty in the non-places of our present reality?

A Day with Marc Augé

13 December 2013
University of Melbourne

The Travel Research Network has advertised the opportunity for  “academics, researchers, postgraduate and undergraduate students from all disciplines and institutions … to discuss the ways they engage with Professor Marc Augé’s writing and ideas”,  at a one day symposium hosted by the Faculty of Arts, University of Melbourne.

The morning will be dedicated to a series of panels comprising succinct contributions from participants, presenting their uses and/or critiques of Professor Augé’s work. These contributions will be curated thematically, allowing interactive time for those who wish to react, discuss, debate.

Persons interested in contributing should email 50 word 30 November 2013.
Further information and registration details here or here.

November opportunities and events

More lists:

(Included in my five year plan, if I had such a thing, would be my goal to write “The Lure of the List”. Ostensibly it would be a paper about public space research and taxonomy, but on reflection perhaps a critical analysis of the self too…)

On Now (or coming soon):

  • 21-22 November 2013  Conference: Cultural Economy: The Next Generation, Monash University Law Chambers, Lonsdale Street Melbourne, sponsored by the Research Unit in Media Studies.Speakers on the topics of cultural economy, cultural work, urban cultural economies, politics and policies are: David Hesmondhalgh (University of Leeds), Chris Gibson (University of Wollongong), Associate Professor Mark Gibson (Monash University), Professor Justin O’Connor (Monash University), Scott Brook (University of Canberra), Susan Luckman (University of South Australia), Professor Brett Nielson (University of Western Sydney), Dr Xin Gu (University of Melbourne), Geoff Stahl (Victoria University, Wellington), Deborah Stevenson (University of Western Sydney), Ned Rossiter (University of Western Sydney), Kate Shaw (University of Melbourne), Tom O’Regan (University of Queensland), Graeme Turner (University of Queensland), Lachlan McDowall (University of Melbourne), and Shane Homan (Monash University)

Calls for Papers/Proposals:

  • Deadline for abstracts 11 November 2013AAH 2014, 10-12 April 2014, Association of Art Historians, Royal College of Art, London.
  • Deadline for abstracts 30 November 2013. Authority and Knowledge: People, Policy, Politics, 13-14 February 2014, University of Melbourne
    “This conference aims to bring researchers together who are currently engaged in research concerning the nature, form and function of authority and knowledge historically, socially, culturally, politically and institutionally. We welcome papers that address the multifaceted ways in which claims to authority and knowledge permeate everyday social life, political understandings and practices, and policy reform (people, politics, policy).”
  • Deadline for abstracts 1 December 2013. Memories of the Future, 2-3 May 2014,
    Chelsea College of Art and Design (UAL) & Institute of Modern Languages Research, London. Keynote speakers Christopher Frayling, Malcolm Quinn and Alberto Abruzzese.
    [In addition to traditional academic paper presentations, alternate forms of submission are sought, including photographic works, art and design objects or multimedia presentations.]
  • Deadline for residency proposals 15 December 2013. ZK/U-Berlin (Centre for Art and Urbanistics), Berlin. Artists, scholars, and practitioners (curators, activists, autodidacts, etc.) interested in cross-disciplinary theory and practice dealing with ‘the city’ are invited to apply for residencies of 2-8 months. Keywords: urban transformation, trans-disciplinarity, socially and politically engaged practices. The residency consists of furnished studio-apartments, communal facilities, shared production areas, a open platform for public events, lectures, discussions, screenings, performance and presentations. For individual fellows, depending on the studio-apartment and length of stay, the resident’s costs are between 500 and 800 euro a month. ZK/U will support successful fellows to secure funding through external grants by providing the fellow with an official invitation and identifying relevant funding networks.
    and grants.
  • Deadline for abstracts and panel session proposals 1 February 2014Design for War and Peace, Design History Society Annual Conference, 4-7 September 2014, Kellogg College, University of Oxford.
    “2014, the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, will be an apposite moment in which to reflect upon the relationship of design and craft to conflict”
  • Deadline for abstracts and panel proposals 28 February 2014. ANZCA 2014, Australian and New Zealand Communications Association Annual Conference, 9-11 July 2014, , Swinburne University, Melbourne.
    “What kind of memory-work do objects do? How does materiality mediate memory, for the individual and for society? What is the role of memory and forgetting in the social and cultural life of objects? Or vice versa, what is the role that material things and objects play in constructing memories? How do art objects and practices bring the past in the present? And how do they open up possibilities for a different future? How is the object endowed with meaning, affect and agency through the recollections attached to it? […] The conference aims at covering a wide range of artistic disciplines: fine arts, architecture, literature, music, cinema, theatre, digital media and fashion.”
  • Deadline for abstracts 30 April 2014. craft+design enquiry Issue #7 2015, interdisciplinary journal, Guest Editor Kay Lawrence.
    [Papers are sought for both Open and Themed sections (Theme: Landscape, Place and Identity in Craft and Design).]

Upcoming events

Two forthcoming symposia:

1. Arte magra; from the opaque

10am-4pm, Friday 6 September 2013
Bradley Forum, Level 5, Hawke Building City West Campus
University of South Australia, North Terrace, Adelaide (campus map)

This free symposium accompanies the exhibition of the same name, curated by Mary Knights and Domenic de Clario, taking place at the AEAF and various locations across the Adelaide CBD between 5 September and 5 October 2013. The exhibition brings together twenty-six artists, dancers, writers and curators to create ephemeral installations and performances in public spaces across Adelaide.

Further information, including the full program of artists and events, is available here (pdf). The detailed Symposium program (including abstracts) is here (pdf).  

In brief, the Symposium program is as follows: 

Session 1 10.00-11.45am
Chair: Dr Mary Knights (Director, SASA Gallery, School of Art, Architecture & Design, University of South Australia)

  • Welcome and introduction Christine Morrow (Director, Australian Experimental Art Foundation)
  • Opacity, sunniness and arte magra Dr Domenico de Clario (Artist, Academic and Writer)
  • The simplest of means: Art Povera Judith Blackall (Independent Curator)

Morning Tea 11.45am-12.00pm

Session 2 12.00-1.30pm
Chair: Dr Domenico de Clario

  • Anti-architecture today: the style of ‘whatever’ Associate Professor Rex Butler (EMSAH Deputy Director of Research; Lecturer in Art History, School of English, Media Studies and Art History, University of Queensland
  • Taking art out for a walk Hannah Mathews (Curator, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art)
  • Practice made public Professor Marie Sierra (Head, Tasmanian College of the Arts, University of Tasmania)
  • Lunch 1.30-2.15pm

Session 3 2.15-4.00pm
Chair: Professor Nicholas Jose (Professor of English and Creative Writing, University of Adelaide)

  • Art, artwork and works of art Dr Donald Brook (Emeritus Professor of Visual Arts, Flinders University)
  • From povera to magra: sunny capitalism, and the black economy Dr Edward Colless (Coordinator and Senior Lecturer, Victorian College of the Arts University of Melbourne)
  • Sunny one day…not so perfect the next Associate Professor Jay Younger (Queensland College of Art, Griffith University)

2. Mildura Palimpsest Biennale #9 

9am-12.15pm, 5 October 2013
Mildura, Victoria

Mildura Palimpsest #9 takes place between 4-7 October 2013 in Mildura, a town situated along the River Murray in rural Victoria. The biennial exhibition incorporates performances, installations, events and artists talks over four days, including a half-day symposium on Saturday 5 October:

Mildura Palimpsest Biennale #9, has commissioned 45 new artworks from Australian and international artists all based on the natural and cultural environment of this region. It will also hold a Symposium focusing on similar developments internationally where art provides a catalyst for renewal and change in marginal and remote communities. 

A draft program is currently available here. For further information, including venue and program updates, check the Palimpsest website closer to the date.

Keynote speakers for the symposium are listed as:

  • Shamim Momin (USA), Director of L.A.N.D. (Los Angeles Nomadic Division). Shamim is a leading force in North American contemporary arts and site-specific curatorial practice. A former Curator of the Whitney Biennal, this year Shamim will be Curating In/Situ the site-specific arm of Expo-Chicago.
  • Jack Becker (USA), founder of Forecast Public Art and publisher of Public Art Review.
  • Rob Garrett  (NZ), leading international curator of site specific art projects in the public realm. Rob’s current projects include Curator of Narracje Festival, Gdansk, Poland, Nov 2013.
  • Yutaka Kobayashi (Japan), Professor Fine Arts, University of Ryukyus, Okinawa. Yutaka is a renowned environmental artist and will be commencing a 12 month residency in Mildura.