Course ID 

What is Public Art?

Public space is not preexistent, but emerges through the practices of persons using it. How can the public, considered as both space and acting persons, be produced today in art? What are the media, methods and theories through which contemporary art is related to the city and democracy? What are the disputes around participation? What is an antagonistic public sphere? What is the difference between a work in the street and a work in a museum? How can we read a work that we suddenly encounter in our way? Are aesthetic criteria adequate? Why is a court decision needed to judge if a work, such as the Tilted Arc by Richard Serra, can remain in public space? How can the work function in relation to the site and the social, historical and institutional context? Why can a public art work equally function in the museum or the apartment? How can contemporary art in public space exist beyond the spectacular or the monumental, gentrification and city branding?

During the course questions will be asked around public art today, an area between art and architecture, which is connected to fields such as urban studies, social geography and political theory, and includes practices such as site-specific, relational, community-based, participatory, collaborative, dialogical, archival, activist, tactical media, over-identification, etc. The course has a seminar structure and it is based on discussion. The questions will be introduced by the students, who are asked to study specific projects of artists and collectives who work in the public space and the public sphere.