Art & the Public Sphere (Journal)

ISSN 2042793X , ONLINE ISSN 20427948

Art & the Public Sphere provides a platform for academics, artists, curators, art historians and theorists whose working practices are broadly concerned with contemporary art's relation to the public sphere. This peer-reviewed journal presents a crucial examination of contemporary art's link to the public realm, offering an engaged and responsive forum for debating newly emerging developments within contemporary thinking, society and international art practice.

Category: Visual Arts


Principal Editor

Mel Jordan
Royal College of Art
melanie.jordan@rca.ac.uk

Image Editor

Andy Hewitt
University of Northampton
andy@hewittandjordan.com

Editor

Dave Beech
University of Gothenburg
dave.beech@akademinvaland.gu.se

Gill Whiteley
Loughborough University
G.Whiteley@lboro.ac.uk

Paul O’Neill
Bard Centre for Curatorial Studies
pauloneillp@aol.com

Emma Mahony
National College of Art and Design (NCAD)
mahonye@staff.ncad.ie

Assistant Editor

Gretchen Coombs
Queensland University of Technology
gretchen.coombs@rmit.edu.au

Art & the Public Sphere provides a new platform for academics, artists, curators, art historians and theorists whose working practices are broadly concerned with contemporary art’s relation to the public sphere. APS aims to establish a critical relationship to traditional and conventional debates about public art and art in the public sector and the public realm. The double-blind peer-reviewed journal presents a crucial examination of contemporary art’s link to the public realm, offering an engaged and responsive forum in which to debate the newly emerging series of developments within contemporary thinking, society and international art practice.

Also of interest is www.urban-matters.org, part of Planning Unplanned, a research project conducted by Barbara Holub and Prof. Christine Hohenbüchler.


Principal Editor

Mel Jordan
Royal College of Art
melanie.jordan@rca.ac.uk

Image Editor

Andy Hewitt
University of Northampton
andy@hewittandjordan.com

Editor

Dave Beech
University of Gothenburg
dave.beech@akademinvaland.gu.se

Gill Whiteley
Loughborough University
G.Whiteley@lboro.ac.uk

Paul O’Neill
Bard Centre for Curatorial Studies
pauloneillp@aol.com

Emma Mahony
National College of Art and Design (NCAD)
mahonye@staff.ncad.ie

Assistant Editor

Gretchen Coombs
Queensland University of Technology
gretchen.coombs@rmit.edu.au

Principal Editor

Mel Jordan
Royal College of Art
melanie.jordan@rca.ac.uk

Image Editor

Andy Hewitt
University of Northampton
andy@hewittandjordan.com

Editor

Dave Beech
University of Gothenburg
dave.beech@akademinvaland.gu.se

Gill Whiteley
Loughborough University
G.Whiteley@lboro.ac.uk

Paul O’Neill
Bard Centre for Curatorial Studies
pauloneillp@aol.com

Emma Mahony
National College of Art and Design (NCAD)
mahonye@staff.ncad.ie

Assistant Editor

Gretchen Coombs
Queensland University of Technology
gretchen.coombs@rmit.edu.au

Principal Editor

Mel Jordan
Royal College of Art
melanie.jordan@rca.ac.uk

Image Editor

Andy Hewitt
University of Northampton
andy@hewittandjordan.com

Editor

Dave Beech
University of Gothenburg
dave.beech@akademinvaland.gu.se

Gill Whiteley
Loughborough University
G.Whiteley@lboro.ac.uk

Paul O’Neill
Bard Centre for Curatorial Studies
pauloneillp@aol.com

Emma Mahony
National College of Art and Design (NCAD)
mahonye@staff.ncad.ie

Assistant Editor

Gretchen Coombs
Queensland University of Technology
gretchen.coombs@rmit.edu.au

All articles submitted should be original work and must not be under consideration by other publications.

Contributions
Full research papers and longer articles should be 6,000-8,000 words. They should include original research or propose new methods/ideas that are clearly and thoroughly presented and argued. Shorter research papers, from 2,000-3,000 words, exploring specific issues and raising questions (or putting a position for debate and response) are also welcome. Experimental approaches to writing and criticism, and visual essays/contributions are invited. Our reviews section includes public art commissioning and contexts, curatorial projects, exhibitions, publications/books, architecture/planning, performance/events, symposia/conferences/debates and artworks.
Please send proposals, suggestions and submissions to the Editor. 

Articles, to include a 250 word (max.) abstract, should be sent to the Principal Editor, Mel Jordan (melanie.jordan@rca.ac.uk), who will also respond to preliminary enquiries about suggested contributions to the journal. Please do not send images until your article has been accepted. All images to be at least 300dpi.

Aims and Scope
Art & the Public Sphere provides a new platform of critical debate for academics, artists, curators, art historians and theorists, whose working practices are broadly concerned with contemporary art's relation to the public sphere.

The journal voices a critical relationship towards the traditional and conventional debates about the specific field of public art, as well as towards the broader discussions and art practices in the public sector and the public realm. Whilst ‘public art' has continually suffered from its mixed role as art and also town planning, in the UK, for example, the perceived success of Anthony Gormley's ‘Angel of the North' has since recruited public art for the purposes of ‘place-making' and the branding of cities.

There exists a growing body of contemporary art practice and theory that bypasses the constraints of public art, public sector and public realm, in order to explore how the most ambitious and challenging art of the day intersects with its publics, not only via public spaces and public institutions, but also through a whole range of techniques and technologies of social engagement. Such engagements link specific questions about public art to broader questions about art's role within the history of western democracy and art's active participation in opinion formation, free discussion and political action.

At the same time, critical art is re-emerging and is being re-evaluated by the likes of Chantal Mouffe, linking contemporary art to broader questions of counter-hegemonic struggle, dissensus and political transformation. These developments are evident in contemporary buzzwords such as ‘participation', ‘collaboration' and ‘collective action', which are becoming more central and further contested within contemporary art. Parallel to which are developments in art such as relational aesthetics and new genre public art, which are raising these very same issues within art's own internal logic.

This new constellation is the context for contemporary art's ‘social turn' and the ‘art of encounter'. Relational art, for instance, calls forth a public for art that is not made up of viewers: instead it is an art of activity, encounter and conviviality. Critics of this work have argued that it neglects antagonism (Claire Bishop), reduces otherness (Jan Verwoert), commodifies experience (Stewart Martin), and promotes ‘NGO Art' (BAVO). Simon Sheikh has also developed the critique of the Habermasian version of the public sphere in an account of post-publics. This field has been re-theorized recently by John Roberts in terms of art's immersion into ‘general social technique', which explains art's new found ability to adopt the skills and practices of social work, the service economy, political action and so on.

At the same time as opening art to the techniques and forums of political and social activity, it also links art, perhaps uncomfortably, to broader shifts in culture and society, such as the impact of ‘third way' politics. Art is more liable, therefore, to be instrumentalized by political leaders when it has already promoted itself as convivial, useful and helpful. The development of cultural policy and culture-led regeneration has seized on art's new settlement within the public sphere to cheaply implement social policy through art, and indeed art's relation to the public sphere has taken criticism as a result.

Art in the public sphere is also implicated in the enormous growth of the biennial and the rise of the über-curator as signature-name for events over and above the artists, because these spectacular events are often given themes that tie the exhibition to social issues within the public sphere and are routinely defended in terms of their positive local social impact.

Importantly, therefore, Art & the Public Sphere provides a critical examination of contemporary art's relation to the public realm, offering an engaged and responsive forum in which to debate the newly emerging series of developments within contemporary thinking, society and international art practice. The journal will develop a broad and complex set of discourses on the ‘public', ‘publicness', ‘making public' and ‘publishing', in the most conceptually ambitious sense. Questions about the public will be raised across a range of fields and positions by potential readers and contributors, including academics involved in: Fine Art, Art History, Art Theory, Architecture/Town Planning/Culture-led Regeneration, Cultural Geography, Cultural Studies, Politics, Sociology, and Philosophy (aesthetic, political, social and linguistic). This will ensure that Art & the Public Sphere successfully communicates the interests of the entire community involved in originating, propagating or analysing art practice within the public sphere.

Journal contributors will receive a free PDF copy of their final work upon publication. Print copies of the journal may also be purchased by contributors at half price.


Notes for Contributors Download

Principal Editor

Mel Jordan
Royal College of Art
melanie.jordan@rca.ac.uk

Image Editor

Andy Hewitt
University of Northampton
andy@hewittandjordan.com

Editor

Dave Beech
University of Gothenburg
dave.beech@akademinvaland.gu.se

Gill Whiteley
Loughborough University
G.Whiteley@lboro.ac.uk

Paul O’Neill
Bard Centre for Curatorial Studies
pauloneillp@aol.com

Emma Mahony
National College of Art and Design (NCAD)
mahonye@staff.ncad.ie

Assistant Editor

Gretchen Coombs
Queensland University of Technology
gretchen.coombs@rmit.edu.au

Advisory Board

Vardan Azatyan
Yerevan State Academy of Fine Arts

Jonathan Banks
ixia – public art think tank

Binna Choi
Casco Office for Art, Design and Theory

David Cross
Massey University

Gail Day
University of Leeds

Monica Degen
Brunel University

Paul Domela
Liverpool Biennial

Murray Fraser
University of Westminster

Jason Gaiger
The Ruskin School of Art

Tom van Gestel
SKOR

Barbara Holub
transparadiso

Sophie Hope
Independent Curator

Grant Kester
University of California San Diego

Loretta Lees
King's College London

Malcolm Miles
University of Plymouth

Justin O'Connor
Monash University

Andrea Phillips
University of Gothenberg

Dorothee Richter
Zurich University of the Arts

Brigitte van der Sande
Art Historian and Independent Curator

Jorinde Seijdel
Dutch Art Institute

Simon Sheikh
Goldsmiths University of London

Daniel Tucker
Moore College of Art and Design

Editorial Board

Angela Harutyunyan
American University of Beirut

Mark Hutchinson
Artist

Mick Wilson
University of Gothenberg

Martin Zebracki
University of Leeds

Ian Bruff
University of Manchester

Principal Editor

Mel Jordan
Royal College of Art
melanie.jordan@rca.ac.uk

Image Editor

Andy Hewitt
University of Northampton
andy@hewittandjordan.com

Editor

Dave Beech
University of Gothenburg
dave.beech@akademinvaland.gu.se

Gill Whiteley
Loughborough University
G.Whiteley@lboro.ac.uk

Paul O’Neill
Bard Centre for Curatorial Studies
pauloneillp@aol.com

Emma Mahony
National College of Art and Design (NCAD)
mahonye@staff.ncad.ie

Assistant Editor

Gretchen Coombs
Queensland University of Technology
gretchen.coombs@rmit.edu.au

 
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Contents

  • Volume (7): Issue (1)
  • Cover date: 2018


Contents

  • Volume (6): Issue (1&2)
  • Cover date:


Contents

  • Volume (5): Issue (1)
  • Cover date: 2016


Contents

  • Volume (5): Issue (2)
  • Cover date: 2016


Contents

  • Volume (4): Issue (1&2)
  • Cover date:


Contents

  • Volume (3): Issue (1)
  • Cover date: 2014


Contents

  • Volume (3): Issue (2)
  • Cover date: 2014


Contents

  • Volume (2): Issue (1-3)
  • Cover date:


Contents

  • Volume (1): Issue (1)
  • Cover date: 2011


Contents

  • Volume (1): Issue (2)
  • Cover date: 2011


Contents

  • Volume (1): Issue (3)
  • Cover date: 2011


Principal Editor

Mel Jordan
Royal College of Art
melanie.jordan@rca.ac.uk

Image Editor

Andy Hewitt
University of Northampton
andy@hewittandjordan.com

Editor

Dave Beech
University of Gothenburg
dave.beech@akademinvaland.gu.se

Gill Whiteley
Loughborough University
G.Whiteley@lboro.ac.uk

Paul O’Neill
Bard Centre for Curatorial Studies
pauloneillp@aol.com

Emma Mahony
National College of Art and Design (NCAD)
mahonye@staff.ncad.ie

Assistant Editor

Gretchen Coombs
Queensland University of Technology
gretchen.coombs@rmit.edu.au

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