Eastside Projects worked with Birmingham Big Art Project to host a symposium that brought thinkers and practitioners from various fields together to discuss Public Art Thinking and what it is today.
The event took the form of a series of conversations, inviting contributors from artistic disciplines to investigate the ways artists and organisations are working together to rethink their role in the future development of our cities.
In the symposium we discussed: Who is deprived in the process of development? How can we make space unique within mass development? Could artists be better property developers? How can arts institutions engage with publics to develop artworks?
Speakers included: Mel Jordan, Barbara Holub, Rosalie Schweiker, Robert Garnett, Andy Reeve, Vanessa Boni and Gavin Wade.
A double issue of Art & the Public Sphere journal was dedicated to the Public Art Thinking Symposium. It was edited by Mel Jordan and Anna Santomauro and includes commissioned work by Janna Graham, Robert Garnett, Mel Jordan and Stuart Whipps. It is published by Intellect Books.
Public Art Thinking: Symposium – Introduction
In this introduction to Public Art Thinking, Vanessa Boni and Gavin Wade discuss Birmingham Big Art Project and Susan Philipsz commission ‘Station Clock’, and the double issue of Art & the Public Sphere journal. Mel Jordan contextualises Public Art and Public Sphere theory.
Barbara Holub introduced her practice and discussed her research into ‘Direct Urbanism’, looking at the role art plays in socially engaged urban planning.
Rosalie Schweiker introduced her work and discussed her project ‘Help me spend £6k’ which is part of ‘Park Life’, a series of public projects commissioned by Eastside Projects for Longford Park, Banbury.
Read more about Park Life.
Andy Reeve joined us from Impact Hub Birmingham. He talked about how Property Developers should be more like artists, or think more artistically with their approach to housing, how the housing market isn’t working for everyone and strategies that need to put in place to make it fairer for all.