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UAL Research Online

Not on The Plaza: Critical Strategies for Object-based Public Art in New York

Hackemann, Rebecca (2019) Not on The Plaza: Critical Strategies for Object-based Public Art in New York. PhD thesis, University of the Arts London.

Type of Research: Thesis
Creators: Hackemann, Rebecca

This thesis addresses the research questions – why is public art concentrated in certain zones of New York? What is the publicness of public art? What models might exist for a civic and critically engaged object-based public art in New York? Currently, little research exists that examines the reasoning behind the locations of public art in New York. The thesis investigates these questions and proposes a new model for the civic practice and siting of public art in the city.

Public art is managed within a particular system in New York, one which is created and implemented by administrators, artists represented by commercial galleries, city officials, private business improvement districts and agencies. This thesis uses Patricia Phillips’ notion of “The “Public Art Machine” as a point of departure against which to map the art interventions entitled The “Public Utteraton Machines”, which form the practicebased element of the research. The “Public Utteraton Machines” are metal machines that were installed on pavements and in unused triangular interstitial lots. Through intentional siting in Brooklyn and Queens, the “Public Utteraton Machines” formed a civic counter-narrative to established locational patterns for public art. These locations are brought together in a cross agency geomap that was created over two years.

The theoretical co-ordinates of this research are grounded in Dean McCannel’s theory of staged authenticity for tourists in the city, Jürgen Habermas’ theory of communicative action in the public sphere, and Alexander Kluge and Oskar Negt’s theory of proletarian counter publics to neoliberal economic forces. These theoretical perspectives are used together with geomapping to articulate how the “Public Utteraton Machines” propose dissent against the “Public Art Machine” - they form an example of civic or municipal art that critiques and disrupts the established patterns of public art systems and locations

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Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Chelsea College of Arts
Date: April 2019
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2019 14:29
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2022 10:14
Item ID: 14159
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/14159

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