(Re)Making Public Campus Art: Connecting the University, Publics and the City

Zebracki, Martin, Sumner, Ann and Speight, Elaine orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-5275-9092 (2017) (Re)Making Public Campus Art: Connecting the University, Publics and the City. Public Art Dialogue, 7 (1). pp. 6-43. ISSN 2150-2552

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/21502552.2017.1288537


Public campus art in the U.K. is predominantly a postwar phenomenon and can be interpreted as artworks situated in university spaces with free access to its audience: any public users — where the multiplicity of such audience defines them as “publics”: communities of interest. Public art’s ontology of “publicness” is complex: what is “public” and who are the “publics”? The local, theme and form of art in “public” space is contested along dualist conceptions of public/private, indoor/outdoor, closed/open, permanent/temporary, decorative/interactive, past/future, space/place, online/offline, and so on and so forth. It may moreover span any material, digital, performative and socially engaged, practice-based work and multimedia beyond more traditional sculptural artworks. This article analyses how public campus art has traditionally related to historic university agendas and campus communities, but has recently provided a platform for far-reaching public engagement beyond the campus, thus reaching new audiences.

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