Public art is on the urban agenda. Given recent claims about the importance of creativity to urban prosperity, opportunities for installing or performing art in the city have multiplied. As cities strive to appear culturally dynamic, the stakes of artistic production rise higher than ever. Exploring the interaction between art and the public in Canadian cities, Urban Encounters features writing by artists, architects, curators, anthropologists, geographers, and urban studies specialists. They show how people and places affect the structure and content of public artworks, what kinds of urban spaces and socialities are generated through art, and how to investigate and interpret encounters between art and its viewers in the city. Discussing a variety of art forms, including mobile cinemas, street improvisation, audiovisual investigations, and assembled objects, the contributors treat public artworks not just as aesthetic installations, but as agents that participate in the social and cultural evolution of cities. Using original, hands-on approaches, Urban Encounters reveals how art in the urban public space generates encounters that can transform both the city itself and the ways that people relate to it. Contributors include Alison Bain (York University), Robert Bean (NSCAD University), Lawrence Bird (architect, artist), Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier (University of Victoria), Brenden Harvey (Dalhousie University), Wes Johnston (artist, curator), Leola Le Blanc (media artist), Brian Lilley (Dalhousie University), Barbara Lounder (NSCAD University), Mary Elizabeth Luka (York University), Sebastian Matthias (HafenCityUniversity), Christof Migone (Western University), Ellen Moffat (media artist), Kim Morgan (NSCAD University), Solomon Nagler (NSCAD University), Martha Radice (Dalhousie University), Nicole Rallis (McMaster University), Susanne Shawyer (Elon University), Shannon Turner (Aarhus University), Laurent Vernet (INRS Urbanisation Culture Societe), and Nick Wees (University of Victoria).
Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press
Number of pages: 352
Dimensions: 235 x 159 x 25 mm
"The strength of this collection lies in its commitment to interdisciplinary perspectives from across social sciences and humanities. While sociological and anthropological perspectives and methodologies are the central focus, the volume also includes approaches to urban cultures deriving from creative and practice-based research, cultural studies, and media studies." Michael Darroch, University of Windsor
"This marvellous collection not only serves as starting point to gain deeper understandings of what the multifaceted (im)material and (im)permanent manifestations of art in public space do for Canadian cities and their citizens. Replete with multidisciplinary theory, mixed methods and international evidence from everyday public-art practice, this work will also make an impact on a global academic and professional readership that wishes to discover the urban art encounter and uncover art's potential for reshaping urban needs and public deeds." Martin Zebracki, School of Geography, University of Leeds
"[Urban Encounters] raises significant questions about the state and performative aspects of public art in the city, and questions the relationship between art practices and research-creation. With clear theoretical threads running throughout the book researchers generally interested in urban studies, art and design humanities, and particularly interested in public space and the aesthetics of encounter, will surely find a challenge here." The Canadian Journal of Urban Research