Issue 30:3 | September 2010 | Art in the Public Arena
Art in the Public Arena
Are we producing public art that fits well with our cities and our populations? The Echigo-Tsumari Triennial and the Niigata Land and Water Festivals in Japan show the power of art to impact the public to the extent of changing societal patterns within one decade. So often the public seems strangely indifferent to public art. But if creatively is designed to be a part of the fabric of a place, quite minor or temporary changes can alter the experience of public space and make outdoors more social and more enticing.
Laneways become adventures, and buildings at night are light events. Even freeways are given a chance to transcend their banality. This issue travels to places in Australia, New Zealand, The Netherlands, the UK and Germany where artists modify the way we are in public, whether on a tram, a new suburb, a park, a polluted river, a railway platform, a city street barricaded with a mountain of wrecked cars, or a park where dachshunds fill the benches of the United Nations.