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Public Art: New Ways of Thinking and Working
Presented by the Department of Visual Art & Art History, York University
May 18 – 20, 2017

Public art is contentious. It straddles expectations ranging from traditional to temporary, monument to site, community-based to corporate. In our increasingly diverse, connected and yet fractious world, what is public art’s relationship to issues ranging from economic disparity to environmental uncertainty, cultural inclusivity to political unrest?


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The Public Art: New Ways of Thinking and Working symposium will be a forum for active research, critical debate and honest dialogue. Talks, panel discussions and workshops will spark conversations across disciplines, from the perspective of both study and practice, with the goal of critically examining the current state of Canadian contemporary public art practice in the context of innovations happening internationally.

Questions to be considered include:

  • How is public art being made?
  • What is the role and agency of curation, audience and criticality in public art?
  • How can commissioning more accurately reflect contemporary visual arts practices?
  • What might public art and its processes look like in the future?


KEYNOTE TALKS

Steve Kurtz: When Aesthetics is Not Enough
Presented in partnership with the Art Gallery of Ontario
Thurs. May 18, 7:00pm at Jackman Hall, AGO

Steven Kurtz is a founding member of Critical Art Ensemble, an internationally acclaimed collective of tactical media practitioners whose work in digital imaging, web design, wetware, film/video, photography, text art, book art, and performance explores the intersections between art, critical theory, technology and political activism.


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Graveyard of Lost Species at Leigh-on-Sea, UK (2016), by artists YoHa and Critical Art Ensemble, is a “public territory of memory” – a temporary monument, created with a local wrecked fishing boat on a salt marsh, that acknowledges wildlife, marine creatures, people, livelihoods, fishing methods, landmarks, mythologies, and local dialects that once flourished in the Thames Estuary.

Cameron Cartiere: Permanent Works in an Impermanent Time
Fri. May 19, 4:30pm at York University’s Keele campus

Cameron Cartiere is a creative practitioner, writer and researcher specializing in public art, community engagement and urban renewal. She co-edits the journal Public Art Dialogue and is an associate professor in the Faculty of Culture + Community at Emily Carr University of Art & Design, Vancouver.


SYMPOSIUM ORGANIZERS

Ciara McKeown is a Calgary-based public art consultant and commissioner. A former advisor with the Creative City Network of Canada, she currently works as a project manager with artists Sans façon.

Brandon Vickerd, Chair of York University’s Department of Visual Art & Art History, is a sculptor whose large-scale public art projects include Wildlife (Thunder Bay, Edmonton) and Dance of the Cranes (Edmonton, Toronto, Washington DC).


Public Art: New Ways of Thinking and Working
Program & Schedule: publicartsymposium.com
Registration: The Symposium is open to the public. Register online
Contact: publicartsymposium@gmail.com

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