4th International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Emotional Geographies
University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands, July 1-3, 2013
Public Art and Architecture As Irritation: Mediating Politics, Emotions and Space
Martin Zebracki & Martijn Duineveld
Cultural Geography Group, Wageningen University, the Netherlands
The Cultural Geography Group is committed to social theory in all its spatial articulations and has a strong international reputation in the field of human geography. In particular, the work of the group is focused on mobility (including tourism, leisure and migration studies) and cultural politics (including questions of landscape, community and heritage) in relation to spatial theory and modernity.
Academic debates on the shift from art in the art world to art in the public world have recently been developed at the crossroads of the humanities and the social sciences (cf. Senie 2003; Kwon 2004; Hein 2006; Knight 2008), as have literatures on how cities have started to promote the opening up of public spaces to art and architecture (cf. Hayden 1998; Finkelpearl 2001; Hall 2003; DaCosta Kaufmann 2004; Miles and Hall 2005; Sharp et al. 2005; Zebracki 2011). Artworks and architecture in public space are often seen as a hitch in the built environment, while a plethora of claims – without sound empirical evidence – are made about their contributions to the living environment (cf. Hall and Robertson 2001; Zebracki et al. 2010). Public art and architecture act as an intermediating agency in visual culture and hence as a powerful yet elusive player in spatial politics (cf. Deutsche 1996). The rationales and expressions of art and architecture can evoke explicit or rather subtle emotions and irritation among its spectators (cf. Massey and Rose 2003). As such, art and architecture manifest themselves in the sphere of the rational unbecoming.
Hitherto, little is known about the relationships between public art/architecture, politics, emotions and space, particularly from the perspective of public space’s spectators. This session invites scholars from across all disciplines, who are engaged with multidisciplinary spatial articulations of social and cultural theory, to critically analyse the politics and affects figuring in public art and architecture.
Suggested topics this session attempts to explore include, but are not restricted to, the following:
· The assemblages of materialities and practices of public art/architecture and their emotional resonances (cf. De Landa 2006; Deleuze and Guattari 2007 )
· Governmentalities of public art/architecture (cf. Foucault 1991)
· Reflexive, performative and visual methodologies of affect-based research on public art/architecture (cf. Rose 2001; Thrift 2008)
· The body as research instrument and site of research in cultural geographies of public art/architecture (cf. Hawkins 2010, 2012)
· Engaging geographies of public art/architecture: relationships between sensed, imagined and reified socio-spatial dimensions (cf. Lees 2001; Zebracki 2012)
· The non-representational relationships between public art/architecture, affects and the public sphere (cf. Mitchell 1992; Thrift 2008)
· Emotional dimensions of site-specificness and publicness of public art/architecture (cf. Mitchell 1992; Kwon 2004)
· Relational aesthetics and social relationalities of public art/architecture (cf. Bourriaud 2002; Massey and Rose 2003)
· Spatial poetics of public art/architecture (cf. Bachelard 1994 [1958/1969])
If you are interested in participating in this session, please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words to Martin Zebracki (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Martijn Duineveld (email@example.com) by January 12, 2013. Conceptual and/or empirical contributions are welcomed. Please feel free to ask Martijn or Martin any questions related to this intended session.
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Zebracki, M., Van Der Vaart, R. and Van Aalst, I. (2010) Deconstructing public artopia: situating public-art claims within practice, Geoforum 41(5): 786-795.