The purpose of these seminars was to explore the issue of what artists need to understand in order to work effectively in public life. ‘Working in Public’ was a unique learning space. It brought together artists, theorists, curators and arts administrators whose work engages with issues relevant to social and cultural life, including policy. Twelve core artists, curators and producers in Scotland followed all four seminars, which culminated at the Scottish Parliament. At the heart of the process was the work of Los Angeles-based feminist and activist artist, Suzanne Lacy. She had worked for ten years in Oakland, CA, focused on the issues of young black people and their negative portrayal in public media. Her work therefore formed a long-term case study of an artist working in public, underpinning a complex learning space and event structure. The project was funded by the Scottish Arts Council, Public Art Resource + Research Scotland, and the Henry Moore Foundation.

Recent Submissions

  • Working in public: art, practice and policy. [Project website] 

    On the Edge Research (http://www.workinginpublicseminars.org/, 2007-12-31)
    ON THE EDGE RESEARCH. [2008] Working in public: art, practice and policy [online]. Available from http://www.workinginpublicseminars.org/
    The partners for this project were Suzanne Lacy, Public Art Resource + Research Scotland, the Scottish Arts Council and On the Edge together with the four venues in the four major Scottish cities, The Foyer (Aberdeen), CCA ...
  • A public conversation: 'Working in Public Seminars' project, seminar four. 

    On the Edge Research (http://www.workinginpublicseminars.org/, 2007-12-31)
    ON THE EDGE RESEARCH. 2007. A public conversation: 'Working in Public Seminars' project, seminar four [online]. Proceedings of a seminar held in 2007, Edinburgh, UK. Available from http://www.workinginpublicseminars.org/
    This seminar was the culmination of four seminars, Working in Public, funded by the Scottish Arts Council through a new initiative, Public Art Resources and Research, Scotland. This initiative is to promote excellence and ...
  • Representation and power: 'Working in Public Seminars' project, seminar two. 

    On the Edge Research (http://www.workinginpublicseminars.org/, 2007-12-31)
    ON THE EDGE RESEARCH. 2007. Representation and power: 'Working in Public Seminars' project, seminar two [online]. Proceedings of a seminar held in 2007, Glasgow, UK. Available from http://www.workinginpublicseminars.org/
    This seminar explored power in relation to the authority of the artist, institutional authority and authority as individual. In each of these situations the issue of representation was closely linked to how power might be ...
  • Quality and imperfection: 'Working in Public Seminars' project, seminar three. 

    On the Edge Research (http://www.workinginpublicseminars.org/, 2007-12-31)
    ON THE EDGE RESEARCH. 2007. Quality and imperfection: 'Working in Public Seminars' project, seminar three [online]. Proceedings of a seminar held in 2007, Inverness, UK. Available from http://www.workinginpublicseminars.org/
    We explored some of the ethical and artistic implications of veiwing the idea of public as a living process of forming of different publics in response to specefic circumstances and through discrete modes of address. How ...
  • Aesthetics and ethics of working in public: 'Working in Public Seminars' project, seminar one. 

    On the Edge Research (On the Edge Research http://www.workinginpublicseminars.org/, 2007-12-31)
    ON THE EDGE RESEARCH. 2007. Aesthetics and ethics of working in public: 'Working in Public Seminars' project, seminar one [online]. Proceedings of a seminar held in 2007, Aberdeen, UK. Available from http://www.workinginpublicseminars.org/
    The seminar drew discussion through a range of questions: How we might determine what is art and what is not art? When and where is it appropriate for the artist to speak for others? When art is camouflaged in every day ...
  • Participating in the 'wrong' way? Practice based research into cultural democracy and the commissioning of art to effect social change. 

    Hope, Charlotte Sophie (Birkbeck, University of London Film, media and cultural studies, 2011-12-31)
    HOPE, C.S. 2011. Participating in the 'wrong' way? Practice based research into cultural democracy and the commissioning of art to effect social change [online]. Available from: http://sophiehope.org.uk/research/
    Through this practice based research I argue that cultural democracy as a way of thinking contests dominant models of commissioning art to effect social change. A method of generative metaphor of critical distance emerges ...
  • Jane Jacobs and the nature of (practice and research) work in public. 

    Douglas, Anne; Fremantle, Chris (Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, 2009-12-14)
    DOUGLAS, A. and FREMANTLE, C. 2009. Jane Jacobs and the nature of (practice and research) work in public. Presented at Public and participative art: performance in everyday life, 14-15 December 2009, Helsinki, Finland.
    Jacobs argues that economies follow the same rules as ecological systems. They behave in the same way as systems in nature: as dynamic systems of interdependency. The core of Jacobs' argument is energy, whether it is ...
  • Negotiation-as-active-knowing: an approach evolved from relational practice. 

    Chu, Chu Yuan (Robert Gordon University Gray's School of Art, 2013-06)
    CHU, C.Y. 2013. Negotiation-as-active-knowing: an approach evolved from relational art practice. Robert Gordon University, PhD thesis.
    This PhD research offers a new conception of negotiation that attempts to re-imagine the roles of and relationships between artist and participant-other in social art practice. Negotiation is implicit in art practice, ...
  • Ecology and environmental art in public place: talking tree: won't you take a minute and listen to the plight of nature? 

    Goto Collins, Reiko (Robert Gordon University Gray's School of Art, 2012-02)
    GOTO COLLINS, R. 2012. Ecology and enviromental art in public place: talking trees: won't you take a minute and listen to the plight of nature? Robert Gordon Unviersity, PhD thesis.
    My research started with a question: Is it possible to create change if we understand life is interdependent and interrelated with nature in our environment? I researched this question from the perspective of a practising ...
  • Summary and reflection seminar 3: quality and imperfection. 

    Douglas, Anne (Robert Gordon University. http://www.workinginpublicseminars.org/, 2007)
    DOUGLAS, A. 2007. Summary and reflection seminar 3: quality and imperfection. In On The Edge Research. 2007. Quality and imperfection: 'Working in Public Seminars' project, seminar three [online]. Proceedings of a seminar held in 2007, Inverness, UK. Available from http://www.workinginpublicseminars.org/
    In embarking on Working in Public, we started out with an implicit assumption that criteria for judging quality in art in the gallery and museum were widely understood and broadly agreed, whereas quality of art in the ...
  • Representation and power seminar 2: a critical reflection. 

    Douglas, Anne (Robert Gordon University http://www.workinginpublicseminars.org/, 2007)
    DOUGLAS, A. 2007. Representation and power seminar 2: a critical reflection. In On The Edge Rsesearch. 2007. Representation and power: 'Working in Public Seminars' project, seminar two [online]. Proceedings of a seminar held in 2007, Glasgow, UK. Available from http://www.workinginpublicseminars.org/
    The thematic area - Power and Representation emerged in our discussions with Suzanne Lacy as an issue that framed tensions within the Oakland projects' specifically, as well having relevance beyond Oakland. These tensions ...
  • Aesthetics and ethics of working in public art: a summary of the discussion for seminar one. 

    Douglas, Anne (Robert Gordon University. http://www.workinginpublicseminars.org/, 2007)
    DOUGLAS, A. 2007. Aesthetics and ethics of working in public art: a summary of the discussion for seminar one. In On the Edge Research. 2007. Aesthetics and ethics of working in public: 'Working in Public Seminars' project, seminar one [online]. Proceedings of a seminar held in 2007, Aberdeen, UK. Available from: http://www.workinginpublicseminars.org/
    The hunch behind Working in Public is that art now exists in the public sphere in unprecedented ways. Working in Public aims therefore to open up greater uncertainty in what we think art is and to provoke more thoughtful ...

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