Contemporary art curating news and views from Michelle Kasprzak and team

Opportunity - Call for Papers, Art & the Public Sphere, deadline June 17

Posted by April Steele • Saturday, April 16. 2011 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
What is public? What constitutes publicness?

Call for Papers:
The second issue of the Art & the Public Sphere invites contributions which particularly address the question of how we might define ‘public’. Conventional and historical understandings of ‘public art’ have focused on spatial and locational contexts for practices, production and critical reception. Other defining factors of art and the public sphere have concentrated on its funding or accessibility. If we reject ‘public realm’ and ‘public space’ as flawed ways of identifying what is public about public art, then there is a need to interrogate the idea of the public itself, in all its multiple forms and guises.

If public is the key to public art, then we need to ask how publics are formed and maintained, what threatens them, where they can be found, how can publics be animated and served. What is (or constitutes) a public or publics? Can a public be distinguished from a mass, a market, a nation, a crowd, a community? How is it different from the commons? Are there transitory and temporary publics or should these not be articulated as publics at all? What is the social, cultural and political relationship between the individual and the collective of individuals which becomes a public? Is a public necessarily engaged in dialogue with itself, or is a public an audience to the monologue of those who speak?

Art & the Public Sphere provides a new platform for academics, artists, curators, art historians and theorists, whose working practices are broadly concerned with contemporary art’s relation to the public sphere. Art & the Public Sphere also presents a crucial examination of contemporary art’s link to the public realm, offering an engaged and responsive forum in which to debate the newly emerging series of developments within contemporary thinking, society and international art practice. Art & the Public Sphere invites contributions and interdisciplinary articles, which confront orthodoxies, propagate debate and reflect on art’s role in contributing to the public sphere. We encourage fresh approaches to research arising from practice, theory, philosophy and politics, and welcome contributions from new and established researchers, scholars, practitioners and professionals.

Full research papers and longer articles should be 6,000-8,000 words. They should include original research or propose new methods/ideas that are clearly and thoroughly presented and argued. Shorter research papers, from 2,000-3,000 words, exploring specific issues and raising questions (or putting a position for debate and response) are also welcome. Experimental approaches to writing and criticism, and visual essays/contributions are invited.

Our reviews section includes public art commissioning and contexts, curatorial projects, exhibitions, publications/books, architecture/planning, performance/events, symposia/conferences/debates and artworks. Please send proposals, suggestions and submissions to the Reviews Editor, Paul O’Neill (pauloneillp[at]

Articles, to include a 250 word (max.) abstract, should be sent to the Principal Editor, Mel Jordan (mel[at], who will also respond to preliminary enquiries about suggested contributions to the journal. Please do not send images until your article has been accepted. All images to be at least 300dpi.

The final date for all submissions for the second issue is: Friday 17 June 2011
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