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Service Media:

Community as Collaborator

"How can artists engage others beyond the accepted aesthetic norms of public art? Chicago offers one answer, in the form of an innovative genre that goes beyond typical North American ideas of community art. This engaging and collaborative form of public art, which I call “service media,” is very different from typical group object-building art workshops, not to mention the simple plopping of a statue on the square. And it is gaining ground..."

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This article is from Public Art Review: Issue 38 - New Collaborations

Public Art Review Issue 38 New Collaborations

New Collaborations

The inherently collaborative nature of public art can be summed up in the equation: 1+1=3. The field has moved beyond the artist-architect collaborations of the 70s, as suggested in our spring/summer 2008 issue of Public Art Review. Artists have expanded the boundaries, engaging with engineers, community organizers, program managers and industries, without compromising the artistic integrity of their work. Today's public artists are exploring new avenues of cooperation and partnerships.

PAR #38: New Collaborations surveys these new trends and weighs in on new findings about the nature of collaboration and the impact of open-source (wiki-style) internet communication on public art. A special survey reveals interesting facts about the most intimate kind of collaboration—public artists working with their romantic partners and spouses. And attorney Barbara Hoffman analyzes the legal pitfalls of joint authorship in art. Plus features on Pennsylvania's public art hot spots, international news and recent projects, a bevy of new book reviews, and much more!


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Sanford Center Terazzo Floor

The floor, which had a significant budget beyond the art budget, could become a low-maintenance, permanent art fixture at the event center enjoyed by all, seamlessly integrated into the architecture of the building.

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Gregg LeFevre, bronze map inlay in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood, 1996.Finding the There There: Strategies for Defining the Non-Place with Public Art and Urban Design

What is needed is an enlightened artist constituency who can move beyond signature works of ego to serve a restive public that wants more meaning embedded in the infrastructure of the banal sites where they live. People want to experience well-crafted elements that often require a team of artisans as well as the conceptualizing artist. This is not the coterie of city sophisticates who value abstraction and the shock of the new.

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