The city as a curated space: a study of the public urban visual arts in central Sydney and central Melbourne, Australia

Wong, T 2011, The city as a curated space: a study of the public urban visual arts in central Sydney and central Melbourne, Australia, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Art, RMIT University.


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Collection: Theses

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Title The city as a curated space: a study of the public urban visual arts in central Sydney and central Melbourne, Australia
Author(s) Wong, T
Year 2011
Abstract This study frames the city as a site for artistic activity and presents a distributed model of exhibition in urban spaces. The research investigates the configuration of the visual arts in public spaces as an alternative to the visual arts institutional model of gallery based exhibitions. Since the 1990s there has been an increase in public urban visual arts activity in Australian city centres. This has occurred for a number of reasons: artists are increasingly interested in experimenting with new ways of interpreting and activating the public sphere; local governments are seeing the benefits of engaging communities through public art practices and city planners are showing an increased interest in the role of artists and artwork in urban regeneration. This research investigates the view that the city can be configured as a curated space, in terms of an ecosystem where interdependent agents navigate complexity to work within this system. The research of this proposition is undertaken via two Australian case studies of central Melbourne and Sydney. It examines the function of curation as applied to those urban locations by focusing on recent public art activity in inner urban laneway spaces. Influenced by Michel Foucault’s (1926-1984) methodology of archaeology and genealogy, discourses of the curation of the city have been identified in the comparative case studies. These discourses were constructed to present a critical history of the present and investigates the impact of local practices upon the subsequent outcomes in each of the cities. A further three minor international case studies of San Francisco, USA, Shanghai, China and ┼×ile, Istanbul, give an international perspective to the conceptual framework of the research. An analysis of the major and minor case studies informs the development of a model framework for the city as a curated space, and advises how the curated city could be considered by key agents working within this system. This research offers new knowledge in two forms: 1) A conceptual outcome – the curated city is understood as an interdependent ecosystem; 2) A practical outcome – a new model framework that provides key actions for the cultural, creative and economic enhancement of the ecosystem.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Art
Keyword(s) Cities
Curation
Visual arts
Public art
Note Author also known as Tammy Wong Hulbert
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