Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Public Art and the Media

We were checking out Flavorpill today, and it prompted some thoughts about public art. One of the daily links was to "Play Me I'm Yours," a project by Luke Jerram that involves the set up of numerous pianos around a city, in various states of repair, for the public to play. As the statement on the website says, "Who plays them and how long they remain is up to each community. The pianos act as sculptural, musical, blank canvases that become a reflection of the communities they are embedded into. Many pianos are personalised and decorated." It's a neat work of art and the kind of thing everyone wants in his or her own town, right?

Flavorpill also linked to Heather Tweed's page, actually to show off her fuzzy Anubis sculptures, but poking around there, we found her "Lost not Found: Abscission," which doesn't give a lot of details but appears to be a similar use of public space for an interactive art project: "The artist will be secreting small artworks at various locations across Edinburgh City centre, finders are requested to follow the attached instructions to participate in the project and keep the artwork. Please visit again over the course of the project for updates, participants and final outcome."

So why do our buttons get so happily pushed by this kind of interactive, public art? If you're a member of the media, including bloggers, pieces of this sort are certainly easier to write about. There's more to do than just stand there and contemplate. And there's no entrance fee. But should they take precedence over more traditional gallery installations? Should we stop pointing to the efforts of artists to shake up everyday life and create consciousness about art as a living, evolving thing?

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