Planetary Breakdown conference, AV Festival 10. Photo © Louise Hepworth

This international interdisciplinary conference explored the temporality of contemporary public arts practice, organised by Intersections at Newcastle University.

Duration explores the tensions between permanence and temporality in contemporary public arts practice. Public Art engages with issues of societal change, policy-making and environmental specificities, all of which unfold at a unique pace. Critical practice and new technologies can engage, disrupt or challenge this pace by working across time and space.

Themes included:

Permanent / Ephemeral: how do ephemeral practices disrupt, agitate or question the permanence of contemporary social and physical landscapes? How do ‘permanent’ rhetorical topoi in our landscapes retain relevance and evoke meaning against the continual pulse of change? What are the dialogues between ephemerality and permanence in contemporary practice and how do they relate to broader social and political discourse? How do we inscribe temporary acts/events into more permanent forms and what are the implications of this?

Duration: What is the duration of a public artwork? In commissioned work, how are demands for ‘visual’ deliverables mediated with desires for socially-engaged and place-enriching practice? In our consideration or evaluation of public art projects, are we too quick to judge? How does duration affect our perception of value? Is there a different temporality to urban and rural works?

Expectation: How have contemporary art practices used temporal disruption to alter the audience’s expectations and experience? How is contemporary public art practice engaging with technology to disrupt desires for immediacy?

Intersections is a research platform based in Fine Art at Newcastle University. Intersections seeks to generate critical dialogue about public art practice through events and research projects in collaboration with the cultural sector. Intersections examines issues arising from the creative friction inherent in the interaction of public art practice, policy and public space.

Curated by Intersections, Newcastle University

Duration Conference

Thu 29 – Sat 31 March 2012

Culture Lab

Grand Assembly Rooms
Kings Walk
Newcastle NE1 7RU