Argent and Dehaemers: Critique Method 2

This summer, Lawrence Argent installed "Ghost Trolley" in Aurora, Colorado, at a moment when rebirth of trolley systems or "light rail" has achieved messianic proportions throughout the USA. After nearly 100 years of automobiles, light rail is the mass transit system of choice for the suburban middle class moving back to the city centers. All planners under 40 years old assume that the renovated … [Read more...]

Coca Cola Using Public Art

40th Anniversity of Blake's Sargent Pepper Album cover for the Beattles Public Art managers and curators have developed successful collaborations with community-based organizations to enhance the value and participation of a new artwork, but in general the industry has failed to capture potential coordination via the mass media and Internet. In London last week, Coca Cola gave the public art … [Read more...]

Value Judgment in Public Art and Public Space

A detour from new critical methods development to respond to Flyover. Or maybe this is on the way. Unlike the museum or journal, the players in the selection, design and implementation of public art and public space do not have the luxury of open exploration as the primary value. Everyone that has served on a diverse, but sophisticated design competition jury, knows that generally the … [Read more...]

Lawrence Argent: New Method of Critique 1

I asked Lawrence Argent and he agreed. I chose Argent because I think he is one of the best public artists in the USA. But the new method of critique may not sit well with him or other artists. Past articles at Aesthetic Grounds have addressed a number of important concepts to this method: vernacular, plagiarism, popular photography and imaginative connotative associations. Now Ottoman and … [Read more...]

Project Updates: Semaphore, Landmarks Wales, Couple

In the last eight months, I have written on a number of projects with open questions. Here are some answers. MESSAGE FROM SEMAPHORE IN SAN JOSE Artist Ben Rubin announces the message and recognizes the code crackers. Rubin sponsored an awardless competition to read the semaphore. The message was deciphered in a couple of days, but Rubin waited a year. The message was the first sentence from … [Read more...]

North America Arts Events, Fall ’07

As summer is winding down, it's time plan your North American public art and public space travel schedule. Here is my selection. Burning Man, north of Reno, Nevada, 21 Years in Different Forms August 27 to September 3, 2007 The giant performance and installation event in the Black Rock desert. Bring your tent and your caffeine to stay up for many nights. (The Burning Man website has an … [Read more...]

Writing on Public Art from Carlos Cruz-Diez

After my blog on the value of location for public art, I was honored that Cruz-Diez sent me the following essay he wrote in 1996. If you don't know his work, Cruz-Diez is one of the giants of 20th century art in Latin America. He was born in Caracas, Venzuela in 1922. In the 1960s, he began his physichromie series. These paintings, constructions and murals change color and patterns as the … [Read more...]

Best Of

Aesthetic Grounds YouTube Site Selected Videos on Public Art and Public Space Best of Public Art Websites 1. Muncipal Website: Indianapolis, USA 2. Administration and Case Studies: Public Art Online, UK 3. Photos of USA Projects: Public Art Network, USA 4. Policy for Art in Buildings: Queensland, Australia 5. Sample Contracts, Call to Artists and Other Documents: PAN, USA 6. Sample MP3 … [Read more...]

Breathing in Light: Geneva and New York

Perhaps a division exists among the designers and artists of physical space in the city. All them wish to bring renewed energy to the person in space. Physically, the artists could create a perfect moment of relaxations under a tree and the near the fountain on a hot day. Mentally, the artists could spark contemplation, a laugh or a conversation by adding images or text that interaction with … [Read more...]

Wake up the Dance Critics

LEAP and SLOW DANCING At Lincoln Center in July, David Michalek presented his scientific, commercially-styled video on three outdoor screens on Alice Tully Hall. The critical response reveals the disconnect between the disciplines in the arts. Michalek's website links to every article - all by dance critics. None of the critics seem to have any knowledge of the history of exterior projections … [Read more...]

Aycock on a Tennessee River

After my rant on the failure of public art to find a home in valuable, visible places, the City of Nashville has the guts to hire Alice Aycock with its first artwork and site it on the Cumberland River. Not any location, but at the terminus of an important historic street, under the shadow of the Titans football stadium and in plain view of every river boat and corporate window in downtown … [Read more...]

No more bathrooms. No more floors.

Since I coordinated a contest for a mural in the freshman architecture studio at Georgia Tech in 1976, I have been involved in public art and public space. After 30 years, how did the public art establishment get cornered into public bathrooms and terrazo floors with their limited public art dollars? It's time for public art to be front and center of new spaces and buildings again. A few years … [Read more...]