Public Art 2.0: developing shared platforms for creativity in public spaces
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This research explores parallels, connections and synergies between public art, artistic practice beyond the gallery context, and Web 2.0, the Internet platform for user‐ generated content, online communication medium and host for web-based communities. I look at the impact, actual and potential, of Web 2.0 on the ways in which public art is made. Through Web 2.0 a different set of criteria and methods can be established in order to re-examine the practice of art. What can public art learn from Web 2.0? What are the possible debates that Web 2.0 can provoke in the field of public art? What novel forms of audience engagement with, and participation in, public art could be inspired by the practices of co-creation and sharing integral to Web 2.0? Has the relationship between artists and audience changed because of Web 2.0? Web 2.0 prompts us to reconsider the ways in which public art is produced. In my approach I take into consideration that Web 2.0 is useful in expanding the possibilities of public art by providing a unique opportunity for shared creativity in the public space. I call this field Public Art 2.0. This study considers the attributes of Web 2.0 as a methodological framework for public art. It offers a reconsideration of the understanding of the contentious issues surrounding the practice using Web 2.0 as a platform of shared creativity. To validate this argument further, this research investigates two case studies: the Big Art Mob (2006) and the Bubble Project (2002). Both initiatives represent an area where public art and Web 2.0 intersect. This thesis includes a report of findings from qualitative interviews with members of both projects. Public Art 2.0 is a hybrid type of practice that borrows from the digital world and applies the principles of Web 2.0 in the physical space. Public Art 2.0 is a creative space where changes are welcomed at any time. Public Art 2.0 is open source — a process of creation, encouraging multi-authorship and shared creativity. Public Art 2.0 is viral — it can be replicated and re-presented many times by anyone that wishes to do so. Public Art 2.0 is a platform that anyone can build upon and a process that enhances the ability to create together.