This book links two fields of interest which are too seldom considered together: the production and critique of art in public space and social behaviour in the public realm. Whilst most writing about public art has focused on the aesthetic, cultural and political intentions and processes that shape its production, this edited collection examines a variety of public artworks from the perspective of their actual everyday use. Contributors are interested in the rich diversity of peoples’ engagements with public artworks across various spatial and temporal scales, encounters which do not limit themselves to the representational aspects of the art, and which are not necessarily as the artist, curator or sponsor intended. Case studies consider a broad range of public art, including commissioned and unofficial artworks, memorials, street art, street furniture, performance art, sound art and media installations.

chapter 1|16 pages

Framing Art and Its Uses in Public Space

ByQuentin Stevens, Julia Lossau

part I|32 pages


chapter 2|14 pages

The Ergonomics of Public Art

ByQuentin Stevens

chapter 3|16 pages

Graffiti, Street Art and Theories of Stigmergy

ByLachlan MacDowall

part II|31 pages


chapter 4|16 pages

Media Architecture

Engaging Urban Experiences in Public Space
ByMartin Brynskov, Peter Dalsgaard, Kim Halskov

chapter 5|13 pages

Trafalgar Square

Of Play, Plinths, Publics, Pigeons and Participation
ByNicolas Whybrow

part III|32 pages


chapter 6|15 pages

Tree Planting

The Use of Public Art as Social Practice
ByJulia Lossau

chapter 7|15 pages

Sound Response

The Public Reception of Audio Walks
ByAngharad Saunders, Kate Moles

part IV|33 pages


chapter 9|15 pages

‘You Aren't an Aussie if You Don't Come’

National Identity and Visitors' Practices at the Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux
ByShanti Sumartojo

part V|54 pages


chapter 10|18 pages

The Social Life of Artworks in Public Spaces

A Study of the Publics in the Quartier International de Montréal
ByLaurent Vernet

chapter 11|15 pages

Art Engagers

What Does Public Art Do to Its Publics? The Case of the ‘Butt Plug Gnome'
ByMartin Zebracki

chapter 12|18 pages

As Prop and Symbol

Engaging with Works of Art in Public Space
ByKaren A. Franck