I’m embarking on a new writing trajectory, not so much a project but a discreet inquiry under the umbrella of Placing, which feels like it’s been skimming the surface rather than delving into specific problematics and ideas. This inquiry will explore the slippages between important spatial and geographic concepts across diverse artistic practices in the public realm; not quite chorographic. This doesn’t just refer to ‘public art’, but a plenitude and multitude of projects and practitioners. So in the first instance, just to put it out there, I hope to consider the following as the ground.
- Place. As in Space + Meaning.
- Site. As in situated, unsitely (via Maria Miranda), site specific.
- Building. As in architecture and dwelling (via Martin Heidegger)
- Local. As in its lure (via Lucy Lippard), but she really means ‘place’.
- Public Realm. As in a construction of space that is rapidly disappearing in cities and communities.
- Landscape. As in the visual elements of landforms, a part of the Earth.
- Territory. As in an assemblage and a ‘malleable site of passage’ (via Deleuze and Guattari). Not to be confused with landscape. It has political implications.
And then, there is an ‘unground’ as well; a virtual realm and virtuality that makes something else of this ground, something else of art and sense. The exact nature of this inquiry is yet to be revealed. However, in the first instance, I will be looking at each of these spatial ideas in terms of how artistic and curatorial practice addresses them. To put something on or in a space is to change it; it is to address those spaces as one would an audience, but also to provide an address by fixing location even if only momentarily. Artists, writers and curators are always scaping …