CFP: PUBLIC – Deadline 10.31

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Date/Time: 31/10/2007 12:00 am

Special Anniversary Issue, *Public?*
The journal *PUBLIC: Art/Culture/Ideas* invites submissions for a
reflexively-themed anniversary issue devoted to current theorizations and
practices of the public sphere.
PUBLIC #36 celebrates twenty years of critical thinking and creative
engagement with the notion of the public sphere—as imaginary relation,
politico-juridical construct, and material spatial practice. And yet,
celebration invites pause, the reflection of return. Thus, at this
historical juncture, we are interested in querying the role which the public
continues to play within current thinking about art, culture and technology,
in defining the political, and in imagining new forms of intervention,
engagement, and interference that attempt to transform the parameters of
citizenship, the phenomenology of everyday life, the architecture of our
urban landscape, and our understandings of democracy.
In 1988 PUBLIC was launched by the Public Access Collective which
simultaneously began to curate public exhibitions that utilized urban
screens as a means to consider the potential of public art for both
engendering collective experience and insight and for inciting debates and
raising awareness in a city (Toronto) that was quickly privatizing every
inch of shared space. Since that time PUBLIC has expanded but continues its
mandate to investigate ideas of art and culture within the urban context. In
twenty years the landscape of the public has changed dramatically: the
Internet has emerged as an important space for consolidating and
collaborating, bringing with it a renewed emphasis on the figure of the
commons; spatial topographies have been transformed through the new
architectures of information and media; temporary autonomous zones have been
used as performance spaces; non-places such as airports have become
important sites of critical investigation for artists and activists;
counter-publics and scenes have been created through events both spontaneous
and community-based; boundaries (national, urban, and personal) have become
at once more blurred and more policed. PUBLIC 36 aims to reevaluate and
reposition the idea of the public, placing it within these contemporary
contexts and concerns. How do we think the public today?
We are seeking papers that interrogate and address:
—the theoretical and historical framework of the public sphere, particularly
in relation to artistic/cultural practice;
—alternative conceptions and occluded possibilities;
—the very (im)possibility of critical public art amidst
governmental/corporate constraints;
—the aesthetic strategies, ethics, poetics, and rhythms of publicity and
counter- publics;
—the variety of experiences and articulations of the public sphere in
different localities/temporalities;
—the effect of digital media on the public’s contours;
—the question of the public’s very composition (i.e. *res publica*);
—the seemingly essential relation between the public and the polis;
—the affective dimension of the public sphere (or the psyche’s public)
—the difficult boundaries between public and private;
—surveillance, monitoring, and data collection;
—architecture’s adaptation to new notions of the public;
—the rise of participatory culture/the public as actor and audience;
—the dominance of the urban in theories of the public;
—the public’s negotiation of physical place and transition to
—intellectual property and public access to information and knowledge;
—networks as tools for community and collective artistic practice;
—the new possibilities of engagement, new spatial topographies
This list is not exhaustive and proposals on other relevant topics are
welcome. Please submit paper proposals (abstracts of up to 300 words) to the
issue’s editors at public@yorku.ca, by *October 31st*. Full manuscripts
(short and long—2,000-6,000 words) should be received by January 10th.
Manuscripts should be double-spaced with a list of works cited (using ‘The
Chicago Manual of Style,’ 15th edition). More information about the journal
can be found at http://www.publicjournal.ca. We welcome essays in either
English or French.
*Editors for this issue*:
Aleksandra Kaminska (York University)
Janine Marchessault (York University)
Jason Rovito (Ryerson University)