Book
Public Space? Lost and Found

Public Space? Lost and Found explores the contemporary evolution of public space from the milieu of design and artistic thinking and practice at the civic scale. It gathers an eclectic cast of practitioners and theorists of the public domain and welcomes all readers interested in how the production of public space plays out (or could play out) under interrelated, accelerating conditions shaping the present, such as ubiquitous computing, climate change, economic austerity, and the rise of various stripes of political extremism and isolationism. The premise of this collection, conveyed in its title, is that public space is perpetually being lost and found according to big changes in the social and technical makeup of our lives—it is a perennial and open concern.

Public spaces change as our modes of publicity change and as the threshold between public and non-public, intimacy and exposure, shifts. Producing new and relevant works of art and civic technologies in support of a public domain means being ready to disorient and reorient oneself toward the contemporary features of public space, as well as the forces walling it off, buying it out, or making it redundant—even obsolete. Today, amidst an incredible boom in information environments and marketplaces, new forms of mediated sociality and solidarity, and explosive, cross-scale threats to personal and ecosystematic security, it is easy to develop civic vertigo and lose sight of how public space works and for whom. We need to be nimble and open in our approach, which includes a serious questioning of the enduring viability of this term: public space.

Public Space? Lost & Found began as a symposium and exhibition (April, 2014) that celebrated the career and retirement of professor of the practice Antoni Muntadas and the network of artists, researchers, centers, and programs he helped to develop at, and far beyond, MIT. The symposium featured several of the contributors to this book. In the interim years, the book grew in scope to include new voices. The book’s four sections—PARADOXES, ECOLOGIES, JURISDICTIONS, and SIGNALS—reflect conversations had in the wake of the original symposium and capture themes of urgent concern in the discourses of art and architecture, but also of anthropology, philosophy, political economy, and civic media.


Edited by Gediminas Urbonas, Ann Lui, and Lucas Freeman

Produced by the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT)
Published by SA+P Press
Distributed by MIT Press

Contributors: atelier d’architecture autogérée, Dennis Adams, Bik Van Der Pol, Adrian Blackwell, Ina Blom, Christoph Brunner with Gerald Raunig, Néstor García Canclini, Colby Chamberlain, Beatriz Colomina, Teddy Cruz with Fonna Forman, Jodi Dean, Juan Herreros, Brian Holmes, Andrés Jaque, Caroline Jones, Coryn Kempster with Julia Jamrozik, György Kepes, Rikke Luther, Matthew Mazzotta, Metahaven, Timothy Morton, Antoni Muntadas, Otto Piene, Marjetica Potrč, Nader Tehrani, Troy Therrien, Gedminas and Nomeda Urbonas, Angela Vettese, Mariel Villeré, Mark Wigley, and Krzysztof Wodiczko

With section openings from Ana María León, T. J. Demos, Doris Sommer, and Catherine D’Ignazio

 

Title
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsUrbonas G, Freeman L, Lui A
Volume1
Edition1
Number of Pages300
PublisherSA+P Press and MIT Press
CityCambridge, MA
ISBN9780998117003
Abstract

Public Space? Lost and Found explores the contemporary evolution of public space from the milieu of design and artistic thinking and practice at the civic scale. It gathers an eclectic cast of practitioners and theorists of the public domain and welcomes all readers interested in how the production of public space plays out (or could play out) under interrelated, accelerating conditions shaping the present, such as ubiquitous computing, climate change, economic austerity, and the rise of various stripes of political extremism and isolationism. The premise of this collection, conveyed in its title, is that public space is perpetually being lost and found according to big changes in the social and technical makeup of our lives—it is a perennial and open concern.

Public spaces change as our modes of publicity change and as the threshold between public and non-public, intimacy and exposure, shifts. Producing new and relevant works of art and civic technologies in support of a public domain means being ready to disorient and reorient oneself toward the contemporary features of public space, as well as the forces walling it off, buying it out, or making it redundant—even obsolete. Today, amidst an incredible boom in information environments and marketplaces, new forms of mediated sociality and solidarity, and explosive, cross-scale threats to personal and ecosystematic security, it is easy to develop civic vertigo and lose sight of how public space works and for whom. We need to be nimble and open in our approach, which includes a serious questioning of the enduring viability of this term: public space.

Public Space? Lost & Found began as a symposium and exhibition (April, 2014) that celebrated the career and retirement of professor of the practice Antoni Muntadas and the network of artists, researchers, centers, and programs he helped to develop at, and far beyond, MIT. The symposium featured several of the contributors to this book. In the interim years, the book grew in scope to include new voices. The book’s four sections—PARADOXES, ECOLOGIES, JURISDICTIONS, and SIGNALS—reflect conversations had in the wake of the original symposium and capture themes of urgent concern in the discourses of art and architecture, but also of anthropology, philosophy, political economy, and civic media.


Edited by Gediminas Urbonas, Ann Lui, and Lucas Freeman

Produced by the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT)
Published by SA+P Press
Distributed by MIT Press

Contributors: atelier d’architecture autogérée, Dennis Adams, Bik Van Der Pol, Adrian Blackwell, Ina Blom, Christoph Brunner with Gerald Raunig, Néstor García Canclini, Colby Chamberlain, Beatriz Colomina, Teddy Cruz with Fonna Forman, Jodi Dean, Juan Herreros, Brian Holmes, Andrés Jaque, Caroline Jones, Coryn Kempster with Julia Jamrozik, György Kepes, Rikke Luther, Matthew Mazzotta, Metahaven, Timothy Morton, Antoni Muntadas, Otto Piene, Marjetica Potrč, Nader Tehrani, Troy Therrien, Gedminas and Nomeda Urbonas, Angela Vettese, Mariel Villeré, Mark Wigley, and Krzysztof Wodiczko

With section openings from Ana María León, T. J. Demos, Doris Sommer, and Catherine D’Ignazio