Public Art and the Commons


Public art has emerged as a crucial issue over the past decade. As the List Center celebrates its 30th anniversary this fall, their board has decided to present a debate around Public Art and the Commons at this year’s Wasserman Forum on Contemporary Art, in Cambridge, MA, next November 13-14th.

In response to conditions of intensifying economic and political precarity, artists have renewed a dialogue on those social and cultural resources held in common, including media, education, language, the environment, and housing. The 2015 Wasserman Forum will examine this development with a keynote address and three panels of practitioners from the visual arts, critical theory, and political activism. Speakers will consider contemporary public art from multiple perspectives: its role in recent revolutionary contexts, including Turkey and Egypt; its intersection with digital culture; and its purpose in an era of privatization.



Friday, November 13

12-1 PM
Lawrence Weiner’s, A Translation from the language to another (2015)
Location: Dewey Square Park, Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston

Keynote Address
Location: List Center, Bartos Theater

5 PM
Paul C. Ha (Director, List Center)
Julie Burros (Chief of Arts and Culture, City of Boston)

5:30-7 PM
Thomas Hirschhorn (Artist, Paris) on the Gramsci Monument (2013)
Includes a discussion with Erik Farmer (President, Forest Houses Residents Association, New York) and Yasmil Raymond (Associate Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture, MoMA). Moderated by Jordan Troeller (Wasserman Fellow, List Center).

Saturday, November 14

9:30-10:30 PM
Public Art Collection at MIT
Group meets in the List Center’s atrium-level lobby

Panel Sessions
Location: List Center, Bartos Theater

11-12:30 PM
The Square
Jasmina Metwaly (Artist and Filmmaker, Cairo)
Philip Rizk (Filmmaker and Writer, Cairo)
Hakan Topal (Artist, New York and Ankara; Assistant Professor, Purchase College, SUNY)
Moderated by Henriette Huldisch (Curator, List Center)

2-3:30 PM
The Network
Jodi Dean (Professor, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY)
Daniel van der Velden (Designer and Co-founder, Metahaven, Amsterdam)
Moderated by Gediminas Urbonas (Associate Professor and Director, MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology)

4-5:30 PM
The Institution
Bill Arning (Director, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston)
Lina Viste Grønli (Artist, Cambridge, MA, and Oslo)
Lawrence Weiner (Artist, New York and Amsterdam)
Moderated by Alise Upitis (Assistant Curator, Public Art and Exhibitions, List Center)

Free and open to the public. Registration required here.

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  • max wasserman forum
  • public art
  • commons


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