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By Malcolm Miles

This e-book examines public artwork outdoors the conventional confines of artwork feedback and locations it inside broader contexts of public house and gender via exploring either the classy and political elements of the medium.

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Extra info for Art, space and the city : public art and urban futures

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Yet it is the detail of material form which is more often offered for ‘consultation’ by urban planners and designers, and discussed in the definition of what Kevin Lynch calls ‘good city form’, rather than the question of what kind of city meets the needs of which publics. Lynch writes, at the beginning of a chapter on ‘City Models and City Design’, that ‘Design decisions are largely based on models in the head of the designer’ (Lynch, [1981] 1984:277) which suggests a conceptual level of operation, yet limits its scope to the mind of an individual designer, as if designers functioned in a realm of free choices, without questioning received conventions, structures of power or the relative roles of professionals and users in determining city form.

Massey argues that the vision is privileged precisely because it offers detachment (Massey, 1994:232) and Sibley writes of the ‘voyeuristic impulse, which Rose represents as the “masculine gaze”, reifying and dehumanising the “other”’ in relation to map making ‘and other forms of distant geographical description’ (Sibley, 1995:185). How can this marginalisation of the feminine be addressed? STRATEGIES OF RESISTANCE Luce Irigaray, considering strategies of resistance to patriarchy’s dominant cultural forms, writes, in Thinking the Difference: To anyone who cares about social justice today, I suggest putting up posters in all public places with beautiful pictures representing the mother—daughter couple—the couple that illustrates a very special relationship to nature and culture….

The production of space There is a further set of contradictions between the way space is conceptualised and the diversity of things which go on in the social spaces of the city. Henri Lefebvre, in The Production of Space, argues that, whilst history is bound up with the time in which forces clash, space is constructed, in modern western thought, as an illusory transparency. Space is also, according to geographer Doreen Massey, categorised as one side of a duality with gendered associations: There is a whole set of dualisms whose terms are commonly aligned with time and space.

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