Public Art and Residual Urban Spaces : The Case for Informal Public Art in Stockholm
Sammanfattning: While Stockholm has made significant investments in formal public art throughout the inner city and suburbs, the city has a lack of informal public art. Defined as a feature or work produced by a person who considers themselves to be an artist or craftsperson, located in a place accessible to and used by the public, public art can be either formal or informal. Informal public art generally has no formal process, with flexibility on the temporal nature of the work, materials and subject. This allows the artwork to inhabit spaces which are overlooked or underinvested in by formal public art commissioning bodies, and not have to follow formal public art requirements which are part of the broken “public art machine”. (Phillips, 1988). Much of Stockholm’s urban environment is considered beautiful, has heritage value and/ or is protected. But Stockholm also hosts many spaces in between – spaces that hold the city together, including infrastructure, bridges, alleys, and the places under and between them. These spaces can be labelled as a city’s residual spaces (Villagomez, 2010), and are where informal public art can be utilised to make these spaces into places. This study outlines the importance of and background to public art in the context of Stockholm. A survey of Stockholm’s residents, visitors and potential future visitors established how they feel about public art in the city, as well as in residual urban spaces, and to what extent it assists with establishing a place connection. This was accompanied by onsite interventions and observational analysis which challenged the way residual urban spaces are being used in Stockholm, and developed a case for how informal public art can be incorporated in the city’s residual urban spaces.
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