I’ve just started my Masters, Art in a Public Space at RMIT. During the first week I started to get curious as to how the public interact with art that has been plonked in their space. How do they view it? What do they use it for? We went on an excursion down to Docklands to view some of the public art down there and I came across a beer can that was lying in one of the sculptures – IOU by Mikala Dwyer, and that decided me. I’d start a photographic investigation into how the public use what is supposedly ‘their’ art.
So I’ve set up a blog – Public Uses for Public Art on which I’m uploading photos of what the general public do with the art that’s given over to public space. I think it’s a really interesting topic. So far I’ve discovered that public artworks are used as canvases, rubbish bins, photo opportunities, educational opportunities and billboards. And that was in the first two days. I’d love to spend a day in the CBD staking out pieces of public art to see what people do around them, but for the moment I’ll have to settle for quick snaps as I go about my daily business.