Urban art encounters
October 9, 2013

What happens when the private experience of art is disrupted by urban public life and when artistic production is opened up to the interventions of the urban public? Tracing the City, a SSHRC-funded research group at NSCAD and Dalhousie, delves into these questions at an interdisciplinary colloquium called Urban Encounters: Art and the Public.

Taking place Oct. 10 to 12, the colloquium has a packed schedule that is part academic conference, part art exhibition and performance.  Evening events take place at the Khyber Centre for the Arts, 1588 Barrington St., Halifax, while free daytime events are at NSCAD’s Academy Building, 1649 Brunswick Street. Principal investigators are Kim Morgan and Solomon Nagler, professors from NSCAD, and Martha Radice, a social anthropologist at Dalhousie.

“This is the first serious discussion in an academic setting about the idea of public art,” says Prof. Nagler, a filmmaker with NSCAD’s Media Arts Division. “And we hope it acts almost like a mini Nocturne, probing the role of the city in the sphere of public art a week before Nocturne hits.”

“We’re exploring what effect public art has in the way people experience the city,” adds Prof. Morgan, who teachers in the Sculpture Department at NSCAD. “Does art enhance, disrupt or interfere with the urban experience? As an artist, I feel art has a profound impact on the way we engage with the city.”

This international interdisciplinary colloquium—an innovative mix of academic papers, exhibitions, artists’ talks and performance art—will be attended by academics, researchers and artists.

Here’s a glance at the program:

On Thursday, Oct. 10
  • Art and Activism in the Public Sphere presented by Karin Cope, Carla Taunton, Ericka Walker, Max Haiven and Marc James Leger. 3-5 p.m. at the Khyber.
  • Reception and Book Launch: Marc James Leger for The Neoliberal Undead and Bruce Barber, Littoral Art and Communicative Action. 5 to 7 p.m., Khyber.
  • Art performance by Michael Fernandes. 7 p.m., Khyber.
  • Live projection light/sound performance. 8:30 p.m., Khyber.

On Friday, Oct. 11

  • The Publics of Public Art I, with Lawrence Bird, Solomon Nagler, Martha Radice, Harvey & Turner, Laurent Vernet. 9 to 11 a.m., Academy Building.
  • Movement, Media and Mapping, with Robert Bean, Susanne Shawyer, Alexandrive Boudreault-Fournier. 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Academy Building.
  • The Publics of Public Art II, with Alison Bain, Zoe Bray, Anru Lee & Perng-juh Peter Shyong, Naomi Seixas, 2-4 p.m., Academy Building.
  • Publics as practice, with Sebastian Matthias, Christof Migone, Wes Johnston, Rachelle Viader Knowles, 4:30-6:30 p.m., Academy Building.
  • Art performances by Bruce Barber, Eryn Foster, 8 to 10 p.m. at the Khyber.

Saturday, Oct. 12

  • Workshop on Cross-disciplinary Collaboration and Research Creation, 10 a.m.- 12 noon, Khyber.
  • Roundtable on Public Art and the City, moderated by Stephanie Domet with Alison Bain, Peter Dykhuis, Eleanor King, Jamie MacLellan. 1-2 p.m., Khyber
  • Urban Encounters: Documents and Situations – Artists’ talks, with Linda Duvall, Amanda Fauteux, Adriana Kuiper, Rory MacDonald, Kim Morgan, Ellen Moffat. 3-5 p.m., Khyber.
  • Art walks, exhibitions, installations with Christof Migone, Bruce Barber, Bruce McClure, Scott Saunders, and students

Prof. Morgan emphasizes that events are free and students are welcome to attend. For more details and to register, please visit the website: http://tracingthecity.ca/