Wednesday, 29 June 2011
Monday, 27 June 2011
Sunday, 26 June 2011
A simple floor plan of three different house types on each storey have been combined with one of the most elegant facades that I have seen for a long time. Always nice when it gets built and it looks like the initial drawings. Cost effect and cleaver use of colour to establish a strong identity. More on the development at 2+1 officina architettura.
Tuesday, 7 June 2011
One of the ways the discussion responded was in highlighting distinctions between 'art' and 'public art' and the underlying key performance indicators [KPIs]. Thinking about KPIs for art forces us to think about the type of output and outcomes that are required as part of a public art project. On reflection, this idea actually translated well into the work of the individual artists and the work put into the initial brief and commission. So, the key idea was that  public art commissions have a different starting point from 'art' in that they are driven by outputs and outcomes that are in some manner 'measurable'.
At a basic level, public art has to have some measurables, be it the number of visits to museums or the percentage of people enlightened by the work or the percentage improvement on levels of visual conginance - whatever the sense of the measure, ther always seems to have to be a measure in order to justisify the investment of time, money and resources. We have to be able to audit the investment put into public art and provide some justification. There were some concerns that actually ignoring this point and lacking empirical [for this 'economic'] justification for the arts is one of the reasons behind the current level of cuts. Any suggestions for national indicators for the arts would be useful - one recent write up suggested the most common web searches, that results in Banksy being the most popular artist in the world. Or what about the resale value value of the work - a case for Hirst?
Given this starting point, the next question was  how do we do more with less? And in so doing, help to justify investment in the arts. One of the reasons behind the recent collaboration between the local authority and the University, was exactly addressing this - how do we make more of what we have within the existing public art collection within the city and get more people involved? Having a target group in mind was a strong starting point, with students apprecipating the requirement to undertake background market research with their choice of 'public' to ensure what they are proposing is about public outputs rather than the personal outcomes that every artist has.
Enlightened self-interest in building a body of work within public art should always require a different method of working that is centered around the target audience. One of the key observations on the above distinction, was that the medium is not the message. Those artists who focus on a media, in many of these projects it was about the technology, tended to miss the target group and outcomes.
The next area explored was  how the creative element, the ideas, fitted into public art commissions? An equation emerged suggesting that "Public Art = Idea + audience + funding" - or put another way, "Public Art = Creativity + market research + business plan". In both of these thoughts, public art does appear to more than just art within a public location. It has at heart, a different audience in mind. Whether individual works actually hit their target audience is actually an experiment in market testing. But at least the public audience are always clear within the brief.