Down the Rabbit Hole @ Public Art Dialogue

The Spring 2015 number of PAD Public Art Dialogue, published our article on the public space version of Urban Fruit Street Wrapper; Down the Rabbit Hole.


Quote from the Editorial Statement by John Craig Freeman and Mimi Sheller:

“Just as other areas of social theory have recently argued, there is no longer a clear-cut distinction between the digital and the physical: our worlds are permeated by code, producing a hybrid space or “code/space” that is always already imbued with this duality of software/hardware. 5 Even if we are not directly engaging with digital interfaces, algorithmic practices nevertheless shape urban mobilities and public spaces through a pervasive “technological unconscious,”which thus impacts the coming together of people in publics. 6 This means that we need new ways to think about digital art and its relation to public art, because digital culture overflows the public sphere and inflects public space in diverse and complex ways:visible and invisible, planned and unplanned, orchestrated and by chance, or perhaps dependent upon the emergent serendipities of “chance orchestration.” 7

The cover of this issue plays with such fortune. Inspired by having had their image captured in a remote field in the highlands of Scotland by Google Street View cameras, artists PolakvanBekkum’s Urban Fruit – Street Wrapper is an attempt by the artists to wrestle back agency and imagery in the making of digital public space, while raising questions about where we stand. They experiment with the wrapping and unwrapping of an object (a piece of fruit, classic still-life fodder), set in a place that at a second-order level reflects a location represented (via Google Street View) on the printed wrapper, and at a third-order level is turned into a huge building wrapper reflecting back the very same street location, whose image is wrapped around the image of the fruit. And on the back cover we see the view back in the opposite direction, producing a kind of mise-en-abyme of representational switches between the digital and the physical, from the fruit, to the building, to the street, to street view, to the journal cover. Are we wrapped/ mapped in digital culture, or is digital culture wrapped/mapped in and through us? And whose street/view/image is it to produce, or to consume?”

PAD Public Art Dialogue; Special Issue Digital Public Art Vol 4 Number 1 Spring 2015 Routledge

download article by PolakVanBekkum: