October 2020

The Routledge Companion to Art in the Public Realm is a forthcoming multidisciplinary anthology of essays that will fill an important gap in the current literature on the global arena of public art. It will do this through four distinct field topics, exploring the expansion of contemporary public art issues within and beyond the built environment.

  • Activation: Activating public spaces, facilitating cultural participation, building community cohesion.
  • Social Justice: Addressing issues of social justice.
  • Memory and Identity: Telling the stories of a community or place and its history, memorializing significant events and actors.
  • Ecology: Commenting on, or intervening in, ecological issues.

This thematic/topical approach highlights similarities and differences in the recent ‘globalisation’ of public art practices, while the multidisciplinary emphasis allows for a consideration of the complex outcomes and consequences of such practices as they engage different disciplines and communities of practice, and impact on a diversity of individuals and constituencies beyond existing ‘art world’ audiences.

This volume will highlight an international selection of artist projects to illustrate the companion themes, going some way towards constructing a truly global survey and ‘art history’ for art in the public realm. Co-editors Cameron Cartiere and Leon Tan deliberately sought out and included multiple voices/authors across a range of regions in order to examine how art in the public realm today implicates a host of local art and social histories beyond those pertaining to the ‘global north’.