Note: If you see this text you use a browser which does not support usual Web-standards. Therefore the design of Media Art Net will not display correctly. Contents are nevertheless provided. For greatest possible comfort and full functionality you should use one of the recommended browsers.

Themesicon: navigation pathPublic Sphere_sicon: navigation pathEditorial

icon: previous page

strategies to meet the bureaucratic requirements for the possession of official identification—from birth certificates to passports. An exhibition such as «Kingdom of Piracy» is an «open work space to explore the free sharing of digital content—often condemned as piracy—as the net's ultimate art form.» [22]

In 1997 Eleanor Heartney identified a «third way»of public art, different than the prototypical examples of Richard Serra and Scott Burton, writing: «Although they exist at opposite ends of the public art spectrum, these two examples are united by a failure to grapple with the real complexities of the public context – Serra by reenacting the old standoff between avant-garde artist and philistine public and, Burton by conceiving of the public as some kind of uniform mass unproblematically joined by common interests. . . . Recently, however, a third approach has begun to surface in the work of artists like Dennis Adams, Alfredo Jaar, Kryzsztof Wodiczko and Jenny Holzer that conceives of the city as a locus of competing interests, ideologies, and languages, and infiltrates preexisting forums and forms in order to dramatize rather than resolve conflicts inherent in modern life.» [23]


Heartney’s formulation, similar conceptually to Mouffe’s contested, agonistic democracy, cites the city as the public sphere, but the cybrid environment cannot be ignored—public space is both physical and virtual. Even more importantly, how do we interpret this contest? If not consensus, how do we measure the «will of the people?»As Bruno Latour writes about the exhibition «Dingpolitik: Making Things Public» at ZKM in 2005: «One of the recent fruits of the so-called science studies is the fact that researchers have realized the fundamental importance of small practices, scientific tools and various gadgets in mundane, everyday activities of laboratories for the production of scientific knowledge aside from the theoretical aspects of science. Now this success seems to be extended to the very leitmotif of this exhibition, i.e. not grand theories, but things, tools and apparatuses in different domains of society, for discovering any clues for solving the problem of what is generally called the crisis of representation.» [24] What are the «things, tools, and apparatuses,» such as Christian Nold's «Community Edit» that create a public art for the public sphere? The question finally remains how

icon: next page