April 15, 2020

Of Public Interest

Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm

22 July Memorial Sørbråten, 2014–17. Illustration Jonas Dahlberg Studio.

Of Public Interest is a one-year interdisciplinary post-master course by artist and guest professor Jonas Dahlberg for applicants with a MA in art, architecture, landscape architecture, curatorial studies or another relevant field.

What we call “public space”—and the activities that occur within it—are increasingly surveilled, politicized, and privatized. What does this mean when public spaces have throughout history served as important sites in shaping how, when, and where people relate to each other within a society? What role does art have within these spaces?

For a long time art in public space has had a reputation of being large scale, mostly decorative objects placed outdoors. Yet if we recognize and explore the changes that are occurring in public space, and marry that with emphasizing the knowledge, methods, and values that art and related practices create, then we enter into a far more interesting, and consequential arena for both art and public space. As artist Sharon Hayes has said, “Anything that happens in public space 'actually' happens.”

The course will focus on artistic values and practice-based thinking/making as a means to explore the significant role art can have within the realm of public space. To take a seat at this table is a complex task when faced with various regulations, public policies, profit-driven interests, as well as differing goals, attitudes and aesthetics. Participants will consider, discuss and work on actual projects in order to gain knowledge from experience in dealing with the complexities of making work for and in the public.

Of Public Interest is a one-year interdisciplinary course intended for those with experience in art, architecture, landscape architecture and other relevant fields. It is not a merit for an applicant to have previous experiences in working with art in the public space.

The course gathers a diverse group of people working with different approaches, as we believe different backgrounds and life experiences will enrich the learning experience and add an important quality to the course and the discussions that will be held within it. The ideal participants are those with strong artistic integrity, abilities in critical thinking, and an interest in working with others to develop projects in an interdisciplinary setting with peer to peer learning.

Of Public Interest is structured with the aim of having participants, individually and collaboratively, create and develop new projects. To facilitate this, the course will have established collaborations with external partners within the fields of art and architecture who are interested in exploring the possibility of realizing actual projects.

The course will be led by artist and Guest Professor Jonas Dahlberg.

The Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm is a leading artistic higher education institution with a long tradition dating back to the beginning of the 18th century. The institute offers a combination of artistic breadth and excellence within both undergraduate and Master programmes in Fine Art, as well as post-postgraduate education in architecture.

The Royal Institute of Art is public institution and it is free for participants that reside in Europe. Non-European residents can apply for a scholarship that cover the annual fee required for non-European residents.

Read more and apply here.

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