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Watch This Space

March 3, 2021

Watch This Space is More Art’s new, monthly collection of interviews, excerpts, updates, and essays, all curated and collated for you on our Medium publication page. At the beginning of each month, we’ll gather a handful of recently published pieces to share and spark conversation, framing our current work as well as our archival material for the present moment.

This month, we’re featuring two interviews from artists seeking to connect our technological possibilities and proclivities to the physical world around us, tapping into the spiritual and subconscious along the way: Tony Oursler discusses his 2008 utopian-leaning public project AWGTHTGTWTA in an excerpt from our book, More Art in the Public Eye; and Engaging Artist fellow Mafe Izaguirre introduces us to her sensitive machines, cybernetic sculptures that confound sensory boundaries. What other forms of hybridity are coming to the fore in public life? How might the bridging of seemingly incongruous spaces, time, bodies, or material realities serve social justice causes?

And we look back at nearly a year of our monthly salon series At the Table, a space for intimate (virtual) conversation between members of the More Art community and guest artists. At the Table is an of-the-moment event, informed by current events as well as the evergreen question of what role public art has to play in effecting radical social change. A lot of topics came up — a lot happened last year — from racial justice protests, to COVID fatigue, to art world hierarchies, to immigrant rights, to changing views towards capitalism, to learning how to re-engage with our bodies, to dealing with despair and cultivating optimism. “Trust is fierce,” Ernesto Pujol reminded us last summer. “Trust is not about being naive. Trust is quite a force.” We trust in the power of public art, in our artists and community collaborators, in our audience.

Coming up in April: an interview with Engaging Artist fellow Yemisi Juliana Luna, a dispatch from Mary Mattingly’s A Year of Public Water, and we revisit Ofri Cnaani’s 2008 public project Moon Guardians, a series of video projections featuring longtime residents of Manhattan’s Meatpacking District and unveiling the histories, extraordinary and mundane, lost in the process of gentrification. Cnaani is also At the Table, continuing the conversation on hybrid spaces and living in a digital world. “The feeling of being in many places, yet nowhere, increasingly qualifies our relations to sites,” she says. “I can be in bed while at a party, in class while shopping online, touching a lover while touching the screen…” What does site-specificity mean in a siteless world?

Stay tuned and watch this space for what’s next!

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Header image: Jenny Marketou, Sunspotting a Walking Forest (2012)— Students from Parsons School of Design and Clinton Middle School and senior citizens from the Fulton Houses in Chelsea explored the use of fashion and language in collectives as powerful, performative tools of public engagement, culminating in a choreographed parade along Manhattan’s High Line. Project produced by More Art.