Der Bevölkerung (The People)

Hans Haacke, one of the most influential artists who works in the public realm, was invited in 1999 to install a sculpture in the German Parliament building.

The work consists of the words “Der Bevölkerung,” surrounded by  soil and plants brought to the installation by the parliament members from their respective constituency in Germany.

The image can be seen here:

I think it is a great work, both aesthetically and due to the fact that it draws from  German history and its physical surroundings in a way that stirred a lot of controversy:




Public Interventions

Public Interventions: The Shifting Meaning of the Urban Condition,” written by the sociologist Saskia Sassen, has implications for public interventions and public art in cities.

One of the important conclusions is that spaces in cities (like Philadelphia),  are “a far more concrete space for politics than that of the nation,” meaning that interventions are worthwhile and can be effective.  One of her primary examples, in fact, is the Occupy Movement, which briefly existed in Dilworth Plaza outside of City Hall.

Additionally, she draws attention to interstitial spaces, those marginalized and not considered essential to capital, left out of the focus of those who design and control the spaces of the city. In the context of our project (if you haven’t chosen a space yet), these are great locations for public art. If you are interested, Sassen also explores some great examples of public art later in the essay.


Painting by Touch

Below are some of the most captivating paintings I’ve seen.  The colors pull me into the image and capture my imagination.  Here’s the catch.  They were painted by John Bramblitt, who lost his vision 13 years ago due to complications with epilepsy.

Bramblitt learned to distinguish between different colored paints by their textures.  Using raised lines and haptic visualization, he is able to “see.”  He has even produced paintings of people he’s never actually seen like his wife and son.


If the Palestra had this . . .

A few posts ago, I talked about athletes being portrayed as gods.  Here’s a perfect example of how the media accomplishes this. Many NBA games begin with a montage of the home team’s players.  You see highlights with cool graphics and a powerful voice over that sends chills down your spine.  Here’s the catch, these videos are done on the very courts the game is played on.  With 3D court projectors, sports and their athletes have reached a new level of OMG!