“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.