Existing writing
In Search of the Public
byFiona Woods

The question of art’s encounter with its various publics is a vexed one. Art practices that are oriented towards the social have generated a whole swamp of terminologies, with each term staking out a slightly different political position. Further confusion around the use of terms like public, audience and community produces a jumble of ideas about the kinds of social relations that are being engendered through socially oriented and public art practices. This paper considers some of the contradictions and paradoxes that arise from 'social aesthetics' and presents a number of projects that attempt to address these contradictions through practice.

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