The term negotiation is investigated in its shift towards positive connotations for Public Art, while much art theory in the second half of the twentieth century was focused on defining the solipsist existence of contemporary art. The long queue of Modernism pressed artists to impose their persona on the artworks, though with Public Art practitioners projecting their work decidedly beyond the art field and negotiation became the essence of strategies engaging with the audience and their context. The term poses a methodological challenge, implying a paradigm shift from Pierre Bourdieu’s idea of a “closed art field” to Howard Becker’s open concept of “cooperating art worlds”, thus addressing the passage from an art history focused on adamantine interpretations to one open to participatory dynamics engaging with environmental and societal issues. The ecologist projects by Gayle Chong Kwan and Sasha Vinci are presented as recent examples.
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