urban matters

Urban space and the politics of socially engaged art

This paper interrogates the political potential of socially engaged art within an urban setting. Grounded in Lefebvrian and neo-Marxist critical urban theory, this political potential is examined according to three analytics that mark the definition of ‘politics’ in this context: the (re)configuration of urban space, the (re)framing of a particular sphere of experience and the (re)thinking of what is taken-for-granted. By bringing together literatures from a range of academic domains, these analytics are used to examine 1) how socially engaged art may expand our understanding of the link between the material environment and the production of urban imaginaries and meanings, and 2) how socially engaged art can open up productive ways of thinking about and engaging with urban space.

Cecilie Sachs Olsen_Urban space and the politics of socially engaged art.pdf