Curating Art Cities is my research journal concerning the relationship between contemporary art practices and globalising cities and how this relationship is complex and constantly in transition. My research is trans-disciplinary, focused on the intersection between urban and spatial theory, urban futures and how artists engage this through public and socially engaged contemporary art practices. My research focuses on the right to city and how access to culture can encourage this right.
Cities are fascinating places, where diverse communities congregate, each with their own narratives related to place, time and situation. I am an artist, curator and academic researcher focused on the study of cities, our urban futures and it's relationship to art, artists and curation. I currently teach Curating Contemporary Art at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia.
This site's framework brings together my interests in art in the urban public sphere and explores approaches and thinking informing my research. Through the experience of working as an artist, curator and arts manager focused on the curation of programs which dealt with urban arts cultural histories and contemporary art practices, I became focused on the relationship between cities, art, local narratives, globalisation and local communities. I believe the arts have an important role to play in the future development of global cities, as a tool to navigate increasingly super-diverse urban communities, with the potential to encourage active citizenship, engagement and inclusivity.
I embarked on a PhD focusing on The City as a Curated Space (2008-11) at RMIT University. My proposition for my research was the curation of the city as a methodology for an alternative, yet parallel model of exhibition practices to the traditional museology, which allows a wider audience to engage in their urban environments. My study looked locally at central Sydney and Melbourne, at the way cities in Australia are curated and made comparisons to international case studies of San Francisco, Shanghai and Sile, Istanbul. What emerged from my study was that each city had differing voices in relation to the way the city was curated, a result of the practices and relationships between a community of artists, the broader community and local urban governance. This website is a way for me to continue my research by continuing to reflect on urban approaches to art, curation of projects, urban based artworks, practice based research projects and the role of contemporary art in globalising cities.
Over the years I have embarked on research in Sydney, San Francisco, Istanbul, Shanghai & Suzhou, China and in the suburbs Glenroy and Broadmeadows in Melbourne and St Andrews as part of Melbourne's green wedges. As my research continues I am constantly refining my methods of in the pursuit of understanding local communities in the global context. During my PhD research, the focus of my work was on the development of case studies relating to the particular geographic regions such as central Melbourne and central Sydney, using literature relating to urban history, geography, contemporary public art practices and urban policy and planning to unearth the genealogy of practices in relation to curating these urban areas. As my research progressed, I came to understand that the site analysis only formed a part of my research process, later evolving to become a site analysis of place which informs an action based curated project, which was discussed in the minor case studies of Shanghai and Istanbul. Currently I focus on a site analysis informing an action based curated project which is reflected upon through a written account of the project and the findings of that process.