About the Journal

Public’s purpose is to showcase innovative ideas and forms of art. It is a stunningly designed art journal that explores how critical issues intersect with art and visual culture. Featuring Canadian and international artists and writers, each issue curates a unique assemblage of art projects and writing that reflect a contemporary theme.

Public encourages a broad range of dialogue by bringing together artists, theorists, curators, philosophers, creative writers, and historians; by always publishing a diverse range of contemporary artists’ projects; by experimenting with alternative forms of dissemination (i.e. DVD’s); and by inviting guest editors from a variety of communities and organizations.

In 1988 the journal Public was launched by the Public Access Collective, which simultaneously began to publish the journal and curate public art exhibitions that utilized urban screens as a means to consider the potential of public art for both engendering collective experience and insight and for inciting debates and raising awareness in a city (Toronto) that was quickly privatizing every inch of shared space. Since that time, the journal Public has expanded its content, but continues its mandate to investigate ideas of art and culture within the urban context.

In the past twenty years the landscape of the public has changed dramatically: the Internet has emerged as an important space for consolidating and collaborating, bringing with it a renewed emphasis on the figure of the commons; spatial topographies have been transformed through the new architectures of information and media; temporary autonomous zones have been used as performance spaces; non-places such as airports have become important sites of critical investigation for artists and activists; counter-publics and scenes have been created through events both spontaneous and community-based; and boundaries (national, urban, and personal) have become at once more blurred and more policed.

Public continues to explore the intersections of visual culture with critical studies: It exists as an intellectual and creative forum that focuses on how aesthetic, theoretical, and critical issues intersect with art and visual culture. This archive gives access to the articles featured in each issue. The art projects can only be seen in the hard copy and the most recent issues will not be posted online until 2 years after publication. If you have any queries or concern about the archive please email the managing editor of PUBLIC at public@yorku.ca.

Current Issue

public 42 (2010): Traces
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