Art and the Global City

Public Space, Transformative Media, and the Politics of Urban Rhetoric

by James T. Andrews (Volume editor) Margaret R. LaWare (Volume editor)
©2022 Textbook XX, 342 Pages
Series: Urban Communication, Volume 8


Art and the Global City brings together a host of academics (communication specialists, sociologists, historians and cultural theorists) who seek to expand the notion of a "communicative city" by looking at the role that art and public culture play in the rapidly expanding global landscape. Spanning four continents (North America, Europe/Eurasia, Asia, and Australia) and multiple cities (from Chicago to Singapore, Moscow, Seoul, and Melbourne), these case studies focus the reader’s attention to the evolution of art in public spaces and the rhetorical power of new artistic visions and conglomerations in the urban landscape.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the editors
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Figures
  • List of Tables
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Urban Space, Art and Global Cultural Transformations (James T. Andrews and Margaret R. LaWare)
  • Part I: Art, Urban Space and the Global City
  • Chapter One: Altering Perceptions of Urban Space: The Works of Christo and Jeanne-Claude (Suzanne Berman)
  • Chapter Two: Narrating the Soviet Metropolis: Urban Technology, Visual Culture, and the Rhetorical and Communicative Value of Underground Architectural Space in Moscow (James T. Andrews)
  • Chapter Three: Going Out: Rights to the City and the Cosmos (Nikos Papastergiadis)
  • Chapter Four: Deconstructing the Museum’s White Cube: Gregor Schneider’s Artistic and Discursive Interventions in Urban Space (Mark W. Rectanus)
  • Chapter Five: From Plan to Process: The Language of Public Space Evaluation (Oliver Armstrong)
  • Part II: Transformative Media and the Changing Urban Landscape
  • Chapter Six: Seeing the City through Photozines (Daniel Makagon)
  • Chapter Seven: From Creative to Critical Placemaking: Ambient Participation and the Cultural Impact of Digital Media Art in Public Space (Audrey Yue)
  • Chapter Eight: Building Rural Memories into Mediated Cities: How Rustic Elements Boost Popularity of City Images on Tiktok (Pan Ji)
  • Chapter Nine: Urban Artivism and Placemaking: The Case of Federation Square, Melbourne (Isabel Fangyi Lu)
  • Chapter Ten: Creating Ground: Making Space for Art and Ambient Participation in Australia’s Cultural Capital (Danielle Wyatt and Bree Trevena)
  • Part III: Urban Rhetoric and Evolving Visions of the City
  • Chapter Eleven: Light Art and the Aesthetics of Urban Appropriation (Scott McQuire)
  • Chapter Twelve: Searching for Hidden Memories: Ghost Signs and Other Facades (Gary Gumpert and Susan J. Drucker)
  • Chapter Thirteen: Imagining the Unoppressive City: Tracing the Re-creation and Circulation of Community Murals in Chicago (Margaret R. LaWare)
  • Chapter Fourteen: Art, Gentrification, and Communication Infrastructure in Urban Neighborhoods: The Case of Mullae in Seoul (Yong-Chan Kim, Miran Pyun, and Young Eun Yoo)
  • Chapter Fifteen: Artistic Transfigurations of the City: The Rhetorical Potential of Architecture as Public Art (Max M. Renner)
  • The Liquid Polis and Ambient Aesthetics of Communicative Cities: An Afterword (Nikos Papastergiadis, James T. Andrews and Margaret R. LaWare)
  • Editors
  • Contributors
  • Index
  • Series Index

←x | xi→

List of Figures

Figure 1.1. Gates of New York—Christo and Jeanne Claude

Figure 1.2. Gates of New York—Christo and Jeanne Claude

Figure 2.1. Mayakovskii Metro Station, Opened September 1938, Architect A. Dushkin

Figure 2.2. Kropotkinskaia Metro Station, Opened May 1935, One of the Oldest Stations of the Moscow Metro System—Architects A. Dushkin and Ya. Likhtenberg

Figure 2.3. Revolutionary Square Metro Station, 1938, Architect A. Dushkin

Figure 2.4. Komsomolskaia Station, 1952, Architect A. Shchushev

Figure 2.5. Komsomolskaia Station, 1952, Wall Mosaics, Painter/Artist Pavel Korin—Alexander Nevskii, 13th Century Kievan Rus’ Grand Prince, Depicted on Horseback

Figure 2.6. Akademicheskaia Metro Station, October 1962, Architect Y. Kolesnikova, Caterpillar Column Minimalist Style

Figure 2.7. Mendeleyevskaia Metro Station, December 1988, Architect Nina Aleshina

Figure 2.8. Victory Park Metro Station, 2003, Mosaics/Paintings by Zurab Tsereteli←xi | xii→

Figure 4.1. KUNSTMUSEUM, Bochum 2014, metal pipe, cement (6.466×180 cm (L×D)), Ruhrtriennale 2014, Kunstmuseum Bochum, Bochum, Germany 29.08.2014 – 12.10.2014. © 2021 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Figure 4.2. PASSAGEWAY No. 1, 2005–2007 (1500 × 200 × 230 cm (L × B × H)), WEISSE FOLTER, K20K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, 17.03.2007 – 15.07.2007. © 2021 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Figure 4.3. CUBE HAMBURG 2007, Hamburg 2007, mixed media (14 × 14 × 14 m (L × W × H)), Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany 23.03.2007–10.06.2007© 2021 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Figure 4.4. BONDI BEACH, 21 BEACH CELLS, Sydney 2007, metal mesh, air mattress, sunshade, garbage bag (20 × 20 × 2,5 m, each cell 4 × 4 × 2,5 m (L × W × H)), Kaldor Art Projects, Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia 28.09.2007 – 21.10.2007. © 2021 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Figure 5.1. Federation Square, Melbourne, Victoria

Figure 5.2. Harmony Square, Dandenong, Victoria

Figure 5.3. Yagan Square, Perth, Western Australia

Figure 6.1. Trey Derbes, Tour Dogs, Issue 1

Figure 6.2. Justin Matthew, Pray photozines, 2018

Figure 6.3. Mark Murrmann, Cig Machine, part of the City Slang series

Figure 6.4. Ofir Barak, Tour Dogs, Issue 46

Figure 7.1. Text visualization of words associated with the festival

Figure 7.2. Text visualization of words associated with the precinct

Figure 7.3. Demographic profile of festival survey respondents

Figure 7.4. Passion Arts Projection Mapping

Figure 7.5. Add Oil Machine projection on Lennon Wall, Admiralty

Figure 9.1. Two bananas chasing apple off boundary of Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia. Author photo (4 Aug 2018).

Figure 9.2. Public Rally organized by Citizens for Melbourne in front of the Yarra Buiding. Author photo (19 Sep 2018).

Figure 10.1. Testing Grounds. Cheap, movable and flexible infrastructure. Image by Bree Trevena

Figure 10.2. Testing Grounds. Precinct is largely outdoors and cut off from main pedestrian thoroughfares. Image by Bree Trevena←xii | xiii→

Figure 10.3. Collingwood Yards. Entrance from Johnston Street, Collingwood. Image by Bree Trevena

Figure 10.4. Collingwood Yards. Public plaza. Image by Bree Trevena

Figure 11.1. F. Griswold, “The Rude Descending a Staircase (Rush Hour at the Subway),” New York Evening Sun, March 20, 1913.

Figure 11.2. The crowd at White Night Melbourne February 22, 2014.

Figure 12.1. David Silver—Manhattan 2011

Figure 12.2. Gary Gumpert—Berlin 2010

Figure 12.3. Gary Gumpert— Aups, France 2015

Figure 12.4. Leo Jeffres—Cleveland, Ohio 2020

Figure 12.5. Gary Gumpert—Toronto 2019

Figure 12.6. Peter Haratonik—Chicago 2012

Figure 12.7. Susan Drucker—Toronto 2018

Figure 12.8. Gary Gumpert—Melbourne 2016

Figure 13.1. Entrance to Exhibit, “Wall of Respect: Vestiges, Shards, and the Legacy of Black Power” at Chicago Cultural Center, 2017

Figure 13.2. Exhibit room with “mock-up” of the “Wall of Respect”—enlarged photo and recreated newsstand for public chalking

Figure 13.3. Section of Casa Aztlán’s front mural from 1990s with Aztec design and symbols of Day of the Dead (skull) and the Virgin of Guadalupe (rose)

Figure 13.4. “Re-imagined” front mural on former Casa Aztlán building, 2017

Figure 14.1. This public art installation of welding mask became a landmark in Mullae, South Korea

Figure 14.2. Art studios are found in old factory alleys in the Mullae neighborhood

Figure 14.3. Old metal factory buildings are now being used as hipster restaurants and cafes as a symptom of gentrification

Figure 14.4. Metal factories, up-scale cafes and restaurants, and art studios coexist in old factory alleys in Mullae

←xvi | xvii→


This book derived from an international conference at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and DePaul University’s downtown Communication School’s campus. We thank Peter Haratonik (Art Institute) and Daniel Makagon (DePaul) for hosting this group, and their incredible hospitality while we all converged on Chicago in November of 2019—soon after, in consultation with the group, the volume was conceived.

We especially thank the two key organizers of the conference, Gary Gumpert and Susan J. Drucker; their friendship, collegiality and academic support for Maggie and I has been so invaluable over the past thirty years—we thank them for their perseverance and editorial encouragement. Dr. Gumpert’s advice at the early stages of this project were critical in moving it forward to a published book volume.

We also wish to thank our authors from diverse and inter-disciplinary academic arenas—urban communication specialists, media scholars & historians of art and culture. Their diligence and patience with our editorial queries and stylistic commentary has helped to symbiotically enrich the experience; and we thank them for sharing with us their academic acumen and wonderful, analytical and evidentially-rich case studies.

We particularly want to thank our editors, and the editorial assistants, and production crew at Peter Lang publishers (New York/Oxford) for their consistent help and encouragement of our book through the contract, review and production ←xvii | xviii→process. We appreciate also the subvention from the Urban Communication Foundation (Dr. Gary Gumpert, President) who made it possible for us to expand the number of artistic/photographic representations in the book. We also wish to thank the helpful suggestions of the outside, anonymous reviewer who made us rethink our introduction and afterword, as well as highlight major themes that our authors accentuated.

Finally, we dedicate the book to our daughter, Elena Sophie Andrews, a senior in history, at Northwestern University (Class of 2022), who came to the post-conference party on Lake Shore Drive at Peter’s and his wife’s apartment overlooking Lake Michigan, had fun intermingling with our colleagues, and reminds us on a daily basis to stop and stare up at the stars in the night sky, and soak in “such a heavenly view,” as we stretch our intellectual gaze across the Global City!

James T. Andrews Spring 2022

Margaret R. LaWare Ames, Iowa

←xviii | 1→

Introduction: Urban Space, Art and Global Cultural Transformations

James T. Andrews and Margaret R. LaWare

The Global City has increasingly become a place where artists, and their creations, are a central communicative fixture in the urban landscape, and thus an important subject of analysis for interdisciplinary scholars interested in public culture and communication. Besides the activities of artists themselves, the urban environment is filled with artifacts such as advertisements (past and present), public art, graffiti, and artistic exhibitions. The urban arena is also the site for a host of new media that traverse, and represent, the global city, in addition to expressing individual and collective urban experiences and visions. This volume looks at different facets of art in the city through three over-arching prisms: public space and art, new transformative media in the city, and lastly the historical, social and political context of urban art. This volume has assembled scholars from around the globe (from the US to Australia to East Asia) whose point of academic intersection and departure is (and what has been defined by the Urban Communication Foundation as) the “communicative city.”

“Communicative Cities” is a growing concept and idea that was initially articulated by a varied group of communication scholars, inter-disciplinary academics (historians and sociologists) in cultural studies, designers, planners, lawyers, and architects in a series of meetings that focused on the extraordinary growth and transformations of the urban landscape in the past several decades.1 This volume therefore brings together a host of academics (communication specialists, sociologists, historians and cultural theorists) who seek to expand that definition of the ←1 | 2→urban communicative city by looking at the role that art and public culture plays communicatively in the rapidly expanding global landscape. Through critical attention to communicative actions and physical interventions in the urban landscape by artists, architects, planners, museums, and cultural centers, the authors of this volume expand our understanding of the ways that, as Victoria Gallagher and Margaret LaWare (2007) have argued, art in urban spaces not only inhabits public spaces, but also creates and illuminate those spaces. Art in public spaces calls together audiences as spectators, and in the process creates opportunities for individuals to engage with other members of the public. Further, art invites judgment; art invites response and sense-making. In other words, art can transform an audience’s relationship to and perception of an urban space—its materiality as well as its social history. As Gallagher and LaWare (2007) highlight, the way art in urban spaces is engendered (and evolves) is inextricably linked to the struggles, aspirations and human endeavors that make, as cultural critic and theorist Henri Lefebvre (1991) would argue, urban space so layered and heterogenous.

Art, new social media, and the rhetorical strategies of those engaged in urban artistic endeavors make up a critical element in the everyday multi-variegated fabric of cultural life in the city. Spanning four continents (North America, Europe/Eurasia, Asia, and Australia) and multiple cities from Chicago (and New York) to London (and Hamburg & Moscow) to Singapore (and Seoul & Melbourne), these case studies, based on primary research in the urban arena, focus the reader’s attention to the evolution of art in public spaces and the rhetorical power of new artistic visions and conglomerations in the urban landscape. These chapters also highlight the restoration and revitalization of past and peripheral artistic visions that become relevant and meaningful communicatively to new generations and new audiences.

The authors of this volume demonstrate the importance of urban art in creating new publics, even within distinct socio-historical contexts, that transcend social, political and cultural divisions, as audiences gather with renewed attention to and appreciation of the city’s materiality, beauty and history. Audiences may gather together to enjoy light shows that transform public squares, or they may engage in protest, urging new publics to engage simultaneously in social resistance and preservation of public space. The city can offer traces of the past for those who are attentive—the names of former businesses still apparent under whitewash—inviting re-examination of a place’s historical roots. Building exteriors can additionally become screens for messages of hope and perseverance as, for example, the text messages from around the world projected on buildings in Hong Kong to encourage and invigorate demonstrators against China’s control.


XX, 342
ISBN (Hardcover)
ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2022 (May)
Art Urbanity Public Space New Media Rhetoric Architectural Space Global City Culture Art and the Global City Public Space, Transformative Media, and the Politics of Urban Rhetoric James T. Andrews Margaret R. LaWare
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Oxford, Wien, 2022. XX, 342 pp., 50 b/w ill., 8 tables.

Biographical notes

James T. Andrews (Volume editor) Margaret R. LaWare (Volume editor)

James T. Andrews (Ph.D., The University of Chicago, 1994) is Distinguished University Professor of Modern Russian History at Iowa State University. He is the editor or author of five books, including an acclaimed two-volume cultural history of the Soviet space program titled Red Cosmos (2009) and Into the Cosmos (2011) respectively. His fellowships and awards include the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Margaret R. LaWare (Ph.D., Northwestern University, 1993) is Associate Professor of English and Speech Communication at Iowa State University where she has been Coordinator of the Ph.D. Program in Rhetoric and Professional Communication. The author of numerous articles in major journals such as College English and Women’s Studies in Communication, she is currently completing a book titled Speaking to America’s Women: Commencement Speeches, Women’s Colleges, and Feminist Movements.


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