The Porous City: Art claiming the urban void
30.07.2007 by Urban Interface Oslo

urban interface | oslo Exhibition 14 September – 7 October 2007 Conference 14 + 15 September 2007

Vacant shop in Grunerløkka

Conference The Porous City: Art claiming the urban void

Today’s city is a porous and dynamic terrain; the physical world constantly interfaces with the immaterial sphere of electronic and digital data which can easily and unobtrusively cross physical borders. At the same time, the complexity of the city and the widely undefined boundaries between private and public space create a variety of urban voids and grey areas calling for occupation and definition.

The Porous City is a two-day conference on contemporary art practices responding to the multivalent porousness of the urban environment. Artists, theoreticians and curators will discuss the constraints and potential of the urban voids and loopholes, contributing to a contemporary conception of art in public space.

The first day of the conference will focus on the impact of electronic, digital and mobile media on the city. The ubiquitous use of digital, networked and mobile technologies raises new questions about conditions of both private and public spaces. Imperceptible surveillance systems and spy bots, the semi-private on-line forums, the use of the cell phone in public space, easy-to-tap-in wireless data transmission in general – they all have a strong impact on our understanding of private and public space – demanding precise definitions and demarcations of these spaces.

Particularly the 70’s and 80’s celebrated the idea of new technology supporting an open, democratic and networked society. Although these optimistic expectations were not fulfilled, the potential of intercultural and intersocial communication still inhere in new media.

When it comes to public art, new media is capable of occupying physical, virtual and hybrid spaces, offering multiple points of access. In addition, the processual and audiovisual nature of new media results in multifaceted and time-based perception of this type of public art.

Building on the technology centred discourse of the first day, the second day will try to localise interventionist and process-based art within the public art field, the art market and art funding. We will look closely at how these works push the boundaries of the public art genre for its own good and the effect this has on the understanding of urban culture. Emphasis will be laid on the analysis of artistic strategies which invite the audience to interact, contribute to and become active voices in the public sphere.

On both days, the artists who created works for urban interface | oslo will introduce the audience to their artworks, thus illuminating practical and conceptual issues related to public art production and the specific terrain of Oslo’s public space.

In addition, the Open Forum on day two will provide a platform for artists and designers to present current, upcoming and past projects to the conference’s audience and speakers. The Open Forum aims to provide an interactive exchange of knowledge and perspectives on the topic of public art. It gives its presenters the opportunity to draw attention to their individual art practice and to benefit from responses by the target audience.

Confirmed speakers:

Laura Beloff

HC Gilje


John Hawke

Drew Hemment

Susanne Jaschko

Vibeke Jensen

Lev Manovich

Martin Rieser

Florian Rötzer

Sancho Silva

Michelle Teran

Jeremy Wesh

More to come.

One Response to “The Porous City: Art claiming the urban void”

  1. 设计界 » Blog Archive » Interview with Atle Barcley (Atelier Nord) Says:

    […] of Grünerløkka, Tøyen and Grønland from September 14th to October 7th. The conference, titled The Porous City: Art claiming the urban void, will be held on 14th and 15th of September at […]

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