Black_Dinham_Cat_alephs_moved_again

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A commentary on public art in Edinburgh and an attempt to define the Edinburgh Aesthetic.

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Black_Dinham_Cat_alephs_moved_again

  1. 1. MA  of  Contemporary  Art  Theory  Assessment  Please see my enclosed Master Project and Thesis.This submission includes the written thesis titled Alephs Moved Again and in conjunctionwith this thesis I have produced a website documenting public art in Edinburgh of the sametitle. • The Masters project website url: alephsmovedagain.com
  2. 2. Alephs Moved AgainTable  of  Contents   Cover  page  ….....................................................................................................................................1     Introduction  ….................................................................................................................................4     Chapter  One   Edinburgh  &  Aesthetics  …..............................................................................................................8     Chapter  Two   It’s  an  Urban  Walking  Affair  ….................................................................................................20     Chapter  Three   Reconstructing  a  Sense  of  Place  …...........................................................................................28     Chapter  Four   Alephs  Moved  Again  …..................................................................................................................38     Conclusion  …..................................................................................................................................45     Website  &  Portfolio  information  …..................................................................................49     Illustration  Figure  List  .……….………....................................................................................50     Reference  Bibliography  …......................................................................................................59     Research  Bibliography  …........................................................................................................61                           2
  3. 3. Alephs Moved Again   Thesis  and  Project  Portfolio  online   Available  on  http://catrionablackdinham.wordpress.com/     Alephs  Moved  Again  Portfolio  ….................................................................................................1   Jorge  Luis  Borges  project  inspiration  ……………....................................................................2   Edgar  Allan  Poe  project  inspiration  …......................................................................................3   Miwon  Kwon:  Public  Art  as  Publicity  ………............................................................................4   Project  Website,  Alephs  Moved  Again  ……...............................................................................5   Brief  Idea,  Alephs  Moved  Again  ………........................................................................................6   Edgar  Allan  Poe  project  inspiration  .........................................................................................7   Mapping  Requirements  …………...................................................................................................8   City  of  Edinburgh  Links  ……..........................................................................................................9   Feedback  ……………………………………………………………………………………………………10       3
  4. 4. Alephs Moved Again Since   1947   the   months   of   July   and   August   see   a   swell   of   the   arts   in   Edinburgh.     These   annual   festivals,   representing   the   full   spectrum   of   the   arts,   were   introduced   in   an   effort  to  promote  goodwill  and  celebrate  the  human  spirit  post  World  War  II.      As  a   result   this   Scottish   Capital   and   World   Heritage   site   is   rife   with   a   bubbling   tourist   industry  and  a  rich  landscape  of  cultural  activities  during  those  months.    In  contrast,   when  looking  at  Edinburgh’s  publicly  accessible  art  year  round,  we  encounter  a  lack   of   public   art   in   general.     This   is   even   more   apparent   when   we   look   at   public   art   produced  in  the  past  few  decades.    In  this  thesis  I  have  attempted  to  define  possible   reasons  for  the  lack  of  contemporary  public  art  and  explore  if  this  is  a  fundamental   part  of  the  phenomena  that  could  be  termed  the  Edinburgh  Aesthetic.       This   thesis   offers   a   critique   of   public   art;   commenting   on   the   Edinburgh   Aesthetic   through  case  studies  of  contemporary  public  artwork.    The  foundation  for  these  case   studies,   catalogued   on   the   website   created   in   conjunction   with   this   thesis,   Alephs   Moved  Again,  is  the  dynamic  nature  of  place  as  a  socio-­‐geographical  concept.     When   reflecting   on   the   idea   of   a   city   having   an   aesthetic,   which   can   be   resistant   to   conventional   descriptions1,   we   must   acknowledge   three   elements,   which   work   together   as   a   triad   when   discussing   the   making   of   public   art.     These   are   Public,   Art   (activity)   and   Place   {Figure  1}.     Referencing   the   “relationship   between   society   and   space,  1Influence   taken   from   Ian   Campbell   and   Margaret   Stewart’s   examination   of   Edinburghs   historical   and   4
  5. 5. Alephs Moved Again history   and   geography,   splendidly   idiographic   and   the   enticingly   generalizable   features   of   a   postmodern   urban   geography”2,   how   can   we   retain   such   a   sense   of   immobility  of  the  local  sense  of  place  and  ignore  its  particularities  amidst  the  cross-­‐ hatchings  and  constant  movement  of  multiple  identities  and  cultures  in  a  place?         In   an   effort   to   outline   the   Edinburgh   Aesthetic   it   is   important   to   discuss   the   postmodern  critical  theory  of  place  and  explore  the  more  specific  question  in  relation   to  public  art  in  Edinburgh:  are  the  current  cultural  expressions  of  Edinburgh’s  people   visually  represented  and  encouraged  in  the  production  of  public  art?3       The  intersections  of  place  and  its  multiple  identities  and  visual  markers  are  currently   under   represented   in   artistic   expression   by   todays   inhabitants.     Visual   representations   can   come   in   numerous   forms,   such   as   permanent   sculptures,   community   projects,   performances,   graffiti,   etc.       I   have   broached   the   issue   that   Edinburgh’s  places  are  subject  to  various  paternalistic  notions,  driven  by  elements  of   Government   cultural   activity   policy   focusing   on   requirements   of   production   and   commissioning.     My   reaction   to   the   Edinburgh   Aesthetic   is   to   catalogue   what   permanent  and  temporary  public  art  we  have  in  Edinburgh  as  a  continuing  project.    2   Edward   Soja,   Postmodern   Geographies,   the   Reassertion   of   Space   in   Critical   Social   Theory,   Verso,  1989,  p.  223    3   I   must   acknowledge   that   Edinburgh   has   produced   and   grasped   other   non-­‐visual   forms   of   the   arts  instead  i.e.  poetry,  music,  I  cannot  deny  this  form  of  expression,  and  it  highlights  the  lack  on  non-­‐visual  expressions.   5
  6. 6. Alephs Moved Again   The   Geographer   Doreen   Massey   explains   the   construction   of   tradition   in   public   places.     Massey’s   place   as   practiced   concept   emphasizes   that   our   place-­‐making   traditions  and  identities  go  hand  in  hand  and  are  constantly  in  flux.    We  not  only  hold   onto   our   traditions   but   also   have   to   build   them.     Edinburgh   has   an   image   to   maintain   as   the   capital   city   of   Scotland,   and   it   preserves   its   architectural   heritage,   cultural   policy,  specific  regeneration4,  and  an  aesthetic  that  is  quintessentially  Edinburgh.    My   research   looks   largely   at   Massey’s   view   of   place   in   relation   to   the   idea   of   multiple   identities   of   place,   short   stories   by   Jorge   Luis   Borges,   and   theory   drawn   from   Situationist  discussions  and  psychogeography       Wandering   and   wondering   in   Edinburgh   is   the   ideal   way   to   encounter   its   public   artworks;   my   website   Alephs   Moved   Again   catalogues   and   documents   artworks   and   location   and   offers   mapping   points   and   markers   for   clarification   of   context;   what   this   illustrates   is   how   place   is   fluid   and   changing   by   also   seeing   the   artwork   in   today’s   context.     I   will   continue   to   document   new   artwork   and   events   in   the   future   as   the   project  progresses.        4   “Preserve   that   unique   sense   of   place,   create   the   conditions   for   a   vibrant   yet   safe   street   life,   and  encourage  continuing  private  sector  developments  and  improvements.”  (Andrew  McMillan  and  Ewan  Hyslop;  The  City  of  Edinburgh  –  landscape  and  stone.  ICOMOS  2008  Scientific  Symposium)   6
  7. 7. Alephs Moved Again The  project  title,  Alephs  Moved  Again,  references  points  of  infinite  space  in  the  short   story   by   Jorge   Luis   Borges5.     The   catalogue   of   public   art   online   will   act   like   an   infinite   archive   and   resource.     By   creating   this   resource   that   users   can   contribute   to,   the   website  illustrates  the  lack  of  contemporary  artwork  in  our  streets.    My  hope  for  the   future  is  twofold;  that  we  re-­‐assess  current  public  art  and  we  re-­‐evaluate  the  code  of   production   and   process   within   this   city   when   producing   and   commissioning   public   art  in  Edinburgh.            5   This   reference   was   formed   through   the   formulation   of   Soja,   Edward,   Thirdspace,   Blackwell,   1996.  Print.  p.  57;  by  analogy  with  the  Aleph,  a  concept  of  spatial  infinity  developed  by  Jorge  Luis  Borges  in  1945.     7
  8. 8. Alephs Moved AgainEDINBURGH  AND  AESTHETICS     But  Edinburgh  is  a  mad  god’s  dream     Fitful  and  dark,     Unseizable  in  Leith     And  wildered  by  the  Forth,     But  irresistibly  at  last     Cleaving  to  sombre  heights     Of  passionate  imagining     Till  stonily,     From  soaring  battlements,     Earth  eyes  Eternity.       Hugh  MacDiarmid  (1892–1978):  “Edinburgh”  -­‐  plaque  on  the  Edinburgh  Canongate   wall  6     ‘A  mad  god’s  dream  …  of  passionate  imagining’  -­‐  it’s  a  bold  piece  of  writing  from  the   one   time   Edinburgh   resident   MacDairmid;   writing   that   I   strive   to   realize   in   its  6Hugh   MacDiarmid   (1892-­‐1978).   Lived   and   died   in   Edinburgh.   A   Scottish   poet   of   the   20th   century.   He  was  instrumental  in  creating  a  Scottish  version  of  modernism  and  was  a  leading  light  in  the  Scottish  Renaissance  of  the  20th  century.     8
  9. 9. Alephs Moved Again possibilities.   When   you   live   in   a   city   like   Edinburgh,   not   too   big,   nothing’s   too   far;   whether   to   explore   or   on   a   mission,   walking   is   a   natural   part   of   your   day.     The   pedestrian   nature   of   Edinburgh   is   quite   alive,   we   have   great   (before   that   tram   construction)  public  transport  but  many  of  us  who  can,  walk  to  where  we  are  going.     Walking   quite   often   deviates   from   just   wandering,   usually   I   walk   with   a   mission,   focused,  trying  to  get  to  work  on  time.    I  think  many  of  us  do  this  in  unity,  but  miss  the   day-­‐to-­‐day   attractions   of   the   terrain,   with   both   wonderment   and   calculation   of   the   city’s   possibilities.     The   uninhibited   act   of   the   derive   offers   wandering   with   an   awareness  of  the  psychogeographical  affects  of  the  environment,  which  I  will  discuss   further  in  Chapter  2.         Edinburgh’s   aesthetic   is   based   upon   heritage   and   monument;   in   1935   Edwin   Muir   gets  straight  to  the  point  by  describing  that:  Edinburgh  is  ‘becoming  lost  to  history’7.         ‘England   gives   some   scope   for   it’s   best;   Scotland   gives   none;   and   by   now   it’s   large   towns   are   composed   of   astute   capitalists   and   angry   proletarians,   with   nothing   that   matters   much   in   between.     Edinburgh   is   a   partial   exception   to   this;   but   Edinburgh   is   a   handsome,   empty   capital   of   the   past   …   [they   are]   monuments   of   Scotland’s   industrial   past,   historical   landmarks   in   a   country   which   is   becoming  7  Edwin  Muir,  Scottish  Journey.  Edinburgh.  1985.  Henceforth  Muir  p.  3-­‐4.   9
  10. 10. Alephs Moved Again lost  to  history.’8     This  city’s  history  seems  apparent  as  soon  as  you  step  off  the  train;  you  look  up  and   see   Waverley   railway   station’s   original   1847   construction   all   around   you,   although   today  it’s  merged  with  travel  advancements,  Boots  chemist  and  WH  Smith.    Assuming   you   can   see   past   the   construction   the   history   surrounds   us   as   you   wander   up   the   famously  blustery  Waverley  Steps  up  to  Princes  Street  to  find  yourself  in  the  midst  of   the  character,  and  the  very  quintessential  nature  of  the  now  privatized  Edinburgh.     Edinburgh’s  character  has  often  been  defined  as  "public  probity  and  private  vice"  by   Dr  Jekyll  and  Mr  Hyde  writer  Robert  Louis  Stevenson.    And  again  Stevenson  reiterates   the   Edinburgh   Aesthetic,   and   implies   Edinburgh   is   a   "precipitous   city”  9,   which   when   I   was   a   newcomer   to   the   city   I   would   have   agreed   with   whole   heartedly,   but   I   have   been  softened  by  my  over  a  decade  in  residence.       The   Edinburgh   literary   community   has   had   great   recognition   over   the   past   two   hundred   years,   with   the   likes   of   R.L.   Stevenson,   Sir   Arthur   Conan   Doyle10,   Irvine  8  Edwin  Muir,  Scottish  Journey.  Edinburgh.  1985.  Henceforth  Muir  p.  3-­‐4.  9  Robert  Louis  Stevenson  (1850-­‐1894).  Born,  educated  and  lived  in  Edinburgh.  Scottish  novelist,  poet  and  travel  writer.  Famous  novels  are:  Treasure  Island,  Kidnapped  and  The  Strange  Case  of  Dr  Jekyll  and  Mr  Hyde  10   Sir   Arthur   Conan   Doyle   (1859-­‐1930).   Born   and   educated   in   Edinburgh.   Trained   physician   and  writer,  his  most  famous  stories  are  about  Sherlock  Holmes.   10
  11. 11. Alephs Moved Again Welsh11   and   Ian   Rankin12,   all   have   given   the   city   a   pedestal   upon   which   to   stand.     While   non-­‐visual   expressions   have   been   on   the   rise   in   recent   years   the   visual   expression  of  Edinburgh’s  people  has  been  stinted.     Alexander  Stoddart,  a  prominent   sculptor  &  Ordinary  to  the  Queen  of  Scotland,  has  been  commissioned  to  erect  many   monuments  over  the  past  three  decades;  he  has  brought  us  the  bronze  landmarks  of   Adam   Smith   and   David   Hume.     Sadly,   in   my   opinion   {Figure   2}   however   talented   and   skilled   in   his   trade   and   respected   he   may   be,   demand   has   facilitated   his   monopolisation   of   the   production   of   contemporary   development   of   artwork   in   this   city.     His   mastery   of   classical   realism   through   bronze   monuments   has   stifled   the   creation  and  production  of  contemporary  artworks  in  the  public  realm;  artwork  that   the   public   can   relate   to   in   todays   time   and   context.     This   monopolisation   of   contemporary   artwork   in   Edinburgh   is   hardly   weighted   on   Stoddart,   but   by   the   conservative  sensibilities  of  the  commissioners  of  the  artwork,  which  I  shall  discuss   further  in  regard  to  cultural  policy  activities.         My   use   of   literary   references   and   heritage   in   this   project   can   be   based   on   the   reflections   of   critical   regionalism,   which   is   based   on   an   avant-­‐gardist   modernist  11   Irvine   Welsh   (b.1957).   Born,   educated   and   lived   in   Edinburgh.   Contemporary   Scottish   novelist,   best  known  for  the  phonetically  written  novel;  Trainspotting.  12 Ian Rankin, Born in the Kingdom of Fife. 1960. Prominent Scottish writer, particularly for his writings ofEdinburgh’s detective; Rebus. 11
  12. 12. Alephs Moved Again approach.     If   we   look   at   the   Edinburgh   literary   tour   project13,   it   incorporates   both   reference   to   the   urban   symbolic   and   architectural   landscape   with   prominent   Edinburgh   born   and   resident   writers.     In   its   foundations   it   rests   in   the   local   or   regional   architecture,   which   in   Edinburgh   is   at   the   root   of   the   need   to   maintain   its   heritage.     The   writer   Kenneth   Frampton14   is   most   associated   with   the   term   Critical   Regionalism  that  fostered  postmodern  cultural  theory.    Critical  regionalism’s  original   use  is  in  architectural  theory,  which  includes  literature,  cultural,  and  political  studies   and  proposes  a  methodology  based  on  the  intersection  of  those  fields  which  I  use  in   my  discussion  of  the  mapping  of  the  urban  landscape  as  place  as  a  fluid  notion.       The   lack   of   non-­‐bronzed   contemporary   permanent   artworks   installed   in   our   pathways   is   perhaps   due   to   funding   hurdles   by   many   artists   and   (lets   not   forget)   council   permissions.     Edinburgh   has   a   public   aesthetic   that   is   adhered   to   and   maintained   by   the   authorities   including   the   City   Council.     After   seeking   out   information   in   regard   to   the   process   of   producing   artworks   for   the   streets   of   Edinburgh   I   was   directed   to   the   Arts   Development15   and   Cultural   Partnership   guidelines  issued  by  Edinburgh  City  Council.    The  guidelines  specify  what  public  art  13  Palimpsest:  Literary  Edinburgh,  Academicians:  Miranda  Anderson,  Amy  Guy,  Simon  Biggs,  John  Lee,  James  Loxley,  Mark  Wright,  CIRCLE  &  UoE  English  Literature  Department,  www.literarycities.org  14  Kenneth  Frampton  wrote  the  essay  "Towards  a  Critical  Regionalism:  Six  points  for  an  architecture  of  resistance"  published  in  the  book  "The  Anti-­‐Aesthetic:  Essays  on  Postmodern  Culture"  (1983)  edited  by  Hal  Foster.  15Arts  Development,  City  of  Edinburgh  Council:    http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/info/486/arts_development/372/arts_development   12
  13. 13. Alephs Moved Again comprises  and  what  it  must  achieve.    Visual  arts  have  been  amalgamated  with  other   art   forms   including   dance,   craft   and   theatre   under   cultural   activities   within   the   Edinburgh   Cultural   Partnership16   sector   of   the   City   Council,   which   was   established   in   2002   to   head   the   community-­‐planning   network   that   includes   the   Edinburgh   Partnership,  and  the  City  Sports  Partnership  and  other  organizations.           As   an   alternative   model   and   aim   to   which   Edinburgh   could   adapt   and   follow;   Gateshead   in   Newcastle   put   itself   on   the   map   in   the   1970’s   and   1980’s   as   they   decided  to  become  active  in  the  commissioning  of  public  art,  mainly  as  they  had  no   contemporary  art  gallery  at  that  time.    In  1986  Gateshead  created  a  formal  public  arts   programme   funded   through   various   means,   such   as   the   Single   Art   Regeneration   Budget,   Arts   Council   Lottery,   and   established   a   modal   that   other   cities   could   follow   and  appropriate.    Gateshead  used  public  art  as  a  means  to  reclaim  derelict  areas.    A   stark  contrast  to  Edinburgh’s  preservation  of  heritage  and  art.       The  Edinburgh  Cultural  Partnership  states  that  they  as  a  sector  will  improve  access  to   the  arts,  sports  and  cultural  activities,  for  example:       • They   encourage   active   involvement   and   participation   from   individuals   and  16Edinburgh  Cultural  Partnership:    http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/info/486/arts_development/465/cultural_policy/1   13
  14. 14. Alephs Moved Again the  community,  which  helps  to  develop  self-­‐worth  and  community  identity     • They   help   to   raise   awareness   of   issues   relating   to   the   environment,   community  safety  and  disability     • They   help   to   develop   a   sense   of   pride   in   the   City’s    heritage   and   built   environment     • They   bring   in   new   ideas,   experiences   and   a   sense   of    enjoyment   to   the   City,   contributing  to  the  quality  of  life.     • Preserving  and  enhancing  the  city’s  built  heritage     • Arranging  displays  on  aspects  of  the  city’s  history     • Carrying  out  archeological  and  social  history  research     • Maintaining  and  encouraging  the  enjoyment  of  the  city’s  natural  heritage  of    parks  and  open  spaces     • Interpreting  the  city’s  architectural  and  historical  background  and  identifying    ways  of  making  it  more  accessible  to  the  public     • Collecting  and  preserving  artifacts  relating  to  the  city’s  heritage.  17     This   all   sounds   well   intended,   but   does   this   really   happen   in   the   development   and   production   of   public   arts?     It’s   a   common   view   that   public   art   must   follow   the   following  points,  perhaps  it’s  only  implied,  expected,  or  an  old  view;  and  there  is  little  17   ‘A   Cultural   Policy?’   for   the   City   of   Edinburgh.   Towards   a   New   Enlightenment.   1999.   p.   7   ~   I   obtained  this  document  from  the  Arts  Development  division  of  the  City  of  Edinburgh  Council,  this  is  their  most  recent  policy  document  guidelines,  but  I  was  informed  new  policy  documents  will  be  provided  to  the  public  in  2013.   14
  15. 15. Alephs Moved Again evidence   that   public   art   achieves   any   of   these   things   which   Doreen   Massey   and   Dr   Gillian  Rose,  both  of  the  Open  University,  have  discussed  on  the  value  and  impact  of   public  art  in  their  report  commissioned  by  Milton  Keynes  Council18.   • Reference   cultural   policy   and   the   assertions   such   policy’s   demand   on   public                     artworks  and  their  uses   • Enhances  the  physical  environment     • Creates  a  sense  of  place  and  distinctiveness     • Contributes  to  community  cohesion     • Contributes  to  social  health  and  wellbeing     • Contributes  to  economic  value  through  inward  investment  and  tourism     • Fosters  civic  pride  and  confidence     • Raises  quality  of  life     • Reduces  crime  19   From  such  guidelines  it’s  safe  to  assume  that  it’s  intended  that  permanent  artworks   must   integrate   into   the   city   landscape.     Many   public   artworks   are   funded   and   commissioned   through   such   schemes   as   ‘Percent   for   Art’,   which   is   implemented   by   the   City   Council.     The   scheme   works   in   association   with   a   private   organization   to   enhance   the   relationship   through   commissioned   publicly   accessible   visual   art   with  18   Professor   Doreen   Massey   BA   (Oxon),   MA   (Phila)   &   Dr   Gillian   Rose,   BA   (Cambs).   Social   Sciences  Faculty.   The   Open   University.   Commissioned   by   Artpoint   on   behalf   of   Milton   Keynes   Council:   Personal  Views:  Public  Art  Research  Project.  2003.  19  Public  Art  Online.  www.publicartonline.org.uk/resources/research/current_research.php   15
  16. 16. Alephs Moved Againprivately  owned  land  developers.    For  example;  ‘Percent  for  Art’  in  association  with  Cala  Homes  (Scotland)  artwork  can  be  seen  in  Stockbridge,  a  sculpture  titled  ‘Horse,  Rider,  Eagle’  by  Edinburgh  born  Eoghan  Bridge   {Figure   3}  in  1997.  ‘Percent  for  Art’  is  a  scheme   that   encourages   the   use   of   a   percentage   (typically   1%)   of   a   private   or  government   construction   project   cost   and   is   allocated   for   the   commissioning   and  production   of   a   publicly   accessible   permanent   artwork.     Richard   Serra’s   Tilted   Arc  sculpture   {Figure   4},   marked   a   change   in   the   way   such   artworks   where   instated.     The  Tilted   Arc   was   installed   in   the   courtyard   of   the   Jocob   Jarvits   Federal   Building   in  Manhattan,  New  York  in  1981.    There  was  an  outcry  by  pedestrians  and  workers  in  the   surrounding   buildings   that   this   mix   of   both   authoritarian   and   paternalistic  sculpture  was  commissioned  without  interaction  with  the  inhabitants  and  workers  of  the  area  and  was  removed  in  1989.        This  marked  a  change  in  process  of  commissioning  the  work  and  has  slowly  filtered  to  here  in  the  UK.    Although  the  funding  and  project  bodies  have  authority  over  the  artwork   commissioned,   community   engagement   and   approval   is   sought.     Perhaps   the  financial  encouragement  and  paternalistic  attitude  for  the  production  of  art  in  private  construction  is  to  ‘give  back’  to  that  place  and  community,  and  enrich  the  lives  in  that  area  through  art.    Looking  at  the  use  of  the  Edinburgh’s  Aesthetic,  as  a  nuance  of  a  static  notion  of  place   16
  17. 17. Alephs Moved Again and   discussing   the   documentation   of   current   artwork   and   the   need   to   produce  new   contemporary  artwork  in  a  way  that  implies  that  it  is  a  far  more  of  a  fluid  notion  is   how   I   wish   to   proceed.     By   fluid   I   refer   to   Miwon   Kwon’s   interpretation   of   Wrong   Place;   20   “Places   are   also   fluid,   changeable,   dynamic   contexts   of   social   interaction   and   memory”.       I  have  restricted  the  content  and  discussion  of  public  art  to  omit  the  festival  months   due  to  the  word  count  of  this  paper  and  to  emphasis  the  production  of  artworks  that   happen   in   the   remaining   10   months   of   the   year.     This   will   enable   me   to   focus   on   viewing   public   art   as   a   resident   and   to   comment   on   the   contradictions   of   the   local   sense  of  identity  and  the  dynamic  notion  of  the  association  of  place  through  the  use  of   visual  art  in  our  streets.    Documenting  the  artworks  in  festivals  will  be  a  continuation   of  the  Alephs  Moved  Again  project  for  a  later  time.     Ian  Rankin,  in  his  book  2007  Exit  Music21,  describes  this  city;    “It  seemed  to  him  a  very   Edinburgh  thing.  Welcoming,  but  not  very”.       Such   desire   and   economic   requirement   to   maintain   this   aesthetic   and   tradition   is   known  by  tourism  industries  around  the  world  is  perhaps  one  of  the  roots  of  issue.    20  Miwon  Kwon.  The  Wrong  Place.  Art  Journal;  Spring  2000.  59.  1.  Research  Library  Core.  p.  4  21 Ian Rankin. 2007. Exit Music. Desert Island Books 17
  18. 18. Alephs Moved AgainThe  recent  lack  of  permanent  artwork  produced  in  the  city  is  reacted  to  in  the  festival  months   when   there   is   an   abundance   of   temporary,   ephemeral   artwork,   but   year  round,   this   enthusiasm   is   stifled.   This   is   where   one   problem   lies.     The   (perhaps)  discouraging  guidelines  of  the  city  council,  the  need  to  conform  to  obtain  funding  in  such   schemes   as   ‘Percent   for   Art’   and   Creative   Scotland   proposals;   or   the  mountainous  and  precarious  nature  of  regulations  such  as  health  and  safety  etc.  has  dampened   the   expression   of   contemporary   artwork   in   the   public   arena   of   Edinburgh.    Boundaries  have  been  set  and  it  can  be  a  hazardous  crossing.        By   contextualising   the   modes   and   means   of   production   of   public   artworks   and   the  notion  of  places  in  which  they  inhabit;  I  am  attempting  to  shift  the  premise  from  the  production   of   art   as   economic   and   political   tools   of   growth,   to   that   of   the   need   to  include   contemporary   cultural   expressions   of   the   intercepting   cultures   and   identities  of  Edinburgh’s  people.      To   summarise,   the   Edinburgh   Aesthetic   is   a   conservative   sensibility   by   the   Edinburgh  City   Council   and   other   commissioning   bodies.     The   sensibility   of   the   people   in  authority   must   adhere   to   the   need   to   maintain   Edinburgh   as   a   world   heritage   site,  and   continue   to   strive   for   economic   growth   and   tourism.     All   to   the   detriment   of   new   18
  19. 19. Alephs Moved Again forms  of  artistic  ‘representation  and  meaning’22  being  produced  in  the  public  realm.      22  Merlin  Coverley.  Psychogeography.  Pocket  Edition.  Oldcastle  Books.  2006.  p.  96   19
  20. 20. Alephs Moved AgainIT’S  AN  URBAN  WALKING  AFFAIR     “Dérive  is  the  first  step  toward  an  urban  praxis.  It  is  a  stroll  through  the  city  by  several  people  who  are   out  to  understand  the  "psychogeographical  articulation  of  the  modern  city".  The  strollers  attempt  an   interpretive   reading   of   the   city,   an   architectural   understanding   …   “engage   in   "playful   reconstructive   behaviour"…They  see  in  the  city  unifying  and  empowering.23     The   dérive   is   the   ideal   model   notion   of   wandering   the   streets   of   Edinburgh   and   has   been   explored   extensively   by   Guy   Debord   of   the   Situationist   International   in   the   1950’s,   and   since   then   in   the   90’s,   by   the   ‘London   Psychogeographical   Association’,   and   again   recently   by   Merlin   Coverley’s   book   in   2006   ‘Psychogeography’,   and   the   2007   book   ‘Psychogeography:   Disentangling   the   Modern   Conundrum   of   Psyche   and   Place’  by  Will  Self  and  Ralph  Steadman,  and  Ian  Sinclair’s  2004  book  ‘London  Orbital’.   The  dérive  essentially  means  to  stroll  but  involves  a  ‘playful-­‐constructive  behavior’24   and   awareness   of   psychogeographical   effects.     The   Situationists   use   the   dérive   and   other   fractions   of   psychogeography   as   a   means   of   showing   the   contrast   in   the   everyday  and  comment  on  what  it  is  now  and  what  it  could  be  in  the  future.    My  focus   leads   within   a   fraction   of   psychogeography;   the   derive.     The   dérive   is   an   awareness   of   your  surroundings  and  the  affects  the  urban  landscape  have  when  interpreting  your  23Anonymous.  Drifitng  with  The  Situationist  International.  http://www.geog.leeds.ac.uk/people/a.evans/psychogeog.html.  2002.  24   Théorie   de   la   dérive”.   Internationale   Situationniste.   Paris.   1958.   Translation   by   Ken   Knabb.  Situationist  International  Anthology.  Revised  and  Expanded  Edition.  2006   20
  21. 21. Alephs Moved Again own  reading  of  the  city.     Guy  Debord  of  the  Situationists  was  the  forerunner  of  the  Situationists  International,   the  Letterist  Group,  which  included  psychogeography  and  various  elements  under  its   umbrella;  the  dérive  is  but  one  instrument.    Psychogeography  was  a  tool  in  an  attempt   to   transform   urban   life,   first   for   aesthetic   purposes   but   then   later   for   political   ends.     Merlin   Coverley   in   his   book   Psychogeography25   points   at   to   the   definition   of   where;   ‘psychology   and   geography   collide’,   as   a   way   of   exploring   peoples   behavior   and   the   impact  of  the  urban  place.    Coverley’s  guide  to  Psychogeography  has  been  a  necessary   conductor   in   understanding   the   overly   appropriated   term   that   has   become   quite   vague  in  definition  and  use.     The  dérive  enables  the  storytelling  of  a  places,  the  history  of  its  internal  cogs,  cross-­‐ hatchings   of   current   and   old   inhabitants   and   its   complexities   in   its   current   context.     The   practice   of   derive   in   Edinburgh   and   witnessing   the   attractions   in   our   streets   dissolves  the  boundaries,  reinvents  identities  and  contextualizes  the  histories  of  place   and   becomes   a   situation   creating   method   and   tool26.     The   dérive   does   not   give   into   pure  unconscious  desire  characterized  by  the  surrealist’s  wanderings  and  the  journey  25  Merlin  Coverley.  Psychogeography.  Pocket  Edition.  Oldcastle  Books.  2006.  p.  11  26  Situation  creating  technique  –  Influenced  by  various  writings  by  Guy  Debord   21
  22. 22. Alephs Moved Again of  the  stroller  of  the  flanuer.    The  dérive  lacks  clear  destination  but  has  purpose.27     Alephs   Moved   Again   is   in   part   my   visual   interpretive   reading   of   the   city   and   my   reaction  to,  in  my  opinion,  the  lack  of  contemporary  public  art  (non  bronzed),  and  to   map  the  artwork  in  the  streets  of  Edinburgh;  and  to  explore  the  ideas  that  are  open  to   place   being   interpreted   as   a   fluid   concept.     Why   aid   the   exhibition   with   an   online   model?    The  online  website  I  have  produced,  that  includes  an  integrated  map  can  give   the   audience   possibilities   to   follow,   and/or   give   points   of   places   to   give   start   to   the   possibility  of  the  derive:  beginning  with  purpose.    To  act  as  an  online  exhibition  site   with   numerous   links   to   a   catalogue   of   temporary   sited   artworks   and   information   along  with  a  list  of  permanent  artworks  and  features  around  the  city.    It  is  my  hope   the  online  site  would  continue  to  expand  and  include  historical  artworks  around  the   city  that  may  benefit  the  concept  of  the  project.       I   have   a   conflict   in   understanding   the   cultural   implications   of   fixed   and   generalized   interpretations   of   place   as   a   whole   and   the   cultural   hybridity   giving   rise   to   new   negotiations  of  meaning  and  representation28;  perhaps  it’s  the  need  to  be  a  localized   individual,   have   present-­‐time   association,   and   to   be   at   odds   with   associations   of  27  Merlin  Coverley.  Psychogeography.  Pocket  Edition.  Oldcastle  Books.  2006.  p.  96  28“The   process   of   cultural   hybridity   gives   rise   to   something   different,   something   new   and  unrecognizable,   a   new   area   of   negotiation   of   meaning   and   representation.”   Rutherford,   Jonathan.   "The  Third   Space.   Interview   with   Homi   Bhabha."   Identity:   Community,   Culture,   Difference.   London:  Lawrence  &  Wishart.  1998.  Print.  p.  211   22
  23. 23. Alephs Moved Again larger  intersections  of  society,  and  the  link  with  place;  not  to  be  exclusively  one  over   the  other.    Our  connections  and  interpretations  of  a  place  are  tied  to  our  knowledge,   our   cultural   understandings   and   histories   of   customs   and   rituals.     But   a   place   is   forever   altering,   adapting,   progressing,   multiple   identities   and   cross-­‐hatchings   of   people  change.    The  culture  develops  around  and  with  it,  and  the  writings  of  Doreen   Massey  speak  volumes,  particularly  in  such  essays  as  Politics  and  Space/Time.29    The   place  adopts  our  traits,  customs  and  cultures,  and  visa  versa.    Place  has  a  backlog  of   interactions,  where  people  and  time  are  facilitating  this  flexibility.     Showing  the  activity  in  Edinburgh  and  the  changing  nature  of  place;  when  interacting   with   the   possible   enhancing   abilities   of   an   artwork   we   can   reference   my   documentation  of  Antony  Gormley’s  artwork  Six  Times  {Figure  5}  via  Alephs  Moved  Again.     The   commissioned   artwork   by   the   Scottish   National   Galleries   is   in   association   with   funding   from   the   Lottery   Fund,   sites   6   casts,   very   typical   of   Gormley   artwork,   on   a   historical  route  of  the  Water  of  Leith  in  Edinburgh.    The  resource  I’ve  created  Alephs   Moved  Again  allows  the  publics  to  use  and  interact  with  the  site  as  an  online  resource,   mapping   each   point   of   the   trail   that   stretches   from   the   National   Galleries   Modern   buildings  to  the  abandoned  pier  in  Leith  Docks.    Since  2010  they  have  been  enveloped   into   the   place   where   they   sit.     For   me   the   real   expression   of   the   pedestrians   and   inhabitants   of   the   city   are   the   interventions   and   reactions   to   the   artwork   from   the  29  Doreen  Massey.  For  Space.  Includes  essay  Politics,  Space/Time.  SAGE  Publications  Ltd.  2005   23
  24. 24. Alephs Moved Again publics,  not  just  the  artwork  itself,  images  of  such  interventions  can  be  seen  on  Alephs   Moved   Again   as   part   of   the   documentation.     Various   bras   and   t-­‐shirts   have   been   placed  on  the  casts,  including  a  parody  performance  by  artist  Pete  Shaw30,  interacting   with   the   work,   which   in   my   opinion   is   a   point   of   substance   in   public   art.     I   don’t   believe   such   reactions   are   solely   in   protest   of   such   artworks   but   in   acceptance   and   engagement.     The   same   principle   lays   with   the   painting   of   Eduardo   Paolozzi’s   giant   bronze  foot  toenails31  at  the  top  of  Leith  Walk:  Elms  Row.       In   his   book   Malcolm   Miles:   Art,   Space   and   the   City:   Public   Art   and   Urban   Futures32   Miles   definition   of   publicly   accessible   artworks   is   a   key   aspect   in   my   exploration   of   place.    He  discusses  the  imbedded  history  and  continuous  expansion  of  culture  in  its   visual  markers  and  invited  interaction.  ‘Public  art’  is  a  form  of  street  life,  a  means  to   articulate  the  implicit  values  of  a  city  when  its  users  occupy  the  place  of  determining   what   the   city   is’,   …   suggests   that   it   actively   engages   with   and   intervenes   in   its   audiences.’33      30   Peter   Shaw.   Antony   Gormley   statue   performace.   2012.   meet-­‐the-­‐real-­‐life-­‐gormley-­‐statue-­‐peter-­‐shaw  31   Eduardo   Paolozzi   bronze   sculptures,   the   giant   bronze   foot   is   one   of   two   sculptures   by   Paolozzi   here,  the   other   being   another   giant   bronze   hand,   which   are   based   on   a   William   Blake   painting   of   Isaac  Newton.  1795  32  Miles,  M  Art.  Space  and  the  City:  Public  Art  and  Urban  Futures.  London.  1997  33   Professor   Doreen   Massey,   BA   (Oxon),   MA   (Phila)   &   Dr   Gillian   Rose,   BA   (Cambs).   Social   Sciences  Faculty.   The   Open   University.   Commissioned   by   Artpoint   on   behalf   of   Milton   Keynes   Council:   Personal  Views:  Public  Art  Research  Project.  2003.  p.  12   24
  25. 25. Alephs Moved Again In   the   spirit   of   the   Situationists   International   such   reactions   to   unwritten   rules   and   regulations   are   physical   interventions,   including   graffiti   and   tagging,   of   such   commercial   and   authoritarian   commissions   by   private   investment   schemes   and   the   city   council.   Edinburgh   council   has   tried   to   regulate   and   perhaps   embrace   artwork   in   the   form   of   murals   and   graffiti   by   giving   residents   two   legal   walls   in   the   city,   but   many   areas   in   Edinburgh   such   as   Rose   Street   and   Meadows   Lane   are   perhaps   a   reaction  to  the  councils  attempt  to  regulate  vandalism  –  graffiti,  and  in  my  opinion  an   honest  expression  by  some  of  Edinburgh’s  inhabitants.    ‘The  secrets  of  the  city  are  at   a  certain  level  decipherable,  wrote  Debord,  but  the  personal  meaning  they  have  for  us   is   incommunicable’.34     The   dérive   becomes   a   strategic   device   for   re-­‐contouring   the   city  and  experiencing  these  places.     The   mural,   Industry   of   Leith   {Figure   6},   depicting   Leiths   social   and   trade   history   was   painted   on   the   gable   end   of   a   building   at   North   Junction   Street,   Leith   by   Street   Artworks   in   late   1986.     Tim   Chalk   and   Paul   Grime   produced   the   mural   along   with   members   of   the   Leith   historical   project   through   workshops.35   The   mural   is   representative   of   Leith’s   past   but   I   think   this   differs   from   the   likes   of   Alexander   Stoddart’s   bronze  {Figure  2}   works   because   he   appears   to   produce   a   pastiche   of   classical   bronze  artwork,  he  is  keeping  the  skill  alive  in  the  public  eye,  but  the  mural  in  Leith  is  34  Merlin  Coverley.  Psychogeography.  Pocket  Edition.  Oldcastle  Books.  2006.  p.  101  35   Street   Artworks   was   a   partnership   between   Tim   Chalk   and   Paul   Grime.     They   later   set   up   in  partnership  trading  as  Chalk  &  Grime   25
  26. 26. Alephs Moved Again visually   representative   in   topic   rather   that   style.     It   is   a   contemporary   visual   representation  that  can  be  translated  and  understood  by  people  today.      It  is  a  work   that   is   embedded   into   the   area   and   place-­‐making.     "The   space   thus   produced   also   serves   as   a   tool   of   thought   and   of   action   [...]   in   addition   to   being   a   means   of   production  it  is  also  a  means  of  control,  and  hence  of  domination,  of  power."36       The   artwork  acts  as  a  marker  of  Great  Junction  Street  and  of  people.     In   1986,   such   artworks   were   not   too   uncommon;   in   Glasgow,   1975   Tom   McGRath   (Director  of  the  contemporary  art  gallery,  the  Third  Eye  Gallery)  and  the  Scottish  Arts   Council   (now   Creative   Scotland)   commissioned   the   gable   end   murals   project   in   Glasgow.    Unfortunately  the  murals  were  painted  on  buildings  that  were  at  the  time   scheduled   for   demolition,   and   were   never   foreseen   to   be   permanent   additions.       There   were   four   gable   end   murals   in   total   and   Ian   McColl   was   the   only   artist   to   engage   with   the   people   of   the   area   to   work   in   partnership.     John   Byrne’s   murals   received  allot  of  attention  by  graffiti  artists  and  taggers,  and  as  previously  mentioned,   this   was   almost   inevitable   on   these   murals,   it’s   a   thin   line   between   vandalism   in   protest   and   acceptance   and   intervention.     David   Harding   wrote   of   the   government   policy   of   social   inclusion   and   the   list   of   requirements   that   public   artworks   should   achieve  to  be  deemed  appropriate  to  be  sited  in  the  public  arena.    ‘It  was  always  an   ameliorating  top  down  policy  with  not  much  ever  percolating  from  the  bottom  up  36  Henri  Lefebvre.  The  Production  of  Space.  Blackwell.  1991.  p.  26.   26
  27. 27. Alephs Moved Again and   totally   at   odds   with   the   notion   that   the   socially   excluded   may   have   something   worthwhile  to  express  about  culture’.  37       Fundamentally   Edinburgh’s   cultural   activities   development   guidelines   are   primarily   still  driven  from  the  top  down  by  policies  and  strategies  based  on  cultural  activities   for   all,   whilst   maintaining   and   encouraging   economic   growth.   A   seemingly   self-­‐ contradictory   approach.   Mainly   as   it   assumes   and   lumps   artistic   practices   together   and   Edinburgh   as   a   homogeneous,   bounded   community   in   harmony   –   The   City   of   Edinburgh  Council  is  trying  to  refashion  the  alienated  city.      37  David  Harding.  http://www.davidharding.net/article11/index.php.  Public  Art  Article  of  Craigmillar  Arts  Centre  in  Edinburgh.  2005.   27
  28. 28. Alephs Moved AgainRECONSTRUCTING  A  SENSE  OF  PLACE     “The   concept   of   sense   of   place   is   used   colloquially   to   refer   to   an   individuals   ability   to   develop   feelings   of   attachment   to   particular   settings   based   on   a   combination  of  use,  attentiveness,  and  emotion  …  analyses  suggest  that  places  are   more   than   simply   geographic   sites   with   definitive   physical   and   textual   characteristics-­‐-­‐places   are   also   fluid,   changeable,   dynamic   contexts   of   social   interaction  and  memory."38       Early  on  the  development  of  this  project  my  understanding  of  place  was  primarily  as   a  static  concept,  with  an  introverted  obsession  with  ‘heritage’;  this  model  always  felt   as   if   it   came   short   for   me,   until   it   was   introduced   to   me   as   a   fluid   notion.     This   is   a   concept  that  embraces  time,  multiple  identities  and  usages  of  space  and  place.    This   developed   into   looking   at   my   city,   Edinburgh,   in   an   alternative   manner;   combining   the   use   of   online   mapping   and   wandering   throughout   this   city   with   the   artworks   that   constantly  surround  me,  and  the  changing  ideologies  that  these  places  can  hold  in  the   context  of  the  artworks.    The  geographer  Edward  Soja  cautions  that,  "How  relations   of   power   and   discipline   are   inscribed   into   the   apparently   innocent   spatiality   of   social  38Patricia  A  Stokowski.  Languages  of  Place  and  Discourses  of  Power:  Constructing  New  Senses  of  Place.  Academic   journal   article   from   Journal   of   Leisure   Research.   Vol.   34.   No.   4:  http://www.questia.com/library/1G1-­‐98607156/languages-­‐of-­‐place-­‐and-­‐discourses-­‐of-­‐power-­‐constructinghttp://www.questia.com/library/1G1-­‐98607156/languages-­‐of-­‐place-­‐and-­‐discourses-­‐of-­‐power-­‐constructing   28
  29. 29. Alephs Moved Again life,  how  human  geographies  become  filled  with  politics  and  ideology”39     The   histories   and   consequences   of   a   place   definitely   have   an   impact   on   the   current   state   of   a   place   now,   but   the   history   does   not   define   it,   the   trajectories   of   the   paths   that   intersect   at   that   place   make   it   malleable   and   the   artworks   ideally   help   tell   the   story  and  form  a  visual  representation.    As  I  have  already  discussed  my  approach  to   the   Edinburgh   Aesthetic   and   the   meaning   behind   this   and   my   reaction.     It’s   only   natural  for  me  to  discuss  the  idea  of  place  and  the  notion  of  a  sense  of  place  and  how   this   relates   to   the   public   arena   and   my   project.     I’m   wary   of   referencing   this   term   (sense   of   place)   wholly   as   this   opens   up   a   plethora   of   ideas   and   the   various   social   and   geographical   references   to   identifying   place   in   relation   to   time   and   the   nostalgia   of   the  local.       Other  cities  use  art  to  define  themselves,  not  Edinburgh.    Antony  Gormley’s  Angel  of   the  North  for  example,  has  become  a  marker,  a  signifier  of  place  and  identity.  Anish   Kapoor’s   Cloud   Gate,   aka   The   Bean   in   Chicago   {Figure   7},   and   his   new   addition   in   partnership   with   Cecil   Barmond     {Figure   8}   to   London,   commissioned   for   the   2012   Olympics  –  the  Orbit  Tower,  and  Ian  Ritchie’s  the  Spire  of  Dublin,  Dublin  {Figure  9}.    What   does   Edinburgh   have   really?       We   have   a   wealth   of   monuments.   There   is   nothing  39   Edward   Soja.   Postmodern   Geographies.   The   reassertion   of   space   in   critical   social   theory.   Verso.  1986.  p.  6     29
  30. 30. Alephs Moved Again wrong   with   these   monuments   but   we   are   overshadowed   in   these   tributes   to   past   iconic   people40   but   to   make   room   for   the   new,   and   for   us   to   progress   as   a   city;   we   must   be   open   to   progressive   styles,   mediums   and   subject   in   the   visual   public   arts.     Non-­‐consensual,   authoritarian   commissioned   artwork   that   are   there   to   stimulate   economic   growth   are   not   necessarily   conducive   to   producing   artwork   that   are   engaging  in  expressions  of  contemporary  culture.  And  if  they  fail  at  that,  then  what’s   the   point?     Ultimately   visual   expressions   must   be   encouraged,   through   progressive   engaging   projects   with   the   people   of   Edinburgh,   not   the   safe   classical   style   bronze   artworks   of   Stoddart   {Figure   2}   that   hark   back   to   Victorian   times;   why   should   we   be   preoccupied   by   monument?     Edinburgh’s   sensibility   appears   to   define   itself   by   our   heritage;  architecture,  critical  regionalism;  our  walkways  are  steeped  in  history,  place   has  been  made  but  what  we  need  now  is  to  progress:       “This   is   place   as   practised…does   not   imply   ignoring   the   past   (all   the   different   processes,   practices   and   trajectories   which   have   interwoven   to   make   this   place   what   it   is);   but   it   does   mean   not   romanticising   it   or   holding   it   in   aspic,   nor   allowing  it  to  dominate  the  present.  The  past  of  a  place  is  part  of  its  present  and   future   and   it   is   in   that   guise   that   it   can   best   contribute   to   the   making   of   a   sense   of  40 Influence  here  from  Ray  Mackenzie  in  his  book:  Public  Sculpture  of  Glasgow.  Liverpool  University  Press,  2001. 30
  31. 31. Alephs Moved Again identity.”41         I   started   out   researching   the   static   notion   of   place   with   such   theorists   as   Lucy   Lippard.     Much   of   the   discussions   of   place   that   I   have   come   to   know   have   revolved   around   the   local   and   seeking   a   fixed   identity   of   a   place,   relying   on   the   desire   of   its   community  to  locate  a  sense  of  identity  as  a  factor  in  defining  a  place.       To   look   into   this   question   further   of   fluidity   and   try   and   find   an   answer   in   relation   to   public  art,  I  have  researched  the  idea  of  place  as  being  dynamic  by  using  the  theory   and  practice  of  psychogeography  and  the  viewpoint  of  the  geographer,  referencing  the   likes  of  Edward  Soja  and  Doreen  Massey.    How  these  relate  to  the  movement  and  flux   of  place,  the  production  of  artworks  by  its  globalized  inhabitants,  and  the  writings  of   Edgar  Allan  Poe  and  Jorges  Luis  Borges.     Doreen  Massey  has  been  a  key  player  in  my  development  and  discussion  of  place  and   its   unbounded   dialogue.     Such   that   places   have   multiple   identities,   cultures   and   constantly   in   flux   (that   incorporate   time   and   use).     Place   plays   an   integral   role   in   human   experience   as   explored   by   Edward   Relph42   in   place   attachment   and   the   experiences   of   countless   types   and   identities.     Massey   explains   that   the   reactionary  41Professor   Doreen   Massey,   BA   (Oxon),   MA   (Phila)   &   Dr   Gillian   Rose,   BA   (Cambs).   Social   Sciences  Faculty.   The   Open   University.   Commissioned   by   Artpoint   on   behalf   of   Milton   Keynes   Council;   Personal  Views:  Public  Art  Research  Project.  2003.    p.  4  42  Edward  Relph.  Place  and  Placelessness.  Place  Identity.  Pion  Ltd.  1976   31
  32. 32. Alephs Moved Again sense  of  place  is  problematic,  a  sense  of  which  can  be  “constructed  through  an  inward   looking   history   based   on   delving   into   the   past   for   internalized   origins”43.     This   is   important  in  talking  about  what  appears  to  be  Edinburgh’s  reaction  to  public  places   today  when  commissioning  artwork.    What  we  need  is  an  outward  looking  process  to   aid  production.    Specifically  place  being  site  sensitive  or  the  artwork  produced  being   reactive  to  the  place  itself.    I  think  the  latter  has  more  potential,  as  this  could  be  the   path   to   producing   expressive   artwork,   paying   homage   to   the   history   but   representationally  more  progressive  and  stimulating.  Temporary,  ephemeral  artwork   is  on  the  rise,  even  then  the  council  restricts  it,  so  then  I  discuss  reactionary  work  in   the   form   of   intervention   and   action.     Stability   provides   a   source   of   unproblematic   identity   in   the   unavoidable   flux   and   dynamic   nature   of   real   life.     “To   reaffirm   our   sense  of  self,  reflecting  back  to  us  an  unthreatening  picture  of  a  grounded  identity.”44       I  am  weary  of  using  the  term  ‘community’  as  I  think  that  using  this  term  in  this  regard   is   not   quite   correct.     Community   suggests   one   group   all   are   of   the   same   socio-­‐ economic  status  and  nationality  perhaps.    When  discussing  in  this  context  I  want  to   avoid   the   assumption   that   I   am   discussing   a   community.     What   I   am   interpreting   is   the   multi   identity,   multi   community   all   within   Edinburgh   as   a   place   with   only   geographical  boundaries  not  cultural  boundaries.    43  Doreen,  Massey.  A  Global  Sense  of  Place  in  Reading  Human  Geography.  1997.  p.1  44  Miwon  Kwon.  The  wrong  place.    Art  Journal;  Spring  2000.  59.  1.  Research  Library  Core.  p.  10   32
  33. 33. Alephs Moved Again “In  the  middle  of  all  this  flux,  people  desperately  need  a  bit  of  peace  and  quiet  -­‐   and  that  a  strong  sense  of  place,  or  locality,  can  form  one  kind  of  refuge  from  the   hubbub.   So   the   search   after   the   ‘real’   meanings   of   places,   the   unearthing   of   heritages   and   so   forth,   is   interpreted   as   being,   in   part,   a   response   to   desire   for   fixity  and  for  security  of  identity  in  the  middle  of  all  the  movement  and  change.”45     Places   have   multiple   identities   and   uses,   and   full   of   internal   conflict.     I   have   the   conflict   between   the   uniqueness   of   place;   and   the   realism   of   a   boundless   sense   of   location   and   culture   and   multiple   identities   of   place,   I’m   looking   for   a   resuscitation   of   a   sense   of   place.     We   can   look   at   Leith   docks,   a   place   steeped   in   history   of   whaling   trade,  and  now  conflicted  with  the  present,  loss  of  trade  and  heritage  in  modern  times   and   the   flux   of   cultures   and   usages.     What   it   could   be   in   the   future   and   is   represented   in   such   as   artwork   as   the   Industry   of   Leith   {Figure   6}   Mural   by   Tim   Chalk   I   discussed   earlier.     Edinburgh   has   earnt   an   informal   reputation   for   being   tougher   to   gain   approval   for   public  artwork  proposals  outside  the  festival  months.    To  see  the  fruition  of  a  public   art   projects   is   at   the   discretion   of   the   arts   development   team   at   the   council   and   private   funding.     These   employees   may   or   may   not   have   an   art   background   in   any  45  Doreen,  Massey.  A  Global  Sense  of  Place  in  Reading  Human  Geography.  1997.  p.  7     33

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