ART: Installation in Glasgow WinterSchool.

From: IN%"[email protected]" "Art Criticism Discussion Forum" 11-JAN-1994
To: IN%"[email protected]" "Howard Lawrence"
Subj: RE: public art

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Date: Tue, 11 Jan 1994 16:31:39 +0000
From: M P Watts <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: public art
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To: Howard Lawrence <[email protected]>
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Dear Bonnie

I'm an architecture student at the University of Bath in England. I just
got back from spending a week in Glasgow where I was taking part in this
year's Architectural Winterschool. I was involved in a workshop that was
using "public art" as a means to get people thinking about social issues
that were relevant to them. We used a 1000 watt projector to show slides
on some walls in one of the city's busiest squares, with an installation
in the square itself. One of the issues we covered was a curfew imposed
on the city by local government. Under this new law no clubs or pubs can
anyone onto their premises after 12 midnight. It was hoped that this
would reduce violent crime in the area, but only creates more tension as
people run around at five to twelve desperately trying to get into a club.
We also tried to get passers by to think about the installation of
security cameras around the city centre; is it justified, will it reduce
crime, or move it elsewhere, who has access to the films made, how long
are the recordings kept for, does this smack of 1984 and "big brother"?

The site we used for our "happening" was interesting as the square
contained a police station, and so we could ensure that we would be
watched the whole time we were there. Despite the fact that we only got
fifteen minutes of projection time before we were moved on by the police,
most of the reactions we got were favourable. I think we managed to get
people thinking, if not about the issues we were trying to raise, then at
least "What are those architects doing now?!", and I think we got people
to look above head height at what was going on above them (which can never
be a bad thing).

The fact that our performance was of a temporary nature was, in itself, to
our advantage. If it was to be a permanent feature it would become lost,
part of the furniture. I imagine the same is true of the ball and chain
around the ankle of the Hammering Man (although I've never seen it in
either original or edited state).

Anyway, I hope that is of some interest. I'd be happy to tell you more
about Winterschool etc. if you want me to!

Matt Watts
[email protected]
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