Accepted Paper:

Reading the Landscape: Public Art as Dialogue in a Reforming New Orleans  
Kara E. Miller (Louisiana State University)

Paper short abstract:


Paper long abstract:

This paper relies on the theoretical stance of hyper-public modes of thought, which are seen in various forms of public art. Public art and messaging, embedded in the urban landscape in the form of graffiti, slogan-culture, and public spectacle, show merging and exchange between genre and class. Public art is a reflection of the city and serves as an expression of current events, ideas, and issues. In a city devastated by the effects of a massive hurricane, underground and folk art emerge as a voice for reforming communities, and move through multiple communicative spheres. With ethnographic engagement and urban exploration, I bring public dialogue out from forgotten spaces and introduce a unique post-post-Katrina style. I interpret the urban experience through varied dialectical happenings that form imagined spaces of identity and belonging, where people create place and a face for the city of New Orleans through collaborative, shared acts of art.

Panel W017
Out in public: towards an anthropology of public socialities in urban space