CURATING CITIES

ABOUT THE DATABASE

The Curating Cities Database maps the increasingly important and emerging field of eco-sustainable public art. It is developed as a resource for researchers, academics, artists, curators, educators, commissioning agencies and sponsors working in the field as well as those interested in promoting sustainability via public art. In addition to descriptive information, the database evaluates the aims and outcomes of each project as well as the external constraints (and subsequent negotiations) that influence the production of public artworks.

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Artist(s)
Title
Location
Year
Vacant Lot of Cabbages : Barry Thomas
Vacant Lot of Cabbages
Barry Thomas
In Wellington, New Zealand in 1978, one hundred and eighty cabbage seedlings in the shape of the word CABBAGE were planted on a long-disused site without permission, challenging a lack of community consultation in decisions relating to the city landscape. Due to public engagement it became known as ‘soapbox art corner’.
Green My Favela : Lea Rekow
Green My Favela
Lea Rekow
Green My Favela is an environmental remediation project primarily located in the favelas (informal settlements or slum communities) of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. GMF was formed to reclaim degraded land and to create more productive green spaces with favela residents.
Nine Mile Run : STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, Carnegie Mellon University.
Nine Mile Run
STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, Carnegie Mellon University.
The Nine Mile Run Greenway Project was an artist-led, applied research initiative that engaged the expertise and concerns of citizens, environmentalists, politicians, historians, urban planners, scientists and engineers in a multi-year effort aimed at the transformation of an industrial waste site to a sustainable public green space.
Thunderbolt : Bonita Ely
Thunderbolt
Bonita Ely
Thunderbolt is a public installation commissioned by the Sydney Olympic Park Authority. The iron edifice uses a digital interface to respond to real-time measurements of domestic energy loadings in the immediate area by changing the colour of the lights in the sculpture.
The Energy Cafe : Pilot Publishing (Amy Plant and Ella Gibbs)
The Energy Cafe
Pilot Publishing (Amy Plant and Ella Gibbs)
Energy Cafe was a community-based, portable, off-grid kitchen, which explored alternative energy, urban agriculture, and shared public space. Pilot Publishing (Amy Plant and Ella Gibbs) held workshops, talks and open days where visitors could actively participate in creating the work.
Hot Summer of Urban Farming : Camilla Berner, Gillion Grantsaan, Nance Klehm, Marie Markman, Jonas Maria Schul,  Åsa Sonjasdotter, Hartmut Stockter and YNKB.
Hot Summer of Urban Farming
Camilla Berner, Gillion Grantsaan, Nance Klehm, Marie Markman, Jonas Maria Schul, Åsa Sonjasdotter, Hartmut Stockter and YNKB.
A collection of Danish and international artists explore methods of re-invigorating the city landscape with urban agriculture and gardening. Central to the public art project’s themes is the re-imagining and infiltration of urban space.
Halo : Jennifer Turpin and Michaelie Crawford
Halo
Jennifer Turpin and Michaelie Crawford
A kinetic sculpture that is activated by the wind, located in the Central Park development in Sydney. It consists of a large yellow ring which orbits upon an angled mast in response to the variable strength of the wind.
Del Aire Fruit Park : Fallen Fruit
Del Aire Fruit Park
Fallen Fruit
An urban fruit orchard located in Del Aire Park, Los Angeles that will be stewarded and harvested by the local community. To bring the project to fruition the artists staged a fruit tree adoption program, a jam-cooking event (‘fruit jam’) and a tree-planting day.
The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park: 100 Acres
The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park: 100 Acres
 
A large park dedicated to public art attached to the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Ecological concerns are central to the curatorial and general management of the Park, in which 10 semi-permanent site-responsive works have been installed since the opening in June 2010.
Southwark Lido : EXYZT and Sara Muzio
Southwark Lido
EXYZT and Sara Muzio
An abandoned site in Southwark was transformed into a temporary lido, equipped with a public outdoor paddling pool, sauna, sun deck, beach huts and bar. EXYZT wanted to foster conversations about how communities can develop through collective memory and shared experiences.
Dalston Mill : EXYZT
Dalston Mill
EXYZT
A disused railway line and waste ground in the East London suburb of Dalston was transformed into a temporary 16 metre high fully functioning flour mill with a community kitchen and bread oven that was open to the public.
Hyperion- Son of Uranus : Greenmeme (Freya Bardell and Brian Howe)
Hyperion- Son of Uranus
Greenmeme (Freya Bardell and Brian Howe)
Greenmeme’s Hyperion-Son of Uranus, which is fashioned from recycled street signs collected from the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), visualises the sewerage infrastructure of Los Angeles County, creating a unique topography of the City’s wastewater data.
Nuage Vert (Green Cloud) : HeHe (Helen Evans & Heiko Hansen).
Nuage Vert (Green Cloud)
HeHe (Helen Evans & Heiko Hansen).
Produced in collaboration with Helsinki Energy, the public art installation Nuage Vert (meaning ‘Green Cloud’) projected green light onto the vapour cloud emitted from that city’s Salmisaari power plant to visualise the plant’s energy output.
Seven Metre Bar : Richard Goodwin, Russell Lowe, Adrian McGregor.
Seven Metre Bar
Richard Goodwin, Russell Lowe, Adrian McGregor.
Located at Underwood Street, a laneway near Circular Quay, Seven Metre Bar aimed to convert this usually abandoned site into a bustling social hub while also raising awareness with regard to climate change and rising sea levels.
Activate 2750 : Ash Keating
Activate 2750
Ash Keating
Situated near the Westfield shopping centre in Penrith (Western Sydney), Activate 2750 aimed to address unsustainable modes of consumption and raise awareness with regard to waste management through a confronting and monumental installation of local waste.
Particle Falls : Andrea Polli and Chuck Varga
Particle Falls
Andrea Polli and Chuck Varga
Particle Falls was a temporary public art installation that appeared as a waterfall of blue light cascading down the side of a prominent building in San José. It used laser projection technology to make visible, in real time, the density of air pollutant PM2.5 in the local atmosphere, raising awareness about a significant environmental health concern.
Live Forever : Infranatural (Jenna Didier and Oliver Hess).
Live Forever
Infranatural (Jenna Didier and Oliver Hess).
Live Forever, the work of Infranatural (Jenna Didier and Oliver Hess), is a network of custom laser-cut origami-like brass flowers affixed to the exterior wall of a Los Angeles fire station, that by changing in response to humidity and temperature data collected on the station’s rooftop, indicates the current fire-risk in County of Los Angeles.
We Make This City : David Cross, Magnificent Revolution Australia, Lynette Wallworth and Makeshift
We Make This City
David Cross, Magnificent Revolution Australia, Lynette Wallworth and Makeshift
We Make This City was a temporary public art project in the inner-city location of Taylor Square, Sydney, which aimed to encourage agency, change behaviour, and galvanise social and political action in response to Climate Change.
City Eco Lab
City Eco Lab
 
Part of the 2008 Biennial Internationale Design (Cité du Design), City Eco Lab, Saint-Étienne presented 46 projects from the region to visitors in the form of a marketplace. These projects included productive urban gardens, low energy food storage, communal composting solutions, de-motorised courier services and software tools to help people share resources.
High Line Art : Participating artists include Sarah Sze, Alison Knowles and Spencer Finch
High Line Art
Participating artists include Sarah Sze, Alison Knowles and Spencer Finch
Elevated above the urban streets of New York City, the High Line is a public park built on an abandoned freight railway line on Manhattan’s West Side. Featuring a constantly changing public art program, High Line Art, the High Line has become a prime example of urban renewal.
This database is developed by the National Institute for Experimental Arts (NIEA) at COFA, UNSW in association with the City of Sydney and Carbon Arts as part of the Australian Research Council ARC linkage project Curating Cities.