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Public Art Now Conversations is an exciting new online event exploring the changing landscape of Public Art now and in the coming decades.

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In 2019, Technological University Dublin and Public Art Grangegorman planned to deliver a large scale Public Art Conference inspired in part by the TU Dublin’s new city campus – Irelands largest single investment in higher education in the last 50 years, within the vibrant community of Grangegorman. Like many national and international events, the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic forced us to postpone the original date of the conference, challenging us to reconsider the circumstances of how we might come together and connect.

In response to these challenges, the continued uncertainty regarding gatherings, and current guidelines from the Irish government, we are delighted to re-launch the event as Public Art Now Conversations, as a structured programme of six online conversations led by Irish and International practitioners. Hosted by TU Dublin, this event marks the university’s involvement in the “…the lives we live” public art programme. As a varied set of art practices, public art provides opportunities for collective participation and self-expression, historical reflection and community dialogue. It contributes to our social, spatial and political topologies by proposing new social models, enhancing physical infrastructure and engaging with design. As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, now more than ever we collectively face unprecedented social and environmental challenges. The recent Covid-19 pandemic as well as our present geological epoch of the Anthropocene, unchecked globalisation and resurgent nationalistic forces provide new contexts through which to consider public arts’ role in society. Within this context, Public Art Now Conversations will explore how public art responds to the complexity of our cultural and natural environments and how current policy and theory support these actions.

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