Contribution to an intensiology of the public domain

A Keynote Address at the Urban Creativity Conference, Museum of Artistic Process and Public Art, Lund, Sweden.

May 17, 2019, 3pm

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This talk interrogates the nature of the urban public domain by specifically attending the intensities and the phases it generates. A comprehensive view on the phenomenon of publicness, it is suggested, is required to attend its ecological facet – more precisely, as it will be seen, its multi-layered ecology – but also to explain its intrinsic vital qualities. The latter hints to the phenomenon of intensity. After reviewing the main features of publicness (“what is specifically public in public space?”), a broader picture of the public domain can be sketched that includes the processes of mediation. But whereas mediation suggests a ‘continuist’ take, a discontinuities can likewise be detected in the public domain. Coining from physics, the latter could as well be called ‘phase transitions’. How are phase transitions correlated to the intensive moments of publicness? This is the pivotal question for discussion.

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picture courtesy © Mattias Kärrholm

picture courtesy © Mattias Kärrholm

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