Expanded Field Put Into Practice: Site Specificity and Action Research

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This presentation features recent works in the field of site-specific art that engages a collaborative pedagogical model: students and instructor work together on research in the public realm. By working side-by-side with practicing artists/Professors in their most recent endeavors, university students witness all stages of engagement in the creative act: conception, construction, and implementation of sited artwork. The first case study presented under this rubric will be the REGRETS project which has traveled from Cambridge, England, sponsored by Microsoft Research and the University of Westminster, to Ars Electronica 2006 in Linz. This will be followed by an overview of Marko Peljhan’s MAKROLAB since its first manifestation at Documenta X, and Kim Yasuda’s CONTAINER PROJECT, an ongoing localized application of shipping container abundance, a reflection of trade imbalance. These three examples present “action research” within the rubric of site-specificity. In each case, students and faculty work together at different stages of each artwork/project in the public realm.


Keywords: Site-Specificity, Public Art, Interdisciplinary, Art Practice, Collaborative, Action Research, Multidisciplinary, Interactive
Stream: Art and Education
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Jane Mulfinger

Associate Professor, Department of Art
College of Creative Studies, University of California at Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, California, USA

Jane Mulfinger is an avid collector of human artifacts, engaging her public in both conceptual and perceptual reflections on the significances of human activity in site specific installations, performance, and sculpture. Used clothing, second-hand spectacles, found texts, and a collection of WPA drawings of Los Angeles straddle the expansive view of her archives. A graduate of Stanford University and the Royal College of Art, with Honors and Distinction respectively, Mulfinger’s early work is recognized as addressing the relationship between architecture, memory, and the human body. Her representation of the familiar disrupts and challenges our sense of site, history, and social milieu. As the collections continue to unfold, a series of work explores the mesmerizing effects of objects in motion, regarding the construction of visual spectacle itself, in the levitation of mundane upholstery feathers and fine down. Her most longstanding work, the “Regrets” series, is a growing collection of anonymous regrets, most recently sponsored by Microsoft Research and the University of Westminster, also featured at Ars Electronica, Linz.

Graham Budgett

Lecturer, Department of Art, University of California Santa Barbara
Sant Barbara, California, USA


Ref: A07P0099