SITE OF EXPLORATION

By Peter Bengtsen

In recent years, street art has increasingly become part of mainstream culture. In 2006, the press began reporting on celebrities buying up the work first of Banksy and then other street artists, some of which in turn eventually became a sort of celebrities themselves. Since then, a steady flow of articles and news reports on the topic of street art and the inclusion of studio work from artists who were known for their work in the street in high-end auctions and museum shows have served to further fuel public interest and debate.

With this popularisation have come great opportunities for a number of artists who were previously creating unsanctioned works in the street to work on big, sanctioned projects that are often realised as part of so-called street art festivals. Such festivals have become abundant, in part due to the increasingly acceptable profile of certain types of street art which by all accounts has made getting funding and permissions for festivals easier. Among street art enthusiasts, this development has generally been received well. People seem to be happy to attend festivals and discuss large murals as street art, thereby perhaps gradually changing the way the term street art is being used. 

I have no problem with street art festivals and the – often wonderful – large-scale artworks they facilitate the production of. For me, however, a big part of enjoying street art has always been the way that unsanctioned artworks on the street encourage me to pay attention to my surroundings. In my academic writing I discuss this in terms of street art’s potential to open up public space and turn it into a site of exploration.

Unlike art in a gallery or a museum, where artworks are usually served up for a set amount of time (the duration of the exhibition) for the audience to more or less effortlessly take in, discovering unsanctioned street art entails actually being on the ground, physically walking around and exploring a constantly changing cityscape. The uncertainty about how long an artwork will last also adds a sense of urgency to the experience if you happen to find it. The effort (or luck) involved in discovering unsanctioned art in the street comes with great rewards as it puts into focus the here-and-now existence of the individual in a particular space. As with public art, the experience of exploration created by unsanctioned street art is much harder to achieve with large-scale, semi-permanent murals, even if they are being described and discussed as street art.

NUART PLUS 2014

This year’s Nuart Plus program will tackle the two ends of the street art-continuum, namely “safe murals” on the one hand and street art and activism on the other.

THE TORN OFF HEAD ...

By Carlo McCormick. The Torn-Off Head Stuck in the Hatch of a Sewer Drain, or the Occupation and Negation of Public Space

STREET ART 3.0

By Evan Pricco. Who will try and control it's future.

SITE OF EXPLORATION

By Peter Bengtsen. Street art, murals and public space as a site of exploration

MURALS, ACTIVISM and CENSORSHIP

By Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo. MURALS, ACTIVISM and CENSORSHIP

ART IGNITES CHANGE

By RJ Rushmore. Art Ignites Change: Infiltrating the system to promote social change

TILT INTERVIEWED

French Graffiti Writer Tilt discussing this years themes.

FRA BIANCOSHOCK INTERVIEW

Italian Urban Interventionist discussing his practice and this years themes

±MAISMENOS± INTERVIEW

Portuguese artist Miguel Januário under his ±MAISMENOS± guise

MATHIEU TREMBLIN INTERVIEW

French Urban Interventionist discussing his Situationist art practice, graffiti and more.

FIGHT CLUB

The legendary fight club returns with a lively Activism V's Muralism debate going on down the local pub.

THURS 04.09: FIGHT CLUB

Muralism or Activism: Academics meet pop cultural critics and the public in an environment of heated debate lubricated by alcohol.

FRI 05.09: BEAUTY IS IN THE STREETS. MURALISM

First day of our international Street Art symposium focuses on the rise and rise of Muralism.

FRI 05.09: CIDADE CINZA

Marcelo Mesquita and Guilherme Valiengo meet Os Gemeos and other Sao Paulo graffiti artists who are celebrated everywhere except in their home town.

FRI 05.09: BSA FILM FRIDAY LIVE

Brooklyn Street Art's Steve and Jaime introduce us to a "live" version of their renowned Film Friday series.

SAT 06.09: STREET ART AND ACTIVISM

Day 2 takes a more revolutionary twist and looks at protest and activism's place in Street Arts future.

SAT 06.09: WORKSHOP WITH ICY & SOT

Join Icy and Sot in this in-depth and practical look at creating Stencil Art.

SAT 06.09: CIDADE CINZA

Marcelo Mesquita and Guilherme Valiengo meet Os Gemeos and other Sao Paulo graffiti artists who are celebrated everywhere except in their home town.

SUN 07.09: STREETART TOUR

Join Nuart's first annual street art tour and be amongst the first to experience this years fresh street works.

PETER BENGTSEN (SE)

Author, Art Historian and Sociologist

RJ RUSHMORE (US)

Blogger, Author and Curator

EVAN PRICCO (US)

Managing editor of Juxtapoz Managazine

CARLO MCCORMICK (US)

World renowned pop cultural critic and author

JAIME AND STEVE FROM BSA (US)

Authors, Bloggers and Founders of Brooklyn Street Art

EIRIK SJÅHOLM KNUDSEN (NO)

Respected scholar and champion of Street Art

MARTYN REED

Martyn Reed, Nuart founder, curator and man about town.

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STREET ART TOURS

Join our weekly street art tours or arrange one tailored to your specific needs and interests.

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WORK WITH US

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NUART GALLERY

Nuart Gallery aims to nurture emerging regional and national talent whilst at the same time hosting and producing exhibitions and projects from some of the world’s leading street and contemporary artists.

NUART PATRONS CIRCLE

Join Nuart's Patrons Circle and help to create something extraordinary !

ELOQUENT VANDALS DOCUMENTARY

Shot on location at Nuart Festival features work and candid interviews from some of the worlds leading players in the scene.
Running time : 25.17. Directed by Martin Hawkes

ELOQUENT VANDALS BOOK

Eloquent Vandals The History of Nuart, is out now. Spanning over 5 years, 304 pages of exclusive images with essays from Tristan Manco and more...

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