All posts filed under: Issue 6

Introduction: Visual Publics, Visible Publics

Catherine Zuromskis Our theoretical understanding of public is much changed since Jurgen Habermas first put forth his notion of the bourgeois public sphere in 1962.1 While Habermas’ ideal of a democratic, dialogic community external to both the private sphere and the state is still valuable today, the more recent critical work of Bruce Robbins, Nancy Fraser, […]

Appetite for Destruction: Public Iconography and the Artificial Ruins of SITE, Inc.

Jessica Robey Beginning in the early seventies, the artists and architects of SITE, Inc. staged a series of interventions into the everyday American practice of shopping that confronted some of the most crucial issues of public art. An increasingly contentious discourse in the late sixties and early seventies on the nature and role of public […]

All Together Now!: Publics and Participation in American Idol

Simon Cowell On the front cover of issue 702 of Entertainment Weekly, eclipsing the coverlines “James Gandolfini Speaks” and “Hollywood’s Weirdest Star,” are the images of eight (mostly) young, (mostly) smiling people.1 The composition of each picture is the same – a close crop of the subject’s face against a light-blue background. The photographs are configured in […]

Plurality in Place: Activating Public Spheres and Public Spaces in Seattle

Shannon Mattern The redevelopment of Lower Manhattan has shown that urban design—as well as the economics, politics, and drama that surround and inform it—can capture wide public attention. Several trade journals have proclaimed that the World Trade Center design competition has placed architecture and planning on the popular cultural radar screen. The World Trade Center […]