Panel: Civics and Social

Friday 12 September <1.00pm>


Chair, Carole Anne Meehan – Public Art Manager, Auckland Council

Maggie Buxton – Artist, ‘Place’
Tracey Williams –  Curator, Auckland Council
Vanessa Crowe – Artist, Mood Bank
Jeanne van Heeswijk – Artist, Keynote for Engaging Publics/Public Engagement

5-10 minutes presentation each then facilitated discussion.


Here we are interested to look at the role of artists in ‘giving pause’, as a both social and civic act for engaging with the city. Creative acts such as thinking about your mood and that of the city, or participating in works that provide a portal to other viewpoints, or co-creating a networked city-wide park, all invite us to be a part of the city in different ways.

Within these forms of practice, what can you see are the decisions being made towards the long term health of the city? How important is discovering the layers of a place for forming a sense of civic concern for its wellbeing?

Rather than the quantitative data of sensor arrays, artists might choose to engage with the impossible, and the immeasurable data of our lives. In this way are the artists able to create a methodology for amassing the more ephemeral data more commonly associated with the social scientist (ie Happiness Index)?

Increasingly creative practices may involve working long-term with a group or community. When are these most appropriate and are there structures by which these kinds of practices can be supported in our cities and public spaces?