Uniform TitleThe contemporary art of travel: siting public sculpture within the culture of flight
NameTinti, Mary M. (author), Marter, Joan (chair), Sidlauskas, Susan (internal member), Zervigon, Andres (internal member), Pisano, Dominick (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
DescriptionThe Contemporary Art of Travel: Siting Public Sculpture within the Culture of Flight, situates the notable yet little known airport installations of Vito Acconci, Diller + Scofidio, Alice Aycock, and Keith Sonnier in their appropriate artistic, theoretical and social contexts. Provocative and cutting edge, these recent commissions are exemplary for the ways in which they explore the collisions and cross influences of fine art, architecture, technology, flight and travel with particular sensitivity to the qualities that make the airport a singular contemporary space. More than mere decoration or distraction, these site-responsive artworks are visual representations of exactly how this unique place (or non-place) and this unique culture might coincide in sculptural form.
Teeming with turbulent paradoxes, airports are uncanny, impersonal, in-between spaces; spaces in which travelers are forced to relinquish control of their autonomy, privacy, safety, sense of time, connections to the ground and links to the world outside. Unafraid of such air travel truths, the artists profiled in this dissertation use them as a source of inspiration. Acconci, Diller + Scofidio, Aycock and Sonnier blend these qualities with their own signature, career long conceptual preoccupations; deliberately, ingeniously enmeshing their installations within the physical and psychological schema of this extraordinary site. Their works are an unflinching, if not disquieting, testament to all that is possible in this bizarrely charged space and unfortunately, what is all too often untapped and/or underappreciated. As a result, their collective study allows for an up-dated examination of the power of (non-)place and the emblematic journeys which begin and end at the airport, but it is also a means through which to penetrate the polemics of contemporary public art, to begin to redefine expectations for the genre, and to focus critical consideration where it is long overdue. After all, contemporary public art plays a vital role in shaping, defining and/or revitalizing our urban spaces, and art for the airport is no different. Jointly a non-place and a simulacrum of the traditional urban gathering place, the airport represents a unique, timely, important and heretofore unexplored category of art commissions for the public sector.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 265-278).
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.