Conversations on Public Art: Nato Thompson

Credit: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

How can public art and design practice remain socially engaged in a moment when images and information proliferate all around us, and cultural production can almost instantaneously be co-opted by prevailing media, economic, and power structures? What constitutes a meaningful or effective activist artistic practice today? Curator and critic Nato Thompson will discuss a decade of experience at the forefront of rethinking social engagement in public art. The lecture will be followed by a discussion of the relationship between public art and interventionary architecture as urban agents. Nato Thompson is Artistic Director of Creative Time, a public art presenter based in New York City. Previously, he worked as curator at MASS MoCA. In 2005, he received the Art Journal Award for distinguished writing. He has written two books of cultural criticism, Seeing Power:
Art and Activism in the 21st Century (2015) and Culture as Weapon: The Art of Influence in Everyday Life (2017).

Organized by the Harvard Mellon Urban Initiative.

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