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Forward! Coding, decoding and recoding law in public art for urban regeneration

Forward! Coding, decoding and recoding law in public art for urban regeneration

Chapter:
(p.125) 7 Forward! Coding, decoding and recoding law in public art for urban regeneration
Source:
Law in Popular Belief
Author(s):
Ronnie Lippens
Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719097836.003.0008

This chapter explores the coded dimension of large public artworks (sculptures or installations in particular). Public space is dotted with such artworks, many on a monumental scale. The focus of the chapter is on the normative codes that are embedded in both the material structure and the aura of the works. When authorities decide to commission public artworks the brief to artists will often include specifications that pertain not just to the desired visual and expressive effect of the work (the artwork is then supposed to express a particular idea or content) but also to a more normative intention. The artwork is then required to tap into or mobilise an existing set of cultural, social or political codes, or indeed consolidate, propagate or even generate them. An element in the normative coding of public artworks, which this chapter deals with relates to notions of public order that the works are assumed to radiate and project. The chapter shows how the intended codes embedded in the artwork are bound to be subjected to continuous de-coding and re-coding.

Keywords:   public order, public space, normative coding, hegemony, formation of norms

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