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Politics of Payment

  Whether you’re talking million-rand projects, monthly stipends or receipts for transport and airtime, participatory public art practice is loaded with tricky questions about the politics of payment. The top-down relationship between funder, artist and community creates all kinds of power imbalances, which are exacerbated when rubbing up against the issues of access to capital. […]

Doodles and Beats

  “Music can be called nothing other than the sister of painting, as it is subject to hearing, as sense that comes after sight, and creates harmony by combining its well-proportioned and simultaneously appearing parts, though they are compelled to emerge and to fade away in a single or several tempos. These tempos enfold the […]

The Art of Following Through

  A young man is building a shack. He and his classmates have been wandering the streets of Port Elizabeth’s Walmer township collecting discarded materials to use. Their workspace is crowded but jovial. When they are not building, they are drawing, sculpting and generally having fun. The young man in question is Phumlani Dwane and […]

Graffiti and Notions of ‘Public Space’

  Graffiti art is, perhaps, one of the few professions that allows its practitioners the room to traverse separate geographies and make a mockery of the town planner’s divisive hand. It may be because of its ancestry and DNA, at once secret and public, borderline illegal and somewhat official,  anti-establishment and co-opted. Which would explain why […]

Houses, Heritage and Public Art

    “This precinct is closed by the community,” reads the notice stuck to the inside of a shattered window with a few blobs of Prestik. “No one is allowed on the premises without the presence of the red location steering committee. We are not liable for whatever happens to a person that enters by […]