International Journal of Art & Design Education

Spaces of Mediation: Excavating Art's Boundaries

Volume 19.2   2000



Ideas of social responsibility and exploring art’s place in society are widespread and prevalent. Access, community, participation, empowerment are words that appear with increasing frequency within disparate discourses. From Glasgow’s successful bid to be UK City of Architecture and Design 1999, [1] to lottery guidelines [2] and policy research [3], there appears to be a preoccupation with such terminology. However, does this demonstrate a true desire to find a point of mediation between discourses, between one place or one group and another? Do projects establish sustainability in the relationships that are built up between apparently disparate elements or are these terms linked mainly to high profile events that intervene, then move on, leaving people with little more than a memory of the encounter? This paper proposes that in order to shift the topography of art practice – the where, how and on whose terms it occurs – spaces and forms of mediation have to reconstruct the very sub structure on which they are founded.