CfA: p/art/icipate #03 – GO PUBLIC! Art, Communication and the Public

Art needs communication needs the public: without a public art is not perceived as such, art without a public misses its potential. And a public needs communication as a prerequisite to a democratic discourse. According to Habermas communication is understood as a social process, by which “standards and values are negotiated, rules for social interaction are set, as well as where identities are being formed“ (cf. Klaus/Drüeke 2008)star (* 1). Very often contemporary art practices bring about such public negotiation processes by questioning familiar and widely shared perspectives.

In what ways are these public communication processes initiated? How is it possible to create a public (or publics) for contemporary artistic productions? In what ways can art contribute to a democratic culture of communication? And how can different protagonists within the arts and cultural field help realize ideas of a participatory public? The third issue of p/art/icipate – producing culture actively explores the complex relationship between art, communication and the public from various perspectives.

  • PERSPECTIVE OF ART: (Contemporary) artistic productions irritate existing, conventional structures of perception via different strategies – e.g. alienation, consolidation, narration, subversion, etc. This results in communication processes that allow for the re-negotiation of existing attributions of meaning. To what extent can artistic strategies be considered strategies of communication? What are differences and analogies within the subject area of art and communication? And where do boundaries between artistic work and public relations appear?
  • PR-PERSPECTIVE: How can public relations and communications work (online and offline) fulfill art and culture’s specifics? What is the difference between creating a PR-campaign for a (branded) sneaker and a communication concept for a stage play that takes up current political topics? What are theoretical approaches within PR that enable social negotiation processes? Is it possible to adapt successful real-life PR examples for the arts and cultural area? Do references for that already exist?
  • ART MEDIATION PERSPECTIVE: Mediation of art and culture are activities that give access to people that are interested in art and culture and that encourage participation. Depending on the role and the context, the (self-)conception ranges from a “critical practice” (Moersch 2009)star (* 4) that regards especially “variance and conflict” as the central task, up to a “translation service” (Mandel 2008)star (* 3), that wants to enable access to professional artistic productions and that can represent a specific type of cultural PR through its role as cultural management as well. What are art education’s requirements to be able to initiate and facilitate a public discourse? Are there any practical examples that show irritation and conflict and that consciously engage themselves in this potential for conflict? Where does art education locate itself in terms of PR and public relations work?

In this issue we would like to invite artists, scientists, art mediators, PR-strategists and cultural activists to be part of this issue’s discourse. The following headings are available. Please also note our format and citation specifications that can be found here:



Rubric „Article“: Scientific articles with a max. of 25.000 characters (incl. blanks, footnotes, bibliography)
Rubric „Practice“: Case studies from artistic or cultural experience, max. 20.000 characters (incl. blanks, footnotes, bibliography)
Rubric „Open Space“: An artistic or creative contribution (cartoons, jingles, video spots, graphic arts, …) in web-compatible, common formats

Coordination of issue No.3: Siglinde Lang,
Submissions to: Julia Jung,


15.5.2013 (EXTENSION of the Deadline) CALL FOR PAPERS (Abstracts with 500 words)
20.6.2013 (Deadline) PAPERS (max. 25.000/20.000 characters) or contributions for OPEN SPACE
15.8.2013 (Deadline) REVISION PERIOD


Klaus, Elisabeth/Drüeke, Riccarda (2008): Öffentlichkeit und Privatheit: Frauenöffentlichkeiten und feministische Öffentlichkeiten. In: Handbuch Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung. Springer, pp. 237–244.


Klaus, Elisabeth/Lünenborg, Margreth (2004b): Cultural Citizenship: Ein kommunikationswissenschaftliches Konzept zur Bestimmung kultureller Teilhabe in der Mediengesellschaft. Medien & Kommunikationswissenschaft 52, 2, pp. 193-213.


Mandel, Birgit (2005): Kulturvermittlung – zwischen kultureller Bildung und Kulturmarketing: Eine Profession mit Zukunft. Bielefeld: transcript.


Mörsch, Carmen (Hg.) (2009): Kunstvermittlung 2. Zwischen kritischer Praxis und Dienstleistung auf der documenta 12. Ergebnisse eines Forschungsprojekts. Zürich: diaphenes.

( 2013): CfA: p/art/icipate #03 – GO PUBLIC! Art, Communication and the Public. In: p/art/icipate – Kultur aktiv gestalten # 02 ,