Maggie McCormick


The Public Voice discusses art and activism in public space through the lens of how art practice is re-territoralising public space. The article begins with a consideration of both commissioned and uncommissioned works that challenge male dominance of public space while retaining a traditional relationship between the artist, art and the public. Through a discussion of ‘relational’ public practices from Relational Aesthetic to Community Art to Social Engagement, the article argues that the kind of ‘relational’ art and activism undertaken by the collectives, teams and individuals featured in this issue of The Journal of Public Space is linked by spatial practice as a conduit for social change. By framing their practice through a discussion around her own spatial public practice over time, the author emphasises the impact of urbanisation and digitalisation on the changing nature of public space and the public and how the public voice can be mapped through art and activism.


How to Cite
McCormick, M. (2018) “The Public Voice”, The Journal of Public Space, 3(2), pp. 5–12. doi: 10.32891/jps.v3i2.1107.
Author Biography

Maggie McCormick, RMIT University

Maggie McCormick is an academic, practicing artist, curator, writer and researcher who has exhibited, curated and undertaken research projects, presentations and publications in Australia, Europe, Asia and South America. McCormick is now Adjunct Professor, formerly the recent Program Manager, Master of Arts (Art in Public Space) at RMIT University and Professor at Reutlingen University, Germany. She established early public space art interventions with the City of Melbourne, beginning with No Vacancy in 1990, extending into cityartpublicspace and finally as urbanart that ran until 2006. The regular program made claim on vacant shops, tram shelters, staircases and other vacant non-art public spaces. Her research focus currently is on how art practice contributes to understandings of the changing nature of urban consciousness and conceptualisation of public space in an urbanized and digitalized century. Together with Henning Eichinger, artist, curator and PProfessor at Reutlingen University, Germany, she initiated and co-curates SkypeLab 2014-2018 (Australia/Germany/China/South America) and its predecessor Skypetrait (Australia/Germany) 2012-2013. www.skypelab.org Recent exhibitions include SkypeLab: transcontinental faces and spaces (2016) group exhibition, Städtische Galerie, Reutlingen, Germany 2016 and Skypescape (overview of SkypeLab and Skypetrait) at Salamanca Art Centre, Hobart, Australia 2018. Recent publications include Carto-City Revisited: unmapping urbaness (2017) in Elizabeth Grierson (ed.) Transformations: Art and the City, Intellect Books, Bristol, UK/Chicago, USA.