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Working in the World

Abstract

At RMIT University, we pride ourselves in achieving outcomes that not only prepare for, but enhance the future careers of our graduates. ‘Work ready’ is a term often used to describe these qualities; those who complete our programs are seen as future leaders in, indeed the shapers of, the ‘world of work’. In this sense, every graduate works in public space.
But what do we mean by the term ‘work’ in the field of contemporary art? Do we mean the artworks themselves; or, work as practice? Is this working for the betterment of society; or, supplying the art market, that supports artists’ and gallerists’ livelihoods? Do we mean work undertaken in the wider ‘creative industries’, an increasingly important dimension of national and international economies; or, in so-called ‘cottage industries’ - local, often not for profit communities of practitioners that focus on felt rather than theoretical issues, to develop their own models of exchange and sustainability?
We can use the notion of ‘engagement’ to consider the role of public art in this world of work: engaging across disciplines, nationalities and cultures; but also with industries, communities and the world at large.
The artists discussed in this special issue of the Journal of Public Space have each identified their individual response to the role of art ‘working’ in the world. Indeed, this edition is characterised by the diversity of practices it encompasses and how work and activism can coincide.

Published:
Pages:3 to 6
Section: Editorial
How to Cite
Wise, K. (2019) “Working in the World”, The Journal of Public Space, 4(3), pp. 3-6. doi: https://doi.org/10.32891/jps.v4i3.1218.

Author Biography

After graduating from Oxford University and the Royal College of Art with an MFA in Sculpture, Kit Wise received the Wingate Rome Scholarship in Fine Art in 1999, to study at the British School at Rome. He moved to Australia in 2002 and completed his PhD at Monash University in 2012.
Wise has held senior educational leadership and leadership and governance roles since 2008. He is a Board Member for Deans and Directors of Creative Arts (DDCA) and Deputy Chair of the Executive Council of the Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools (ACUADS).
He is Professor of Fine Art and Dean of the School of Art at the RMIT University; and an Adjunct Professor at Monash University and the University of Tasmania. He is represented by Sarah Scout Presents, Melbourne and continues to practice as an artist, art writer and curator.

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