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May 4, 2017May 11, 2017

Edited by Gediminas Urbonas, Ann Lui, and Lucas Freeman

Designed by NODE Berlin Oslo

Produced by the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT)
Published by SA+P Press
Distributed by MIT Press

Contributors: atelier d’architecture autogérée, Dennis Adams, Bik Van Der Pol, Adrian Blackwell, Ina Blom, Christoph Brunner with Gerald Raunig, Néstor García Canclini, Colby Chamberlain, Beatriz Colomina, Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman, Jodi Dean, Juan Herreros, Brian Holmes, Andrés Jaque, Caroline Jones, Coryn Kempster with Julia Jamrozik, György Kepes, Rikke Luther, Matthew Mazzotta, Metahaven, Timothy Morton, Antoni Muntadas, Otto Piene, Marjetica Potrč, Nader Tehrani, Troy Conrad Therrien, Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas, Angela Vettese, Mariel Villeré, Mark Wigley, and Krzysztof Wodiczko

With section openings from Ana María León, T. J. Demos, Doris Sommer, and Catherine D’Ignazio


Public Space? Lost and Found explores the contemporary evolution of public space from the milieu of design and artistic thinking and practice at the civic scale. It gathers an eclectic cast of practitioners and theorists of the public domain and welcomes all readers interested in how the production of public space plays out (or could play out) under interrelated, accelerating conditions shaping the present, such as ubiquitous computing, climate change, economic austerity, and the rise of various stripes of political extremism and isolationism. The premise of this collection, conveyed in its title, is that public space is perpetually being lost and found according to big changes in the social and technical makeup of our lives—it is a perennial and open concern.

Public Space? Lost & Found began as a symposium and exhibition (April, 2014) that celebrated the career and retirement of professor of the practice Antoni Muntadas and the network of artists, researchers, centers, and programs he helped to develop at, and far beyond, MIT. Muntadas’ role as a teacher at MIT took place in different forms and periods from 1977 to 2014, at CAVS, VAP and ACT, respectively. The exhibition included works largely from students participating in Muntadas’ classes over the years, and the symposium featured several of the contributors to this book.

The symposium featured several of the contributors to this book. In the interim years, the book grew in scope to include new voices. The book’s four sections—PARADOXES, ECOLOGIES, JURISDICTIONS, and SIGNALS—reflect conversations had in the wake of the original symposium and capture themes of urgent concern in the discourses of art and architecture, but also of anthropology, philosophy, political economy, and civic media.

The book design refers playfully back to György Kepes’ Vision + Value, a series of six volumes in artistic research and thinking and the unofficial manifesto for the Center for Advanced Visual Studies, whose 50-year legacy ACT is celebrating over the 2017–2018 academic year. The book’s contents reflect ACT’s pedagogical and research commitment to generating dialogues between art, urbanism, ecology, and technology.

Launch Events

@ Storefront for Art and Architecture
79 Kenmare Street, New York City
May 4, 2017

Cabaret Series: The Public is in Bits and Bubbles presented a series of short performances by Francisca Benitez and Christina Bueno, Jill Magid, Dennis Adams, Colby Chamberlain, Alan Ruiz, Marisa Jahn, and Antoni Muntadas exploring facets of public art and public space in the age of oversharing, overexposure, memes, and post-fact politics.

@ Serra dei Giardini
Discussions with Andrès Jacque, Angela Vettese, and Antoni Muntadas, plus refreshments at the greenhouse on viale Giuseppe Garibaldi, 1254.
May 11, 2017.

Hosted in cooperation with Angela Vettese, IUAV University of Venice, Visual Arts, MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology, and Microclima, Venice.


Generous support for the production and promotion of Public Space? Lost and Found was provided to ACT by the following sponsors:

Cynthia and John S. Reed Foundation
Furthermore: a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund
Lewben Art Foundation
Council for the Arts at MIT
UPS ASC Lithuania, UAB Skubios siuntos
Consulate General of Spain