Beyond What is Finished in Practice

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The integration of art projects as essential components of so-called ‘culture-led regeneration’ has necessitated an interdisciplinary working practice be forged between planners and artists and art professionals. Extending from these collaborations, the interdisciplinary fields of urban and increasingly rural scholarship have now well-established literatures that debate the level to which art projects across genres meet strategic social and economic objectives as well as the efficacy of art’s ability to service these agendas (e.g. Gkartzios et al., 2019). The problem that shapes this short contribution is the way that this literature is often preoccupied with artworks (art projects, and art buildings) when they are finished or when they are happening in the case of performances or events for example; and therefore, lacks engagement with the way the work is realised in the prior stages of creation and realisation–across the various aspects of commissioning, fabricating, organising, constructing, performing, or building for example. In other words, the privilege given to artworks in academia has contributed to a lack of concern with what I have called ‘art-planning practice’ (Crawshaw, 2022). The ambition of this short piece is to promote the study of art in planning as practice. This includes extending the genres of art in planning literature to pay attention to small scale galleries and artist studios which have been a central component of gentrification discourse but otherwise are largely overlooked. The article briefly re-visits some of my own practice-oriented fieldwork within planning, introduces my use of John Dewey’s (1859–1952) concept of ‘scales of practice’ as a framework of analysis, and previews the ambitions for my current research collaboration with Grand Union (,a gallery and studio complex located in the regeneration area of Digbeth, Birmingham, UK.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-415
Number of pages4
JournalPlanning Theory and Practice
Issue number3
Early online date4 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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