Commissioning and Curating Contemporary Public Art

Master’s level
30 credits (ECTS)
Study pace
Mixed time
Location independent
Study form
Application period
Application code
Full education cost: 144 500 SEK
First payment: 144 500 SEK

No fees are charged for EU and EEA citizens, Swedish residence permit holders and exchange students.

More information about tuition fees

Application closed


What is the nature of public art? What do the policy-makers, commissioners, curators, artists and other specialists working with public art need to know about this rapidly changing and expanded field of practice? What, if any, are the possible relationships between public art and local democracy? These are some of the basic questions that this course tries to answer.


What is the nature of public art? What do the policy-makers, commissioners, curators, artists and others working with public art need to know about this expanded field of practice? What are the processes and frameworks that operate when art is created in, and for, public space? How is public art implicated within spatial imaginaries of rural, urban, exurban, infrastructure, development and the touristic gaze? What do communities wishing to invite public art into their environments, or wishing to instigate public art commissions, need to know in order to pursue their desires and ambitions? Who can commission public art? Who is it commissioned for? What about decommissioning? What about failure? What are the spaces of "publicness" in an era of climate change, population displacement, digital networks, war, and the privatization of space? How can curators, commissioners, communities, artists, and other practitioners effectively move between ideas and ideals of public culture, and the pragmatic contexts of actual decision-making, production, procurement, installation, and planning processes? What, if any, are the possible relationships between public art, local democracy and the political imaginary? Is publicness just another Euro-centric construction of colonial-modernity?

These questions are approached through conflicting perceptions of public space, public culture, and the contested themes of "the public sphere". We emphasize the interaction of theory and practice, so as not to privilege theory over practice, but rather to look at how different perspectives—rooted in practice as well as informed by theoretical analysis—connect to different possibilities in realising art as an integral part of public life.

This international course, delivered in English, is based on a combination of distance education and participation at two intensive workshops (from a choice of four). 

The teaching team includes: Jason E. Bowman, Kerstin Bergendal, Kjell Caminha, Dr Cathryn Klasto, Dr Daniel Jewesbury, Dr Maddie Leach, Suzanne Mooney, Professor Mick Wilson, and special guests. In previous years guest contributors have included: Barby Asante, Inger Asper Hedemyr, Merve Bedir, David Beech, Bianco-Valente (Giovanna Bianco & Pino Valente), Kathrin Böhm, Beatrice Catanzaro, Viviana Checchia, Francesca Comisso, Julie Crawshaw, DAAR (Alexandro Petti and Sandi Hillal), Åse Eg Jørgensen, Jeannette Ehlers, Galit Eilat, Charles Esche, Patrik Faming, Lena From, Lia Ghilardi, Peter Hagdahl, Marika Hedemyr, Kristtina Ljokkoi, LOCALES (Sara Alberani and Valerio del Baglivo), Magdalena Malm, Marti Mannen, Paul O’Neill, Tone Olaf Nielsen, Henrik Orrje, Daniela Ortiz, Andrea Phillips, Esther Regueira, Lisa Rosendahl, Nuno Sacramento, Helena Selder, Jessica Segerlund, Åsa Sonjasdotter, Minna Tarkka, Daniel Terres, Catharina Thörn, transparadiso (Barbara Holub & Paul Rajakovics), Sarah Tuck, Jeanne van Heeswijk.

Intensive workshops and Practicalities

The online sessions run mostly on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4pm Swedish time (CET). You will require a good reliable internet access and headphones. Content from the workshops will also be posted online for course participants to access. Participation in the workshops means that your contributions to the discussions may be recorded for this purpose. The intensive workshop, involving physical attendance, is chosen from two of four options. (It is possible to attend more if you wish, you are expected to attend at least two.) 

Workshops in 2024:
March 6–8: Lisbon, Portugal.
May 15–17: Riga, Latvia.
October 2–4: Gothenburg, Sweden. 
December 5–7: Dublin, Ireland. 

More detailed information about the course here: 

Prerequisites and selection

Entry requirements

Bachelor's degree or equivalent knowledge.

Special instructions for application

Apply in three steps 

1. Apply to the course at Deadline October 16, 2023. 

2. Submit your portfolio in SlideRoom. Deadline October 23, 2023. 

3. Submit documentation proving you meet the entry requirements of the course on Deadline December 1, 2023.

Your portfolio must contain: 

1. CV with education and relevant merits. The CV must be written in English.

2. A letter of intention in English stating why you wish to attend the course, max 3500 characters including spaces). 

Your application must be anonymous. Please do not include your name or any personal information in your application.


The selection will be made from the assessment of work samples.