The definition of public art is wide and varied. While most pieces are meant to be viewed by the general public, some pieces are intended to encourage interactive interactions. Some types of public art integrate light, sound, video, and water into the overall design of a site. For example, the Ontario Science Centre fountain plays music by allowing people to block water jets or run the water through sound-producing mechanisms. Other examples include the Century of Light, a massive outdoor mandala of lights that reacted to sounds, movement, and sound detected by radar.
As a general rule, public art is free and accessible to all. Its aim is to inspire heightened awareness in viewers. The artwork is often made in collaboration with the community and can be a reflection of the ideas of the community. In addition to creating an engaging environment, public art can help to promote community relations and civic pride. Many pieces of public art are functional as well. By creating an environment that is conducive to its display, it can attract people from all walks of life.
Over the course of the 20th century, the function and content of public art has expanded beyond decoration and a simple aesthetics. Political developments, such as the rise of civil rights movements and the creation of large-scale urban regeneration programs, have further enhanced the concept of public art. Throughout the 1970s, the role of public art as a form of protest became even more important. In the 1980s, a new form of public art emerged, referred to as Land Art. Its monumental earthworks are exemplified by artists such as Christo and Jeanne-Claude.
The Diggs project is a perfect example of the social turn in public art. It engages the general public in a dialog about social responsibility, and is disseminated as everyday art. It would never have had the same impact in a museum. In the late twentieth century, many artists challenged the commodity status of art and developed participatory, dialogical, and dematerialized art. These artists have incorporated these practices into the Diggs project.
A large network of public museums is one of the world’s most impressive examples of modern public art. Throughout the world, public museums offer two distinct artistic benefits to the community. The Pompidou Centre in Paris and the Bilbao Guggenheim are two such examples. This is a unique model of public art. It embodies a world that has seen many different types of public art. The most spectacular of these public art creations are viewed by millions of people every day.
Public art practice has risen in response to the Industrial Revolution, which led to the influx of people from rural areas to urban centers. The city gained a new level of cultural and social significance and a distinct place of existence. In this way, the impact of the modern city on the human psyche is especially evident. The majority of Public Art in modern cities speaks to the urban mentality and lifestyle. It is not just a means to express individual opinions, but a powerful metaphor that speaks to the nature of urban life and its unique place in society.