This keynote titled Urban Art & Change was invited for the Elektronika Festival in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, in January 2018. It examines how urban art can challenge and participate in processes of urban change.
In light of a current global paradigm in urban art that sees the potential in the art to play an active, activist, regenerative, transformative and socio-political role in the urban context, which is thriving on cross-disciplinary methodologies of “intervention” and on a conception of “art” in its broader (techno-)cultural and experimental contemporary forms, I propose a topology of urban art as “radical”. This is, as a construct of direct and real-time interference with material and behavioural mechanisms of place, culture and memory – eventually causing phases of difference/change. Based on a “radical” topology of urban art, which will be elaborated in perspective of the local (and globally connected) context of Santa Tereza in Belo Horizonte, we can understand how many different kinds of art initiatives (representational, transformative, participatory, activist, (citizen) campaigning, socio-political, community-building, among others) are situated and can participate in processes of urban change, by participating in technocultural, technopolitical and technogenetic dimensions of everyday life.