Situations of Encounter: Playful Gazes in Street Art deTours
Street Art deTours (streetartdetours.com) is a crowd-sourced, locative art project that uses ‘detours’ – creative stories and experiments – to find imaginative ways to experience public spaces. Primarily relying upon street art in Melbourne as a point of access, the project was the final assessment in a street art subject taught at the University of Melbourne. This paper outlines the implications of that project, and it references those detours contributed by students to argue in favor of playful participation’s academic benefits. Identifying street art’s encounter as a cinematic event that is simultaneously imaginative and personal, the paper posits audience empowerment as crucial to the study of street art. It concludes that the practice’s subjectivity, in addition to the performative aspects of its experience, necessitates street art’s creative engagement.
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