ixia: public art think tank

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Broward Lighting Project

The Challenges of an Open Brief

The invitational call to artists presented a remarkably open brief to artists. While on the one hand this approach served to provide artistic freedom to the appointed artist, in reality the many variables within the project presented considerable challenges to the artist and the managing team.

When considering such an approach to commissioning a robust mechanism for managing time and expectations needs to be in place, not only to avoid over runs in terms of time and budget, but also to ensure that the right level of resources are available to ensure that practitioners receive recognition for the time spent on dealing with changing contexts for the artwork.

In the Broward Light Project the delivery timetables were different for Emerald Laser Lawn and Luminous Conjunctions. Because the DDA had to comply with public tendering processes the appointment of contractors meant that there was a delay on completion, which impacted on the opening celebrations.

The artist notes the impact for him:

"Coordinating with multiple agencies who funded and managed different aspects of the project was definitely challenging. A highly compressed fabrication schedule added to the stress and may have contributed to some of the work needing to be re-tooled after the opening- doubling the amount of installation time anticipated. But overall, I am very pleased with the outcome and the community seems to be enthusiastically embracing the project."

Download the Invitational Call to Artists as an Adobe Acrobat format document, 51KB.