9 May 2024

Art, Social Space, and Public Discourse

Talk by Ala Ebtekar

Alserkal Arts Foundation

Starts 7:00 pm

Ends 9:00 pm

Venue Alserkal Arts Foundation

Warehouse 50/51


How does public art shape the way we navigate everyday urban life? Who are the publics involved in its making? What does a meaningful spatial intervention look like?

The surge in public art projects we are witnessing in the region - the scale of their production and the resources that fuel them - warrants a moment to stop and critically reflect on the motivation to activate our everyday social spaces.

Drawing from his recent experiments and research on art in public space, artist Ala Ebetkar’s talk expands the critical framework of conversation around public art projects, exploring various tools of cultural production and intellectual traditions that shape civic life. As part of Stanford University’s Art & Art History Department’s larger programme envisioned and directed by Ebtekar, the artist asks: what may constitute the architecture, images, and people that shape multiple notions of a “public”?

Date: Thursday, 9 May 2024
: 7-8.30PM
: WH51, Common Room, Alserkal Arts Foundation


About Ala Ebtekar

Ala Ebtekar
(b. 1978 Berkeley, CA) is an artist who has situated his art practice as a relentless leveling, exploding, and collapsing of time and space to bring steadying attention to the contemporary moment.

His vast transnational background in studio practice, public and street art, has led to being the founder and director of Stanford University’s Art, Social Space and Public Discourse, an ongoing Stanford global initiative on art that investigates the multiple contexts that shift and define changing ideas of public space. This ongoing critical framework of conversations, newly commissioned art projects, and exploration of various cultural productions and intellectual traditions looks at recent transformations of civic life. Furthermore, he has more than a dozen public and civic art commissions, most recently produced by Facebook, SFO/San Francisco International Airport, and the Asian Art Museum.


Image: Excerpt from Luminous Ground, 2018/2020 by Ala Ebtekar. A film by Griff and Keelan Willams. Courtesy of Asian Art Museum.