Caitlin Bruce - "Painting Publics" - Ralph Cintrón

Monday, October 7, 2019 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Caitlin Bruce

Graffiti demands attention but resists reading,’ says Caitlin Bruce in this riveting book, which, nonetheless, ‘reads’ graffiti as network, art, encounter, circulation, media, and more. In critical dialogue with Jacques Rancière, Édouard Glissant, Raymond Williams, and the counterpublic literature, Bruce positions herself where ‘urban texture’s weave is loose’ and shows how public art activates scenes of sensation in contexts of urban citizenship both national and transnational. Painting Publics is a joy to read.”—Bonnie Honig, Nancy Duke Lewis Professor of Political Science and Modern Culture and Media at Brown University and author of Public Things: Democracy in Disrepair.


Caitlin Bruce discusses Painting Publics: Transnational Legal Graffiti Scenes as Spaces for Encounter. She will be joined in conversation by Ralph Cintrón. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.


At the Co-op


RSVP HERE (Please note that your RSVP is requested but not required.)


About the book: Public art is a form of communication that enables spaces for encounters across difference. These encounters may be routine, repeated, or rare, but all take place in urban spaces infused with emotion, creativity, and experimentation. In Painting Publics, Caitlin Bruce explores how various legal graffiti scenes across the United States, Mexico, and Europe provide diverse ways for artists to navigate their changing relationships with publics, institutions, and commercial entities. Painting Publics draws on a combination of interviews with more than 100 graffiti writers as well as participant observation, and uses critical and rhetorical theory to argue that graffiti should be seen as more than counter-cultural resistance. Bruce claims it offers resources for imagining a more democratic city, one that builds and grows from personal relations, abandoned or under-used spaces, commercial sponsorship, and tacit community resources. In the case of Mexico, Germany, and France, there is even some state support for the production and maintenance of civic education through visual culture. In her examination of graffiti culture and its spaces of inscription, Bruce allows us to see moments where practitioners actively reckon with possibility


About the author: Caitlin Bruce is Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research explores public art, urban space, affect, and critical theory. She is also affiliated with the Center for Latin American Studies, Gender Sexuality and Women's Studies, Center for Health Equity, and the Cultural Studies Program.


About the interlocutor: Ralph Cintrón is Associate Professor of LALS and English. He holds a joint appointment in English and the Latino and Latin American Studies Program. His research and teaching interests are in rhetorical studies;ethnography, particularly urban ethnography; urban theory; theories of transnationalism; political theory, particularly the anthropology of democracy; and social theory.

Event Location: 
The Seminary Co-op Bookstore
5751 S Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637