What does it mean to “occupy” space? Referencing the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protests of 2011, this paper articulates a type of public art practice that can be understood as poetic occupation. The paper further suggests that shifting one’s understanding of public art practice provokes a reconsideration of the role of the artist. To this end, Miwon Kwon’s (2002) term “narrator-protagonist” is useful for expressing this alternative role. The paper proceeds with an exploration of the work of the artist collective Lone Twin, supported by Michel de Certeau’s (1984) theories associating walking with speaking, and illustrated with an analysis of student artwork. Through this analysis, the paper concludes with an examination of the type of learning that might occur when one produces poetic occupations.
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