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definition and functionality
Generally speaking a work of art embedded in the public domain is defined as public art. Putting any work of art, particularly a sculpture, in a public space does not automatically convert it to public sculpture. We can not call a sculpture a public sculpture only because it has been installed in an outdoor- or enclosed public area. It belongs to the public domain and in a way to the public itself, in that it is accessible to people sharing the same space. The function of public art, be it urban, rural or in nature, is to give meaning to a place, to complement or even add to the surrounding area. Besides its visual aspect, a work of art in the public domain needs to have extra physical qualities in coping with the forces of nature and, not to forget, people. There are different ways the public experiences, or possibly undergoes, art in the public space. Encountering art on the street is usually a passive thing and one way or another people process the visual information either unconsciously or voluntarily. Sculptures are sometimes tempting to touch and be experienced physically - to a greater or lesser extent - the extremes of which, in spite of the thrill I get watching these clips, I do not encourage.