The Office for Art in Public Space
The Office for Art in Public Space, which is based in the "Kulturwerk", sees to art being considered in public construction projects. It ensures that the according sum is being given account to in the planning documents and that the money is being used for this purpose. The office writes references for the composition of advisory boards and selection committees. It gives advice and support during the realisation of art conceptions. Thus, the office guarantees transparency in work and selection processes and equal opportunities and compliance with fairness rules in the decision-making bodies. Due to complying with the rules of competition, the quality of decisions is being ensured.
The Office for Art in Public Space consults and attends to artists and initiators of a competition during the entire period of the competition procedures, starting with the public offer of a reward leading up to the process of commissioning. At the same time it acts as lawyer for the artists.
Already in 1977, the bbk berlin (namely the “Professional Association of Visual Artists Berlin”) appointed Stefanie Endlich as a representative for art in building projects for the first time. Together with the bbk berlin, transparent participation procedures and competition rules were developed for public offers of a reward and the realisation of plans in the field of art in building projects and art in public space. In 1979, it was achieved that those being politically responsible in the Senate and the Berlin City Parliament adopted a directive (called “Anweisung Bau”, i.e. Building Instructions), which provided that one to two percent of the construction sum of public building projects had to be spent for art. Simultaneously, the already operating office of art in building projects of the bbk berlin was publicly funded from this point of time on and was integrated into the Kulturwerk as a new field of work by the association.
It is the aim of the office to realise the directive "Anweisung Bau". The office demands transparent procedures during a public offer of a reward and during the realisation of rewards and competitions as well as an adequate participation of artists in the respective advisory boards. By attending to all realised competition procedures for art in building projects and for art in public space in Berlin, the office ensures the compliance with competition standards. The contemporary extension of the concept of artistic action within the public realm was accounted for by renaming it as Office for Art in Public Space at the beginning of 1999. Due to this, the office nowadays also deals with temporary art projects in public space.
The Office for Art in Public Space is being supported in its work by the expert commission for art in public space of the bbk berlin. The most important work tool of the office is the data file for art in public space, to which every artist being resident in Berlin can submit a portfolio. To enable the realisation of the tasks of the office, its employees belong to the relevant boards of the Berlin districts and also to the Senate Chancellery – Cultural Affairs (advisory board of/for art).