Professor Elke Krasny: Keynote speaker at HEPHAESTUS Symposium

Event_Professor Elke Krasny Keynote speaker at HEPHAESTUS Symposium

Project HEPHAESTUS has the pleasure the welcome Elke Krasny, Professor for Art and Education  and Head of the Art and Education Program at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna (, to open the Itinerant Symposium on “The Economy and Organization of Craft” in West Sweden on May 2-4. Elke’s talk is entitled “Crafting Public Space” and it will set the stage to discuss the wider role of crafts in society and economy.

“Crafting Public Space”

Public space is the space we share with each other. Spheres of highly divergent interests define the potentials and boundaries, limitations and access. The interests of capital are different from the interests of democracy. The interests of ordinary and everyday use differ from public protests and different forms of public celebrations or mourning. While ways of using public space are highly divergent and ways of sharing public space can lead to the affirmation of togetherness, but also to manifestations of power and deadly violence, the political imaginaries of public space are firmly linked to very specific urban spaces, most prominently the street and the square. The political idea of public space as the space of public appearance is tied to the material presence of stone, marble, and asphalt. The elements, water, air, wind, fire, were excluded from the imaginaries of public space. Other sites including the forest, the meadow, rivers, lakes or wetlands were excluded from the commonly held understanding of what counts as relevant to the political imaginaries of public space. Diagnosing a poverty of understanding and imagining public space, this lecture turns to feminist epistemologies, queer ecologies, elemental thinking, and multi-species ethics, to work toward understanding and imagining public space otherwise. Crafting public space thinks public space through material and immaterial inter-dependencies, inter-vulnerability, and porosities and suggests that we need to collectively practice how to imagine and relate to what public space is and what public space does differently.

About professor Elke Krasny’s

Elke Krasny, PhD, Professor for Art and Education and Head of the Art and Education Program at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. She is a feminist cultural theorist, urban researcher, curator, and author. Her scholarship and her international lectures address ecological and social justice at the global present with a focus on caring practices in architecture, urbanism, curatorial work, and contemporary art. In 2011, Krasny received the Outstanding Artist AwardWomen’s Culture. Krasny supervises PhD students working with feminist and queer feminist epistemologies and methodologies in art, architecture, urbanism, and curating.  Together with Urska Jurman, she initiated Ecologies of Care. The 2019 exhibition and edited volume Critical Care. Architecture and Urbanism for a Broken Planet, curated and edited together with Angelika Fitz, was published by MIT Press and introduces a care perspective in architecture addressing the anthropogenic conditions of the global present.  Together with Angelika Fitz and Marvi Mazhar, she edited the book Yasmeen Lari. Architecture for the Future (MIT Press, 2023) Her book Living with an Infected Planet. Covid-19, Feminism and the Global Frontline of Care introduces feminist worry and feminist hope in order then to develop a feminist cultural theory on pandemic frontline ontologies and feminist recovery plans.