lower austrian culture
art in public space


Since the eighties a number of art projects have been evolving in public space in Lower Austria. A jury of eight experts recommends artists, designers and architects from all over Austria and abroad. Over 500 permanent and about 300 temporay works were produced by 2015. Every two years these are documented in the "Published Art” volumes.
The artworks run the gamut from autonomous sculptures, installations in a town setting to temporary contextualization and communicative intervention, design of squares, concepts of monuments and art projects produced together with the inhabitants. The Lower Austria Culture Act of 1996 contains a new pooling stipulation that expands the possibility for art in public space and counteracts imposed pleasures and superficial aesthetics. The funds for the individual projects are no longer bound in terms of percentage to individual building projects as in the case of classical art in construction but are rather pooled annually. From this pool, all art projects in public space are financed. Pursuant to the new law not just interdisciplinary forms of art but also temporary installations are financed in this way.
The first temporary project was the billboard initiative "FREMD” (alien) against racism which took place in the summer of 1997. Ever since, temporary projects have taken place on a regular basis in public space as a collaborative effort of cultural associations and communities.

Advisory Committee beginning September 2016

Rafael Ecker
(Manager "Kreativ in Niederösterreich“)
Silvia Eiblmayr (art historian)
Petra Eichlinger
(director of the building department, goverment of Lower Austria)
Sandro Droschl (curator)
Peter Fattinger (architect)
Nikolaus Gansterer(artist)
Wolfgang Krejs
(former director of the building department Krems)
Elke Rauth (urbanist)
Sofie Thorsen (artist)

§ 4 Art grants for site-specific projects in public space

1_The members of the federal state government responsible for site-specific art in public space, and for the building schemes of the federal state government or for the promotion of building schemes undertaken by other contracting parties respectively, agree and commit to a lump sum from the budgeted provision for the one calendar year contained within the federal state government’s budget for building schemes for the promotion of
a. site-specific art projects in public spaces (such as fine art, literature, music, interdisciplinary contemporary art forms) and
b. concomitant activities (such as supervisory tasks, mediation of art)

2_The following are to be taken into account as a basis for the agreement of the lump sum:
a. the anticipated total costs of the building schemes of the federal state government (such as structural and civil engineering, with the exception of structures for environmental protection and hydraulic engineering for residential developments), to be commissioned in the current calendar year, and
b. the anticipated total amount of financing contributions by the provincial regional government for building schemes undertaken by other legal parties to be pledged for the current calendar year, where these building schemes are in general predominantly financed by the federal state government.
c. the anticipated annual property leasing rates not including interest, where applicable.

3_ If no agreement is made by 30th April of the current calendar year, 1% of the amounts is to be made available in accordance with section 2 by the department responsible for the administration of loans for site-specific art projects.