ISSN: 08454450
Online ISSN: 20486928
First published in 1988
2 issues per volume
Current Issue:
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Volume 26 | Issue 45
Call for Papers

Public 48: The End

Publication Fall 2013
Edited by Christine Davis and Scott MacKenzie
One of the greater ironies of human existence has been the persistent anticipation of its end. Prophecies and prognostications about the world’s demise are as easily at home in the pulpit of Hellfire as the projection booth of Hollywood. And whether as the result of rising waters, unstoppable pandemics, nuclear conflagration, machines on the rampage or the sun ceasing to shine, the idea of Doomsday – that revelatory moment of the end of the world – can be at once the fire of speculative lamentation and the spark of creativity. In this way, the Wunderkammen, with its princely mission of amassing, cataloguing and displaying and its legacy in the development of the museum, was fueled by a fear of oblivion. The exhibition turns on a simultaneous exercise in creativity and crisis to represent a vibrant and varied investigation of art and life under the veil of oblivion.
This issue of PUBLIC explores a shift from global consciousness (McLuhan) to planetary awareness (Serres) of a world of radical interdependencies, where ecology must win out over political economy, where a history of the earth must become a history of the world. What does it mean to say that the world is ending? How do we create and live a radical present tense on this planet? Can one transform the temporal concept of an end?
We are interested in all issues pertaining to critical reflections on contemporary discourses of end times. Potential topics include:
-       The End of Ethnography
-       The End of the Environment
-       The End of Nations
-       The End of Art
-       The End of Religion
-       The End of the American Empire
-       The End in Science Fiction
-       The End in Science
Proposal deadline (250 words; review begins immediately): January 4, 2013
Text and project deadline (3,000-5,000 words): Feb 15, 2013
Please send proposal, c.v. and bio to:  
CHRISTINE DAVIS is an artist and founding editor of PUBLIC. Her work, through a cosmological impulse and experimental process, engages the historical relation between science, sentience and language. She has worked with morpho butterflies, genetic sequences, planetarium shows, feathers and iphones; employing slide dissolves, glass blowing, 35mm film, video and etched words onto contact lens using laser technology developed for Canadarm. Each technology is chosen specifically for its conceptual implications within the project. Amongst other venues she has exhibited at Frankfurter Kunstverein, The Power Plant, Musée d'Art Contemporain de Montréal, Kunsthalle Munich, Haus am Waldsee , Seoul Museum of Art, The New Museum, National Gallery of Canada, and Le Confort Moderne.
SCOTT MACKENZIE is an Adjunct Professor at Queen’s University and a co-investigator on the Visible City Project + Archive. He has published widely on experimental and documentary films, national cinemas, video and media art. He is co-editor of Cinema and Nation (Routledge, 2000), Purity and Provocation: Dogma '95 (BFI, 2003) and The Perils of Pedagogy: The Works of John Greyson (McGill-Queen’s, 2013), author of Screening Québec: Québécois Moving Images, National Identity and the Public Sphere (Manchester UP, 2004) and Guy Debord (French Filmmakers Series, Manchester UP, forthcoming). 
He is currently completing Film Manifestoes and Global Cinema Cultures, a critical anthology of over 150 film and moving image manifestoes from 1898 to the present, to be published in 2014.



PUBLIC: Art, Culture, Ideas is a bi-annual, interdisciplinary, and peer-reviewed journal based in Toronto. In existence since 1988, its mandate is to exist as an intellectual and creative forum, providing a space for in depth perspectives on how theoretical and critical issues that intersect with art and visual culture. Each issue of PUBLIC is based on a theme and has its own specialist editor. Issues also include non-thematically linked book and art reviews, a column, and occasional additions such as DVDs or inserts. PUBLIC is a beautifully designed journal in partial colour, with images and illustrations throughout, as well as artist portfolios included in each publication.

We invite academics and professionals from a variety of fields, cultural practitioners (curators, critics, artists), and those with a scholarly interest in the arts and visual culture, to contribute to PUBLIC. The scope of the journal is broad, aimed at the analysis of the arts on a global and multidisciplinary scale. 

All submissions should be in English. For more information on current themes, calls and style guidelines, please visit

Book reviews

If you are interested in writing a book review for issue 46 (publication date Fall 2012) please send a short proposal and bio to Book reviews do NOT have to be explicitly related to the theme of the issue.

Please email the editor for more information:

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