In migration the production of space is ontological: the ground is not given (the host faceless, Indigenous sovereignty unceded), the imagined community and its habitus are projects rather than realities. Another way to say this is that the representational space of democracy is suspended. The work of a migrant artist does not represent anything: it aims to produce a new situation. Such art is ‘dirty’, intervening in change rather than offering an aesthetic equivalent. These considerations lie behind a series of ‘creative templates’ or dramaturgies of public space devised for major urban redevelopments in Melbourne and Perth. Characterising the new spaces of public encounter as an endless compilation and renewal of lines and knots (visualised as a flexible string figure), the ’creative template’ reconceptualises ‘public art’ as the unscripted performances of public space that reclaim it as a place where something happens. The ‘something’ is likely to be the return of the repressed history of colonisation, as our work Sugar, devised for the Liverpool (UK) Capital of Culture festival, illustrates.
’ – to which in an act of retrospective affiliation I annex contemporary migrant artists – has its counterpart in what I call ‘dirty art’, the class of creative encounters discussed in Translations that pass unnoticed and anonymous where the cultural custodians come and go. The ‘creative templates’ I have written and drawn for urban redevelopment projects fall into this category: they are story networks plotted in place that contain, fractally as it were, a creative pattern reproducible across scales. Descriptive, rather than prescriptive, they foreground
death. Dead zone 57 I reflect here on one specific instance of this jumbling of ritual, social and political categories. On the surface this looks like a case of reclaiming fallow, marshy land for urban redevelopment and road building. The removal of cemeteries from city centres or urban areas is not a new or unexpected phenomenon. In nineteenth-century Paris or London, for instance, dozens of intra-muros cemeteries were removed and converted to parks (Thorsheim 2011). Similarly, in the last few decades governments in Hong Kong, China and Singapore have been
illustrates this point. A New Body , the ‘creative template’ for Yagan Square in central Perth, was widely held to have been useful in finding common ground between Perth's Aboriginal communities and the Western Australian government's urban redevelopment programme. 33 Recognising Noongar sovereignty over the site in question, as well as the implications of Yagan's murder for future reconciliation procedures, it proposed a story dramaturgy and its symbolic expression that recognised that so long as statehood remained