The artistic spirit of cities: How cities influence artists' agency

Merav Kaddar*, Nir Barak, Marie Hoop, Volker Kirchberg, Avner de Shalit

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This paper examines the reciprocal relationship between artists and cities by analyzing how cities influence artists' critical engagement. We hypothesize that a set of specific urban conditions suggests distinct forms of artistic engagement, which we call the artistic spirit of the city. Based on qualitative fieldwork in four cities in Germany and Israel, we explore how cities influence the self-perception, motivation, and practice of the artists who work and live in them. We found that artists are indeed highly influenced by the particular spirit or the intrinsic logic of the city in which they live and work, and they are embedded within the city's particular socio-political and spatial structures, which in turn influence their outlooks and visions as artistic city-zens.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number103843
StatePublished - Nov 2022

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© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • Artists
  • Artivism
  • Urban citizenship urban politics
  • Urban interventions


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