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As the world is increasingly aware, the visual arts are no longer confined by the semi-public space of the museum or the privacy of the studio. In recent decades we have seen a marked pressure for artists to establish relations to the world beyond these walls, with all of the conflicts and transgressions that this might entail. This edition of Open examines the diverse stands currently adopted by the visual arts in the public domain, and assesses the impact of digitization and globalization on the public role of art. As such, it constitutes a sort of stock-taking or evaluation of positions regarding this broad trend. How does contemporary art respond to the public limelight? And what role do the visual arts fulfill in civic life? How does art enhance public space? These and related matters are addressed in Open 14.