Active Projects

Archived Projects

Kim Gurney is since 2011 affiliated to African Centre for Cities (ACC) as a Research Associate. Kim’s qualifications and experience span international journalism, economics and fine art and her interests traverse similar domains. At ACC she is primarily enrolled in arts-based research surfacing links between space and imagination, exploring new methodologies and narrative forms. Previous projects shadowed a trilogy of art interventions exploring public space in Johannesburg, which resulted in a monograph privileging economic invisibility (‘The Art of Public Space’), and a collaborative initiative to re-imagine local neighbourhoods to 2030, devising a ‘Futurehood’ methodology with innovative scenario prompts and authoring findings. Her current research tracks contemporary art as vector of value from a collective atelier. Kim’s own art practice generally explores disappearance in various domains and makes restorative gestures; she engages other artists as curator, runs a nomadic offspace for experimental work and writes freelance on a range of topics. Kim is also affiliated as Research Associate to University of Johannesburg’s Research Centre: Visual Identities in Art and Design (VIAD).


Selected recent publications:

Gurney, K. (2015) The Art of Public Space: Curating and Re-imagining the Ephemeral City. Palgrave Macmillan: London.



Gurney, K. [forthcoming 2016] in Dobraszczyk, P., Galviz, C.L. & Garrett, B. L. (eds) Undergrounds: Exploring Cities Within (working title). Reaktion Books: London.

Pieterse, E. & Gurney, K. (2012) “Johannesburg: Investing in Cultural Economies or Publics?” in Anheier, H.K. & Y.R. Isar (eds) & guest editor M. Hoelscher, M. (eds) Cultural Policy and Governance in a New Metropolitan Age: The Cultures and Globalization Series (Vol. 5). Sage Publications Ltd: London, Chapter 17, pp. 195-203.



Gurney, K. (January 2015) “The Conservationist”, A narrative essay that profiles Luzann Isaacs, who manages an urban wetland park in Cape Town, published in association with the exhibition City Desired, which offers the story of a South African city through the lives of 11 Capetonians, Cityscapes, Vol. 6: 152-165.

Gurney, K. (2014), “Edge Design”, Urban Form and Social Change in Khayelitsha and Dunoon, Cityscapes, Issue No. 5: 34-49.

Gurney, K. (2013), “Sounding the City: Urban Performance in Johannesburg”, Kunstforum International, Issue 223: 10/13-12/13: pp. 94-107.

Gurney, K. (September 2013, online; 05 November print), “Ethnography of a Flame”, Critical Arts: South-North Cultural and Media Studies, 27(4): 439-443.

Gurney, K. (2012), “The Fractured Public Interest”, Rhodes Journalism Review, Issue 32: 8.

Gurney, K. (2012), “Mzansi’s Golden Economy and performance art”, The Johannesburg Salon, Volume 5: 98-101


  • Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 2.45.25 PM Kim Gurney

    Book Review: The Art of Public Space

    Kim Gurney takes readers through Johannesburg via three arts projects. It is a journey that gives a unique insight into the potential of public art to fashion new public imaginaries of common space says LSE’s Kate Dawson. Read the full book review  by Kate Dawson here.