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NEW-MEDIA-CURATING  December 2008

NEW-MEDIA-CURATING December 2008

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Subject:

Re: Curating as Practice-based research

From:

Vince Dziekan <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Vince Dziekan <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 10 Dec 2008 15:19:05 +1100

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Hello

I thought that I might raise a couple questions that coincide with my 
staging of an exhibition as part of the examination process related to 
my current PhD research (Virtuality and the Art of Exhibition)*.

* A catalogue of content relating to THE AMMONITE ORDER, OR, OBJECTILES 
FOR AN (UN) NATURAL HISTORY is available from my website 
<http://www.vincedziekan.com>.

This encompassing project focuses on the practice-based research aspect 
of curation, in particular, as an exploration not only of the qualities 
of curating new media art forms directly but also to the more 
generalizable issue of the increasing multimedial nature of the museum 
itself. This has resulted in my formulation of ‘Curatorial Design’ as a 
way of defining this kind of practice.

Obviously these ideas relate closely to the kinds of discussion 
facilitated by the CRUMB list (and which I’d be remiss not to 
acknowledge for the inspiration - as much by osmosis as anything else  - 
that I’ve found here thanks to the many insightful contributions).

In a nutshell my project can be described as: “This thesis investigates 
how the intersection of new technologies with exhibition space offers 
new possibilities for aesthetic experience. Ideas outlined in the 
critical writings establishing the concept of the multimedial museum are 
translated through practice-based research focused on the curatorial 
design of a series of original exhibitions.”

I’d be curious to hear from others who are also negotiating issues 
involving curation as practice-based research --- For example, as part 
of the research programme here at Monash University in Melbourne there 
is an understanding of the thesis as the composite of exegetical writing 
and documentation along with body of new creative work. In my case, 
given that the practice-based aspect of the project was directed 
primarily at a series of curated exhibition projects, a strategic 
decision was taken to stage a clearly delineated ‘demonstration 
exhibition’ --- effectively developed as a self-sustained, individually 
‘authored’ creative work (by no means out of character with my own 
practice, which has included producing works that operate as satellites 
to my curated projects). This ‘work’ resulted from a short-term 
fellowship/studio residency hosted by the Slade Centre for Electronic 
Media in Fine Art (SCEMFA) in London; to which I’d like to publicly 
thank Susan Collins for her support throughout.

This process has raised numerous questions including:

- Ways of negotiating the interrelationship (or separation) of 
individual/personal work alongside curatorial interests;

- Situating this kind of practice somewhere between a curatorial turn in 
contemporary practice, and viewing curation as form of artistic practice 
(certainly as creative production, but whether this should be defined as 
‘artistic’ is a tricky question…)

I’d be interested in the experience of others in relation to curatorial 
practice: successful balancing acts? Examples? Exemplars?

Finally, if any members of Melbourne’s ‘media art mafia’ come across 
this posting, please feel free to get in touch off-list; happy to give 
you a walkthrough of the show.

----------

Vince Dziekan
Deputy Head Multimedia & Digital Arts
Faculty of Art & Design
Monash University
Melbourne, Australia

ph: +61-3-9903-1553

e: [log in to unmask]

www.vincedziekan.com <http://www.vincedziekan.com>

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