Steve Dietz said:
>Why does it matter to _you_ what "big" institutions do? I've never
>quite understood the emphasis on the size thing.
Interesting question! Of course, I wouldn't admit to being a
size-queen myself (living in a place which is NOT London), but I
thought it interesting and shocking that I've talked to several
people who had never heard of new media/digital art before the 010101
show at SFMOMA (admittedly, these people were Californians, and not
I think big organisations reach some different parts of the audience,
and different parts of the press, and I think that SOME big museums
feel rather obliged to think about 'canons'. I also think that
expectations are different, I thought that the reactions that Matthew
Gansallo mentioned were particularly responding to the fact 'hey,
it's the Tate doing this' whereas they may have expected that kind of
work from a smaller organisation.
I've worked for big, medium, and small organisations in new media,
and, well, they're different in curatorial terms (I didn't say which
was better, did I?) To crudely stereotype: big ones have a more
middle-of-the-road audience, more powerful/annoying marketing
departments, worry about Internet porn, but have the money for big
physical installations; small ones let you be more experimental, have
no equipment, but have staff who have used the Internet for fun.
Something which concerns me is whether physical installations are
becoming the 'preserve' of big museums, and net.art the preserve of
artist-run spaces (mostly because of resources), which relates to
some of Simon Biggs' comments, and what Barbara London mentioned
about artists leading the debate. Interestingly, it seems to be the
physical installations which are less debated these days.
Of course, you Steve have done the opposite to my stereotypes, which
might be why you've proved rather successful! Does size matter to you?