re: Josephine 's questions - >
>1 - it is beyond doubt that curators are as important or probably more
>important as critics in the way art is perceived. Can they make a
>difference as to how it is valuated (economically) as well?
I used to think curators were very much connected to the role of archiving,
if only in terms of cataloging and contextualising works of art. Is this
not still the case? Archiving is closely connected to evaluation. This
museum practice is what happens generally after works have been exhibited
in galleries or online etc..
Now musuems of modern art archive the processes of contemporary
commissioning, presentation and appreciation of the arts too - 'as they
happen'.. So the archives are digital. These archives are strange because
they themselves exist within unstable media. In other words whose going to
archive the archives. (Ada web has already been archived I suppose).
Then there's the curating practice of producing exhibitions of works which
have not yet been evaluated within a market context. These exhibitions are
often on themes conceived by the curator who perhaps might extend this
notion to it being a concept similar to that in art practice - more
personal and specific than usual. This is why so many artists have also
curated I think.
The economies of these processes are increasingly interlinked. The
artist/curator might get funding for an exhibition which they can then pass
on to other artists who they feel they can collaborate with in producing a
show (for instance). This show might involve a network outside the gallery
context, which also collaborates with the experience. As such, elements of
the experience may become archived in a casual kind of way. These informal
archives might at some point find their way into a museum as evidence of
the original event. (or diagrams in the gallery)
As such, what is being funded is a kind of asynchronous distributed
event/performance which depends on technological continuity to be
There is a relationship here between moving image/performance/event and the
gallery/museum as a space for the free/paid for consumption of ideas and
>2 - There are on line and off line exhibitions. Do curators take more
>liberties (with both the artists and the artworks) when they arrange an
>on line exhibition then when they organize physical exhibitions? If yes,
The liberties which are taken seem to be related to the very nature of the
web, the way the web has so far been engineered and the way that this
architecture affects perceptions of what constitutes the work. In other
words there is no engineered structure which denotes unequivocally the
source of the work. It is also all too easy for big institutions to view
the web as a content pool, for which there is, as yet, no legal structure
requiring them to pay for use/access.
>3 - When dealing with net art (but also other electronic art and new
>media art) do curators realize at all there is a history and context? If
>yes, should they take this context into account at all? Are catalogues
>giving enough insight into the works presented?
history and context should be used to appreciate the conceptual, aesthetic
and technical significance of works, but it seems many of the histories
which relate to net art and other electronic/new media art need to be
>The web and the net
>are not just a collection of journals and magazines, they have some
>qualities of tv and radio combined with the personal space of the
>telephone. The cultural space has changed, and art institutions are part
>of it. Art institutions and curators should realise what power politics
>they become/became part of.
New kind of cultural engineering/production process needed too.