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Subject:

Re: curating critically

From:

Steve Dietz <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Curating digital art - www.newmedia.sunderland.ac.uk/crumb/

Date:

Tue, 12 Feb 2002 16:40:33 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (121 lines)

Thought this article was interesting in relation to discussion of curating.
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/12/arts/design/12CURA.html?todaysheadlines


A couple of things that I appreciated about what Enwezor said:
"Mr. Enwezor said he blamed this narrow vision on a kind of inherent timidity
shared by many curators, dealers and collectors. "What really struck me was how
conservative they were, the lack of intellectual curiosity, their fear of
failure or to explore anything before it became a fashion.""

I keep hearing talk about "it's time" to sum things up; to "really" assess net
art, etc. - which I don't necessarily disagree with and certainly practice at
times, but it also seems like an opportunity to experiment on the curatorial
side of things as well as the art making/culture producing side, and to what
extent does that mean trying to figure something out that interests you, as a
curator, without necessarily knowing the answer or even knowing if how you
approach the matter will be a "success?"

Enwezor also said:
"For his part, Mr. Enwezor says the duty of a curator is to pay close attention
to the world that gives birth to art, rather than to try to predict its next
trend. "Given the complexity of deep entanglements with which we live, it makes
no sense to predict," he said. "I see the exhibition as more of a diagnosis than
a prognosis.""

While I probably overstate the case, I think it's worth holding in my the
_possibility_ that defining something is another way of predicting and may not
be always the most useful role.

s


Steve Dietz
Curator New Media
Walker Art Center


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Curating digital art - www.newmedia.sunderland.ac.uk/crumb/
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Sarah Thompson
> Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2002 5:12 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: curating critically
>
>
> 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
> re-enacted.
> 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
> experiences
>
> >
> >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,
> >why?
>
> 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
> discovered..
>
>
> >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.
>
>  :)
> Sarah
>
>

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