From a personal POV, I've only recently started thinking of myself as a curator - I always
thought you had to be 'educated' in a certain way, or have worked in certain institutions
to be granted such a title. I've recently changed my mind, or perhaps am undergoing a
process where I'm wanting to become - officially? - a new media curator.
I think New Media in particular is SO new (comparatively:) that different rules apply. I
know technology far better than i know a 'venue'. I know an online audience far better
than physical visitors, and I wouldn't dream to assume that my skills (as they are) would
apply across the borders. However, is an online curator still a curator - do you have to
have 'met' your artists in order to curate them?
I have come to see our 'exhibitions' more as 'systems' - e.g. here's the technical
limitations of the final distribution format (but not the sole distribution format), go
get creative. Or, IMHO your work (or message) would suit this format, would you make
something that works in this sense for us.
It's often through our education programme that we find someone really talented and
develop that interest in them, rather than target an artist with an outright commission.
So, if we design systems, and run education programmes that result in new work being made
and exhibited, is that curating or organising? Is it just the 'selection' process where
the curation comes in, or have we already established our criteria via the brief or its
So to expand on my own question, 'Am I curator?'...should I find out by applying for
'other organisation/venues' curatorial positions, or by continuing internally to create
opportunities for exhibiting creativity? Is it the brand or the dream that stimulates a
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> -----Original Message-----
> From: Curating digital art - www.newmedia.sunderland.ac.uk/crumb/
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Sarah Cook
> Sent: 25 June 2004 12:15
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [NEW-MEDIA-CURATING] curating a symposium, curating a
> dear crumb list,
> i thought it would be a good idea to pick up on some of the ideas Ele
> wrote a few weeks back... as we at crumb continue to ease ourselves
> into summer with moments of self-reflection on what we do and why we do
> it (please take a minute to fill out our questionnaire on the site:
> I've been wondering, in relation to the question of the differences
> between curating and organising (when it comes to symposia) if the same
> holds for the differences between curating and organising and managing
> residencies or production labs. I am about to embark on my first
> curatorial residency in collaboration with an artist in the production
> of a new work (at Isis Arts in Newcastle)... which feels as though it
> is going to be a very different process than either being a curator in
> residence working on a show -- minus having the artist(s) in residence
> with me (as I have done at the Banff Centre) -- and being a curator who
> manages artists in residence (sometimes minus the activity of curating
> the concrete exhibition output at the end).
> What seems the same in these cases is that my effort is going towards
> shaping the context in which the work of art or exhibition (the
> content) is produced and emerges. Yet I think this work is often seen
> as managerial, educational or interpretive more than as curatorial. Is
> that true of other curator's experiences also? As new media art seems
> to morph the role of the curator a great deal (more than other forms of
> art?) what sort of resources would be useful to you as curators if your
> activity is less focussed on the end product art exhibition and more on
> the interstitial stages of the work's development (both theoretically
> and physically)?
> On 9 Jun 2004, at 10:54, Ele Carpenter wrote:
> > As an Independent Curator
> > working with an institution it's important to find the right staff who
> > can let things happed in the way you want. This may be easier working
> > with the Education Dept, than the Exhibitions Dept, but again it
> > depends
> > on the individuals and their understanding of the project.
> > I'd like to hear more about creating contexts for content production...
> > Ele Carpenter