" i.e. the proliferation of
curating is interesting but its not unexpected in the larger field, or
at all containable by tightened codes or responses that might organise
out of resort to calls to 'professionalism' alone, I don't think."
Which is obviously not what you're writing, Jon - more me thinking out loud
about what anxiety about the loss or expansion of an assumed practice risks
doing, some of the time. :)
Rachel O'Reilly | +61417603652
On Tue, May 18, 2010 at 1:59 PM, Rachel O'Reilly <[log in to unmask]
> Jon Ippolito said: Are jargon-happy digerati like Epps and Buskirk
> only infatuated with "curating" because they've run out of other Web
> 2.0 buzzwords? Or has the proliferation of the once-artsy concept of
> curating into sectors like journalism and computing helped to reveal
> its true political merits and liabilities?
> There is little established discourse of curatorial labour theory
> whether art-specific or otherwise (and to say that there is an art
> specific "curator" is also very reductive and romantic in my view).
> That curatorial labour has changed so much _within_ art as a result of
> (earlier) museological and mass cultural transformations, and more
> recent info-economic change, is precisely part of the reason that the
> term is so slippery. :) Unlike the moniker of 'artist', "curator" is
> dealing much more recently with its cultural instantiation. In my
> view, the tracking of the term is only really interesting/useful once
> you start to posit the kinds of curatorial labour practices assumed by
> those proliferating useages perhaps? To me, there's no point in
> getting anxious about the stealing of the term - that anxiety assumes
> the moniker as a professionally determined regime (paradoxically)
> practiced by an elect few with certain kinds of 'qualifications' (yes,
> but what are these? etc.) Thus the anxiety tends to participate in the
> notion of curatorial practice as actually, _purposively_, innacessible
> (as purposively untheorised practice) and thus _perpetually_ auratic
> (and which, incidentally, new media's "access imperatives" valorized
> above all else thus can't help but commit to breaking in on. Hence the
> cycle/circle of 'art' versus 'new media' curating.). But can we see
> that useage shedding further light on what we assume (heterogenously)
> to be 'actual' or indeed "good" curatorial practice - and with or upon
> or around what kinds of cultural or other things?
> When I got my first gig at a (contemporary and historical) art gallery
> six years ago a rather gauche but genius philosophy of consciousness
> friend of mine, rather than congratulating me on being gainfully
> employed after years of precarious projects and volunteerism,
> suggested I was getting in early on a generic professional mode of
> dealing with the information economy. I appreciated his lack of
> enthusiasm at the time and its always made me try and think beyond the
> 'professionalism' of the profession. i.e. the proliferation of
> curating is interesting but its not unexpected in the larger field, or
> at all containable by tightened codes or responses that might organise
> out of resort to calls to 'professionalism' alone, I don't think.
> On 5/18/10, Jon Ippolito <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > Now even the computer industry is using the C-word--in this case,
> > to closed architectures like Apple's iPhone/iPad. Slashdot comments on
> > <a
> > href="
> > story</a>:
> > "Ars Technica has an opinion piece by Sarah Rotman Epps on the iPad and
> > other potential tablets as a new paradigm that they are calling 'curated
> > computing,' where third parties make a lot of choices to simplify things
> > the end user, reducing user choice but improving reliability and
> > for a defined set of tasks. The idea is that this does not replace, but
> > supplements, general-purpose computers. It's possible -- if the common
> > denominator between iPads, Android and/or Chrome tablets, WebOS tablets,
> > the like is a more server-centric web experience -- that they could be
> > right, and that a more competitive computing market could be the result.
> > I wonder, too: would that then provide an incentive for manufacturers to
> > to lock down the personal computing desktop experience as well?"
> > Meanwhile, at Wired, Eliot Van Buskirk takes Epps' curatophilia even
> > further, citing four realms of digital culture he claims have already
> > colonized by the curatorial compulsion:
> > "1) Facebook curated the web....
> > Personal websites remain the domain of geeks while Facebook (and its
> > predecessors), LinkedIn, Tumblr, Flickr and other pre-fab web-presence
> > providers flourish, despite valid privacy concerns. When faced with
> > freedom on the web, we chose social curation instead, and now we’re
> > with that choice....
> > 2) Music curation vs. music criticism...
> > Today, you can discover in seconds how nearly any band in the world
> > assuming it wants to be heard, on YouTube, MySpace, Spotify, The Pirate
> > and other services. At that point, the role of the music critic shrinks
> > considerably and becomes more about curation than criticism. The fact
> > your favorite MP3 blog mentions something at all is more important than
> > they say about it, because you can then download or stream the song and
> > decide for yourself....
> > 3) News publications filter the news.
> > Before the internet and Google all we had was curated news, in that
> > typically got all of their news from one or two paper publications, which
> > are closed systems. When the news went online and the internet opened up
> > news distribution, aggregation became important. A Google News search on
> > current event typically reveals thousands of articles on the same topic,
> > the sheer number of current events being reported has skyrocketed in the
> > past decade, which has made curation important once again....
> > 4) Consumption devices curate functionality.
> > Finally, we arrive at the sort of curation Epps is talking about. The
> > Kindle, cellphone, MP3 player, GPS and other specific-purpose devices
> > functionality in order to deliver a better experience than a
> > desktop computer could ever deliver. This holds especially true for
> > designed around consumption, such as portable MP3 players or big-screen
> > televisions....When a “curated computing” device offers general
> > functionality and a large screen, geeks get nervous because they view it
> > a blow against computing freedom."
> > Are jargon-happy digerati like Epps and Buskirk only infatuated with
> > "curating" because they've run out of other Web 2.0 buzzwords? Or has the
> > proliferation of the once-artsy concept of curating into sectors like
> > journalism and computing helped to reveal its true political merits and
> > liabilities?
> Rachel O'Reilly | +61417603652