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NEW-MEDIA-CURATING  November 2012

NEW-MEDIA-CURATING November 2012

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Subject:

Re: November Theme: Curating on and through web-based platforms

From:

reinhard storz <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

reinhard storz <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 22 Nov 2012 13:04:39 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (94 lines)

Hello Marialaura, everyone

As a respondent to this month's discussion focused on curatorial practices
online I want to give a short introduction to my work.

I am using this introduction to reflect on my work and to explore one or
two aspects of curating works of art on the net that seem to me to be
important. I am referring in particular to three of my projects. They are
described briefly here:
www.xcult.org/curated/

As a student in the 1980s, I edited 4 issues of an art and literature
magazine with some of my friends. I put the masters together on the light
desk and took them to the printer, who himself came from the off-culture
scene. Later we carried the magazines around the bookshops, paid for
expensive stamps and train journeys and only had a small readership outside
our circle of acquaintances. My interest was in creating images, magazine
design, and the communication of art.
When I became familiar with the WWW as a publication medium in 1995 and
began working on it as a curator/editor, I was immediately won over by its
advantages.

1. Independence
Since I already had a computer and a network connection, publishing work on
the net only cost me my labor. The networked PC simultaneously served as a
production instrument, a distribution medium and a communication tool for
contacting authors and the public.
The fact that, as an author/artist/curator you have a cost-effective means
of production and a distribution channel at your disposal and that it has
the same technical quality as when it is used by any established
institution - that independence is one of the big advantages of working as
a curator on the net. Thanks to our fund-raising activities, we were able
to pay the artists that we invited production fees of $3000-5000 for every
project. (How many galleries and museums do that?)

2. Multimedia/Intermedia
Over the last 15 years, the multimedia capacities of the web have developed
in particular. In addition to images and texts, you can include audio and
video in streaming mode in your publications, while software-based concepts
make interactive, participatory work forms possible. You cannot show
originals of paintings, sculptures and installations on the net, and even
performances can at best be shown in the form of a video performance or in
virtual reality on a platform like Second Life. But net-based art
exhibitions do show original works using a broad spectrum of media, and not
reproductions of them, as the classic print publications (catalogs, etc.)
do.

3. Interdisciplinary concepts
Unlike catalogs or art magazines and unlike physical exhibitions, it is
possible to place texts next to original art works in artistic Internet
publications and give them equal value. This juxtaposition of art works and
texts has played a large part in our projects right from the outset. The
texts concerned may be taken from the natural sciences, cultural theory,
philosophy or literature. This mixture was put into practice most
consistently in our last project, *beam me up*, in which academics, media
theorists and artists discussed concepts of space in our information
society.

4. Online exhibitions - a unique (hybrid?) media form
Our earlier projects *ram show*, *shrink to fit* and *bastard channel*, the
ideas for which were developed together with the two artists Monica Studer
and Christoph van den Berg, search for an artistic reflection of the WWW as
an exhibition medium for works of art. The project *56k tv - bastard channel
*, in particular, in which we invited artists to create contributions to an
imaginary web television channel, played with a hybrid of Internet art and
TV formats.  In recent years, I have preferred using the term *Internet
magazine*. I said this myself in 2008: The publication form of an Internet
magazine with specifically produced art contributions is hardly known yet,
so far. Actually, our Internet magazine integrates all qualities of the
digital and networked media technology. Among these are the worldwide
participation of authors – from China and India via Europe and America -,
the private access at one’s home computer for the audience and the
application of different multimedia formats which reminds one, with Beam me
up, of a virtual art exhibition, a TV channel or an electronic magazine,
according to the contribution.

5. Various forms of presentation
With our online projects we have frequently been invited to festivals and
galleries to stage physical installations. The curating solutions have
moved from the PC on to a desk and from there to detailed,
three-dimensional exhibition concepts.  We also regularly present our
online projects in the form of a lecture with a projector presentation.
Ideally, all of the infrastructure required for this is available on site:
a laptop with network connection, an amplifier and projection equipment.
All three presentation formats - the "original" on line, its physical
manifestation and its presentation in a lecture - seem equally valid to me.

Of course, having thought about the positives, I could now turn to the
disadvantages of a net-based presentation of art ...



best, Reinhard

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