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NEW-MEDIA-CURATING  December 2012

NEW-MEDIA-CURATING December 2012

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Subject:

November Theme: Curating on and through web-based platforms

From:

amber van den Eeden <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

amber van den Eeden <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 11 Dec 2012 17:52:23 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

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hello everybody, Dear List,


We are Kalle Mattsson and Amber van den Eeden. Kalle and me organized four
online exhibitions on http://www.temporarystedelijk.com/. The last and
current exhibition is about net art and is a collaboration with Constant
Dullaart.


Both Kalle and me studied graphic design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in
Amsterdam and we work together as a creative/artistic duo. We observe,
analyze, combine and make things. We use different media to react to what
we see and think is (or is not) happening around us. Kalle is a graphic
designer, he is conceptually trained and is a visual craftsman. Me, Amber,
I am an artist, curator or mediator and scientist. Before and during my
study at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy I studied Communication Science (BA
and MA) at the Radboud University in Nijmegen.


For us science and art is about asking questions. And within art we are
allowed to make subjective conclusions which we don't have to prove. This
allows us to be fast, wrong and emotional or personal. Kalle and me always
try to capture the core of what we see and think is happening around us, to
capture a moment or movement in time and then design a subjective opinion/
message about it. In our projects we often want to raise awareness about a
certain subject.


With the online project temporarystedelijk.com (and temporarystedelijk.nl)
we wanted to express 1. the (banal) issue that the Stedelijk Museum
Amsterdam (while renovating their building and organizing Temporary
Stedelijk exhibitions offline) neglects the Internet as an exhibition
space, 2. the fact that net art easily escapes the attention of the wider
public by being sidelined by museums and galleries.


So we bought the temporary domain names of the Stedelijk Museum and
demonstrated an alternative of what is possible (making use of the Internet
by organizing online exhibitions) and show what is happening now: Net art
is in our eyes the only art form that's describing the 'now' as it really
is. Net art uses the tools, techniques and structures of the computer: the
tool that characterizes our contemporary society in all aspects of our
everyday life.


For us the challenge was to find a form, a translation into an exhibition,
to show net art online to an online audience. We created a space (a virtual
stage) in the context of the computer (online) where the audience
understood they were going to see art, that they were visiting an
exhibition (this happened by using the name of the most significant
contemporary art museum of the Netherlands).


The questions we asked ourselves while looking at net art were: What is
being communicated and how? We tried to understand what the art form was
about and we concluded that it says something about how people relate to
technology. What we found interesting (in order to create a space in the
context of the computer where the audience understood that they were
visiting an exhibition) is that net art says something about how people
respond to the digital, the Internet, the computer. It says something about
how our digital environment shapes us and how we give shape to it.


These were our starting points: (art - curator - exhibition - medium -
audience)


- Net art is an unpredictable experience, an art form that makes demands of
the viewer

- As curators (and designers) our task is to create a space and tell a story

- A curator brings together works; makes them connect and interact with
each other

- The exhibition space is an online exhibition space

- The medium is the Internet (the Internet is more than a digital brochure)

- Our computers are where we are

- The internet is a mass medium and the viewer/ visitor is often alone

- The viewer is a media user and is in essence an active receiver

- Media users are conditioned to react in a certain way

- Net art demands a certain state of mind of the viewer

- The viewer has to tolerate something unpredictable and is automatically
participating

- The curator has to create an experience, where the viewer will not
immediately close the tab and return to the 'trusted' environment

- The visibility of the exhibition is crucial; the audience needs to find
its way to the exhibition

- An online exhibition is not different from an offline exhibition

- Net art is in the first place about art, technology is subordinate




We decided to treat the whole site as one large surface, a floor, or a
wall. A non-linear design solution like this, without a static starting
point and a clear finishing line, would encourage the visitor to (actively)
explore the site. It's easy to grasp, and still the opposite of being
spoonfed content in a scripted way. Since we wanted the site to be one open
space, and to not make use of a strict grid for the layout, the artworks
could easily be connected with each other, and it made it possible to
"hang" the exhibition quite freely. (We like to create and come up with a
narrative and atmosphere for every new exhibition).

The websites with the artworks are loaded into iframes, as the frames come
into view. This means that we don't host the works ourselves, but are
dependent on the artists keeping their work online. The ubiquitous "top
left menu" grows as the viewer uncovers the site. It shows you where you
have been, rather whan where you will go.

The visual treatment of the site reflects both the playful attitudes often
found in the works, it is made to invite the visitor to take part, to move
around. The visitor should understand or figure out the space by himself,
we think this way the works get the focus they should have.


To make the exhibition work we had to find a balance in the combination of
various elements: concept & form becomes content & aesthetics. This
resulted in a virtual exhibition in which net art artworks interact with
each other, and become a whole, a unity in one show. This is the first time
this happened, and a lot of people (artists and visitors) seem to
appreciate it.

We want to thank Jonas Lund for programming this project for us and we are
grateful for his advice in realizing this project. We want to thank
Constant Dullaart for this important collaboration; he introduced us to the
subject of net art and introduced us to the artists involved and the
participating writers as well. We also want to thank Marialaura for
inviting us and apologize for our very late contribution to this
discussion. To the list: Sorry to send you our first email this late. But
we hope you like reading it and to hear from you.


Sincerely,

Amber

Kalle


P.S. You can read more about our ways of seeing here, Annet Dekker in
conversation with curators:

http://www.baltanlaboratories.org/borndigital/conversations-with-curators-4/

and again: You can experience/ visit the current exhibition here:

http://www.temporarystedelijk.com/

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