For this month’s discussion we wish to return to November 2012’s theme of hybrid modes of curatorial practices, as part of our research preparation for the symposium that will be held during Run Computer, Run at Rua Red Gallery in Dublin on June 20th. Run Computer, Run – part of the Glitch Season (http://runcomputerrun.com/) – includes online and offline exhibitions, and a publication (including contributions made to this discussion before the end of May). The spread and simplification of web-based tools has led to an increasing number of curators and artists adopting web platforms for the distribution and dissemination of artwork. This month, we aim to re-examine these models, and discuss the structural and socio-economic conditions inherent in these modes of working.
The theme is co-hosted by CRUMB team members doctoral researcher Marialaura Ghidini, currently on residencies in Delhi and Bangalore, and Dr. Nora O’ Murchú, curator of Run Computer, Run and one of our current post-doctoral research associates, who will be at CRUMB until the end of May.
We started last November’s discussion by noting that:
Ideas of the curator as editor, filter-feeder and “platform builder” (Cook and Graham, Rethinking Curating, 2010) and of having a synchronous site of production and distribution are popular within theories of contemporary curating (such as Maria Lind’s idea of a “museum that would function simultaneously as a production site, a distribution channel and as a venue for conversations” in Learning from Art and Artists, 2001). These ideas of site-specificity and “context-sensitivity” (also Lind’s term) – in which curatorial work affects and is affected by the site in which it takes place, in terms of both physical space and intellectual landscape – are helpful for grounding a discussion about curating in online contexts, where the web-based platform is understood as both medium of production and of distribution.
We are now proposing a new set of questions, in three threads, that we feel may uncover new perspectives regarding the above:
The Internet is a space of creative practice, simultaneously a site of production, display and distribution. What, then, are the specifics of curating online? How do curators engage with these systems of distribution (either ready-to-use or custom built platforms), when framing and displaying exhibitions online?
As web technologies become embedded in our every day lives, the distinction between online and offline blurs. We frequently witness exhibitions and artworks that transition between these two modes. As curators, what methods have you employed in your own practice to facilitate this, and what possibilities do the tensions inherent in work that has dual modes of presentation offer to contemporary curatorial practice?
The function of the Internet as a tool for distribution generates new possibilities and contexts for audience engagement. These alternate ecologies and economies lie outside the boundaries of traditional curatorial practice, and have more in common with online music distribution than with contemporary art dissemination. What are the implications for the role of the curator in dealing with new interfaces for audience engagement? How do the structures and restrictions of web and interface design impact on curatorial decision-making, and influence the way in which artworks are distributed and consequently experienced?
The above questions allow us to re-frame our initial discussion, and to consider the implications for the curatorial, including form and format of presentation, structural organisation, and the arrangement of artistic material for web-based platforms.
We have invited responses from the following:
- Mark Amerika is a renowned "remix artist" and Professor of Art and Art History at the University of Colorado at Boulder (US). Recent projects include the artwork Museum of Glitch Aesthetics presented at Abandon Normal Devices 2012 in Liverpool (UK) and the publication remixthebook (2011), a print book and a website functioning as an online hub for the digital remixes of many of the theories generated in the print book. http://markamerika.com/
- Field Broadcast is an online art platform examining the simultaneous experience of remoteness and proximity through live broadcasting. Field Broadcast has developed through the practice of, and is run by, artists Rebecca Birch and Rob Smith. http://www.fieldbroadcast.org/
- Bani Brusadin is a free lance producer and researcher in the troubled water where art, digital technologies, popular cultures and politics clash. In the last decade he has been involved in several art, activist and research projects, exploring the power of fake, improper identities and new forms of subcultural epics. In 2004 he co-founded The Influencers, a small cult festival about non conventional forms of art and communication. The 9th edition of The Influencers will take place in Fall 2013. http://theinfluencers.org/
- bubblebyte.org is an online gallery showcasing artists that engage in a creative way with the digital space and stress the multiple possibilities of the media. bubblebyte.org is in itself container and content, artist and gallery. Founded in January 2001 as a collaboration between artist Rhys Coren and curator Attilia Fattori Franchini. http://bubblebyte.org
- Annet Dekker is an independent researcher, writer and curator. She is currently a core guest tutor at Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam, and editor of an international publication for Baltan Laboratories, Speculative scenarios, or what will happen to born-digital art in the (near) future. In 2009 she initiated aaaan.net together with Annette Wolfsberger, they coordinate artist-in-residences and set up strategic and sustainable collaborations with (inter)national arts organisations. Previously she worked as webcurator for SKOR (Foundation for Art and Public Domain, 2010-2012), was programme manager at Virtueel Platform (2008-2010), and head of exhibitions, education and artist in residence at the Netherlands Media Art Institute (1999-2008). In 2008 she started a PhD research on strategies for documenting net art at the Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths University, London, under supervision of Matthew Fuller. http://aaaan.net
- Amber van den Eeden (b. 1983) and Kalle Mattsson (b. 1979) initiated four online exhibitions on temporarystedelijk.com. Amber van den Eeden is a communication scientist, artist and curator of online exhibitions. She's currently teaching at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. Kalle Mattsson is a graphic designer and artist based in Amsterdam and Stockholm. He designed campaigns for Foam What's Next, UnSeen, and worked for magazines such as Metropolis M. The current exhibition on http://temporarystedelijk.com/ (programmed by Jonas Lund) is a collaboration with Constant Dullaart. http://temporarystedelijk.com/
- Candice Jacobs is an artist and curator. Recent projects include: SLEEPING UPRIGHT an online project designed to interrupt and punctuate the somewhat personal space between you and your computer and ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE a gallery exhibition that was accompanied by the online project ACCIDENTAL PURPOSE, a website, an audio project and a closing symposium organised with artist Fay Nicolson. http://www.meaningfulmeaninglessness.info/
- Jacob Lillemose (b. 1974) is a freelance curator and writer based in Copenhagen and Berlin. He holds a PhD on software art from the University of Copenhagen and is currently curating the transmediale exhibition.
- Fay Nicolson is an artist who also writes and curates. Recent curatorial projects include ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE, a gallery exhibition, audio project and closing symposium, accompanied by the online project ACCIDENTAL PURPOSE organised with artist/curator Candice Jacobs. Other projects include RE-RUN, an on-line exhibition of digital video works curated with Majed Aslam and a collaborative practice with Oliver Smith @ www.expansioncollapse.com. http://www.faynicolson.com/
- Nicholas O’ Brien is an artist, writer, curator, and educator, who primarily lives and works online. O’Brien’s work has been internationally shown and published in venues like the Museum of Moving Image, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The Portland Art Museum, ARTINFO, The Creators Project, The Brooklyn Rail, Frieze d/e, and the New York Times. Recently he has premiered a new collaborative work at the Baryshnikov Art Center in New York and a curatorial project mounted at the Arti et Amicitiae in Amsterdam. http://doubleunderscore.net/
- RYBN.ORG is an extra-disciplinary artistic research platform, funded in 2000 as a web entity, disseminated into several servers all over the internet and physically present in Paris, Montréal, Berlin and Bruxelles. RYBN.ORG operates through interactive & networked installations, digital/analog visual cross-performances and pervasive computing. http://www.rybn.org/
- Zoe Salditch is Program Director for Rhizome. As Program Director she oversees Rhizome's programs and events including The Download, a digital art collecting program she conceived and initiated in 2011. http://rhizome.org/the-download/
Looking forward to this new discussion,
Marialaura and Nora