Some snippets of thought from a lurker ... and appreciation in advance for your indulgence.
Randall, thanks so much for the reminder of the 1970 exhibition - The Information Show - that was emblematic of an era. This also fell into a legacy of MOMA exhibitions from the mid-20thc and public funding. And as we all realize, those times stand in oppositional contrast to where we find ourselves today sited in a relatively privatized cultural millieu. The question, of course, is if we could we envision a more public cultural rupture to the inscriptions of exhibition display that are positioned within a largely private, influential cultural institution. In all honesty, I doubt that the public funding for MOMA has shifted dramatically since the 1940's, as it has largely been underwritten by the Rockefeller family.
Coincidentally to our discussion of great "historical (keyword) moments of "transparency" in curatorial practice, was an article in this morning's NY Times - which culminated in a hopeful sentiment of "the climate is changing and New Yorkers can make themselves heard when it comes to shaping the public realm."
Defending a Scrap of Soul Against MoMA. (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/13/arts/design/?ref=arts&_r=0)
Michael Kimmelman offers a critical framing of MOMA's intent to demolish an adjoining building ( ironically, the American Folk Art Museum ) it recently purchased. His article bears a degree of relevance at least to the larger context in which we all find ourselves. Please trust me as I believe there is a point here - although one must lean-in to connect the dots ( apologies for my unabashed attempt to use every cliche possible in one phrase:)
Kimmelman makes two salient points that beg simplicity, yet have a resonance we may take to heart:
1. "The backlash revealed a surprising antipathy toward MoMA. Not so long ago, it was the art museum New Yorkers loved and identified with; it seemed familial, its scale personal. It had a special place in the city’s heart." "“It’s just not a place for New Yorkers anymore,” he said.
"I thought about that progression. Years ago, 53rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues was a pokey Midtown cross street. The Modern, smaller yet somehow more distinctive, was tucked into the middle of the block with an entrance that, from the front doors, looked straight through the garden to the town houses on West 54th Street: a view from the city back into it. The Modern was in and of the urban fabric. Its ethos was embedded in the street grid, its architecture dovetailing with the art inside, so much of it consonant with the syncopated rhythms and complex geometry of New York.
Today, West 53rd Street is a monotonous corporate corridor."
Moving on to:
2. "By contrast, the former folk museum, with its textured, tooled facade like a Paul Klee or the hinged door of an ancient temple, is a skinny little chess whiz in a college classroom of jocks, a clever outlier on the street, a work of artisanal sculpture whose idiosyncrasy is in keeping with the objects it was conceived to house.
It’s a relief on the block, representing the diversity vital to healthy streets — not a perfect building, not even its architects’ best work. But its unembarrassed, luxuriant materiality, its small scale and vulnerability, all qualities that the Modern now seems to reject, belong no less than the glass tower to the messy story of Modernism and city life. "
Yes, the arguments are all too familiar as they inhabit their roles of oppositional contrast. Nonetheless, the argument's validity seems to lie in an underpinning of a truth held in these contested tensions. But is it then more of a question of our cultural values and to seriously offer a critical analysis of how we, ourselves, have changed in the early 21st . The mechanisms and instruments of robo-urban planning and re-iterative corporate cultural practices have been embedded seemingly within every domain - physical and virtual. Where then lies an authentic appreciation and understanding of the individual idiosyncratic, artistic experimentation and, (yes, to more-over to grease the wheels of corporate funding) innovative thinking ? .... And where are the networks of stalwart cultural producers and institutions that are willing to initiate, create the energy and and resonance .... make the stand and have the tenacious courage, commitment and strength - time and time again?
I hope we may find some of that here .... as the instance cited below of Parker Ito's paintings speak to such.
Again, many thanks for your indulgence ( and time!)
On May 13, 2013, at 11:20 AM, Randall Packer wrote:
> Lindsey, for me one of the great historical moments in the transparency of
> cultural practice would be the 1970 Information show curated by Kynaston
> McShine at MoMA. Just two years after Pontus Hulten had organized the
> Machine as Seen at the Mechanical Age in 1968, McShine was looking forward
> to emerging forms of conceptual art for the information age. What was
> truly groundbreaking and transparent about this show, is that he simply
> invited the artists to do whatever they wanted: no curatorial parameters
> except "information." And perhaps even more remarkable was the catalogue:
> he invited the artists to contribute whatever they wanted, no
> restrictions, no page limit. Many of the artist's contributions to the
> catalogue were actual artworks in the form of scripts, manifestos,
> diatribes, etc. When a museum like MoMA is able to give exhibiting artists
> in a group show such free reign in the service of enabling emerging
> experimental trends, that to me suggests a form of transparency that is
> truly liberating.
> On 5/13/13 12:38 PM, "Lindsay Howard" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Hi everyone,
>> I wanted to follow up on the "Transparency in Curatorial Practice" article
>> I wrote and linked you to a couple of months ago. First of all, thanks so
>> much for all your feedback! It was especially great to see Barbara
>> London's early work certainly a precursor to what's happened since. So,
>> what *has* happened since?
>> ++ Lauren Christiansen's programming at STADIUM gallery in NYC:
>> I met with Lauren Christiansen, Associate Director at STADIUM gallery, who
>> is running a very interesting program. All of the works on display are
>> designed to be photographed, then distributed online. The gallery runs an
>> active Tumblr account which she considers an equal part of their
>> program. Some of the artists she's worked with already have a Post
>> Internet practice, and others she's collaborated with to specifically
>> create works that will co-exist in both the gallery and online
>> IMHO, one of the most successful examples is Parker Ito's The Agony and
>> Ecstasy <http://stadiumnyc.com/past/the-agony-and-the-ecstasy/>, a
>> collection of paintings and sculptures that resist traditional
>> documentation (when you photograph them, they become indistinguishable
>> flashes of light).
>> http://stadiumnyc.com // http://stadiumnyc.tumblr.com
>> ++ Lauren Cornell recently did an interview with the #OpenCurating
>> organizers, where she writes:
>> "Much ink is spent on how we live in an age of Biennials (and Triennials)
>> and the problems associated with these large-scale, temporary exhibitions.
>> The production of research, and the sharing of it, is one way these kinds
>> of shows can be more than short-term spectacles, and I hope we can offer
>> that through our Triennial by activating the show through discursive
>> means‹talks, publishing‹before, and also after, the run of the exhibition,
>> so we can publicly process the feedback and reception."
>> ++ Thoughtful review of Paul O Neill's "The Culture of Curating and the
>> Curating of Culture(s)" focusing on the unprofessional curator:
>> "In investigating the role of the curator, O¹Neill¹s narrative locates the
>> role of the curator within the traditional, hermetic curatorial discourse.
>> He reproduces its academic and wordy rhetoric, while rarely addressing how
>> its relevance may be shifting in contemporary times, where many producers
>> who operate outside of the art world, outside of curatorial discourse, are
>> assuming the role of curators via blogging and the
>> organization/distribution of images and ideas online."
>> In terms of my interest in this topic, I founded the exhibition program
>> at 319
>> Scholes <http://319scholes.org/> in 2010, at which point there were no
>> physical galleries in NYC for young, emerging (net) artists to show work.
>> We had, and have, Postmasters and bitforms for more established artists,
>> and Rhizome as an online communal meeting place, but a lot of artists were
>> graduating from undergrad and masters programs and needed some white walls
>> (if only as a studio for online projects). Since that time, our audience
>> has grown not only in the gallery but online, and I spend a lot of time
>> thinking about how we can better serve both communities. Here are a
>> of our strategies:
>> + *Live-streaming curator walk throughs. *We live-stream gallery tours
>> with curators and encourage folks to participate by tweeting questions.
>> Once the curator's finished a thought, we'll raise questions from
>> It's been a great way to engage with our online audience, and allows them
>> to get a more dynamic feel for the shows.
>> + *Thorough digital archive. *We consulted with a master's student,
>> Pedapati, from Michael Connor's "Art of the Archive" class at ITP on how
>> document and distribute our exhibitions, which resulted in an extensive
>> digital archive. Now every exhibition has a single URL prior to, during,
>> and following an exhibition which includes the press release, images,
>> dates, related events, video documentation, press links, and individual
>> pages for each work in order of appearance. Here's an
>> I'm curious to hear about the approaches and strategies you're using to
>> bridge the online/physical audiences. Any links, notes, or thoughts would
>> be much appreciated!
>> All the best,
>> On Thu, Mar 21, 2013 at 6:43 AM, Tyzlik-Carver, Magda <
>> [log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> Dear CRUMB,
>>> I have been a frequent lurker on the list for some time now. And even
>>> though I haven't posted on the list before I have found many of the
>>> very interesting and thought provoking. So thanks CRUMB and all on the
>>> for continuing those conversations here.
>>> The current theme is very relevant to my interest and research into
>>> curatorial practices and in particular what I have been exploring
>>> within my
>>> PhD research and also within my practice, that is the link between
>>> and commons. That link, in short, is partly based on the recognition
>>> curating and Œcommoning¹ (a term which describes practices that
>>> the common; see (Linebaugh 2008; Linebaugh 2010; An Architektur 2010)
>>> particular forms of organising and arranging space, time, relations,
>>> resources, etc. I am interested in the potential that has on curatorial
>>> practice, namely how Œcommoning¹ can influence and act upon Œcurating¹,
>>> well as vice versa.
>>> I used number of various online tools (wikis, skype, blogs, IRC) in
>>> different configuations and arangements within the space of Internet as
>>> well as the gallery, to support curatorial events which I initiated.
>>> core of my project is not exactly on how to use those tools for
>>> but my focus is on practices that can be developed with the support of
>>> those tools within an event or activity which is framed by the
>>> context. Examples of this are my projects playing practice
>>> http://automatist.net/deptofreading/wiki/pmwiki.php/PlayingPractice and
>>> common practice
>>> I am just about to open Ghost Factory
>>> http://www.ghostmachine.thecommonpractice.org/ghostfactory.html , which
>>> is a curatorial Œextension¹ to the Ghost Machine, a collaborative
>>> which I developed together with sound artist Andrew Prior. Ghost
>>> Factory is
>>> a Œworking¹ exhibition (for 2 days only) in Redruth, Cornwall at the CMR
>>> gallery tomorrow and Saturday. The reference to the factory is of course
>>> not a coincidence, as I constantly try to question various roles that we
>>> are prescribed when we engage with art, Internet tools etc. as
>>> artists, public, users, workers, researchers etc. It is a Œworking¹
>>> exhibition also as it is a work-in-progress, research stage
>>> exhibited/tested within the context of CMR Artists in Residence month
>>> in itself is Œself-organised¹ framework with artists taking over and
>>> sharing their space during March for various experiments, research and
>>> Please see more CMR March Fourth here www.c-m-r.org/index.html
>>> cheers, Magda
>>> An Architektur, 2010. On the Commons: A Public Interview with Massimo De
>>> Angelis and Stavros Stavrides. e-flux, (17). Available at:
>>> Linebaugh, P., 2010. Some Principles of the Commons. Counter Punch.
>>> Available at: http://www.counterpunch.org/linebaugh01082010.html
>>> Linebaugh, P., 2008. The Magna Carta Manifesto: Liberties and Commons
>>> All 1st ed., University of California Press.
>>> Falmouth University
>>> From: Curating digital art - www.crumbweb.org [
>>> [log in to unmask]] on behalf of Mark Amerika [
>>> [log in to unmask]]
>>> Sent: 14 March 2013 23:55
>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>> Subject: Re: [NEW-MEDIA-CURATING] The Way We Share: Transparency in
>>> Curatorial Practice
>>> Good to hear from all of the early curators of net art et al ... Amanda,
>>> Paul, Armin, Jon -----
>>> Also, for what it's worth:
>>> *Digital Studies: Being in Cyberspace* (1997)
>>> Curated by Mark Amerika and Alex Galloway
>>> with "keynote essays" and/or "net.art" by the likes of Ascott, Cosic,
>>> Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, Manovich, Intima, Rackham, and Alex and I,
>>> Talk about link-rot : we keep it archived "as is" to further prove the
>>> point (that much of early net art is part of a disappeared /
>>> history) -- kind of the opposite of Bunting's "Own, Be Owned or Remain
>>> Invisible" in that instead of the word-links gradually linking to web
>>> as commodity destinations, the links to actual net art works go dead in
>>> record time.
>>> BTW, Alt-X is 20 years old this month and we are producing an e-book of
>>> contributions from those who were aware of it and possibly influenced
>>> by it
>>> from 1993 through today. If there's a story or statement you would like
>>> submit to the editors (Giselle Beiguelman and myself), please send it
>>> way. It need not be very long. We are thinking of publishing it
>>> simultaneously in English and Portuguese.
>>> Cheers, MA
>>> On Thu, Mar 14, 2013 at 5:38 PM, Paul Brown <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>> For the record - and sorry to interrupt!
>>>> The fineArt forum archive (which will contain lots of interesting
>>>> for followers of this discussion and list) from 1987-2004 is now
>>>> permanently archived at the National Library of Australia in their
>>>> On 15 Mar 2013, at 08:06, Amanda McDonald Crowley
>>> <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>> On Mar 14, 2013, at 10:17 AM, Saul Albert wrote:
>>>>>> Nostalgia rush! It's hard enough to recall all that work and
>>>>>> wistfully in my mind, let alone find any coherent trace of it
>>>>>> Mailing list archives link-rotted, and the Uo Wiki got spammed
>>>> several years ago.
>>>>> Hi all,
>>>>> Thanks so much for fun examples. Nostalgia indeed.
>>>>> I've been trying to dig around a bit for early examples of sharing a
>>>> curatorial research practice, and like Saul, keep coming up with an
>>>> lot of link-rot. I finally just got around to putting up my own
>>>> web presence, in part because sites that were the repository of
>>>> work have often disappeared. Some I am working to recover, and some I
>>>> relied on the way back machine to recover at least screenshots, but
>>>> simply isn't a reliable source for archives.
>>>>> So, here are some ideas, and a lot of black spots:
>>>>> resistant.media was an exhibition I curated for the city wide
>>>> in Sydney Perspecta99 - Living Here Now. The resistant.media
>>>> only ever existed online and each of the artists included in the
>>>> was invited to host a listserv discussion as part of the project. The
>>>> site is still online, but only three of the artworks/ websites are
>>>> active, and the listserv that was the discussion space is also lost.
>>>> was intended as our way to open up the process of how we developed the
>>>>> conVerge: where art and science meet was the 2002 Adelaide
>>> Biennial of
>>>> Contemporary Art exhibition I co-curated for the Adelaide Festival
>>>> For the website, we included not only the work of the 14 artists whose
>>>> was exhibited as part of the exhibition, but the works of the artists
>>>> were shortlisted or whose research practice was especially relevant to
>>>> show. All of the work in the show was collaboratively developed with
>>>> scientists and/or science knowledge so the web site also included
>>>> information on all the collaborators, the scientific engagement. A
>>> key to
>>>> the project was a symposium so the transcripts and documentation of
>>>> the discussion at the symposium became a core element of the web
>>> site. We
>>>> tried to also include live synchronous and asynchronous discussion
>>>> web site. That was less successful. Apart from one page, the site is
>>>> unfortunately down for now, but I am working with Jesse Reynolds from
>>>> Virtual Artists (who developed the site originally) to resurrect it.
>>>> catalogue also included writing by Victoria Lynne on the role of the
>>>> archive for the artists and for the show, and by Lynette Wallworth on
>>>> disciplinary collaboration, in addition to the curatorial introduction
>>>> me and Linda Cooper). Now that I think of it, I might try to get that
>>>> added to the site when we get it back up ;)
>>>>> I also don't see just my exhibition work as my curatorial practice.
>>>> residency programs, labs, masterclasses etc. I have worked on are to
>>>> just as integral a part of my "curatorial practice". So I'm adding a
>>>> here to an interview Melinda Sipos and Angela Plohman did with me last
>>>> year. The interview, ³Out of the Lab: An interview with Amanda
>>>> Crowley² appeared in Beyond Data, a joint publication of Kitchen
>>> Budapest &
>>>> Baltan Labs. Melinda and Angela drew some interesting thoughts
>>>> with me on the idea of curating process and how one might think about
>>>> sharing process with an audience without making it feel like the
>>>> and artists are being asked to air all of their underwear in public,
>>>> rather show those parts of the process that are useful for generating
>>>> interesting dialogue. That was in fact, something we really especially
>>>> experimented with for the Eyebeam "exhibition" X-Lab, where we really
>>>> to work with all of the Eyebeam residents and fellows to open up the
>>>> of our "exhibition practice" to a range of interventions, works in
>>>> and events.
>>>>> In fact, in developing my web site, I decided to add a category
>>>> "Creative Research". Sometimes that research is curatorial. Sometimes
>>>> a framework for a range of curatorial initiatives, as was the case
>>>> Eyebeam Sustainability Research group. Of course this kind of work
>>>> happen in a vaccuum. It is highly collaborative, so there are various
>>>> and wikis scattered about the web that relate to that process. It
>>>> take too long to dig up now, but I know that Rebecca Bray, Marina
>>>> Andrea Polli, all had blogs or web pages devoted to part of the
>>>> addition to the various Eyebeam wikis that were developed to house the
>>>> research that sometimes led to public programs.
>>>>> Finally, of the ways I am sharing some of my current curatorial
>>>> is using scoop.it. The developers of the site describe the pages of
>>>> collections of links "curating". I don't agree, but am not going to
>>>> into the hot discussion of whether a collection of links is a
>>>> process or not. I don't believe it is. But what is it useful for, for
>>>> is a way to share the research I am doing on a particular topic that
>>>> lead to curatorial projects. So at the moment, I'm doing a lot of
>>>> around art, food and technology. The resources for this "thinking" I
>>>> gathering here: at ArtTechFood on my web site, which links to the
>>>> site. Like delicous, or other aggregator sites, its likely that this
>>>> will disappear into confusion and broken links at some point.
>>>>> I hope they are some useful examples. I'd love to get feedback.
>>>>>> The best I could do without engaging in serious network art
>>>>>> was google up an email exchange on the old delicious-discuss list
>>>>>> someone I didn't know forwarded to an MIT digital librarianship
>>>>>> list: http://simile.mit.edu/mail/general/0142.html
>>>>>> A few things strike me about the curatorial bogging issue and
>>>>>> goatskin archiving strategy looking back at the last decade of
>>>>>> practices engaging with what we used to call 'social software'.
>>>>>> It was exciting to use wikis and early link-sharing sites to shape
>>>>>> everyday artistic communication-as-readymade, without
>>>>>> composing an artistic product for established markets. There was
>>> also a
>>>>>> critical awareness that these practices were prototyping forms of
>>>>>> knowledge production whose value could be easily alienated and
>>>>>> as big data.
>>>>> Amanda McDonald Crowley
>>>>> Cultural Worker, Curator
>>>>> current research: Art/Tech/Food
>>>> Paul Brown - based in OZ Nov 2012 to April 2013
>>>> http://www.paul-brown.com == http://www.brown-and-son.com
>>>> OZ Landline +61 (0)7 3391 0094 == USA fax +1 309 216 9900
>>>> OZ Mobile +61 (0)419 72 74 85 == Skype paul-g-brown
>>>> Synapse Artist-in-Residence - Deakin University
>>>> Honorary Visiting Professor - Sussex University
>> Lindsay Howard
>> @Lindsay_Howard <https://twitter.com/Lindsay_Howard>