Apologies for my absence from this months discussion. I've just arrived in Dublin and have begun the installation for GLITCH (aka Run Computer, Run - www.runcomputerrun.com), which opens May 24 in RUA RED (www.ruared.ie). Myself and Sarah Cook will be attendance and if any of you are around, do come along and say hello.
I wanted to pick up on the idea of interface that Marialaura spoke about in her last post, and to unpack a little more how this term could be useful to those of us working within the field of curation. The term has it's origins in the domain of Computer Science and refers to the point of interaction between "the user" and computer, and is applicable at the level of both hardware and software.
I think that interface is a useful term for curators to reflect on and consider in their practice, given that new media art has an inherent relationship with these types of components (hardware and software). In the past, I have curated exhibitions of interactive artworks. These artworks are created with the concept of interface in mind, and require the audience to engage or interact with various technologies (motion tracking, cameras. various hardware, etc) in order to complete the visceral experience. Thus, these interactions with the artwork inform the viewers experience, and their encounter within the gallery space.
For the Run Computer, Run exhibition I am currently curating in Rua Red, I wanted to examine how this concept of interface could apply to my own curatorial practice, and how I could create an interface that engages with the concerns that underpin the exhibition. One part of the show examines the relationship between economics and immateriality,and in the gallery, each artist will be represented by an AR-code – an augmented reality marker embedded with visual information that can only be viewed with the aid of a computer or smart-phone. As visitors walk through the gallery, they can interact with the markers using either their smart-phone or one of the tablets that will be provided by the gallery.
I choose to represent the artworks in this format as firstly, I wanted to present the artworks in an immaterial format, and secondly I wanted to create an encounter in the gallery whereby the viewer has to engage in an act of immaterial work (download an app to their phone) in order to experience the artwork. For me it's been an experiment with how the concept of interface can be applied to an exhibition, and consequently inform how the audience experiences the show.
Does anyone else have related examples that could be used to discuss this further? How else can language from Computer Science, and how can the effect between user and the computer be adapted and developed to discuss new media curation? Does this language provide another way of thinking about curatorial methodologies and strategies for our practice? I've been trying to develop these ideas myself, and would like to hear from others if anyone has had similar thoughts or examples from their own work.
Greetings from a cold and sunny Dublin