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NEW-MEDIA-CURATING  January 2015

NEW-MEDIA-CURATING January 2015

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Subject:

Re: NEW-MEDIA-CURATING Digest - 16 Jan 2015 to 18 Jan 2015 (#2015-9)

From:

Richard Rinehart <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Richard Rinehart <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 20 Jan 2015 17:38:29 -0500

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Hello everyone,

This discussion topic interests me greatly. Now that I direct an art museum in rural America (using networked media to expand our reach and regularly presenting new media works) I find my mind often circling around the questions posed here. Others have suggested that the currently urbanized art world may be geographically diffusing beyond the familiar clumps (at least in the U.S.) resulting in more diverse models of artist/artwork/audience, and thus considering these questions more often as well (http://news.artnet.com/art-world/why-i-believe-new-yorks-art-scene-is-doomed-214970)

Alexandra, I appreciate your pointing out the problems of using relative terms like remote and local as absolutes (i.e. center vs. peripheries.) To extrapolate along these lines, the artworks in question are also not absolute entities with only distance separating them from certain viewers (that would lead to a kind of conduit theory of transmission) but they are also embedded in relative local cultural contexts. So, is it "the artwork" that we open up, transmit, activate, etc. between locations or is it possible and desirable to activate relatively local ways of seeing as well? Put another way, is it possible to read the work FROM its locale as opposed to reading the work IN its locale (the latter of which art history is much more familiar)?

By way of exploring this, mainly, question no. 2 on your list, I curated "Country Living" last Fall (shout out to Alison Goodrum at Manchester Metropolitan University for speaking on that.) You can check out the essay and read online if you don't want to buy the catalog: http://www.blurb.com/b/5653142-country-living. Country Living focussed on non-digital artworks, but earlier I invited Manifest.AR here to look at things from a different angle - site-based new media works that were present at two (but only two) sites at once (Lewisburg in rural Pennsylvania and the the Biennale in Venice.) That occasioned a Leonardo publication on similar questions of site and media in relation to experience: http://www.leoalmanac.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/LEAVol19No1-Rinehart.pdf

I'm really not trying to hijack this thread to bark books or anything, only to point out that these questions occupy me so much that they keep showing up in my curatorial work in pretty direct ways and these projects are my best thoughts on the topic to date. I'll await further discussion before blathering on. 

Richard Rinehart
---------------------
Director
Samek Art Museum
Bucknell University
---------------------
Lewisburg, PA, 17837
570-577-3213
http://museum.blogs.bucknell.edu







On Jan 18, 2015, at 7:02 PM, NEW-MEDIA-CURATING automatic digest system wrote:

> There is 1 message totaling 115 lines in this issue.
> 
> Topics of the day:
> 
>  1. January/Feb 2015 theme: Remote artworks and mediated experience
> 
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
> Date:    Sun, 18 Jan 2015 18:42:14 +0000
> From:    Alexandra Ross <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: January/Feb 2015 theme: Remote artworks and mediated experience
> 
> Dear List Members, 
> 
> Thank you Sarah for your introduction. I would like the coming month to unpick some themes that arose from an artwork I had the pleasure of working closely with during my time as Curatorial Fellow at ATLAS Arts entitled ‘Are you LOCATIONALIZED’ by Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan. 
> 
> ‘Are you LOCATIONALIZED’ had several constituent parts and took place across the two Hebridean islands of Skye and North Uist. Complementary to, but not part of ‘Are you LOCATIONALIZED’, ATLAS Arts organised an event called ‘Travelling Dialogues’ which reflected on Tatham and O’Sullivan’s work and the broader context of the artwork by gathering together a group of specialists who could add some information to aspects of ‘Are you LOCATIONALIZED’. http://atlasarts.org.uk/events/travelling-dialogues/ This event took place across the two islands and used the in-between spaces to hold presentations, performances and conversations. I have invited some people who contributed to both ‘Are you LOCATIONALIZED’ and Travelling Dialogues to join this conversation, but also welcome new voices and perspectives.
> 
> ‘Are you LOCATIONALIZED’ featured the visually arresting cladding of an Apothecary’s Tower whose original function was to signal to passing ships that medicine was available. There is some debate as to the veracity of this attribution of use. However, this discussion moved aside for a moment, this tower was on the site of the last hanging on the Isle of Skye.  As such, the site already contained a residue of the Foucauldian notion of the spectacular. It attracted debate and interest from local residents even before its official launch. Social media was mobilised to gather voices and became a site for polarisation of option to be made visible; some fervently in favour of how the site of the artwork had been regenerated and revitalised and others calling to question its arrival into the town. The audience, or more accurately audiences of ‘Are you LOCATIONALIZED’ comprised happenchance encounters, art pilgrimage, and invitation to the islands. Some of our twitter activity can be traced using: #areyoulocationalized and by looking at our @skyeatlas account. 
> 
> As Curatorial Fellow at ATLAS Arts, I arrived just around the time the artwork was due to launch and was new to the town of Portree, Isle of Skye and to island life. I quickly became aware that there were some terms that are often used to describe artworks or institutions operating outside of certain cities as ‘remote’ and this terminology can misrepresent the constituency of those working in those locations and thus their work. Therefore, I would ask us to be vigilant when using words such as ‘remote’, ‘rural’ and ‘local’. Remote from what? Is there a sliding scale of rural to urban? Local: the connectivity of people, institutions, and places allows for multiple meanings and accommodates for multi-nodal localisation. 
> 
> To reiterate, there are some key themes resulting from ‘Are you LOCATIONALIZED’ that I would be keen to discuss amongst us in order to address how artworks located ‘remotely’ can be experienced, mediated and archived through social media and gain life in the digital realm.
> 1 - How can the mediated experience of work significantly activated by audience(s) be relayed to other audiences through social media? 
> 2 - How do curators, artists and audiences re-present perspectives on local, rural, and dispersed artworks in absence of first-hand experience?  
> 3 - What are the best practices for ‘curating’ a social media presence with artworks that have multiple lives and audiences?  
> 
> Certain artworks I have experienced in the past have evoked a particular response. A response that I propose the retelling of through words or images falls short when compared to first-hand experience. There are a couple of artworks from which I would like to draw example. The visceral nature Teresa Margoles’ contribution for Manifesta 7 (http://www.manifesta7.it/artists/386) exemplifies art that literally adheres to the skin of the viewer. Also, installations such as Richard Wilson’s 20:50’s disorientating and smothering work should also be experienced first-hand for potency. However, such a response is embedded in the intention of each artwork. 
> 
> By contrast, there are also artworks that I have not had the opportunity experience in person and it is the space afforded by new and social media that has brought them to my attention or allowed my to follow by distance. It has the power to unlock imagination, reveal activity in different time zones, and attempt to capture the un-capturable of ephemeral or conceptual intervention.  An artwork I feel closely connected to, yet was unable to attend in person was Hannah Tuulikki’s ‘Away with the Birds’ (http://awaywith-thebirds.tumblr.com/). The steady stream of stories, textual accounts, Facebook and Twitter activity, was so evocative that I almost feel that I have experienced it first-hand. This telling and retelling of artworks and art practices runs at the heart of this conversation thread. 
> 
> Therefore, supplementary to the questions set out above, there are other aspects which may emerge as interesting lines of enquiry such as the constructive and facilitating or destructive and interrupting nature of social media.
> 
> In short, social media and the online space have opened up the possibility of being in many places simultaneously, to revisit and recollect. But what detrimental effect has this had on memory and live experience? These are preliminary provocations rather than opinion for now. Hopefully though this collaborative conversation forum, we can gather experience, examples and opinions around remotely situated artworks and the role social media does and could play in this realm of art-making and sharing. 
> 
> I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this. 
> 
> Alexandra
> 
> ------------------------------
> 
> End of NEW-MEDIA-CURATING Digest - 16 Jan 2015 to 18 Jan 2015 (#2015-9)
> ***********************************************************************

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