Dear Curating Process panel contributors,
May panel's deadline has just passed. Due to the extremely stressful
working schedule, many of our contributors could only follow the discussion
and contribute their ideas during the last week of May. However, the
intensity of the posts in the past few days created such an unexpected
dynamism on our panel. I enjoyed following everyone's thinking on the
topic, and your opinions on all broader issues you raised here.
I’m very grateful to all contributors who have shared their work,
knowledge, experience and research resource on the May panel generously.
What I’m reading here is way beyond my expectations as a panel host,
curator, and Ph.D. candidate. I felt overwhelmed by the information,
thoughts and analysis on the everyday post. It takes in fact much longer
time for me – the host of the panel – to digest your assignments, and
research the content you had mentioned.
In my latest email exchange with Beryl, I had the permission to postpone
the closure deadline of my panel to a random day in June. Considering that
we - including myself - all have other tasks in our work and life, I'd like
to propose to close my panel on June 5th, this Friday. With the starting
day May 5th, we will make exactly one month in our online discussion to
Today, I would like to respond to one of the most interesting discussion we
shared so far on the panel: the definition of “Object” in the blurring
field of art and technology.
To answer to Ashok’s term “residue,” Bruce Wands, as one of the most
contributive writers on our panel, made a precise point on its eventually
limited usage describing the emergent outcomes of artists’ creative process
in fine art field. “… we call them creative accidents. In fine art, the
creative process is not always linear, as it is in animation and motion
I agree with Bruce's statement, meanwhile, “residue” remains attractive to
me as a term to explore in the blurring field of fine art and computer
science. In fact, it might even become one of the favorite terms – exactly
because of its ambiguity in between the two fields - for artists working
with animation and motion graphics to explore. In Clive Robertson’s post
responding to Bruce’s comment on data/object/residue, Clive took Yoko Ono’s
work as case study to point out the specific context of museum collection
that transforms a living, evolutive and open process to a “dead” object.
Here, I’d like to mention Ursula Endlicher’s way to define the artist
creative process in her post: “Framework.” “... flexible, alive, animated
through (a) real-time input,” so was her way to define “object” in art and
technology. No matter physical or virtual, “live” is the key character that
makes the “object” contemporary - means, art-technological - “one, that
only completely exists when some sort of ‘life-line’ is hooked up to it.”
I found Ursula’s criteria for the definition of the art technological
object and her description of the definition VERY interesting, especially
for works relating to real-time data analysis.
While Hans Tammen was responding to my invitation to talk about his opinion
on sound/music process and curating, he posted a short text that covered
some key topics in the field including the definition of “object,” the
understanding of “residue,” the documentation and preservation, especially
the transfer of the listening experience. “CD or other media may be the
object and the actual listening experience the ‘residue.'”
If the above description by Hans is valuable, I have to say that I have
doubt of his feeling of discussing the process curating in the visual art
wouldn’t be much different from in music and sound. The difficulties that
we encounter in sound/music field in the file (or data) digitalization,
transfer, collection, and conservation might be identical to those in the
visual art, but we do not treat the same data in visual art as in sound
art, and we do confront very different technical issues working in the two
fields. Additional to this, Hans also raised the point that “music/sound is
ephemeral anyway,” which I agree with but have to argue that this is not
always the case for visual art works. And here, we haven’t started talking
about the presentation of visual artworks and sound/music projects, nor
involving the online sound live performance as part of the discussion.
So far, it seems that we need to track back to the beginning of our
discussion, to one of Bruce’s early posts on “object.” In that post dated
May 20, he pointed out that the problem was how we defined the object if it
was an interactive work or was a site-specific installation.
Bruce asked at the end of his post: “Would the site-specific installation
and documentation now be defined as the object?”
Bruce seems to raise my question for the panel in a different way: “How
to/Can we curate the artist’s creative process as an object?” The question
made me think about Marisa Jahn’s post on the same day, her Nanny Van
project, and the case study she mentioned in her post, Kristin Sue Lucas’
name change project. Both Marisa and Kristin Sue Lucas’ works are based on
social practice. Can we consider these projects as site-specific projects?
And, Bruce has previously stated, “Most of these works need to be
documented in order to understand the concepts behind them and how they
work,” both works have been exhibited under the form of documentary movie.
But, we have to remember that both projects were produced and managed (or
curated) by the artists themselves. Neither of them required a curator’s
intervention to work out the best strategy to exhibit or to promote.
The question then becomes: what can curator do in such a process-based
I would like to continue tomorrow, with Millie Chen, LoVid, Ursula, Marisa,
and Laura (bitforms)'s posts that responded to this topic with intriguing
Xiaoying Juliette Yuan 袁晓萦
Media Arts Curator
Visiting Scholar NYU Steinhardt
Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions
35 West 4th Street, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10012