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NEW-MEDIA-CURATING  April 2017

NEW-MEDIA-CURATING April 2017

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Subject:

Re: CRUMB discussion – April - on Internet art and platform building

From:

marc garrett <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

marc garrett <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 14:27:43 +0100

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*Hi all,Thank you Alejandro for inviting me to take part in the discussion
on this list.On the subject of ‘curating as platform building’, like Steve
Dietz I identify myself as a ‘serial platform builder’. The 2013 paper
‘PLATFORM POLITICS’, on Culture Machine, edited by Joss Hands, Greg Elmer
and Ganaele Langlois - http://bit.ly/2oUYoff <http://bit.ly/2oUYoff> still
chimes best with my own understanding of what platforming is. They say
"Platforms can be characterized as resting on already existing networked
communication systems, but also as developing discrete spaces and
affordances..." They also say, "the nature and distinctive aspects" of the
platform, "is more than just a neutral space of communication" and is a
"complex technology with distinct affordances that have powerful political,
economic and social interests at stake. In this respect the platform is
regarded as a zone of contestation between different configurations of
capital, social movements, new kinds of activist networks, and open source
and proprietary software design. Platforms also constitute spaces of
struggle between mass movements and governments, users and the extractors
of value, visibility and invisibility." And, “The platform, then, does not
just represent a question of software and control. It also connects to
wider social struggles: a ‘political platform’ can frame political
discourse more generally.” Whatever political orientation, platforming is a
political action, and it is not a neutral thing. So this needs to be taken
into consideration when thinking about curating as platforming. Some may
disagree here, but most common current approaches to curation as
platforming is to repeatedly present historical art canons to the world in
ways that support and reinforce those ideas and artists that have already
been valorised by the establishment. This unfortunately by default becomes
more about building on top of established hierarchies.Actually, I think one
of the best platformed exhibitions by an institution in recent times, was
at the V&A, which was the brilliantly conceived exhibition ‘Disobedient
Objects’, it was about art and design produced by grassroots social
movements, much of the work was “loaned from activist groups from all over
the world, bringing together for the first time many objects rarely before
seen in a museum.” http://bit.ly/2oTN6Wt <http://bit.ly/2oTN6Wt> The
ingenuity of the framing for the  exhibition and catalogue was audacious,
especially if we consider how backward and conservative the UK is at the
moment has been since the 2007-8 crash. The curation to into account the
histories of both individual activists and the groups, communities and
contexts in which they worked. Different histories, and voices were
respectfully built into the framework of the project. In this way it it
avoided a colonisation effect  but instead retained its revolutionary
spirit. The content and context was allowed to breath on its own terms. To
pull it off in a big institution such as the V&A, I think was visionary.
Also, I think Occupy as a movement was brilliantly platformed and well
curated. Activists collectively built contexts that included modes of:
production, curation, activism, generosity, and grounded, grassroot values,
in-tune with collaboration, technical tools, with sharp institutional
critique, all as a contemporary form of innovative and political, avant
garde. They possess the necessary ingredients in which to build platforms
of cultural value, based on emancipation, and on infrastructural and
context hacking. Occupy has demonstrated how people collectively, and
directly challenge the conditions and structures affecting their social
contexts. What connects the Occupy movement with the intentions and spirit
of Furtherfield, is their shared interest with scholars in the humanities
and social sciences, entwined with values that include an unswerving
dedication towards DIY, and grassroots culture, alongside a critique
against establishments dominating our cultural narratives. Like
Furtherfield, Occupy explores its critical values, ideas and actions, with
others independently of their institutional status.This breaks down class
divide and other separatist functions. Like Occupy Furtherfield also
generates and constructs “experimental spaces through the combination of
material practices and symbolic forms with egalitarian rules of
communication and the barter of commodities as well as the production of
representations.” (Abend and Annika 2015) http://bit.ly/2pGXgMT
<http://bit.ly/2pGXgMT> A project worth highlighting which has been growing
the last few years, which asks similar questions, is Cornelia Sollfrank’s
‘Giving What you Don’t Have’ (GWYDH). The research project is a series of
video interviews that has invited: artists, techies, hacktivists, curators
and academics, to talk about their own experiences, inspirations and
intentions; on the subject of new forms of collaborative production, where
it involves a “shift from artefacts to the provision of open tools and
infrastructures, the development of formats for self-organisation in
education and knowledge transfer, (the potential and the limits of) open
content licensing as well as the creation of independent ways of
distributing cultural goods. An implicit part of Giving What You Don't Have
is a suggested reconceptualization of art under networked conditions.”
Giving What You Don’t Have. Cornelia Sollfrank, Joss Hands & Rachel Baker.
Furtherfield Oct 2013. - http://bit.ly/2os4Eat
<http://bit.ly/2os4Eat>Having a say on the concepts, motives, making and
production of the tools we use is a way of having control over our own
societal relations, and the knowledge obtained through this helps us to
build and reflect on real life conditions, and circumstances. With this in
mind, through the years we haves co-built with our ever changing community,
different tools and online platforms. All of them feature their own
specific, and artistically led and community orientated needs. Discourse
about art, technology, and society, has always been facilitated in the
midst of an active, local and international, neighbourhood of artists and
thinkers, through accessible, Internet based networking systems and
platforms. In return, this has helped to build and support a well
connected, network of creative types, who wish to extend their ideas
further than within officially condoned established zones. This does not
mean that all the individuals and groups involved are all separate from
more established institutions. But, it does mean there is room for those
who are not part of an institution, or particular field of practice. Thus,
this feeds a practical, spirited need, for a socially grounded place, a
mixed community and or group, to work with, for sharing production and
exploration where engaging ideas can emerge through the experience of:
critique, collaboration, code, software, networks, activism, ARTware,
curating, art production and art making.Whether it’s web platforms,
exhibition spaces, or any other environment, we all bring along our own
(and or collective) ambitions and identities into the mix. Our ongoing
dedication to building independent and DIY, art platforms, shows how the
spirit and ideas of punk has played a key role in influencing and shaping
Furtherfield’s identity; through its earlier phases and up till now. This
can be seen going back to early days of pirate radio broadcasting from
numerous lofts in Bristol, co-running BBS systems, making street art, net
art, other projects in the streets, running a warehouse space as a lab and
art gallery, various online platforms, to its current incarnations of two
spaces in the park, of Finsbury park, London. These all were and are,
grassroot and DIY based platforms, and currently we are directly engaged in
platforming the park, and we are becoming more inclusive than ever before,
whilst asking necessary and important questions about the world we all live
in.*


*Wishing you well.*
Marc


On 5 April 2017 at 16:23, Alejandro Ball (PG Research) <
[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Dear List,
>
>
> This month’s CRUMB discussion will explore the topic of ‘curating as
> platform building’ for the display of Internet art, reminiscent of how
> curator Steve Dietz has always described himself as a ‘serial platform
> builder’.
>
>
>
> In the past, both gallery exhibitions, such as Electronic Superhighway
> (Whitechapel 2016), and distributed or non-localised online projects, such
> as Tate’s net art commissions, have exhibited the friction that exists
> between the spatial dimensions of online and offline presence. Writers such
> as Geert Lovink and Jonathan Crary point to how this friction is also felt
> in the consumption of social media.
>
>
>
> Through my work with PIL Project<http://pilproject.net/> platform and
> other online curatorial projects, I am now actively engaging with the
> creation of a new web platform for the display of Internet art, and
> co-curating exhibitions to gather data on how to exhibit artists whose
> practice encompasses an “unsitely aesthetic”, termed by Maria Miranda:
>
>
>
> "Instead of focusing on remix as the key to network culture […] I have
> suggested another aesthetics, unsitely, which though by no means a dominant
> aesthetics, is nonetheless fostered by the conditions of network culture.
> […] one of the conditions that [Kazya] Varnelis describes as significant
> for network culture is the lack of a dominant physical site, that is, the
> lack of a fixed desktop computer with its graphical user interface
> (monitor) – and its specific and fixed relation between screen and user –
> to the currently popular wireless smart devices. It is this lack of a
> single, fixed physical site that contrasts the two distinct eras for
> artists – digital and networked – and that highlights the idea of
> unsitely."(Miranda, 2013: 60)
>
>
>
> I am also researching current spatial perceptions in exhibition making
> through the engagement of a multi-sited exhibition, or a distributive
> exhibition model (Cook, 2008; Ghidini, 2015).
>
>
>
> Through this discussion, we hope to explore the changing nature of both
> the exhibition and spatial perception more generally under the theory of
> the ‘semantic web’ (Berners-Lee, Hendler, Lassila, 2001; Berners-Lee,
> 2009). How can curators engage in the production of new web-platforms for
> the exhibition of Internet art that are more versatile to artists working
> with an “unsitely aesthetic”?
>
>
>
> Other key questions this discussion aims to address
>
>
>
> What are the essential qualities an Internet platform needs to
> successfully display a multi-sited artistic practice?
>
>
>
> When engaging with social media platforms, or any other platforms (both on
> and off line), how do we maximise these components integration into the
> wider exhibition project?
>
>
>
> How can we make a non-localised event ‘feel’ more intimate for audiences,
> as if it were ‘In Real Life’ (IRL)?
>
>
>
> How can online/internet-based projects contribute to the change in spatial
> perception?
>
>
>
>
>
> Following the format of other successful discussions on CRUMB we hope to
> collaboratively explore these questions and invite you to join us in this
> discussion by posting your thoughts, personal experiences or references.
> Your participation is greatly appreciated.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> invited respondents:
>
> I am proud to introduce you to our invited respondents and I would like to
> thank them, as they already help to ensure that this discussion represents
> a rich range of voices from the field.
>
>
> Inês Costa is the Exhibitions Assistant at the Whitechapel Gallery, and an
> independent curator and photographer. Recent projects include PROTECHT
> (2015) and IT IS PROBABLY BETTER TO START FROM ZERO (2016). She is
> currently collaborating with Alejandro Ball as part of the agorama.org.uk<
> https://agorama.org.uk/> project.
>
>
>
> Diogo Cruz is an artist based in Munich and Lisbon. His work materializes
> analogies that interrelate disciplines, with a quite rigorous and
> elaborated process, creating symmetric and ironic objects.
>
> diogocruz.net<http://www.diogocruz.net/>
>
>
>
> Joseph Delappe is the Professor of Games and Tactical Media at Abertay
> University in Dundee, Scotland. A native San Franciscan, he has been
> working with electronic and new media since 1983, his work in online gaming
> performance, sculpture and electromechanical installation have been shown
> throughout the United States and abroad.
>
> delappe.net<http://www.delappe.net/>
>
>
>
> Steve Dietz is a serial platform creator. He is the Founder and Artistic
> Director of Northern Lights.mn, and the former Curator of New Media at the
> Walker Art Center in Minneapolis (Minnesota).
>
> northern.lights.mn<http://northern.lights.mn/>
>
>
>
> Max Dovey, Live artist working in technology, politics and governance.
> Writer & researcher at Institute of Network Cultures.
>
> maxdovey.com<http://www.maxdovey.com/>
>
>
>
> Rebecca Edwards is Curator of arebyte Gallery (London) and arebyteLASER
> (London), a project space located in arebyte's studio complex in
> Clerkenwell. She is currently running the Hotel Generation programme at
> arebyteLASER, a series of fast-paced exhibitions by young artists from
> different cities.
>
> arebyte.com<http://www.arebyte.com/home/4578362226>
>
>
>
> Steve Fletcher is the director and co-founder of Carroll/Fletcher Gallery
> (London), his work includes Carroll/Fletcher’s online platform Onscreen,
> which focuses on an online cinema showing a dynamic curated programme of
> artists’ and experimental film.
>
> carrollfletcheronscreen.com<http://carrollfletcheronscreen.com/>
>
>
>
> Marc Garrett is Co-Founder & Co-Director of Furtherfield. As well he is an
> artist, curator, writer, activist, educator and musician. Marc is currently
> studying his PhD at Birkbeck University on the theme of Art, Technology and
> Social Change.
>
> Furtherfield.org<http://furtherfield.org/>
>
>
>
> Marialaura Ghidini is a contemporary art curator and researcher. She was
> founder director of the web-based curatorial platform or-bits.com<
> http://or-bits.com/> (2009-2015). Currently she is faculty and course
> leader for the Bachelor in Creative Arts in Experimental Media Arts at the
> Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore (India).
>
> exstrange.com<http://exstrange.com/>
>
>
>
> Georgia Spickett-Jones is a London-based interdisciplinary artist and
> researcher with a preference for politics and Poland.  A current
> collaborator of Alejandro Ball’s project agorama.org.uk<http://agorama.
> org.uk/>.
>
> georgiaspickettjones.eu<http://georgiaspickettjones.eu/>
>
>
>
> Nimrod Vardi is Director and Curator of arebyte Gallery (London), a New
> Media and Performance Art space in Hackney Wick. He has been working
> locally and internationally on a range of projects and events. He is a
> Sundance New Frontier Alumni and a BecomeBecome Fellow.
>
> arebyte.com<http://www.arebyte.com/home/4578362226>
>
>
>
> Stanza is an artist whose mediums include netart, paintings, videos,
> installations, software systems and public artworks. Stanza’s has an
> expansive body of work that includes the platform soundtoys.net<http://
> soundtoys.net/> and the Net Art Museum.
>
> stanza.co.uk<http://www.stanza.co.uk/index.php>
>
>
>
>
>
> References:
>
> Berners-Lee, T., Hendler, J., and Lassila, O. (2001) “The Semantic Web.”
> Inria.fr [Online] available from: https://www-sop.inria.fr/
> acacia/cours/essi2006/Scientific%20American_%20Feature%20Article_%20The%
> 20Semantic%20Web_%20May%202001.pdf [last accessed: 05/10/16].
>
>
>
> Berners-Lee, T. (2009) Tim Berners-Lee: The next web. [Online video].
> February 2009. Available from: https://www.ted.com/talks/tim_
> berners_lee_on_the_next_web?language=en#t-960021 [last accessed:
> 05/10/16].
>
>
>
> Cook, S. and Graham, B. (2010) Rethinking Curating: Art after New Media.
> London: MIT Press.
>
>
>
> Ghidini, M. (2015) Curating Web-based Art Exhibitions: Mapping Their
> Migration and Integration with Offline Formats of Production. PhD.
> University of Sunderland.
>
>
>
> Miranda, M. (2013) Unsitely Aesthetics. Berlin: Errant Bodies Press.
>
>
>
> Best regards,
>
> Alejandro D. Ball
>
>
> DJCAD PhD Student
>
> Visual Research Centre (VRC)
>
> Dundee Contemporary Arts,
>
> 152 Nethergate,
>
> Dundee DD1 4DY
>
> Tel: 07522849666
>
> Email: [log in to unmask]
>
>
> http://www.amacollective.org
>
> http://curatingthecontemporary.org
>
>
> The University of Dundee is a registered Scottish Charity, No: SC015096
>



-- 
Marc Garrett

Co-Founder, Co-Director and main editor of Furtherfield.
Art, technology and social change, since 1996
http://www.furtherfield.org

Furtherfield Gallery & Commons in the park
Finsbury Park, London N4 2NQ
http://www.furtherfield.org/gallery
Currently writing a PhD at Birkbeck University, London
https://birkbeck.academia.edu/MarcGarrett

Curating, Touring Exhibition
Monsters of the Machine:Frankenstein in the 21st Century
At Laboral, Spain until Sept 2017 http://bit.ly/2eGdpw1
Visiting other countries soon...

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