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.
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.
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.
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).
Max Dovey, Live artist working in technology, politics and governance. Writer & researcher at Institute of Network Cultures.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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/>.
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.
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.
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.
Alejandro D. Ball
DJCAD PhD Student
Visual Research Centre (VRC)
Dundee Contemporary Arts,
Dundee DD1 4DY
Email: [log in to unmask]
The University of Dundee is a registered Scottish Charity, No: SC015096