FIRST WORKSHOP WITH DIANA ALI

The

SECOND WORKSHOP WITH DIANA ALI

WORKSHOP WITH HELEN WARBURTON: Saturday

This workshop was mainly around the online exhibition space as well as online marketing on social media platforms such as Instagram. I felt my focus during this session moved to the virtual space as both experimental and experiential from the point of learning, but also made me think of my own embodied feeling within such a space. Ideas of scrolling, clicking

or navigating a space came to the front – which do I prefer, which would a viewer prefer. I do like the idea of being able to zoom in and out into work, having different views of the space in which a work is presented. Hardware configuration has to be considered, sound or a multi-sonic experience can be entertained in this space. Using text linked to work in a bigger size that links the work to the text seems a good option to have. I realized that some human interactions can be part of the exhibition, by using video call/talk.

We need to consider what platform to use- who will do the research on what we need for this? Currently, two members are exploring the Kunstmatrix option. It was shared on the Facebook group as well as the Group Padlet and members can do their own research. It becomes clear more roles are needed – here is work to be done: architect, curator, designer, archiving, marketing, collaborative communicators, printer, photographer, videographer…… It becomes clear that there is great technology to be utilized, but this takes time, work, and effort as it needs to be accessible and flexible to our different needs and level of skill/experience.

I do like the idea that in a sense we are busy with a type of residency and already sharing and working on platforms that are digital, everything started in this space – using the chat or rooms function on Zoom, sharing work on the Padlet, Facebook, WhatsApp, or Google drive, as well as having more options to use the Whiteboard and shared screen during the workshop or online meetings. Traces of all these interactions have been left on the different digital platforms. I see our group as a small art ecosystem that developed out of a need for support and sharing a making process in a learning environment. We are acting on a need to share and live in an environment that is safe and generous.

I came upon the following article by Wade Wallerstein viewed online at: https://anti-materia.org/circumventing-the-white-cube ( Accessed on 25 February 2022) This is great information around digital curation of art.

“In his influential essay “Dispersion,” Seth Price poses the questions that represent the dilemma that I experienced firsthand:

“The problem arises when the constellation of critique, publicity, and discussion around the work is at least as charged as a primary experience of the work. Does one have an obligation to view the work first-hand? What happens when a more intimate, thoughtful, and enduring understanding comes from mediated representations of an exhibition, rather than from a direct experience of the work? Is it incumbent upon the consumer to bear witness, or can one’s art experience derive from magazines, the Internet, books, and conversation? (2002/2016). “

These are crucial questions which can be applied to all experiences of art today. What role do the devices and contexts of display have in the meaning of art? Do institutions still have a role in a world in which the direct delivery of digital art via the internet can bring a viewer closer to art objects than ever before? In order to get to the bottom of these issues, I decided to work with the community of people who were attempting to present new contexts that do justice to the specific materialities of digitally-enabled works cropping up in the art world. This study centres around research conducted with 28 different curators and digital practitioners of varying ages, races and genders who have created online platforms for the display and distribution of digital arts-based projects. Some of the curators work solely digitally, while others view physical-world curation as the primary focus of their curatorial practices.

Each participant was interviewed, and given the chance to provide their thoughts and ideas about different questions related to the state of digital visual culture today.  

Additionally, I spent time immersing myself within the digital environments that they have created to showcase innovative and cutting-edge digital art. Through this work within the digital art community, I hope to present an understanding of what digital curation means, how the specific material contexts of digital presentation affect digital art phenomenology and what this means for the state of visual culture and the art world.

The Oxford English Dictionary presents two definitions of curate. The first is “select, organize, and look after the items in (a collection or exhibition).” This is the definition closer to the anthropological or museological definition of the term in which curators preserve, display, and care for artefacts. The second is “select, organize, and present (online content, merchandise, information, etc.), typically using professional or expert knowledge.” This is the definition used in popular culture to refer to any kind of digital task that involves selection. Taking these definitions together will serve as a sounding board for the examination of what contemporary digital curation practices look like today.

There are a few main threads that guide this investigation. First, I explore the materiality of digital art. Each of the curators works in a material context unique to the present technological paradigm. Their practices are controlled by the affordances of the digital material, be it by the code by which the software that runs their exhibitions functions or the hardware that displays their work to the viewer. One of these specific affordances is the digital’s capacity for easy and nearly limitless transmission, and the second section of this text explores the effects of mass circulation—a phenomenon uniquely linked to contemporary visual culture. I examine the ways in which remediation of digital and physical artworks affects the aura of a work of art and how curators deal with these issues. Digital curation is of anthropological importance not only because the nature of art objects and artefacts is changing, but also due to the new modes of display pioneered by digital curators are reshaping visual culture. In the concluding section, I hope to demonstrate how digital materiality and circulationism restructure the relationship between curator, artist and traditional institutions.”

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