<videovortex> [Fwd: What Direction for Media Art Curation?]

Annet Dekker annet at montevideo.nl
Wed Aug 29 16:39:59 CEST 2007

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	What Direction for Media Art Curation?
Date: 	Wed, 29 Aug 2007 15:04:55 +0100
From: 	Emma Quinn <emmaq at ICA.ORG.UK>
Reply-To: 	Emma Quinn <emmaq at ICA.ORG.UK>

Hello all,
I realise that this may have been covered by past posts, so please bear
with me.
I'm writing an article about the current state of Media Arts Curation
and was wondering what you think are the current key issues that Media
Art Curators have to contend with and what will be the prevailing trends
in the coming years.
Predicting the direction technology will move in, is not easy, what
seems important today is usually superseded by something we might not
have considered yet.
At the moment the obvious trend in technology based creativity (in terms
of delivery and style)  is towards home-made content - YouTube, Flickr,
MySpace etc. The empowering nature of ubiquitous technology means that
anyone who wants to can create something for public consumption and show
it on it's own specialised 'gallery' space on the web. This DIY
aesthetic can be witnessed across associated digital-based arts -
particularly music (myspace and itunes), photography and film - and
enables artists to connect directly and instantly with their audience.
This is less likely to happen or with as much success with say, oil
painting and the other traditional 'exhibition' arts.
What does this mean for curators of media arts? And how does it affect
our relationship with the other arts?
I can't compete with YouTube -nor would I want to.
In my experience the pressure on the media art curator is increasing -
to come up with interesting work, as potentially 'popular' as that on
YouTube or MySpace - by and for people who don't necessarily understand
the term 'Media Art'- and then to 'create' an effective virtual or real
space to present it. If someone can quickly and effectively create a
film or animation and post it to YouTube, why do artists need so much
more time, (and money!?) to create something that is potentially going
to get a fraction of the hits the more popular web sites would receive? 
In fact we come full circle to a debate on just what is art today? If we
look at say music - there is no differentiation between music made
purely digitally (and perhaps in a home studio), and that made more
conventionally. Photography has gone 'digital' without creating a whole
new genre. Why do we insist on keeping the label 'Media' (the
clarification was of course useful at the beginning when we were
mastering the new mediums) to distinguish it from the more traditional
arts? Is it not now more appropriate to take ownership of the general
term "Art"? We are working with the artists of today, the artists using
the common tools of today, the artists that are most likely to connect
with the society of today.
So - on a general level should art galleries and institutions still be
dominated by the white cube gallery spaces and the fixed exhibition
strategy, with Media Arts acting as the poor relation, sidelined to
secondary public spaces? Is web-based curation the only way forward for
(media) arts? Should we be helping artists deliver their work across a
range of digital platforms - viral, TV, gaming platforms etc? Or are
live events and installation work the priority - using the conventional
gallery spaces in unconventional ways?
Or am I very wrong? Should we be trying to compete with other web-based
repositories, as THE space for media artists, as opposed to bedroom
based film makers?
Should it be a mix of the two?
Perhaps you think that I'm missing something blindingly obvious here.
All comments and opinions welcome!
best wishes

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