Synthesis

When I first looked into this classes description, I was a little skeptical. I had two main reasons for taking this class: it counted towards my DTC major, and it fit within my schedule. At first I thought it would just be another art history class with some basic information on how to create an exhibit. Little did I know…

“In the end, this is what our visitors most want from us: to have access to works of art in order to change them, alter their experience of the world, to sharpen and heighten their sensibilities to it, to make it come alive anew for them, so they can walk away at a different angle to the world.” (What is the Public?, 34)

This quote is from Ten Fundamental Questions of Curating and I believe that this quote really shapes the entire class for me, especially when working on Game Changers. Game Changers was an interesting experience for me considering the only video games I had played prior to the exhibit were on a mobile interface, and I had never had a “behind the scenes” of an exhibit. I was only on the audience side and working on this exhibition really shined a new light on how I appreciate an exhibition. When we had students come in and see the exhibit, I could see in some of their eyes, the disbelief some of them carried while experiencing the video games. Once the docents explained how the games showcased in the exhibit were innovating, I could see the public grasping the concept.

“Things are very often not so linear, and right now schools are becoming so target-oriented: immediately someone goes into architecture to become an architect. That’s why I believe in the type of school where the unpredictability of non-linearity is allowed to happen.” – Hans Ulrich Obrist (Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Curating * But Were Afraid to Ask, A Mad Dinner in Reagan’s War Room p. 76)

I enjoyed the format of Hans Obrist’s book much more than first book. With the interview format, you can learn a lot through what words are bolded and/or crossed out. With the interviews themselves being the chapters, it almost gave a whole new story with each chapter. I felt everything correlated within the book, but each chapter was unique enough in that I learned something every chapter.

I chose to be a DTC major because I did not know what I wanted to be when I grow up, and I still don’t to this day. I have an idea of what I like to do, and what I think would be cool to make a living out of. Would I want to do it all the time? That’s the question. By becoming a DTC major and specifically in taking this class, I had the thought of: Oh they’re going to teach graphic design, video editing and here’s a… Museum class? I learned so much information in regards to what curating actually is and how to apply it in showcasing items in my future and I feel bad for what I thought about this class before I took it.

In the ELO conference, my partner Ellen and I picked Jody Zellen as our artist to converse with. She created the app “News Wheel,” which gives you a new current/live news headline as you spin the wheel on the interface. While interviewing Jody, I learned that she went back to school to learn how to code, but the courses were much to straightforward for her (her example was: was meant for a computer science major), and decided she would collaborate with coders instead. This was an example of linearity. A straight shot from one major to learn one skill in one certain way.

“A curator is the key person for information transmission through objects.” – Yona Friedman (Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Curating * But Were Afraid to Ask, Afterword, pg. 205)

I have learned that if you want to bring out a certain feeling in yourself and show it to an audience, you should do so through curating. What an individual curates can show a lot about them.

 

Sources:

Hoffmann, Jens. “What Is the Public?” Ten Fundamental Questions of Curating. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 34. Print.

Obrist, Hans Ulrich., and April Elizabeth. Lamm. Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Curating but Were Afraid to Ask. Berlin: Sternberg, 2011. Print.

Responses 5

Keely

The way you interpreted the quote, “..which is the world of art, there is a very strong emphasis on memory but not in a static way,” was very interesting. You talk about how it reminds you of an old work by yourself or others and the memory associated with it. I had never thought of it that way, and it reminds me of when I listen to a song I haven’t heard in a while and the memories come flooding in of what was happening in that time of my life. I view music as art, as do many others, but I hadn’t combined it with the readings yet.

Amy

Would it be interesting if someone considered “everything” to be a conversation? Could that even be possible? You talk about how the Electronic Literature and Its Emerging Art Forms exhibit contains many pieces of art that contain conversations. Can a sport contain a conversation? Or does it have to be in a piece of artwork to contain a conversation? Can you archive this conversation or is it lost in time? Your example of “Ad Verbum” explains these concepts well. I believe that conversations are contained easier within digital interactive works than a painting or still piece of art.

Inventory 5

The Electronic Literature & Its Emerging Forms exhibition was about rare and relevant pieces to showcase in the Library of Congress. If you were to describe this exhibit in one word, I think a lot of people would think of the word, “Complex.” I believe people would choose the word “complex” because an exhibition in and out of itself involves a complex process, and throughout the exhibit is complex in keeping things up and running. Obrist says, “Here the issue is recollection as a dynamic toolbox, a contact zone between past, present, and future. In this sense the museum is, of course, a very complex matter (1).” He is of course talking about the museum as a whole, but I think that you could even call just one part of a museum complex.

The Electronic Literature & Its Emerging Forms website is used as a tool to stop forgetting. An archival of something that happened. In the chapter, I Was Born in the Studio of Fischli/Weiss Obrist says, “I think we should have a movement against forgetting (2).” He of course is referencing his interviews, but the Electronic Literature & Its Emerging Forms website is also a step in the movement of not forgetting. I think that’s one of the main points of archiving data, art, literature ect. The process is to keep a record of something that may be forgotten or lost. The Electronic Literature & Its Emerging Forms website is key in remembering what went on in the exhibition, and keeping a record of it online is the best way to do that in this day and age. Speaking of lost, Obrist also says, “There’s a whole literature missing on the topic of exhibitions. I think it is astonishing that we have curatorial schools, but we have no literature on the history of exhibition curating (3).” I think it’s kinda fun and ironic that he says that while we read it on a curating book.

(1) Obrist, Hans Ulrich., and April Elizabeth. Lamm. “Something Is Missing.” Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Curating but Were Afraid to Ask. Berlin: Sternberg, 2011. N. pag. Print.

(2) (3) Obrist, Hans Ulrich., and April Elizabeth. Lamm. “I Was Born in the Studio of Fischli/Weiss.” Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Curating but Were Afraid to Ask. Berlin: Sternberg, 2011. N. pag. Print.

 

Responses 4

Madeline,

I thought it was interesting that you wrote about the geographical aspect of New Texts. I hadn’t even thought about it when writing my inventory. Now that I actually sit down and think about it, it’s a great point to bring up. I agree with Obrist that diversity within the exhibition is mandatory. It reminds me of Game Changers in the different platforms and different genres we had. I also like how you included: “art continues to be, for the large part, a story of objects” (Obrist). I agree full-heartedly with this statement.

Serena,

I really like how you tied the piece Whispering Galleries to the “working conversations” that we talked about in class. It truly brings out the aspect of going to a museum and not moving but still enjoying the piece. A word that comes to mind is: Immersive. You are immersed in the artwork or piece around you and thoroughly enjoying or reflecting on it without moving or talking to anyone. Art is sometimes a very strange thing.

 

 

Inventory 4 (late)

The New Text exhibit is “An Exhibit about the Literary and Artistic Explorations into
What It Means to Read, Write, and Create (1).” This exhibit showcases what it means to create and explore within the literary and art worlds. The website itself is very open and yet closed at the same time. When exploring the interface, you find yourself clicking the artists names throughout a list, and you see a glimpse of each one as they scroll down at a face pace to get to the next artist you have clicked. You can only explore one at a time to deeply examine it, but you’re actually getting an overview of the whole exhibition. You receive a brief overview of what the piece of art is, and you can click on a link to transport you to a video in some cases.

In Before and After Obrist talks about conversations, and how his interviews attempt to catch the rhythm of the conversation. I think it is very difficult to “catch a conversation” with just text on a screen. On the piece Prey by Tiffany Sanchez & Jinsil Hwaryoung Seo, they provided a video that shows the process of how the piece was made and it’s significance. By including this video, they invoked a rhythm with the piece on the archival site so that one could go back and enjoy, research, or just stumble upon the piece.

I think this website proves Obrist’s statement, “The Internet continues to play only a very small part in the art world (2).” wrong! The New Text archival website provides the user with background of the piece, a picture or some sort of visual of the piece, and most importantly a documentation of the artwork. I believe that the internet plays a huge part in the art world now, given that this book was published a few years ago and times have changed.

Sources:
  1. New Text.” New Text. Creative Media and Digital Culture Program, n.d. Web. 4 April. 2016. < http://dtc-wsuv.org/elit/new-text/>.
  2.  Obrist, Hans Ulrich. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Curating But Were Afraid to Ask. Sternberg Press, 2011. Print.

Responses 3

Madeline:

I definitely agree that Stephanie’s digital works demonstrated a synchronous communication in space. You are interacting within the digital entity as well as the text. I believe that the key point in synchronous communication is the time and how the being replies. How long is the pause? Were there gestures before the response was made? I also think that Stephanie’s digital works are reflexive. You interact with the piece, and you get a response in return, enticing innovation through digital media.

Collin:

I thought it was interesting that you brought up how if the medium disappears, the art disappears or becomes obsolete with it. In reality, that’s true with anything. Take away the medium, and everything that’s associated or requires it to function just ceases to exist. You’re right in saying that this leads to the future of curation and directly to archives and preserving the past. The quote you used at the end of your inventory fits perfectly in what we have just learned this past week.

“IN THE FUTURE PERHAPS THERE WILL BE NO PAST -Daniel Birnbaum” (Obrist, 24).

 

Inventory #3

TransPoetica

TransPoetica was a gallery exhibition that was entirely dedicated to the printed and digital works by author and poet, Stephanie Strickland. Stephanie’s poetry surpasses the preconceived notion most people have about poetry with her words flowing from printed mediums to digital media until digital code and poetry become one and the same (1).

TransPoetica relates to the chapter “Before and After,” with Enrique Walker in how the works of Stephanie Strickland are transcriptions of thoughts in her head, that not only get transcribed to print, but also to digital media and thus can be represented in different ways. Obrist talks about how Joseph Grigely makes a distinction between a conversation and an exchange. A conversation involves synchronous communication in space, in other words interaction between entities. An exchange lacks the presence of speech (2). While there is no sound with Stephanie’s works, you are interacting with the digital media with moving your cursor, or clicking around the work to see what happens. I would consider Stephanie’s works more of a conversation, rather than an exchange even though there is no verbal communication happening.

In the chapter “The Future is a Dog,” with Markus Miessen, Obrist is asked “What is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about the future?”. Obrist explains that he is not a future-teller and that his laptop holds many futures from various types of people (3). TransPoetica is futuristic in the way it takes poetry, and transforms it into digital media. “THE FUTURE IS REFLEXIVE AND COMING TOGETHER,” is a quote from Olafur Eliasson that I believe reflects upon TransPoetica very well. With Stephanie’s digital works, you are interacting with something reflexive. You click on the work to gain more content, and you keep clicking because it is a reflex to gain more content to finish reading/interacting with the poem (4). The poem comes together as you make your way through the digital media.

Sources:

(1) ”TransPoeticaWorks by Stephanie Strickland.” TransPoetica: A Stephanie Strickland Retrospective:. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2016. http://www.dtc-wsuv.org/transpoetica/index.html

(2) Obrist, Hans Ulrich., and April Elizabeth. Lamm. “Before and After.” Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Curating but Were Afraid to Ask. Berlin: Sternberg, 2011. 16-17. Print.

(3)  Obrist, Hans Ulrich., and April Elizabeth. Lamm. “The Future is a Dog.” Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Curating but Were Afraid to Ask. Berlin: Sternberg, 2011. 23. Print.

(4) Obrist, Hans Ulrich., and April Elizabeth. Lamm. “The Future is a Dog.” Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Curating but Were Afraid to Ask. Berlin: Sternberg, 2011. 24-25. Print.

Responses 2

Eli

I agree with you when you ask the question about finding the balance between the two components, historical significance and the piece of work that someone might find more pleasure from. It’s a very small tight rope to balance on, that a curator must do with each exhibition they put on. Anthropoetry was unique, in that it’s history could simply be the walk through life that the exhibit showcased through its artwork. Starting as a child and going through the events of life until you reach old age and or death.

Cindy
I also wrote about how Anthropoetry fit in with the chapter “What is Art?” Art is certainly a subjective issue, and I don’t believe that is going to change in the near future, if ever. “Art is the world talking back. But not everyone is ready to listen.” Poetry by itself is viewed as art by some people, but reinforcing what the piece is conveying is part of what Anthropoetry was about. Conveying the image/idea of someone going through a lifetime was a key point in Anthropoetry. If I had gone through Anthropoetry, I would have felt immersed in art and somebody’s lifetime. That is what Art can do.

Inventory #2

The six chapters that I will be discussing in relation and reflection to the archival  Anthropoetry website are:

  • What Is the Public?
  • What Is Art?
  • What Is an Exhibition?
  • What About Collecting?
  • How About Pleasure?
  • What About Responsibility?

What Is the Public?

Who is it that Anthropoetry is looking for? People who wish to explore poetry and life in a new and interactive way. The archival site emphasizes that the audience goes through life itself through the literature in a digital and innovative way. The public that would be seen as taking part in this exhibition are people of all ages, people who enjoy visuals with written works of art, and anybody wanting to see how others go through life through art.

“The exploration of a lifetime of experiences, feelings, and thought processes all given voice in electronic art forms.” (1)

What Is Art?

“Art is the world talking back. But not everyone is ready to listen.” (2)

Poetry and how it is visually represented in the gallery is the art in the Anthropoetry archival site. It is definitely representing the “world talking back” as you travel through the course of life through the exhibit. Is everyone patient enough to go through “Separation“? To read at such a slow pace to read the poem?

What Is an Exhibition?

“-is in most basic terms, an organized presentation of a selection of items to a public.” (3)

A “presentation” can be almost anything. The chapter says it can be physical, virtual, real or projected. The Anthropoetry exhibit showcased art using digital means such as: hypertext, kinetic poetry, digital visual poetry, interactive poetry, code poetry, and experimental video poetry (4).

What About Collecting?

You can’t curate without collecting. The Anthropoetry exhibits a curation of a collection of poetry that is presented in a visual and/or interactive way. On the about page, there is a phrase that describes the exhibit and what types of works that have been curated:

“Some of the standard conventions combine with coded and programmed environments and actions to create a broader range of poetic expression. Digital art, digital poetry, bridges diverse media: text, image, audio, and interactivity.” (5)

How About Pleasure?

This chapter focused on how pleasure was very tough to convey successfully within an exhibit. By successfully, I mean that the exhibit needed to please the audience. The most common objection to be seen at the exhibitions is to seek to engage with the fun facts of life, which Anthropoetry certainly does. But as the book says, art is an institution of critique, and that gets in the way of enjoying the exhibit for pure pleasure. The act of enjoyment is obstructed by critique.

What About Responsibility?

The Anthropoetry exhibition showcases responsibility by providing where the piece was from (a published magazine article for example) or providing the creative commons license in which as long as there was no profit made, no distribution occurred and the proper attributions to the original author were made, the curator was giving the proper responsibility to the exhibit and works of art.

 

Sources:

1, 4, 5: http://www.dtc-wsuv.org/anthropoetry/about.html

2: Ten Fundamental Questions of Curating page 44

3: Ten Fundamental Questions of Curating page 74