Powers of online curating

Published on March 16th, 2018

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Guest presentation @ Maastricht University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences: Curatorship I / II (by Emilie Sitzia)

Guest presentation @ Maastricht University
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences: Curatorship I / II (by Emilie Sitzia)
16 March 2018

In this tutorial students learn to analyze and understand the role and work of a curator. The first part of this tutorial on curating provides an introduction into the following topics: the history of curating; interpretation and selection; curating and space (white cube, virtual space, public space); and audiences and diversity. This period will combine lectures, guest lectures from professionals, and working visits. During the working visit(s) we will be critically analyzing specific aspects of exhibitions and curatorial choices.

During the second part of the tutorial (period 4) the skills and knowledge obtained in period 3 will be put into practice. We will focus on exhibition practice and work closely together with several local cultural organizations. Each student will be paired up with an institution and conduct an assignment related to one of the themes introduced in period 3. In addition to the assignments, the students will have regular class meetings and visits to discuss their work and the issues related to the selection, interpretation and exhibiting of art and historical artefacts.



Regarding the World Wide Web as a source of information, an open space for communication as well as a site of power dynamics, in this class we will focus on the challenges of online curating. In particular, we will explore attempts to create online exhibitions with the aim to increase audience participation. Analysing several different examples will show how exhibiting is no longer solely connected to the authority of institutions, but that there is a shift to audience members, users or participants that are actively involved. However, the question is to what extent power is differently distributed and in what ways the roles are changing.

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