Recap Full Spectrum Curatorship Conference
Relive all the lectures and panels of the 2-day conference on curating
This year, for the first time Full Spectrum Curatorship opened with a public conference. Over the course of two days, the coaches of the curatorial training programme presented their practices – talking about their backgrounds, projects, methodologies, curatorial values, and positioning within the art world.
Conversation with Ade Darmawan documenta 15, ruangrupa and the lumbung concept
In this opening lecture, Ade Darmawan shared about the collaborative curatorial practice of Ruangrupa and the reference to lumbung, a collective resource accumulation system in rural Indonesia as an exhibitionary framework for Documenta fifteen. The exhibition is presented as a resource of existing relationalities, and an extractive process that is spatial and experiential, sonic and performative, rather than being about the art object. Core to their approach are the tenets of sharing, sustainability, generosity, humor, and transparency.
Lecture Angelique Spaninks: Worlding Real Feelings
In this lecture, ‘Worlding Real Feelings,’ Angelique Spanininks related the power of worldbuilding to imagine new futures, emphasising the need for multiple perspectives to venture beyond dominant narratives such as in projects like ‘Worlding Worlds’. How do the potentialities of the digital translate to the worlding narratives in the actual? Sharing about another exhibition, ‘Real Feelings’ that responds to the unprecedented level of intimacy with technology and devices as a core theme in our current times, Angelique also discussed how technology represents, manipulates, and changes our emotions. As a curator, she advocates maintaining ongoing conversations at all levels with artists and audiences, discussing ideas behind the project, keeping the archive alive, and looking for new ways to present ideas behind the exhibition—especially within and beyond the digital space.
Lecture Doreen Ríos: Hybrid structures for unstable files
In this lecture, ‘Hybrid Structures for Unstable Files,’ Doreen Rios approached the spaces of the physical and digital through a hybrid model that seeks new ways to engage audiences outside the screen. Doreen is fascinated with the curation of art outside white cube environment, and touches on the concept of the ‘Phygital’ which is an amalgamation of the physical and digital. In particular, Doreen pointed to the ubiquity and potential of the smartphone as a curatorial device. She continued with questions around curatorial labour for the digital, as well as the evolved problematics of how research is understood when shared in the virtual realm. In considering approaches to the curatorial, Doreen also attends to digital creative economies, planned obsolescence, accessibility, and distribution. Context is key to any project. In this lecture Doreen drew heavily on the context of Mexico City where she is based, and proposed that more than ever, the question of what the internet is to different communities would need to be foregrounded in all digital / hybrid spaces.
PANEL Academia and Art: Navigating Theory and Practice. Speakers: Paulien Dresscher, Katerina Gregos, Wade Wallerstein, Angelique Spaninks, Doreen Ríos, Florian Wüst
Saturday closed with a panel on Academia and Art with all the coaches of the 2021 edition of FSC. Wade Wallerstein opened with the question of knowledge sharing and producing outside of institutional environments. Angelique Spaninks brought up how artists define their own academic way of research, thinking, connecting theory to practice – as a curator you can bring the worlds of art and academia together through artists/scientists collaborations. Paulien Dresscher pointed towards the gap between science and humanities, which artistic practices might be of help in bridging. The freedom of interpretation within the arts (in contrast to academia’s text-based expression) can create new forms of understanding. Building on that, Katerina Gregos pointed to the methodological differences between arts and academia – “in artistic research there is space for imagination and fiction […] that’s what makes it interesting”. Further, Florian Wüst brought up the potential and challenges of interdisciplinary projects and artistic PhD’s – together the curators dissected the differences between various institutions. Doreen Ríos asked the question how curators mediate the audience experience, and the potential of failure to find new understandings of the exhibitions, the artwork, or the audience.
Lecture Florian Wüst: In Between Films
In his lecture ‘In between films,’ independent film curator Florian Wüst gave an insight into his practice and ideas. He connects different aesthetics – from video art and feature films to commercials – and brings together historical and contemporary work. Throughout his work, he focuses on technological and social developments. In his lecture he discussed the specific (art) scene of Berlin, with challenges such as gentrification and financialization of the housing market next to free spaces and independent publishing practices. He uncovers such phenomenons in the Berlin Journals, which he co-founded. Lastly, Wüst showed the exhibition Zinex: From Abstraction to Algorithms, stressing the importance of creating non-canonical presentations, and doing original archival research.
Lecture Paulien Dresscher: The Makeable Mind
In this lecture ‘The Makeable Mind,’ Paulien Dresscher situates her curatorial practice in the crossroads of art, science, society, and the future, emphasising the importance of ongoing dialogue and exchange between the science and humanities. With a background in filmmaking and transmedia storytelling, Paulien is driven by the potential of artistic practice and art as the laboratory of the future, incorporating new interfaces, new definitions of art, and how the public and audience are in turn defined. In particular, Paulien is concerned with how stories are told.
Lecture Katerina Gregos: Let’s Talk About Love
In this lecture ‘Let’s Talk About Love,’ Katerina Gregos shares about how she seeks out alternative or marginalised narratives spanning the political, ecological, and social through lens based media such as video, film and the moving image. Describing her curatorial practice as an exploration into art, society and politics with a particular focus on democracy, human rights, economy, ecology, crisis and changing global production circuits, Katerina stressed a balance of the theoretical and curatorial, and asked participants to always reflect on what is leading their projects: the curatorial concept, the theoretical framework, or the artworks? She continues with a nuanced sharing on the biennale model and international exchanges in her large scale projects, foregrounding collaborations that provide opportunities to local/regional artists. Importantly, Katerina emphasises that curators need to look towards expanding local knowledge, building connections, encouraging sustainability, and finding ways to have these conversations continue in host cities of their projects.
Lecture Wade Wallerstein: Virtual Phenomenology: Curating the Digital
The conference ended with a lecture by the digital anthropologist, curator, and strategist Wade Wallerstein, who talked us through the theories and concepts on which he builds his curatorial practice. He stressed the importance of the native networked context of digital artworks – often on the screen experienced from home. With a reference to Marcel Duchamps’ boîte-en-valise (1935-41), Wallerstein stressed how digital curation as image selection has a long history. Trained in phenomenology, he underlines curatorial consideration for ‘the manner in which people experience and understand the world’. We understand the world by moving through it. Bringing these line of thought back to digital environments, creates the question “What does the metaverse feel like?” Following Ceci Moss’ definition of expanded internet art as artworks that reconstitute themselves through networked circulation, Wallerstein presents digital exhibitions in the form of facebook posts, instagram accounts, and screensavers.
Main image: from the presentation by Ade Darmawan: documenta 15, ruangrupa and the lumbung concept during the Full Spectrum Curatorship Conference.