The ABC’s of Cultural Curating

Vince Dziekan, Monash University, Australia

Published paper: The ABC’s of cultural curating

The digital era has seen the modus operandi of the museum shift inexorably towards increasingly integrative modes of interaction with its audiences. The New Media Consortia’s New Horizon 2015 report identifies participation as one of the key drivers of technology adoption in museums in the immediate future. For their part, new media artworks reconfigure the spatio-temporal dimensions of cultural experience in distinctive ways. They may also extend the range of transactions that exist between the institution and its publics; in some cases, the character of these transactions is representative of the perceived social value that open access imparts within digital culture. Such socio-cultural developments are indicative of a postdigital paradigm shift that has distinctive implications for art museums. This paper seeks to explore how the currencies that digital culture exemplifies translates in important, transformative ways upon the perceived roles, practices, and values associated with curating.

After setting out some initial problematics concerning the broadened scope of curatorial practices under contemporary postdigital conditions, the remainder of the paper will be structured as a set of discrete entries designed to offer a series of notes of a provisional nature that relate –in direct, illustrative and more overtly intertextual and theoretical ways– to the subject of cultural curating. This formative lexicon will deliberate over the mediating function of curation as the interface between the institution and various inter-actors or agents. While conceding to the speculative nature of these formative ideas, their intent and larger ambition is to initiate further research into how forms of curatorial programming influenced by the qualities of new media art and digital culture activate interactive, discursive spaces between the museum and its constituencies.

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