What are the new challenges in contemporary art today? How do we make sure that art responds to the pressing changes brought about by developments in technology and politics? In other words: how do we keep art idiosyncratic, contemporary and radical? To answer these questions, join us on Saturday 19 February for the conference Contemporary Curating: Radical, Digital, Diverse. During this online event we speak with internationally acclaimed curators, including a keynote by the director of Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea in Turin Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, and two panels with co-founder of the Athens Biennale Poka-Yio, director of the Niet Normaal INT Foundation Ine Gevers, artist Renzo Martens, director of [ANTI]MATERIA Doreen A. Ríos, digital anthropologist, strategist and curator Wade Wallerstein and curator and professor of “Digital Art” at Politecnico University in Milan Valentina Tanni.
Nowadays, technology and the Internet have become an inseparable part of how we make, experience, present, reflect on and share art. It is within this context of fast communication and short-lived hypes, that we argue that art should provoke and react to current social and political debates. At the same time, it should also respond to new (technological) developments within the art world itself, such as the rise of new forms of digital art and visual languages (including memes or NFT’s) and the new modes of audience engagement for museums.
SESSION 1: On Radicality and Autonomy
The dynamics of social media’s attention economy and mass media populism have changed our political and societal discourse. We have seen successful examples online and offline, where people were able to make themselves heard—speaking truth to power, fighting against injustice, and celebrating inclusivity and diversity. How does this new dynamic affect the arts? How do we balance these positive developments with key values of the arts like ambiguity, irony, and subversiveness? For this panel advocating for art’s freedom to be radical and controversial, we invited two curators who are known for their inspiring and thought-provoking projects: visual artist, curator and co-founder of the Athens Biennale Poka-Yio and curator, writer, activist and director of the Niet Normaal INT Foundation Ine Gevers. They will be joined by artist Renzo Martens, who stirred public debate with works like Enjoy Poverty and his current and ongoing project Human Activities. When working with controversial artworks and perspectives, how do they negotiate these positions to generate critical and productive conversations? Is there enough radicality and idiosyncrasy in contemporary art? How can art and academia contribute to these discussions in society and culture?
SESSION 2 – Keynote by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev
Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev is a curator, researcher and scholar. She is the recipient of the 2019 Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence, and currently serves as the Director of Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea and Fondazione Francesco Federico Cerruti in Turin, Italy. Christov-Bakargiev curated the 16th Biennale of Sydney (2008), followed by the widely acclaimed dOCUMENTA (13) in 2012, and the 14th Istanbul Biennial in 2015. Her projects often take on ecological and socio-political themes in pursuit of different forms of knowledge. For this keynote lecture, Christov-Bakargiev will reflect on projects at Castello di Rivoli that work with digital art and new media practices, how she approaches their curation, and the role of museums in cultivating new alliances and perspectives.
SESSION 3: Curating the Internet
Internet culture is appealing, sexy, and speaks to a lot of people. Post internet and digital aesthetics have put a clear mark on contemporary art shows over the past few years. The internet is an important realm in our society with a huge influence on culture, politics and society in general. How can we respond to this in art projects, with the unique or analytical perspectives that we expect from the arts, while keeping a critical distance from the strong hype tendencies that Internet culture is subject to? In this panel we speak about how to present the newest digital art beyond fleeting hypes, with director of [ANTI]MATERIA Doreen A. Ríos, digital anthropologist, strategist and curator Wade Wallerstein and curator and professor of “Digital Art” at Politecnico University in Milan Valentina Tanni.
You are welcome to follow the entire conference or separate sessions.
Full Spectrum Curatorship Conference 2022
Contemporary Curating: Radical, Digital, Diverse is part of the Full Spectrum Curatorship Programme 2022. This is a curatorial training programme by IMPAKT [Centre for Media Culture] which aims to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and the practical and substantive aspects of curation in the field of media art and contemporary arts dealing with digital technologies and online environments.