Curating Across Interfaces: an Account of a (Hybrid) Expanding Exhibition
Chelsea College of Arts (CCW)
The practical aspect of this research has been the curation of a series of hybrid exhibitionary spaces. These exhibitionary forms have resulted from creating a series of interfaces under the umbrella of that’s contemporary, a non-profit organization that I co-founded and have run since 2011.
In this thesis, the practice of curating is taken to be the operation of inscribing a program of actions (i.e. a script) into the design of interfaces; prescribing these actions to the users of these interfaces; and describing how users actually use the interface. My research argues that interfaces, by being used, unfold hybrid exhibitionary spaces. They are hybrid because the interfaces through which the exhibition is used and produced fluctuate between digital and physical space, in a hybrid zone. In this sense, physical exhibitions are curated along with the organization of their multiple replications on digital and non-digital interfaces.
My concept of hybrid exhibitionary space is shaped by theory (Lefebvre, 1991; Massey, 2005; Kennedy, 2012) that understands space to be produced by social relations meaning that users create the exhibitionary spaces they inhabit. From this point of view, the exhibition does not pre-exist its users, rather it takes place in an unremitting process of use, opening up the possibility for its multiple descriptions to be made. This idea of use as a form of exhibition production is applied to the concept of network curation, which refers to a type of collective curatorial process that is engendered by users, reiterating and re-contextualizing the exhibition along digital networks.
Inspired by Actor Network Theory, the written component of this research has been interlaced together into an exhibitionary description. This method acts to document while, at the same time, it re-performs the ‘curating’ and ‘curatorial’ processes that originally gave form to these exhibitionary interfaces. In this way, the thesis turns into an interface that mediates between its exhibited objects – my practice – and its users – the readers – while simultaneously enacting the research along this process of mediation.