Friday, 2 October 2009

Open source curating

I think this is an interesting fragment: from an interview of Ele Weekend at

You discuss the possibility of "open source curating" on your blog. I am wondering if you can elaborate, for our readers, how you understand “open source curating” and if your experience with Open Source Embroidery has lead you to consider new curatorial models that might fall under this category.

My blog post tries to describe some of the complex issues involved in the idea of ‘open source curating’. In many ways, there is no such thing. There are just different approaches to negotiating the relationships between artist, curator, participant, intern, maker, crafter, technician, audience, etc.

We often think of curating as ‘selection’ of artwork, but it really includes a process of research and contextualizing artwork within a public space and within a group of people. For me, the OSE workshops are part of the curatorial research process. I have to make sure the concept works in practice. That is to say, the practitioners in the field have to make sense of the interdisciplinary relationship otherwise it’s meaningless. I’m not a programmer or a crafter, but I collaborate with people to make new things from our conversations.

My approach to curating OSE has purposefully included works by people who took part in OSE workshops alongside established artists. I’m inspired by Critical Art Ensemble’s discussion of the importance of the relationship between expert and amateur knowledge (Critical Art Ensemble, 2005 and 2001). So I didn’t want to create a Folk Archive, like Jeremy Deller and Alan Kane (Deller & Kane, 2005), which is a general collection of folk production. Instead I wanted to create a space where both the expert and the amateur could come together within a critical context. Many of the artists have facilitated collective projects, so the distinctions become a bit arbitrary.

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