Curating new media: challenges and singularities [EN]

Rute Muchacho


Curating new media faces a number of challenges and curators are grappling with a very important issue: to improve their practice to practice and the way they communicate with the public, they must shift the focus from using technology to other resources intrinsic to the art of new media, you have to focus more on curating art that deals with new media and less on curating the new media themselves (Quaranta: 2012). The variability of new media and the ease with which artists adapt to these technologies should contribute to facilitate the exhibition of their works, promote the understanding of their work and communication with the public, contributing to improving the visitor’s experience.

As argued by Quaranta (2012), it is important to understand what is relevant to the contemporary art audience, working with the artist to find a good way to “translate” the work into the white cube and develop dialogue with other contemporary art forms ”. We currently observe two different worlds of contemporary art and we need specific curators for these areas with very specific properties. The curator must be able to present the works of art of the new media to the contemporary art audience in a way that “is understood as art and also obliges the public to reconsider their prejudices about what can be accepted as art. With or without technologies ”Quaranta (2012).

Such exhibitions provide a space, first, to reflect on the continuum of ideas that take shape through a variety of media and, second, to discover the correlations that the new art of the new media shares with its precursors. The idea of creating narratives that are not fragmented and follow the path of art development also shows the dynamics of curatorial practice itself. If museums have refrained from showing art in new media, being skeptical about the qualities of this art in the course of art history, exhibitions such as Database Imaginary 05 provide the artistic references that institutions may not have. He argues that the art of the new media must multiply and change to stay alive.

Jon Ippolito (2008), defends that “like a shark, a new medium piece of art must continue to move to survive”. Museums are more “at ease” with a static shark (Ippolito, 2008), like the skeletons of dinosaurs, Monet’s paintings, which raise conservation problems that are already well known in these cultural spaces. In the art of the new media we cannot configure and forget, it is constantly updating and is a living work in constant change.

There is no doubt that there is no single practice or model for curating new artistic media and this is triggered mainly by the hybridism of art itself. Christiane Paul (2008: 65) argued that ‘since the art of the new media is more oriented to processes than to objects, it is important to transmit the underlying concept of this process to the public ”. New media curators need to be constantly creative and versatile to create evocative spaces and experiences.

As new media art gradually enters the museum’s doors, curatorial strategies need to not only communicate art, but also the fact that the exhibition itself is a process (Gkoutziouli: 2012).


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