[iDC] media curating lists as pedagogical, exploratory and speculative texts
threads at wildernesspuppets.net
Sun Aug 19 02:33:37 UTC 2007
Here is an introduction to some stuff that I am thinking about as I
prepare for my 3rd semester of teaching electronic media at Alfred
University's School of Art and Design.
I will be following up this initial post with some examples of
curatorial lists for screenings of film, video, and new media - both
historical and newly-hatched.
Maybe you can share lists of your own? Or, over the next week or so,
maybe you can modify or add to mine.
Finding a Groove in the Form of Curatorial Lists
There are many newly available DVD compilations being sold on the web.
These include historical works from the archives and experimental media
by new artists. You can find them through independent distributors such
as Microcinema, Other Cinema, Peripheral Produce, Aspect, and larger
entities such as Kino International and Facets. These distributors give
individuals and institutions a new form of access to works of
experimental cinema, experimental video, new media, works of the
post-WWII avant-garde, as well as forgotten or marginal "early films"
dating from 1894 to the 1930s. Not only that, but internationally
archives are making their way to the easily-circulated DVD format,
widening the field in surprising ways.
The DVD format (and earlier VHS) has helped produce this exciting
circulation of archives. One side-effect is how the DVD format (and, of
course, archives viewable on Internet) has enabled remediation of works
through the form of the remix.
However, many of these DVD compilations or, rather, their curatorial
agendas, are bland and "safe". With few exceptions, a dry, predictable
and pedantic curatorial frame prevails, along with (and despite) the
deserved excitement around the individual works that these compilations
As a teacher, my efforts focus on screening historical and contemporary
works as basis for conversation within the studio media art classroom.
Obviously, one vital function of these resources is connecting myself
and students to histories and discovering models within discourses
particular to the individual films, videos, new media works.
Beyond that, screening these media works presents a possibility for
discovery through improvised and experimental linkages - to curatorially
remix and resonate something there in the juxtapostion of one work with
the others selected. What gets shown with what? What follows what? What
archival work is made newly relevant through its association with an
historically very different moment? How conceptually and contextually
different can the experience of these linked works be, without the
implied associations of their curated proximity totally disintegrating?
Which ways can the curatorial agenda get bent, twisted, and stressed
until it either disintegrates or finds a groove?
There is nothing new here, this intent to make meaningful connections.
And that is what makes curatorial selection-as-montage an obsessive
task, i.e., there is nothing new here YET.
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