[iDC] Kurating Keen

Alf Rehn alfrehn at mac.com
Sat Aug 25 11:52:10 UTC 2007

As I, with great interest, follow the two ongoing discussions on IDC,  
I'm struck by the fact that they despite their superficial  
differences actually pay heed to the same kind of problem. Looking at  
them separately you'd get:

a) Keen is mean, and stupid, and wrong. The internet has done great  
things for creativity.

b) Curating today is really tricky, and posits brand new challenges.

In the latter discussion, Jerome Grand recently pointed out that  
modern curating is in fact a form of production, and that the way in  
which cultural institutions frame and juxtapose artworks is a  
creative activity in and of itself. In the former debate, people are  
fuming because Keen is peddling a rather romantic notion of what  
creative work is.

Now, the fun part is of course that what Keen misses is the exact  
point that Grand so elegantly put forth. We are no longer in a world  
where we can just focus on the individual "work of genius" (and maybe  
we never were), and curating is one of the technologies we use to  
handle this. So, in a cheeky little move, we could pose the following  
to Keen (and meld together two IDC-threads):

Are curators merely "amateurs" because they do not create in the same  
way as e.g. sculptors? And does Keen realize that a lot of what he  
seems to pine for (the old, proper cultural world) was in fact staged  
and curated, i.e. created through collaborations, establishing  
connections, collage-work, mashing-up...?

Professor Alf Rehn -- http://www.alfrehn.com/
Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Royal Institute of  
(On leave as Chair of Management and Organization (Åbo Akademi  

Royal Institute of Technology
Department of Industrial Economics and Management
10044 Stockholm, SWEDEN

alfrehn at mac.com

"Velox, vilis, immunda"

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