Latitudes residency in Spring Workshop, Hong Kong, 7 January–10 February 2013, as part of the year-long programme Moderation(s)


Moderation(s) is a year-long programme occurring throughout 2013 between Witte de With, Rotterdam, and Spring, Hong Kong. It's ‘moderator’, Singaporean visual artist and writer Heman Chong, will steer a program involving more than fifty artists, curators and writers, and engender a conference, three exhibitions, three residencies and a book of short stories

Moderation(s) begins by hosting the Barcelona-based curatorial office Latitudes for a month residency in Hong Kong (7 January–10 February 2013). During this time, Latitudes will investigate the urban territory from a curatorial perspective by looking into how it is articulated through specialist tours and attractions, both phenomena at the edge of the cultural, tourism and leisure sectors

As part of this – and elaborating on the approach of their recent project Incidents of Travel [see here] at Casa del Lago, Mexico City – the duo invited Hong Kong-based artists Nadim Abbas, Yuk King Tan, Ho Sin Tung and Samson Young to develop day-long tours, thus retelling the city and each participant’s artistic concerns through personal itineraries and waypoints. Alongside these ventures into the city, research around local forms of vernacular collection display and eccentric attractions will be made. This will encompass self-made or esoteric museums, museum-like retail spaces, or ‘marginal’ sculptural displays.


 Incidents of Travel Mexico City. Day 3: Tour with Diego Berruecos. Visiting the Biblioteca Nacional Lerdo de Tejada. Photo: Eunice Adorno.

In October 2012, a working group of artists, curators, and
Witte de With staff members came together in Rotterdam. Comprised of A Constructed World (Geoff Lowe and Jacqueline Riva), Nadim Abbas, Defne Ayas, Mimi Brown, Amira Gad, Natasha Ginwala, Latitudes (Max Andrews and Mariana Cánepa Luna), Michael Lee, Christina Li, Pages (Nasrin Tabatabai and Babak Afrassiabi), Vivian Sky Rehberg, and Samuel Saelemakers, the group took part in a two-day workshop developed by Heman Chong to explore and identify materials that will drive the content of Moderation(s). The first project to surface from this workshop is Bibliotheek (Library), a list of books identified by the group to function both as a bibliography for Moderation(s), as well as a planned physical library that will be installed both at Witte de With and Spring.


In speaking about this project, moderator Heman Chong proposes “to make ‘soft’ the practices of both artist and curator, so that one becomes easily soluble in the other, while retaining their unique forms and patterns of working. The participants will be encouraged to indulge in the pleasures of exchanging knowledge and tools without any pressure to collaborate.” 


The 2013 programme includes: 

Latitudeswill produce Incidents of Travel(Spring, January 2013), for which the duo will invite four artists in Hong Kong to develop day-long tours that articulate the city and their artistic practice through routes and waypoints. Artist Michael Lee will join the project to develop a series of maps and charts that trace the larger constellation of Moderation(s). Performances by artists including Benjamin Seror, Anthony Marcellini, Koki Tanaka, and many more will occur in and around Rotterdam inA Thing At A Time (Witte de With, April 2013). In June, fifteen artists, curators, and writers will produce short stories during A Fictional Residency (Spring, June 2013). Additionally, a conference in four parts led by various moderators involving twelve guests will be staged (Witte de With, October 2013). A Constructed World will produce The Social Contract (Spring, October 2013), a work in which audiences are asked to sign a legal contract restraining them from speaking about what they saw inside the exhibition. The Part In The Story Where A Part Becomes A Part Of Something Else (Witte de With, December 2013), a large-scale show mounted at Witte de With that will sublimate many of the conversations and gestures found within Moderation(s)


Twitter: #Moderations / @WdWcentrum / @SpringHK / @HemanChong / @LTTDS

Moderation(s) is initiated by Witte de With’s Director Defne Ayas and Spring Workshop Founder Mimi Brown.













"books_expanded_field: An Interview with Badlands Unlimited", fifth interview of the #OpenCurating research

'How To Download A Boyfriend' group exhibition as interactive e-book, 58 pp (Badlands Unlimited, 2012).

Founded in 2010 by artist Paul Chan – best known for his cycle The 7 Lights (2005–8) and Waiting for Godot in New Orleans, realised in collaboration with Creative Time and The Classical Theatre of Harlem – Badlands Unlimited is a New York-based publishing house whose motto is “books in an expanded field”. Its publications and editions in paper or digital forms (e-books for iPad or Kindle) acknowledge that “historical distinctions between books, files, and artworks are dissolving rapidly”. Badlands aspires to reimagine the activity of reading as it encompasses the artist book, choreography and poetry, 3D, experimental typography, historical translations as well as the format of the group show.



ABOUT #OPENCURATING

Drawing on the emerging practices of so-called 'Open Journalism' – which seek to better collaborate with and use the ability of anyone to publish and share#OpenCurating is a research project that investigates how contemporary art projects may function beyond the traditional format of exhibition-and-catalogue. #OpenCurating is concerned with new forms of interaction between publics – whether online followers or physical visitors – with artworks and their production, display and discursive context.

The project is articulated around a series of ten new interviews with curators, artists, writers and online strategists published as a free digital edition [read here the published ones so far], a Twitter discussion moderated around the hashtag #OpenCurating and a finissage event in Barcelona (date TBA).

#OpenCurating was awarded the first BCN Producció 2012 Research Grant of the Institut de Cultura de Barcelona. 










Content partners: Walker Art Center

 




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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.




The Indianapolis Museum of Art's transparency initiatives

Part of our interest in the #OpenCurating research we are currently carrying out is to look at how museums and curatorial departments are engaging in new ways with their audiences and the means through which "open" initiatives are being promoted and implemented in exhibition-making and via other types of programming.

The Indianapolis Museum of Art has created two really dynamic initiatives which promote transparency throughout the museum's operations: a real-time statistics "Dashboard" including data such as the museum's energy consumption, works of art currently on display, the value of the museum's endowment, their operating expenses, average time of visits to the website, etc. 

The tool was implemented in 2008 and is the brainchild of museum director Maxwell L. Anderson, an active advocate of implementing new media technologies to advance public interest in art. 



The data can be compared to previous years (stats for 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011), filtered by museum departments (Buildings, Education, Conservation, Curatorial, Finance...) as well as by topics (Art, Greening the IMA, Attendance...). 


 Dashboard data of the curatorial.

However admirable this tool is, the curatorial dashboard falls rather short on the depth of information, only offering statistics for the "number of acquisitions" and the "number of works with gaps in WWII-Era Provenance". They do not reveal full data sets of their departmental operational budget, for instance. This might show there is still some resistance to really open up  to show other kind of costs (shipping, insurance, exhibition display, fees paid to artists (or not?)...) or even interesting insights such as (air)miles travelled by the curatorial staff, or the amount of paper used for their publications, just to mention a few. 

Some of these topics (how to articulate institutions and organisations complex needs in seeming transparent, responsible and benevolent) were addressed in Latitudes' 2008 exhibition "Greenwashing. Environment: Perils, Promises and Perplexities" (Archive Books, 2008) and in its catalogue essay "Shades of Green: a conversation between the curators", as well as in the essay by Stephanie Smith "'Alas for the dreams of a Dreamer!': Art Museums and Sustainability" included in the Latitudes-edited publication "Land, Art: A Cultural Ecology Handbook' (RSA, 2006).

A second initiative we find quite relevant is the "Deaccessioning database", which classifies pieces that have been deaccessioned at the museum since 2007 (following IMA's policy, see pdf here), explaining provenance, the reasons for its deaccession, listing the recipient and the day of sale, etc.
 Deaccessioned Artworks page www.imamuseum.org/art/collections/deaccession

Take for instance "Houses in the Snow", a 1929 canvas by Maurice de Vlaminck sold via Sotheby's in 2009 for $173700; or the 1889 suite of prints "Les Misères Humaines" by Gaugin, which were transferred to the Musée de Pont-Aven in 2009. Fascinating and revealing, isn't it?


Deaccessioned file for Maurice de Vlaminck's 1929 canvas.







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