12 Dec 2012 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. #OpenCurating, 2.0, 2012, Greenwashing, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Land Art, museums, statistics, technology, transparency
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.
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. 22 Apr 2012 Amikejo, Archive Books, Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller, Greenwashing, Ignasi Aballí, Lara Almarcegui, Mataró Chauffeur Service, Mousse Publishing, Portscapes, Save As..., Simon Fujiwara, The Last Newspaper
We often receive enquiries from folks interested in purchasing our publications. As editors (or contributors) we only hold a few copies, which over the years have been mostly entirely gifted to colleagues and donated to expand institutional archives.
MACBA’s Centre d'Estudis i Documentació (MACBA Study Centre) and The Banff Centre Library (Banff, Canada) hold reference copies of all of our publications – including the 2006 publication 'Land, Art: A Cultural Ecology Handbook' (out of print); exhibition catalogues such as Amikejo (2011), 'Greenwashing. Environment: perils, promises and perplexities' (2008) and The Last Newspaper (2010), the monograph 'Lara Almarcegui, Projects 1995–2010’ (2010) publications accompanying projects such as Ignasi Aballí's Nothing or Something (2009), Simon Fujiwara's Museum of Incest (2009), Mataró Chauffeur Service (2010), Campus (2011) or Portscapes' (2010) limited edition which includes Jan Dibbets' DVD with his commissioned film '6 hours tide object with correction of perspective' (1969–2009); exhibition booklets of the exhibition 'Exposition International...' at Meessen de Clercq in Brussels, and that dedicated to Lawrence Weiner 2008 exhibition at Fundació Suñol.
Below is a list of all our publications and links to the distributors from where you can purchase them:
'Amikejo' (Mousse Publishing, 2012)
'Lara Almarcegui, Projects 1995–2010' (Archive Books, 2011/12) Roman Keller & Christina Hemauer, 'United Alternative Energies: Christina Hemauer & Roman Keller' (The Århus Art Building, 2011) Martí Anson and Latitudes,'Mataró Chauffeur Service' (Save As...Publications, 2011) 'The Last Newspaper' (Latitudes & The New Museum, 2010) 'Portscapes' (SKOR / The Port of Rotterdam, 2009) Simon Fujiwara, 'The Museum of Incest' (Archive Books, 2009)
'Greenwashing. Environment: Perils, Promises and Perplexities' (The Bookmakers Ed. / Archive Books, 2008)
Three of our earlier publications are out of print:
UOVO #14 (The Bookmakers Ed., 2007)
Ignasi Aballí, 'Nothing, or Something' (Today Art Museum, 2009)+ photos
All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org (except when noted otherwise in the photo caption)
08 Oct 2009 Ecology, Greenwashing, Hinterland, Land Art, UOVO, Wanas Foundation
Milan-based Kult Magazine
has published an article on art and ecology in their October issue written by art critic and curator Daniele Perra. In the section, Perra interviews curator Francesco Manacorda (curator of the exhibition 'Radical Nature: Art and Architecture for a Changing Planet 1969-2009
' on view at the Barbican Art Gallery, London, until 18 October), as well as English artist Simon Starling and selects a few ongoing exhibitions and events that analyse the relationship between art and nature.
In page 88 (see detail above) Perra mentioned Latitudes
' ecology-related projects such as the 'Greenwashing. Environment: Perils, Promises and Perplexities...
' exhibition at the Fondazione Sandretto in Turin in 2008, the guest-edition of UOVO #14
in 2007 and the publication 'Land, Art: A Cultural Ecology Handbook
' in 2006, to introduce our participation in the forthcoming The Wånas Foundation seminar
on Art and Ecology taking place on the 21 October in Knislinge, Sweden and in the symposium organised by Hinterland Projects on 26th November titled 'The evolving relationships between artists, the changing climate and new responsibilities'.
[Above: Detail of page 88 of the magazine. With thanks to Daniele Perra]