According to Maria Lind: ‘the better curatorial programs help students acquire a discourse with which to talk about curating and a good network which at best becomes a peer group, however no program has the resources or facilities to help form a method, which is the most essential part of this applied form of articulation’, that is curatorial practice.
In creating a personal methodology for my wish to work comfortably within complexity, I looked into curricular development in primary education. While some academics advocate the introduction of experiential learning to post-secondary education and even doctoral research, this type of learning is, not unsurprisingly, best developed and described for the early stages of education. Based on ‘van de Akker’s Web’ for innovating curricular development, I created a similar web translated to fit the conditions of a curatorial or artistic practice. Within the context of the ‘sandbox studio’ research project, I subject this diagram as a temporary structure to tests by my peers and cross-disciplinary proffesionals. The diagram intends to step away from linear project-based development, as learning and creative practice do not reflect this linearity. Although many questions in the diagram may be familiar and may occur in several parts of conventional project development, the diagram visualises how these questions hang together, how they are interdependent on each other. In this way the diagram allows one to start from unforeseen angles while remaining able to assess the process.
Using the diagram:
The diagramconsists of two different elements – the heart (vision) and the radials (aspects). The ‘vision’ for a mapped project is determined by the user of the diagram, this can be any more or less defined ideology, concept, feeling or intention to guide a project. The different radials of the web represent a gradual scale to map ‘focus’ in the direction of one of the named aspects. The related questions (shown in one version of the map) help to thinkabouthow to outline the ‘focus’ of a project or an activity onto the different radials of the web. The aspects opposite each other in the diagram are oppositions or are interdependent. The aspects in approximation to each other are related.
Once filled out, the shape created is that of a ‘bubble’, (filled with the breath of its creator). Asin nature, the most sustainable bubble is perfectly spherical and thus directs the shape a project should strive for. Any humps and dents in the non-spherical shape can now be acted upon. Mapping activities on the diagram, instead of setting a project out beforehand, slowly results in the collection of these activities adding up to a project.
Epicurus [says that] void, place, and space differ [only] in name.
I stumbled on Epicurus’ writings (or rather those of his students) in one of these silly millennial ways. When looking for an image of a bust on Google images, I was lucky to be curious enough to read further.
It is not often that I find an ancient writing of which I think ‘I should really get into this’ (except for a weakness for Socrates). Usually, books that I get very enthusiastic about are not written and published earlier than 2010, or in some philosophical cases before 1980. But how to get into Epicurus’ writing through the available pocket publications specifically translated (curated) in order to indeed seem that fresh to me – mainly by putting his philosophy under a big umbrella of ‘how to find happiness in your contemporary life with ancient writing [read: ancient writing = very intelligent connotations]’. Which might even ironically be ‘influenced’ by Foucault’s work on subjectivity (or life as a work of art). Of course, I’m not of the philosophical type that is about getting the gist, a concise meaning reached through close examination of details in the writing and their relationship with the whole that can thereby be considered true, of a certain ‘original’ text. However, I’d like to be able to see the differences, gaps and incompatibility of such an original text with the experience of my time. That is where my philosophical friends often show a mixture of admiration and frustration when talking to me about my interpretations: they are only focused on apart and usually interested in where the text unintentionally rebels against itself by being preserved to this time. How do I solve this? I get the most boring, unaesthetic publishing of his writing, based on the table of contents and a little bit of intuition.
So as soon as I’ve read about friendship and common support structures, ataraxia – the peace and freedom from fear and early ideas of voids and particles that make up our material reality, I will come back with how that could all connect with contemporary curating of contemporary art.
coming up: Epicurating? – ‘curatorial rambling on friendship, support and falling’
On the 28th of October, I attended a workshop by Ana S. Gonzalez Rueda titled: ‘Unknowing and other ways of learning with art’. The workshop brought the material of her PhD thesis (Radical Pedagogies and Curating) to a practical environment in the form of a workshop at the CCA. Gonzalez’s main focus was on how the pedagogical is inherent in the exhibition space rather than something imposed on it. The aim Gonzalez defined for her PhD was to supply the tools from ‘the educational’ for people operating in the exhibition space (curators and artists), functioning as the mediator between pedagogical theory and the theory and praxis of exhibition making. This process is specifically interesting to approach within the CCA (Glasgow), as this institution doesn’t have an ‘educational department’ (or another organ with a different name but similar mediating activities). Gonzalez’s approach to the outline of this research, by using the workshop-form, gave way to others in the process of defining and testing the line of thinking which is daring for a PhD research but an inseparable practice when researching the educational.