Contemporary art curating news and views from Michelle Kasprzak and team

Opportunity: Editorial Interns –

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Sunday, January 23. 2011 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities is seeking energetic and inspiring people to take part in creating content as well as co-conspiring on future directions the site may take. is one of the web's top destinations providing information and career support for curators of contemporary art. The site is respected and recognised, with excellent site statistics as well as thousands of fans on Facebook (and some fan mail!).

Ideal candidates for internships are passionate about curating and contemporary art, are great writers, and are very at home using word processing applications and blogging platforms. Bonus points if you use Facebook and Twitter. You'll work directly for me, Michelle Kasprzak, founder of -- and until now, the Lone Ranger. These positions are unpaid.

In return for your valuable time, I can offer you: an insider’s view into producing a popular website with international appeal; relevant and constructive feedback on your writing; credit where credit is due and glowing recommendations where these are warranted; a look at all the jobs and opportunities before anyone else; and collaborative brainstorming around the future of the site. There are many more benefits which I simply cannot conceive of until I meet you, as only then I'll know how we can best work together.

Duties include:
-Writing and editing texts (some for publication, some not)
-Using provided tools to retrieve and edit information for posting
-Collecting and digitally manipulating images
-Research and brainstorming
-Administration and data entry
-Liaising with partners and collaborators
-Overall support

-Strong commitment to and knowledge of contemporary art
-Commitment of six months (minimum), approximately 5-10 hours per week
-Excellent knowledge of word processing programs, blogging platforms, social media platforms. Some knowledge of image editing software is preferable.
-Ideal candidates are likely to be individuals who are in Masters-level curatorial studies or art history programmes, or are emerging curators. Writers, journalists, and wordsmiths of all kind are also welcome. Critical thinkers of all stripes are preferred.
-Your English language skills are of the highest level; those who can combine fluent and fluid English with advanced skills in second and third languages are strongly preferred.

-You do not have to be based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, which is where I live and work. I envision that each intern can complete all work remotely, with most supervision taking place over email, and meetings taking place over Skype. (This un-requirement of a shared city means that a rock-solid internet connection at all times becomes a requirement.) If you do reside in Amsterdam, however, I would be pleased to work with you in person and may be able to provide working space.

To apply:
Send a CV, cover letter, and one writing sample as attachments in .doc format to michelle -at- before midnight on February 21, 2011, with a subject line of "Internship". Only candidates who are selected for further conversations over virtual beers on Skype will be contacted.

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Pick 'N Mix - April 2007

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Sunday, April 1. 2007 • Category: Pick 'N Mix
To start off the new month (and I promise none of these will lead you to a silly April Fool's joke) I thought I'd provide a little "pick 'n mix" of what I've browsed lately that is of interest to curators:
  • Hanne Mugaas and Cory Arcangel have compiled (curated!) a very interesting list of art videos on YouTube, as part of a larger project entitled Art Since 1960 (According to the Internet). Definitely worth a look, set aside a bit of time if you dare click here!

  • Interviews on are coming up in the next few months (they are still in the incubator!) but for now go read this good (though brief) interview with curator Lu Jie on Artkrush.

  • In a détournement of the office football pool, Leisure Arts has created a championship pool for curators. While I'm unsure how it works precisely (sports pools are clear since there are matches of one team versus another, and I'm uncertain how one curator is pitted against another) it is an amusing concept nonetheless. Check it out here.

  • The Museums and the Web conference is in just ten days! Read the conference abstracts and full papers here.

  • d/Lux/MediaArts has just released the Coding Cultures Handbook, which offers some interesting perspectives on digital tools, social networks, and open labs - all concepts which have, will, and in some cases, truly should influence curatorial and museological models.

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A lighthearted entry to kick off 2007

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Monday, January 1. 2007 • Category: Musings
Dear readers,
I hope everyone had a restorative and happy holidays.
I'm still easing myself into the new year, and so will make the first entry for 2007 on this blog a lighthearted one.

I propose getting back into (a certain sort) of curatorial headspace by downloading "Curator Defense", a game by David Howe. (It appears to be for PC only).

gHacks describes the game as such:
Pieces of art invade the museum and you have to stop them to prevent them from replacing the master pieces in your museum. It sounds pretty silly but it is actually tremendous fun. You have to place certain structures to slow down and destroy the art that is invading the museum.

The storyline sounds really fun (and perhaps even a bit familiar, to some of us!):
As the longstanding curator of a Museum of Fine Arts, it is your duty to protect the sanctity of its works. Your benefactors stubbornly believe that modern art does not belong in your museum; as your paycheck comes from them, you must uphold their wishes. An association of local curators known as MARTIA (Modern ART Is Art), on the other hand, feels that your museum should reflect a more balanced representation of the art world. [...] Word has reached your museum that tonight is the night MARTIA plans to coordinate a stream of seemingly endless waves of their modern art against your store room. Should any of their work reach your store room, your brain-dead staff will place MARTIA's art on your walls.With an arsenal of their defensive gizmos and gadgets at your side, you should be able to defend your museum. Prevent this attack on your museum from ruining your career; grab your thinking cap and get the job done!

Let me know what you think of the game in the comments.
Happy curating in 2007!
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Marketing the Museum

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Friday, September 29. 2006 • Category: Musings
Seth Godin is a marketing guru who has published numerous books and has an excellent blog. I'm not a marketer nor a businessperson with a product to sell, but I read his blog anyways because I find the underlying psychology of marketing to be quite interesting. In the end, it's all about how people relate to people, a topic that should interest anyone who has to interact with people on a daily basis (which is probably 99% of us).

Usually the content on his blog is relevant to me on this fundamental level of human psychology, not as a curator or arts administrator directly. In one of his recent posts, however, Godin has some direct critiques for curators at museums:

I think in every single case, what keeps museums from being remarkable:

a. the curators think the item on display is the whole thing. As a result, they slack off and do less than they should in creating an overall story

b. they assume that visitors are focused, interested and smart. They are rarely any of the three. As a result, the visit tends to be a glossed over one, not a deep one or a transcendent one

c. science museums in particular almost beg people NOT to think.

I can't remember the last time a museum visit made my cry, made me sad or made me angry (except at the fact that they don't try hard enough).

Definitely some food for thought in there, though probably echoes of criticisms we are all well aware of. Godin wraps the post by saying:

The takeaway for me is that in fact the issues of storytelling and remarkability and respect are universal, whether you're a non-profit or a job-seeker. It's all people, all the time.

This is true, and why it is relevant for curators and arts administrators to look to other disciplines, like marketing, for new approaches from time to time.
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