Welcome to October’s Pick ‘N Mix. First off, a couple of housekeeping items. You may have noticed the arrival of the “Culture Pundit Ad Network” box to the right. I would like this site to support itself a little, yet I am unwilling to inflict garish and irrelevant ads upon my readers. The logical solution was to apply to become part of the Culture Pundit network, which delivers relevant ads to terrific arts publishers such as VVORK, Bad At Sports, Rhizome, and Art Fag City. Happily, they accepted my application and I will now be running their ads here. If you like Curating.info, give the ad a click every once in a while!

Another housekeeping item is about the links that I provide to newspapers and periodicals. I often see items that I like on news sites and link to them, only to go back a few months later and find that the item I linked to has become completely inaccessible. Usually what happens is that the item becomes available only to paying subscribers for that particular news service. To address this, recently I started using an archiving tool called Evernote. While I haven’t been using it long enough to really know how well it actually works (or if there is a way for me to export or save the data that I have collected should I choose to leave their service), it does appear to do the trick of archiving whole web pages with one click. So I’d like to strongly recommend that if you find a link to something you are interested in here, especially on websites operated by newspapers and magazines, try using Evernote or some other tool to make a permanent archive for yourself.

…and now, onto this month’s Pick ‘N Mix items:

– I recently contributed an essay, “For What and For Whom?” to the CUREDITING issue of online journal Vague Terrain, which was guest edited by CONT3XT.NET. The theme of the issue aims to create “… a “screenshot” of actual tendencies within curatorial and editorial models: artistic creation and the processes of its re-formulation within different presentational contexts are brought together under the label CUREDITING, a hybrid between the two concepts of “curating” and “editing”.” I chose to take the rise of online group curating as the point of departure for reflections about intentions behind curatorial and editorial tasks, and the misrepresentations that occur due to the use and abuse of the term “curator”.

– On a similar note, Anna Somers Cocks unpicks a few misconceptions and myths about what curators do (you will want to “Evernote” or otherwise archive this link!). “Misconception number one: that curators have a narrow range of knowledge. The reality is that a good curator has breadth as well as depth.”

– Interviews, interviews, interviews! Eyebeam Curatorial Fellow Sarah Cook is interviewed by Ceci Moss, and Director at Carnegie Mellon University’s Miller Gallery Astria Suparak is interviewed by Lauren Cornell on Rhizome. NowPublic is featuring a video interview with Gavin Wade about Eastside Projects, a new artist-run space in Birmingham, UK. Last but not least, Artkrush editor Paul Laster interviews Christopher Phillips, senior curator at New York’s International Center of Photography, about the Chinese art scene.

– I recently came upon the website for Curators in Context, which “…aims to be an open, fully interactive, bilingual and collaborative web space for national and international visual art curators.” We can look forward to a digital and audio archive launching sometime this year. In the meantime, however, there is a great essay entitled “Speaking Through Silence” by Jan Allen, Curator at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre in Kingston, ON, Canada available for download (link opens PDF file). Allen says: “In laying out some of the “unspoken” dynamics underpinning curatorial practice, I raise questions about the degree to which conditions support the presentation of new forms of art and identify tensions inherent in the institutional curator’s role, including the seldom broached zone of personal and professional motivation.” This essay brings us full-circle in a way by raising the question of motivation, which is highlighted in the “For What and For Whom?” essay that I mentioned first of all. Happy reading!

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