Michelle Kasprzak's views on contemporary art curating

Opportunity: World of Art school for critics and curators

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Tuesday, March 16. 2010 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

WORLD OF ART 2010/11
School for curators and critics of contemporary art
Year 13

Deadline: March 23, 2010

The World of Art enables participants to learn the knowledge, skills and methods needed to tackle the complex issues in the world of art.

The school is intended for all who are interested in working in the field of contemporary art, regardless of experience, age and education.

The annual school program is internal and for a selected group of participants who will be chosen by open call. The course has two semesters:

- the first semester (April–June 2010) will be dedicated to the acquisition of art – historical, theoretical and methodological skills
- the second semester (September 2010–May 2011) will be dedicated to critical and curatorial studies and practice.

The program includes lectures, seminars, workshops, research work, modules on the practical work of the curator, study excursions and practice in galleries. The process comprises the organisation of events, studio visits, meetings with curators, artists, theorists, and writers, and teamwork in conceptualisation and preparing an exhibition of contemporary art under the tutor’s leadership.

Fee: 400 euros (VAT included)

Send or bring your application form (download here), CV, motivation letter and review of selected exhibitions of contemporary art (up to 40 lines) to SCCA-Ljubljana, Metelkova 6, SI 1000 Ljubljana, svetumetnosti -at-

The selection of participants will be in two stages. After the first selection, participants will be invited for an interview, to be held at the SCCA-Ljubljana on Thursday, April 1 and Friday April 2.
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Opportunity: AHRC Postgraduate Studentship in Curating

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Friday, January 22. 2010 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

AHRC Postgraduate Studentship Opportunities

For full details see

Northumbria and Sunderland Universities operate a collaborative AHRC Block Grant Partnership to support quality research and professional training

Studentships are available for uptake from September/October 2010 in the following areas:

Doctoral Studentships
D1 Applied Arts and Crafts (Glass and Ceramics)
D2 Fine Art (Curating New Media Art, or Photography)

Research Preparation Masters Studentships
M3 Conservation of Art (two studentships)

Awards cover stipend and fees subject to eligibility criteria, see the AHRC Guide to Student Eligibility to Student Eligibility.pdf

Applications are invited electronically to appl[email protected] on the relevant form by no later than 12.00 midday on Thursday 24 March 2010. Applications received after this date and time will be kept on file as reserves. For details of each studentship opportunity and relevant form, see web links above.


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Opportunity: Gwangju Biennale International Curator Course

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Friday, May 1. 2009 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

Gwangju Biennale - International Curator Course
August 24 - September 20, 2009

Dead line for application: May 15, 2009
Sponsored by The Gwangju Biennale Foundation, The Metropolitan City of Gwangju
Chaired by Yongwoo Lee
Directed by Byungsoo Eun (Artistic Director, 2009 Gwangju Design Biennale) Massimiliano Gioni (Artistic Director, 2010 Gwangju Biennale)
Visiting Professor: Barbara Vanderlinden

The Gwangju Biennale Foundation sponsors the first edition of International Curator Course in Gwangju from August 24 to September 20, in collaboration with worldwide colleges running curatorial studies. The Course will offer the opportunity to 25 young curators from all over the world to work with an internationally renowned visiting professor and curators, dealing with many challenging issues of theoretical and practical aspects of curatorial research, and reviewing the contemporary art as a broadened terrain of culture.

The Course consists of lectures, seminars, workshops and practice in preparation of Gwangju Biennale and Gwangju Design Biennale, with an intensive schedule of classes and curatorial administrations led by the visiting professor as well as presentations of the participants' projects, and visits to artists, designers, museums, galleries and related institutions.

The objectives of curatorial course are aiming to:

- promote reflections questioning the role of the curator, and research projects in the field of contemporary visual culture
- set up working platforms that may enable participants to develop further curatorial works
- proliferate networking between young creators of the visual art scene and encourage international circulation of cultural projects

Themes examined during three weeks of lessons will be: concepts of "cultural hybrid," "aesthetic groundedness," "terrain," and the cultural topology and its relations between East and West; the role of museums and alternative spaces; the question of history and its redefinition; and the relations between art and its audiences will be included along with themes.

Visiting Professor
Barbara Vanderlinden is internationally renowned curator, author and founding artistic director of Brussels Biennial, Belgium (2008) and founding director of Roomade, Office for Contemporary Art, Brussels. She has curated numerous exhibitions including in 1999 Laboratorium (with Hans Ulrich Obrist), Manifesta 2 in Luxembourg in 1998 (with Maria Lind and Robert Fleck), Revolution/Restoration in Brussels in 2002 and Do You Believe in Reality? Taipei Biennial (2004). She is Chief Editor of The Manifesta Decade, Debates on Contemporary Art Exhibitions and Biennials in Post-Wall Europe, Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2005.

How to Apply
Interested applicants from any nationality may apply. No study certificate and academic degree required. Lectures and seminars will be delivered in English. The screen committee consisting of Yongwoo Lee, Byungsoo Eun, Massimiliano Gioni, Barbara Vanderlinden, and Sunjung Kim will select from the applications. The application form must be posted by May 15, 2009.

The applications must include:
1. Application form
Date of birth:
Place of birth:
Postal address:
List of studies /work experiences:
(Please attach your detailed CV to this form.)
2. A copy of the most relevant published texts and reports of realized curatorial projects.
3. A motivational statement illustrating the applicant's interests and explaining the reason for the application (max. 5.000 characters.)

The selected applicants will be contacted via email by the end of May 2009. The Gwangju Biennale Foundation will sponsor tuition and accommodation during the International Curator Course. Selected applicants will be responsible for travel from place of residence to Gwangju and back, and meals. The material sent for the application will not be returned. According to regulation of the Course, personal data of the applicants is exclusively used for the Course selection procedures and not communicated to others.

Exhibition Department /Gwangju Biennale Foundation, 211 Biennale 2 Gil, Buk-Gu, Gwangju, 500-070, KOREA
E-mail: curatorcourse -at-

Info: Gwangju Biennale Foundation + 82 62 608 4233

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Pick 'N Mix - March 2009

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Sunday, March 1. 2009 • Category: Pick 'N Mix
In like a lion, out like a lamb... welcome to March's Pick 'N Mix, a real mixed bag of treats this month:

- First of all, a postscript of sorts to last month's Pick 'N Mix, the "credit crunch edition": You've all surely read it by now, but in case you haven't, Holland Cotter's article, "The Boom Is Over! Long Live the Art!" in the New York Times is well worth a read. Complementing some of Francis McKee's comments that I quoted in last month's edition, Cotter writes: "Anyone with memories of recessions in the early 1970s and late ’80s knows that we’ve been here before, though not exactly here. There are reasons to think that the present crisis is of a different magnitude: broader and deeper, a global black hole. Yet the same memories will lend a hopeful spin to that thought: as has been true before, a financial scouring can only be good for American art, which during the present decade has become a diminished thing." Also, over at New Curator, there's an article on creative use of "slack spaces", which are some of the thousands of retail shops that have been vacated due to the credit crunch and not rented. As Pete at New Curator writes: "What better way to encourage economic stimulus than making sure commercial properties don’t fall into ruin and improving the image of the surrounding area?"

- I'm contemplating writing a whole article about "guest" curators and freelance curators, and their place in the market. Until then, maybe you can just read what I'm reading: an article on the American Association of Museums website called "The Stranger Among Us: Managing the Guest Curator Relationship", and an article by Sharon Heal entitled "Be My Guest" in the February issue of Museums Journal (sorry, the article isn't online! See if you can sneak a peek at Museums Journal at your local library or museum), the upshot of which is that it's a good idea to bring in outside experts in particular areas (for example, a milliner for a hat show) to curate temporary or permanent exhibitions.

- There's a good interview with the ever-interesting curator Nato Thompson at art:21. Favourite quote: "As much as the onslaught of cultural production over the last fifty years has radically altered capital’s relationship to aesthetics, it has also made us much more aware that knowledge has a form, and that there are a myriad of forms for the delivery of information and the production of knowledge. Basically, knowledge is a performance, whether it is the stage of the classroom, or the aesthetics of a typeface in a book, to the performance in a street, to a multi-channel video projection." A satisfying statement to unpick, which led me to ponder how curators perform knowledge.

- A brief article about the internationalism of the curatorial profession in the Japan Times: "Why Curators Stay at Home". To sum up, it asks why more Japanese curators are not "super curators", zooming around the globe, and the article comes up with the rather predictable answer that in order to be international, one must rack up a few air miles and be willing to exchange. Worth a read for the interview snippets with Fumio Nanjo, though.

- A fascinating piece entitled Whither Curatorial studies? is available on Artworld Salon. This piece rightly interrogates the existence of curatorial degree programmes and what they hope to accomplish and equip their students to do. "Undoubtedly the role of curator has been squeezed too narrowly between administration and dealmaking; but the travesty may be that curatorial studies programs fail to acknowledge this when they recruit students and collect their often sizeable tuitions. Shouldn't we then ask what sort of training curatorial programs are giving their students?" Of course, similar questions could be directed at so many fine art degree programmes and humanities programmes as well -- scores of artists leave art school without even knowing if their work fits into a commercial market or not, and if it does, what to do with that information. However, this essay at Artworld Salon is right to focus on curatorial studies, a field of study that, due the competitive jobs marketplace and varying contexts within which curators can work, demands much of those designing the curriculum.

- ...and, this just in: Nat Muller has reviewed the recent symposium at the Witte de With, "The Curators". A taste: "the curator as the new rock star, the self-proclaimed priests and priestesses of the art scene, the critics’ darlings or foes, the curator as genius, the curator as fascist, the curator as the icon we love to hate, or adore. It’s a lot of pressure…expectations were high."

P.S. Don't forget -- some of these articles don't stay online forever. If you want to refer to them in future, develop your own archiving system or use Evernote.
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Job: Curator of Education + Collections, Lewis Glucksman Gallery

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Tuesday, October 21. 2008 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities
Curator of Education + Collections
Lewis Glucksman Gallery

Job Description:

The Lewis Glucksman Gallery is a cultural and educational institution that promotes the research, creation
and exploration of the visual arts. Located at University College Cork, the Glucksman is a landmark
building that includes display spaces, lecture facilities, a riverside restaurant and gallery shop. The
Glucksman was named 2005 Best Public Building in Ireland by the RIAI. The building is a RIBA award
winner and was short-listed for the Stirling Prize in 2005.

As an internationally significant art space, the Glucksman links the educational mission of the University to
the cultural life of the region. The Glucksman's artistic policy is to explore all aspects of visual culture and
present a range of innovative and intellectually stimulating displays. The gallery’s exhibition and education
programmes foster scholarship in a new environment placing particular emphasis on the unique role of
visual media in communicating knowledge. Central to this is the creation of discursive relationships
between academic disciplines and art practice. This is reflected in a wide range of exhibitions that span
various media and historical periods with an emphasis on international contemporary art.

Following the appointment of Nora Hickey as Director of the Mermaid Arts Centre in Bray, the Glucksman
seeks to employ a Curator of Education & Collections. As a member of the senior management team, the
Curator of Education & Collections will work closely with the Director to strategically develop the University
Art Collection and deepen public engagement with the visual arts.

Specifically, the Curator of Collections, Research & Education will:

• Devise strategies to promote the understanding and exploration of the Glucksman’s artistic
• Seek financial support for the gallery’s education programmes.
• Initiate public programmes in the visual arts for UCC staff, students and the wider
community including lectures, art classes, workshops, and exhibition-related events.
• Devise and deliver educational support and materials on gallery displays for schools, group
visits and individual visitors.
• Develop and co-ordinate the current schools programme.
• Facilitate and encourage researchers to use the resources of the gallery.
• Develop outreach programmes for specific communities that relate to exhibition themes and
the University Art Collection.
• Oversee the student and public internship programme.
• Ensure that UCC’s existing collection of art work is managed and presented to professional
standards, and work towards accreditation for the Glucksman on the Museum Standards
Programme of Ireland.

Candidates will require the following knowledge and experience

• A thorough knowledge of current art issues and trends in visual arts practice.
• Experience in co-ordinating education and outreach projects.
• The ability to write and edit lucid texts.
• A clear understanding of the principles of collections management.
• The experience and intellectual ability to create connections with and beyond the visual
arts and to promote the enjoyment and study of visual culture.
• A passion for communicating art to a wide public.
• Excellent interpersonal and organisational abilities.
• A university degree and proven experience in arts administration is desirable

Applications to consist of CV, relevant supporting material and a covering letter outlining suitability for the
position. Please provide contact details for two referees.
The salary will be €35,000 - 40,000 per annum depending on the successful candidate’s qualifications and

Applications should be submitted by 10 November 2008 to the Lewis Glucksman Gallery, University
College Cork, Ireland, marked CURATOR OF EDUCATION + COLLECTIONS.

Consult for further information on the Lewis Glucksman Gallery.

Informal enquiries by email only to Fiona Kearney, Director, Lewis Glucksman Gallery at: f.kearney -at-

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Pick 'N Mix - May 2008

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Saturday, May 3. 2008 • Category: Pick 'N Mix
Welcome to the May edition of Pick 'N Mix, my monthly annotated list of things that caught my eye over the course of the previous month. There are just two quick items this month, as a sort of "compare and contrast" exercise:

- In one of my web trawls, I found this lesson plan for teaching children what a curator does. I thought it was interesting to take a look at because despite high level discussions about the role of the curator, what emerges in more reductive definitions (for example, something that a child could understand in one short lesson) highlights what may or may not be a conventionally agreed aspect of the role. In this case I noted that beyond the obvious step of selecting work, the lesson plan includes a section on writing didactic texts for the student's imaginary audience, explaining their curatorial choices.

- Then over at Time Out New York, a timeline indicates some of the key tasks that the curators of the most recent Whitney Biennial performed. It obviously doesn't indicate all of the tasks that the curators completed, but unlike our lesson plan for kids, it doesn't mention writing, and meeting with artists and negotiating the media are highlighted.

These two short items provide glimpses into how the role of the curator and the key tasks within that role are presented and described to others, which might make us ask ourselves: What do I emphasise when I talk about curating a project to someone else, and what does that indicate about my favourite/least favourite aspects of the role?
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Pick 'N Mix - April 2008

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Tuesday, April 1. 2008 • Category: Pick 'N Mix
Here's the April '08 edition of Pick 'N Mix, my monthly annotated list of little news items in the realm of curating.

- The Whitney Biennial is generating the usual column inches. Of interest in the coverage of the Biennial is the ongoing commentary about the curators themselves, and their intentions. Jerry Saltz's recent column discusses the significance of their age: "I was thrilled that the Whitney was prepared to give itself over to young curators. [...] no sooner had Huldisch and Momin been named than Whitney director Adam Weinberg pulled back the reins, announcing that the two would be "overseen" by the museum’s chief curator, Donna De Salvo, and that they'd "work with" three older "advisers," Thelma Golden, Bill Horrigan and Linda Norden." A piece entitled "The Facebook Biennial" in NY Magazine, offers a detail-rich portrait of the two curators, from the ways their careers unfolded (apparently, Momin's highly planned, Huldisch's not as as much) to the technology in the room: "Momin pulls out an iPhone, Huldisch a battered Motorola".

- In a recent post on Tara Hunt's blog, she talks about the example of how the now-ubiquitous Post-It note came into being. (Stay with me, here.) Tara writes about the three personalities that were responsible for the Post-It note's success: the Creator, Catalyst, and Champion.
"...the Creator, Spencer Silver, had come up with the glue that makes the Post-It note work almost a decade before the Catalyst, Arthur Fry, found a use for the glue (keeping his church choir sheets staying put). But even then, it didn't even make it past corporate scrutiny until they found Champions: the people who were able to take the idea and sell it to others. [...] Creators are the inventors, the coders, the people who come up with a crazy idea. Quite often, though, they aren't able to connect that crazy idea with a real life issue to be solved. That's the Catalyst's job. Catalysts are really awesome at understanding real life applications of wacky ideas. They are connectors. But Catalysts aren't always good at marketing their ideas nor can they replicate themselves, so they need Champions (many of them) to take that awesome application of the wacky invention and spread the word. The three types of people behind innovation are necessary to make ideas come alive and spread."
And so, in the cultural domain, are curators catalysts or champions? A bit of both? Are they also sometimes the creator? I found this example to be an interesting way to think about the ways that the role of the curator can shift and requires a wide range of skills and roles to be played.

- And now, for a little light bedtime reading... A recent paper by London-based think-tank Demos about cultural learning provides food for thought. "In the context of recent government announcements about cultural education, Demos today challenged cultural professionals and educationalists to provide a new and coherent direction for creative learning and for encouraging creativity through culture. Culture and Learning: Towards a New Agenda, a consultation paper written by John Holden, is published today to invite debate and responses." Demos is a very interesting think tank, I recommend you browse their full collection of cultural papers at their website.
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Curating and Education: Conversations with an International Panel

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Friday, October 19. 2007 • Category: Announcements
Lorie Mertes, Director of the Galleries at Moore and Janet Kaplan, Director of the new BFA in Curatorial Studies announce: Curating and Education: Conversations with an International Panel

Saturday October 27, 2007, 10am – 5pm
Moore College of Art & Design
20th and The Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Curating and Education is the second in an ongoing series of public conversations about issues and ideas in contemporary curatorial practice presented by The Galleries at Moore in conjunction with Moore’s new BFA in Curatorial Studies. Through a series of paired conversations with an international roster of distinguished panelists, we will discuss the creative nexus between curating and education. Questions to be considered include: What do the growing number of projects in which curators are creating educational forums as exhibitions suggest about opening up the creative exchange between curating and education? Given the institutional hierarchies that often impede creative collaboration between curators and educators, how can curating and education work together as powerful laboratories for the production of ideas? What is at stake and what is possible?

The program is free but pre-registration via e-mail is requested for planning purposes. Please RSVP by October 22, 2007 to: jkaplan -at-

Continue reading "Curating and Education: Conversations with an International Panel"

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MA in Critical Writing and Curatorial Practice at Konstfack

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Sunday, April 22. 2007 • Category: Announcements
[Italics are mine - I found the statements that I highlighted to be insightful, though sometimes contentious, viewpoints on the future roles of curators and critics. -Ed.]

Announcing a new, innovative and interdisciplinary two-year program in critical writing and curatorial practice leading to the Master of Arts degree at Konstfack, Sweden’s leading University College of Art, Craft and Design. Our curriculum develops and strengthens the student’s understanding and practice in critical writing and organizing exhibitions in the fields of art, craft and design. But it also promotes inventive responses to recent changes in visual culture and critical practice. As studio practices have become increasingly interdisciplinary, the roles of curator and critic have been reconfigured and new sites of practice have emerged alongside the continuing relevance of established publications, galleries and museums.

Our program is led by an exceptional international faculty, including Rolf Hughes, Ronald Jones, Sara Kristoffersson, Marysia Lewandowska, Håkan Nilsson, Måns Wrange, and Kim West. Students will also be able to study with an array of distinguished visiting faculty – speakers have included Vasif Kortun, Jennifer Allen, Marjetica Potrc, Tirdad Zolghadr, Bruce Hainley, Jens Hoffmann and Claire Bishop – and take advantage of our standing associations with international cultural institutions.

What is distinctive about our program is that students enroll either as a critical writing student or one studying curatorial practice, but collaborate across disciplines while deepening their own practice as a critic or curator. We assume a broad definition of art, craft, design, architecture and media, informed by history, criticism, and theory channeled though new forms of research. As a result, this program prepares students for positions in cultural and educational institutions, scholarship and research, journalism, the art market, and publishing.

Our work, while often speculative, remains practically engaged socially, culturally and ethically. We invite applications from scholars, critics, curators, artists and designers of unusual promise. Applicants should have completed a BA in art history, philosophy, aesthetics, architecture, art, crafts, design, new media or have comparable professional experience. Selection is highly competitive. The program is taught in English.

Applications to the MA in Critical Writing and Curatorial Practice must be received by the Konstfack Admissions Office by May 4, 2007. Please visit our website for further details, and the application form.
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Curatorial training programme at De Appel

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Sunday, January 14. 2007 • Category: Announcements
De Appel is a contemporary arts centre, located in the heart of Amsterdam. Over the 25 years of its existence it has been operating on an international level and for 10 years de Appel has been running a renowned Curatorial Training Programme.

In September 2007, the new version of the eight - month long Curatorial Programme of de Appel, with a renewed curriculum and an extended tutorial team will start. Initiated in 1994, the course wishes to offer young curators a condensed package of experiences and skills which can be used as tools and instruments during the further development of their professional career.

This year an international selection committee, chaired by Ann Demeester, director of de Appel and Head of the programme, selects about 6 participants of different nationalities and cultural backgrounds.


1. A letter of motivation in which what your personal drive and what you expect from the programme is stated.
2. A proposal for a show (5-15 pages), including: concept and location of the show (main focus), the participating artists (including some image material), a budget of the show, a publicity plan (not obliged)
3. A CV, including an extensive description of one's relevant working experience
4. Two written references of (former) tutors, professors or employers, in English.

On the basis of the submitted documents a pre-selection is made in February. Approximately ten candidates will be shortlisted; they are invited to come to Amsterdam in the end of February or beginning of March for an interview.

Application deadline: 31 January 2007

Send completed applications (in duplicate) to:
de Appel
Att: Roos Gortzak, CTP 07/08
Nieuwe Spiegelstraat 10
1017 DE Amsterdam
The Netherlands

For further information please visit our website: Or contact Roos Gortzak on + 31 (0) 20 6255215, roosgortzak -at-
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Curating Management Education at Stockholm University

Posted by Michelle Kasprzak • Friday, September 29. 2006 • Category: Announcements
International Curating Management Education
Dept. of the History of Art/School of Business
Stockholm University, Sweden

Next course starting January 2007
Application Deadline: 15th October, 2006

The International Curating Management Education at Stockholm University specialises in the combination of arts management, art history, law, and practical curatorial work in a composition that is unusual in comparison to similar courses internationally. Furthermore, the academic level of the education is in keeping with the university environment that we are a part of. We encourage applications from persons within the academic field as well as with curatorial and artistic experience.

The International Curating Management Education is a full time course programme offered by the Department of Art history and the School of Business in collaboration with the Department of Law at Stockholm University. The course faculty consists of representatives of these departments, as well as directors and curators at the Liljevalchs Konsthall and Magasin3 Stockholm Konsthall. Guest lecturers include practising artists, critics, curators and scholars practising in Sweden and internationally.

The education programme spans over a 15 month period and consists of theoretical courses, including a Master’s thesis, a ten weeks internship in Sweden or abroad, a summer workshop, and work on an exhibition project. The teaching takes many forms within the education: lectures, seminars, and supervised work both individually and in groups. Furthermore, each student has a personal tutor from the course faculty. Depending on the make up of the student group, the course is presented in either English or Swedish.

We aim at an education that encourages creativity and innovation as well as an awareness of traditions and a responsibility for museum collections. In other words, we envision a field that bridges institutional and alternative environments. We are attentive to the student’s individual focus and students are encouraged to develop their own profiles.

Upon completing the International Curating Management Education at Stockholm University, the student receives a course diploma. Students who previously hold a Bachelor’s degree fulfil the criteria for a Master’s degree.

For detailed course description, prerequisites and application directions, please refer to our web site. E-mail: curator -at-

Please note that no scholarships are offered. International students are also recommended to obtain general information for visiting students in Sweden from the University's web site.
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