Arming the Gallery


Session Title:

  • Revolution of the Public Sphere

Presentation Title:

  • Arming the Gallery



  • This paper seeks to address a number of issues that impact upon the relationship of the gallery to the advance of electronic arts practice. The discussion centrcs on notions of fear and control and is based on research carried out in 1996/97. The gallery has and continues to function as a controlled broadcast channel where content is defined and verified by a select few. With fixed or linear works the curator has been able to control the nature of presentation within the gallery and consequently the nature of audience interaction. This has further reinforced notions of creative authorship as artists and curators collaborate to build up cultural capital within an established hegemony. The advent of multi-channel global broadcast systems and the exploitation by artists of interactive technologies represents a major challenge in terms of the gallery curatorial response.

    Fear is particularly evident in relation to online interactive installations where what appears within the gallery space is out of the curators control. The evidence from our research leads us to believe the fear of losing control of the presentation content limits the gallery to a closed channel when in fact the space could be seen as a unique ‘device’.