Curating in/as Open System(s)


Session Title:

  • Curating in/as Open System(s)

Presentation Title:

  • Curating in/as Open System(s)




  • The panel addresses the possibilities for collaborative curatorial practice, responding to the wider critical concern of how socio-technological systems (such as networks, online platforms and social software tools) have changed the practice of curating.

    The suggestion is that curating not only increasingly involves open socio-technological systems but itself can be described in terms of open systems. Describing curating in such terms implies a state in which the curatorial system continuously interacts with its environment demonstrating characteristics of openness: the system is opened up to the communicative processes of producers/users and to the divergent exchanges that take place that disrupt established social relations of production and distribution. Thus, and importantly, the software opens up curating to dynamic possibilities and transformations beyond the usual institutional model (analogous to the model of production associated with the industrial factory) into the context of networks (and what is referred to nowadays as the ‘social factory’).

    This tendency – that emerged from the shared perception of the Web and the Internet as an increasingly independent and open platform for the production and presentation of art – is well instantiated in a number of historical and more current projects such as Eva Grubinger’s C@C – Computer-Aided Curating (1993-1995), Alexei Shulgin’s Desktop Is (1997), Runme (2003), Source Code (Luis Silva, 2005), TAGallery (2007), undeaf  (2007), Hack-able Curator (2007), Robert Lisek’s FACE (2007), Pall Thayer’s CodeChat  (2007) and  kurator software (2007).

    The panel reflects upon new curatorial forms and an expanded description of curating enabled by social technologies and an open systems approach.

    Geoff Cox, Joasia Krysa (chair), Vicente Matallana, Martha Patricia Niño Mojica, Yukiko Shikata, Luís Silva