‘curating contexts’

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V A G A | Visual Arts and Galleries Association

VAGA Scotland : 26 Queen Square, Glasgow G41 2AZ 0141 423 9024/07917 665325

online culture: social media and the visual arts

Inspace School of Informatics University of Edinburgh : 22/06/10

Hosted by New Media Scotland during Edinburgh International Film Festival

Note of presentations: John Maxwell Hobbs, Head of Technology, BBC Scotland; Mark Daniels, Executive Director, New Media Scotland; Emlyn Firth, ISO Design; Janie Nicoll, visual artist.
social media – not cyber space – two way communication – like telephone

presume publish on web site – gives certain authority

social media not single voice, but simulating conversation – getting ‘behind the curtain’

‘YouTube’ – something you discuss with your friends

audience feel curator / artist speaking to me

network theory – 100 people vs. 1000 people – not just 10 times more valuable – never know what effect is going to be…

have to feed social media – continuous content – not like web sites – more static

not just about disseminating info. – curate context – visually / acoustically

mail art / exquisite corpse

not single copies, but multiple copies – not owned by you – institution not as gate keeper, but trusted friend and ally

people identify with you for info / network

lead people to other voices

creatively misuse equipment / technology

digital culture – creative approach to technology

space as laboratory not gallery

explore experimental and interactive practice – technology as both platform and medium

Inspace / labtime – responsive space – testing new ideas
Central Station as social networking

community / portfolios / bulletin / opportunities

members approx. 3,250 – unique visits approx. 50,000 – total visits approx. 270,000

reach 137 countries / 3,820 cities – definitely a global site – funded and based and serving Scotland, but with a global outlook and audience

creating content – crowdsource documentaries, commissioned reports (Phil Kay) etc.

online life beyond static web site

GSA trailer – Degree Show preview etc.

twitter – facebook

Central Station geared towards creatives – more than facebook

call out to CS – opportunities for artists

hub / forum – artists hook up network / opportunity for work etc.

artists getting involved – photos / records / blogs of activity onto web site

small scale events have wider audience

react to what’s going in arts community

not just virtual, reality to it

image / film / audio of live stuff

note of discussion:
issues for access – to artists

artists making work and want to show it, esp. if not represented by galleries / not on web

access to work – curators searching online – Vimeo

artists testing practice – work not existing elsewhere – uploading unfinished work

galleries / artists – some anxious about presenting work online – how it affects practice

democratisation – artist in control – immediate way for artist to put work up

digital resistance is OK

editorial policy – how to manage growth – lot of facilitation / resource into Central Station

how to develop beyond web site

reach – need to go to where people are – so need to use existing networks

arts marketing – new media superceding print?

need voice – staff to become public

EAF has profile – quite corporate / GI – page – everything through designer

DCA– not single marketing voice – multiple tweets – web site solely information

relationship between web site and social media?

creative potential – process – access through blog / online – creating own catalogue

value of visits to social media c.f. physical visits – official recognition?

artists still making work – presenting stuff – is it documentation? or is it actual product?

BBC only exists in digital space – so visit to web site / iPlayer is access to ‘product’

example of artist who removed web site after live engagement event had ceased

legacy – permanence – archive : issues of long tail – everything we do is recorded

Web3.0 – rush to get up to speed”

online communities making sense of chaos out there

can’t force online onto existing communities

moving towards effective social communication

real time experience – facilitated by internet – but physical interaction is key

manage groups – foster introductions

participants: Susan Christie; Kirsteen Macdonald; Alan Miller, Abnormal PR; Harriet Barker, Artist Rooms / National Galleries of Scotland; Jill Brown, Collective Gallery; Janine Sproul, Cultural Enterprise Office; Saskia Coulson, Colin Tennant, Dumfries and Galloway Council; Clive Gillman, Dundee Contemporary Arts; Kathryn Bradley, Glasgow Life / Glasgow Arts; Kirsten Body, PACE; Lottie Gerard, SAC; Carrie Maginn, Stills; Alison Chisholm, Travelling Gallery; Camille Archer, Paul Snelling, West Lothian Council.
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