Luke study

Study on Curating as Design

Project Luke explores the territory when the curator creates alongside with the Artist/Designer. Luke Johnson, a graduating MDP student was preparing for his Thesis exhibition. Luke used the techniques of embedded observation, interventions and interviewing within his projects, working across a range of platforms.

In order to exhibit the artifacts created for each project, he came across the question of how these artifacts would be displayed so the viewer could quickly understand what the artifacts represented. We realized, that he had a very defined methodology. Each project followed a certain process, which lead to the outcome. With this, we designed a series of labels curating his projects for the exhibition. As a designer with a graphic design foundation, I assumed the role as the designer for this task to explore curation as design. Luke provided me with the content, in which I broke down into a formula of what the artifact represented. The architecture for the formula was:

Title, Question, Intervention+people+time + (process) = statement, designed outcomes, takeaway lessons and unexpected results.

This project reinforced my belief in that the curator should be a part of the making process if they possess the ability to do so, thus breaking down the hierarchal relationships. Much like a designer's relationship with their content, curators can have better understanding of the subject(in this case Luke's thesis).

Studies on Curating

As my way to explore the idea of curation as design, I created a series of studies in order to investigate the affordances and constraints of curation.

What is the relationship between curator and artist? Is there a space for a new type of curator to exist? Possibly one that collaborates with the artist from the start, and throughout the process of the creating rather than starting from the end of their production. Rather than being "invisible," which has been one of the curator’s roles in the past, could the curator and artist become more unified? If curators posses the power to provoke specific perspectives, what else could emerge when they have a bigger role in creating the Art? And where do designers fit into this role within curation and artist? What is the new space for "Curator as Designer" or "Designer as Curator"?

Fred Wilson, an artist turned curator mentions "I am seeing museum space as a constructed kind of design space, as an installation environment. Very much like an artist you’re manipulating objects, light, color, spatial relationships. So I thought perhaps I could manipulate the space, make it kind of a trompe l'oeil of a museum space. Critiquing, as well, the notion of museum."(website), which has provoked an idea of what other roles that a curator could assume, more specifically a designer as curator.