To kick-off the MoMA R&D Salon series, our inaugural salon, A Curator’s Tale, explored what it means to be a curator, both within a museum and outside museum walls in the commercial, educational, and social arenas. From algorithms that recognize and recommend music to museum visitors who participate in organizing crowd-sourced exhibitions, curatorial practice has reached a dynamic and controversial stage.
Watch the videos from the salon and explore some of these questions: Is the “curatorial turn” a passing metaphor—like the “edited” lives, libraries, and wardrobes of a few years ago—or does it mark a healthy and necessary development of life and culture, both online and in the physical world? Does online curation undermine the authority of museum curators, as some commentators have suggested? What do all these curators have in common? Does the increasingly prevalent use of the verb “to curate” indicate a more active, and perhaps more democratic involvement with culture and diverse individuals, or is it just another way for the capitalist machine to consume, market, and brand?
The salon took place on October 15th, 2012.
Ann Temkin is Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art. From 1990 to 2003 she was Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Ann received her BA from Harvard University and her PhD in the history of art from Yale University.
Tor Erik Hermansen is the cofounder of Stargate, a prolific record producing and songwriting team. Working alongside, Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, Tor is responsible for, among other hits, Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable,” Rihanna’s “What’s My Name”, and Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow.”
Jeff Jarvis is Professor and Director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Jeff is the founder of the blog Buzzmachine.com and cohost of the podcast This Week at Google. He has authored Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way We Work and Live, What Would Google Do?, and the Kindle Single Gutenberg the Geek.
Maria Popova is a Bulgarian-born Brooklynite, writer, blogger, and critic. A self-professed “hunter-gatherer of interestingness,” Maria founded the highly influential online emporium of ideas Brain Pickings. Included in The Library of Congress archive of culturally valuable materials, Brain Pickings is “your LEGO treasure chest, full of pieces across art, design, science, technology, philosophy, history, politics, psychology, sociology, ecology, anthropology, you-name-itology,” according to Maria.She has written for The New York Times, Wired UK, and The Atlantic, among others. She is on Twitter at @brainpicker.