Curatorial Practice as Open-Source


While preparing my earlier post on Emergent Megalopolis the other day, I was driven to think about how, nowadays, one can push free-lance curatorial projects into the public realm, specially when the economic strain on cultural production is now so evident everywhere around the globe.

After the credit crunch, it is obvious that we have to change the way independent projects manage to thrive. With museums and institutions struggling to support their own staff, and with their directors and curators just striving to accomplish their own projects, it is obvious that autonomous creativity has to find another way to emerge. As it is already the case in hacker-culture and bottom-up initiatives of every kind… (Diogo, thanx!)

By now – and although they say that secretism is the soul of the business – it is obvious that secrecy around ideas, while trying to push them into potential partners, serves to practically nothing. As such, from here on, I hope to release my ongoing projects through this blog, in an attempt to enhance the potential to generate shared knowledge, partnerships and potential collaborations.

I’ve written about open-source in architecture. Now, as I was briefly discussing with Scott Burnham the other day, it’s about time to adopt open-source in curating and its research and modus operandi.

That is why, following my presentation of Emergent Megalopolis, I am now launching an international call for contributions regarding film projects that propose original portraits of emergent creativity in growing megacities.

After “Luanda Rise” was announced, I’ve already discussed city projects with several Portuguese artists and filmmakers – including Daniel Blaufuks (Mumbai), André Príncipe (Shangai), Nuno Cera (Cairo) and Marco Martins (Seoul) – but I’m now welcoming new projects for cities like Rio de Janeiro, Dhaka, Jakarta, Manila, Buenos Aires, Moscow and Istambul.

I’m looking for filmakers, artists, photographers, or other visual entrepeneurs whose film projects may fit the spirit of the series, specially if they have a local perspective and an interest on notions of informal creativity vs. formal creativity and crosscultural knowledge exchange.

Some years ago, I’ve done an exhibition on how the metropolitan atmosphere of London suggested new approaches to architectural practice, in Space Invaders. Now, I want to bring up radical views on creativity as influenced by emergent megacities, not unlike this journalist’s approach to China’s fastest growing city…

Of course, if someone wants to copycat the idea, they are welcome to do so. Use it and abuse it. Try and develop it. Forget about the Commons license: just join in in the construction of the ongoing series of films. Specially if you have a local perspective on the cities about to be portrayed. I will assume my own role in helping to find extra financing for any project that makes sense within the series.

For some people ideas are relatively easy to come by. The real issue is, as always, to have them accomplished. Naturally it is not very nice that someone with the money and the means just steals your idea and develops it without even mentioning your contribution. But then these people are only poor bastards and would only probably produce a pale version of what you’ve intended. And even if this may happen, it is still worthwhile taking the risk.

Maybe also in this realm paradigms are shifting – and this is why the subject for the next edition of Beyond (and the theme for another European call for contributions) is also… Values & Symptoms.


3 responses to “Curatorial Practice as Open-Source

  1. HI
    I am currently studying for my MFA (curatorial practice) and I am looking at applying open source ideology to my curatorial practice – it would be great if you had a moment to look at my blog – it would be great to talk and hear your thoughts

    Best Donna

  2. Pingback: All Things Urban « shrapnel contemporary

  3. Pingback: Futuro Desigual, Destino Equivalente | shrapnel contemporary

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