The Ecological Potential of Curatorial Practice

The creative industries depend on the socio-technical ecosystem of natural resource extraction, manufacturing, and technology development, where peer-to-peer social processes have shown to be promising alternatives to the current model of exploitative production. Curators and cultural leaders have a unique title to communicate distribution and networking, offering benefits to an increasingly resource-dependent creative economy. Curating can help artists to find new ways of generating ecologically mindful technology-based art and form a dialogue about environmental concerns. The following points suggest how a curator could facilitate this dialogue in a peer-to-peer community

  • Mapping and Tracing

Curators could develop ways to map and trace the tools and assets that artists source, whether digital or physical. Mapping is a way to represent artifacts that engage with human social relations and curators can emphasize that as a methodology. Mapping is not only a product of intellectual innovation but an attempt to respond to problems that are emerging in the social field. The outcomes of the data are knowledge through agency. I propose that curators can consider anthropological and social science methods such as network mapping to analyze this data in order to alter and disrupt their creative production practices.

  • Repair and Re-Use

If curators and cultural leaders can generate creative communities that depend less on upgrading consumer artifacts directly from corporations, and primarily rely on exchange, repair, and re-use, creatives can challenge dominant modes of production and create new economic alternatives. Curators have the power to play an agentic role in assisting people in adopting and in fostering criticism of the resources that they use and can provide the platforms to facilitate and mediate exchanges of artifacts. This can be achieved by minimizing the purchasing of new equipment, repairing and re-using artifacts, trading digital assets as an alternative to creating them for single use, and sharing computer processing power.

  • Peer-Exchange and Participation

The function of contemporary art is not merely representative in nature, nor is it solely focused on the aesthetic creation of artifacts. Contemporary art is socially engaged, and communities are agents of change. Technology has had a significant impact on creative communities since it can positively affect their autonomy by creating independent works and asserting relationships among peers without being reliant on centralized systems or institutional platforms. The contemporary media artist is a socially constructed subject who is deeply embedded not just in social relationships but also in technologically mediated relationships, interactions, and information. Creatives have an opportunity to implement cooperative practices while analyzing the problems and prospects of participation and the exchange of technological artifacts in a shared environment.


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