This is a space for discussion relating to our exhibition, Corinne Silva: Wandering Abroad. Our curatorial team are keen to hear your comments, reflections, questions or insights. We are eager to foster debate, discussion and dialogue. You can exchange opinions with other viewers and the exhibition’s curators. Your words will inform and shape future exhibitions at the gallery.
Comments are now closed.
Tom Snow (INMG Team), 11/11/12: What do visitors think about the online gallery platform? Is it a good way to experience artworks? Our first exhibition is a film, is this the best medium to exhibit online?
Anonymous, 11/11/12: Splurged thoughts below. Galleries create something of a sacred space (one must travel to it, one must be in a public space, one can look but not touch) The intended violation of that sacredness by artists still acknowledges its presence and dominance. Being able to access art via an iphone in your own space loses this aura. What is the physicality/aura of accessing art via an iphone? the medium of transmission and distribution creates a different mode of consumption (and, perhaps production if people start producing works for this type of "gallery"). This isn't a gallery, i would argue. what distinguishes it from youtube? (the online catalogue, which is very nice, has a gallery-feel to it, but noone would say a catalogue is necessary to a "real" gallery) perhaps referring to this as a gallery is an archaism, like how we refer to news media as 'the press' when most of it is online (and if not, printed). This is not a criticism. all i wish to say is that the medium you are exploring demands a rethink of the words used to describe what you are doing. this might make this site more effective (though, probably less marketable.)
MT, 11/11/12: The way I'd describe it is through Bourdieu's and others understanding of taste (which you cite in your manifesto): interest in contemporary art for so many is as much about being seen by oneself and others as interested in contemporary art. It makes us feel -through appearance- civilised, intelligent, better than others. Your project is idealistically commendable, but do you think you're gonna be able to attract a wider demographic of people by removing the individual's self-exhibition of their civilised, cultured taste? It'd seem to me that the likely people who will visit this site will be working in the art world, and will be of a more slender demographic than that of the material museums. Perhaps it would be worth thinking about a way in which you can use the internet to increase accessibility (which you've done), whilst also facilitating the individual's ability to 'present' themselves/make it known to others that they are part of this 'cool scene'. sorry if this is all very defeatist to your manifesto and ideals, but, to my mind, you've got to accept so much of the art world revolves around the term 'cool', and, if you want to actually have an impact, you've got to embrace that to a large degree, otherwise one is just posturing at having an effect on the exposure of art to a wider audience. I'm hungover, but would be interested on your thoughts: (p.s. this forum is far too art worldy to count as a place for the non-art worldy to present oneself!)
SF, 12/11/12: In response to Anonymous: As Walter Benjamin wrote, ‘that which withers in the age of mechanical reproduction is the aura of the work of art’. The INMG focuses on new media (film, photography, digital art): art forms that can be reproduced a potentially infinite number of times. As a result, I would question whether such mediums have the same type of aura as a unique painting or sculpture. Take Olia Lialina’s ‘My Boyfriend Came Back From the War’ (1996): http://www.heise.de/tp/kunst/war/war1.htm - as a piece of net.art, does this have less of an ‘aura’ online?
Tom Snow (INMG Team), 12/11/12: Some very good points made. Thanks to AnonyMous and MT. I would point out however that the movement of art exhibited on the internet in not necessarily a new thing. The internet is striating every part of contemporary life, the development of art on this platform therefore is something that will inevitably increase. In response to Anonymous, of course the gallery is a sacred place, where engagement with the art object is crucial. I think I can speak for the whole of the INMG in saying that we are not attempting to offer an alternative or any sort of departure from that mode of viewing/ experiencing. Our aim is to offer the distribution of artworks that are suited to exhibition on the internet as far and as wisely as possible. And to MT, yes -- it is most likely that the majority of traffic through the site will be those already engaged to some extent in the "art world". However, a lot of people do not have the luxury of living near contemporary art galleries, and certainly aren't able to access some of the most exciting contemporary art made today. Our hope is that the INMG can provide a platform in which to engage with art, adding to the variety of situations in which many people already do so. If the INMG encourages new interest in any sort of art, then our ambitions are beginning to be fulfilled. One distinguishing feature form Youtube etc. can be found in our offering of a free exhibition catalogue, which we hope will allow insights to those interested and will foster interest and debate, again, as widely as possible.
Edwin Coomasaru (INMG Team), 12/11/12: Thanks for your comments; it’s very exciting to see this discussion get going! Anonymous, I chose the term ‘gallery’ deliberately, for two reasons. Firstly, I wanted to experiment with developing a different attitude to online space: rather than something trivial and ephemeral, why not seriously consider and reflect on its content? Secondly, I called this site a ‘gallery’ in order to try to re-define, re-shape and add to the conventional meaning of the word. Instead of a walled physical location, I am suggesting we imagine a gallery that is multiple and myriad: able to spontaneously appear whenever or wherever people log on. Could a gallery be temporarily enacted when a group of people gather for a discussion in front of its exhibitions? The INMG seeks to ask the question. MT, you raise some very valuable points; issues I have been thinking about for a considerable time. Yes, much of our visitors will probably already have an interest in the arts. I think it will take much wider cultural changes (in areas such as education) to achieve a much less exclusive demographic for arts audiences. The INMG is a small attempt to look at the process of disseminating art. I disagree with your assertion that online galleries will inevitably have a much more slender demographic than material museums. Because online exhibitions are so much easier to access and share, there is a huge potential to reach out to ‘non-art world types’ (if such a simple binary existed). Some curious individuals from this background might not have the time to go all the way to a physical gallery; but they may be prepared to spare half an hour to watch an online film. Because the INMG does not occupy a permanent physical site, it can appear and exist in a number of places. I hope that in the future, our physical events – screenings, discussions – can be organised in public spaces (parallel to the online exhibitions). This has the potential to widen the audience demographics for contemporary art, even if it were in a small way.
Tom Snow (INMG Team), 12/11/12: A second suggestion/question: How do those visting the site respond to the film Wandering Abroad? Both as an artwork, and as the subject of our first exhibition?
Marcus Merry, 12/11/12: Really enjoyed the film - 5 Stars. Very moving story, great atmospheric music, and slowly drifting down the river as Oluwale may have done one last time. I was particularly interested by the contrasts between the old derelict industrial warehouses and the inner city motor-way flyovers, with the newly gentrified areas, office workers and street trees. Thanks to the inmg for putting it on!
Jamie, 13/11/12: I think online gallery platforms are a great idea. In a world where there is an overload of information, especially on the web, It can take hours to find anything of any decency on you tube unless directed there through someone else who has been directed there etc etc. With more people having access to the Internet by the day and uploading what they consider 'their own art', people interested in high end art will have to wade through more lower standard work to find what they want. Everyone these days can look at a video or piece of digital art and think, "wow I have a camera and a computer, I can do that". This is brilliant for emerging talent as online gives them a platform to showcase and maybe succeed but crowd-sourcing talent isn't very efficient and things can get lost in the ether. Huge amounts of ill conceived projects are uploaded meaning yet more and more time is dedicated to deciding what is good and what is not and making it harder for those gems to shine through. It is a catch 22. More great work will be made but it will be much harder to find. On another note: Also there is more chance of misinformation, for example wikipedia is not a always a credible source. Why should we believe in an online gallery? A bibliography does help but who is the curator and why should we believe them? There almost needs some kind of authenticity stamp. Not that I care really, if it is interesting and looks good "I’m there". One final note: To certain artists physicality is very important to their work, 3d space can change their work completely. For instance if their work is based on natural light or other physical occurrences it could never be truly experienced on an online gallery. Only documentation of the experience could be shown through an audience's view point using a video camera or still. In my opinion that wouldn't do a lot of art justice. Though the world is heading towards more Internet usage as the population rises and space diminishes so it would be natural to see more online galleries and less physical ones. Slowly it may end up that more people use online so they can stay in their house. Therefore meaning physical galleries start to lose funding and disappear. That's bleak though. Similar concept to watching a film at home rather than at the cinema. I believe with a little hope there are enough cinema lovers to keep physical galleries alive! Sorry for the ramble. I do find it a very interesting topic though!
MT, 28/11/12: I don't get your point about misinformation on the internet. Firstly, no source is always credible. But, to the point at hand, the misinformation in wikipedia is not the result of wikipedia being on the internet, but the manner of authorship. Admittedly, one could argue that the internet is the only place for such an ordered, yet collectivist, unaccountable authorship to take place, but that's besides the point regarding 'INMG'. If you go into the online catalogue for the exhibition, you'll see that the curators have written pieces with their names attached. That means that they are accountable. You can even find their email addresses. That level of accountability is just the same as if they'd written a book, or worked at Tate and published in a physical catalogue. You might be held to account by more people if you write a book, but that's about exposure to criticism, not an issue of authorial accountability. Is your point that physical publications have more filters to weed out the crap? This is a case of assessment. There's a lot of physical publications I wouldn't trust, as well as online ones. Essentially, I don't trust many sources at all, but you have to assess each for yourself. All the author can do is hold themselves accountable by revealing their name. I admit this is harder on the reader though; when you see 'oxford uni press', you can feel it easy to relax your criticality; but that's not a good thing, and is a good dividing point between good students and bad students. The important point to be made about information disseminated by a solely online gallery, especially by curators' written pieces, is not that of misinformation but retraction of information. That is, if an individual publishes physically, such as in, let's say, the journal 'October', the individual is no longer in control of that information: others own it. And so, once written, it is very hard for the author to destroy the evidence of that information. Online publications have the potential to be more in control of their content and delete it at a later date (thus forever deleted), but the INMG team have made the articles downloadable, and it's hardly their fault if the BL or NAL hasn't started collecting hard copies of their catalogues. As far as I am concerned, the INMG team have made themselves as accountable as possible (in the same way as if they worked at a physical gallery or museum: accountable yet without unnecessary releases of personal information). You can download the essays and you know the names of the individuals. What more do you want? A bigwig in the field accrediting the scholaristic integrity of the written content so that you can relax your own criticality?