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    Curating Digital Life and Culture: Art and information

    Electronic Visualisation and the Arts (EVA 2016)

    London, UK, 12 - 14 July 2016


    Tula Giannini & Jonathan P. Bowen



    The space between digital life and real life continues to fade and nowhere is this more apparent than in arts and cultural contexts. Facilitated by digital capture and curation, social media, the network, Internet, and the web, these forces combine to empower artists to be digital curators of their own work, giving voice and narration to their artistic expression. In the paper entitled Digitalism: the New Realism, the authors focus on how digital tools and technology have changed ways of doing, knowing, and being, while here we look at how today’s digital landscape is changing ways of artistic expression, narration, communication, and human interaction.

    The growing use of digital tools and technology in the arts and culture is dramatically transforming traditional curatorial practice and by extension archival practice, so that we are moving from a gatekeeping model to an open model steeped in digital relationships across global networks and the Internet. As we immerse ourselves in the digital world, where anyone with a smartphone can be a digital curator and marshal a range of Internet services, such as Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and more specifically for example Behance (for online portfolios), artists are enabled to freely engage and interact with their audience using to their advantage crowdsourcing, “likes”, chat, blogs, games and email. Emerging artists are particularly expert digitally and are able to curate their life and work directly, living naturally between physical and digital states.

    To demonstrate this, our study presents specific examples of how artists and GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museum) institutions are adapting to new digital ways of curating collections and conveying meaning. Additionally, we show how notions of what constitutes artistic expression are evolving as art traverses digital media boundaries, especially in terms of visual and textual media. Importantly, as life in the 21st century plays out on the digital stage of the Internet, artists and GLAM institutions find themselves more than ever working at the intersection of art and information which is leading to new and innovative ways of curating contemporary art that are expressive of artistic vision and digital aesthetics, while conveying social and political meaning capable of influencing and impacting our lives.


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