SIX YEARS, What do curators care for?
SIX YEARS is an online curatorial residency programme hosted on the website of C-E-A – Association française des commissaires d’exposition. Since 2019, SIX YEARS explores uses of digital technology within curatorial research and practice. The project welcomes curators for a six-month virtual residency and fosters experimentation and alternative curatorial and creative formats within the space of the Internet.
For Art-o-rama, SIX YEARS presents a research project that takes the shape of a ‘reflection workshop’ and responds to its 2022-2023 programme What do curators care for?.
Over the past decade, curating has been the object of an epistemological shift. The practice of curating has extended beyond exhibition-making to embrace educational and research formats, often developed in collaboration with artists, researchers and curators. What do curators care for? explores areas of contact between this expanded practice of curating, which is now called ‘curatorial’, and the ethics of ‘care’.
In Toward a Feminist Theory of Caring (1990) Joan C. Tronto and Berenice Fisher define ethics of ‘care’ as “a species activity that includes everything that we do to maintain, continue, and repair our ‘world’ so that we can live in it as well as possible. That world includes our bodies, our selves, and our environment, all of which we seek to interweave in a complex, life-sustaining “web”. Therefore, the practice of ‘care’ and ‘mutual care’ comes to conceive the ethical choice as a system of inter-relationships, empathy, mutual responsibilities and communications.
As Claire Bishop points out in her essay Digital Divide (2012), since the emergence of the Web 2.0 in 2002, art, notably socially engaged art, “deploys a language of platforms, collaborations, activated spectatorship, and “prosumers” who coproduce content (rather than passively consuming information devised for them)”.
SIX YEARS aims to explore links between ‘care’ and the ‘curatorial’ from a post-Internet perspective. How do new technologies make it possible to provoke the established norm, to create new knowledge and modes of operation, to instigate new collaborations?