Re: [-empyre-] forward from Camille Baker

It's wonderful to hear from you Camille, and great to learn of the exciting
possibilities for public curating you have in Vancouver.  I'd be very
interested in hearing more about the festival, to hear what kinds of
venues, tech, and formats you have to work with, not to mention the kind of
budgetary support lent to the Festival by Vancouver sources.

Something that I'm sure will come up with Priamo next week is a discussion
of the curatorial challenges posed by local conditions, particularly when
the tech support and venues for exhibiting new media are limited.  But it's
always amazing to me how resilient our artists are in helping to resolve
these kinds of problems.  Anyone who attended this year's ISEA in Nagoya
can tell numerous war stories of the need of the artists to ban together to
solve tech problems that didn't seem to be of concern to the sponsors.  One
of the things I find fascinating about curating new media is precisely the
exhibitional interface between artistic projects and their technological
support; I frequently like to foreground projects that emphasize the

You might be interested in checking out the catalogue of a large CD-Rom
exhibit I toured, Contact Zones: The Art of CD-Rom, which had its last
(perhaps final) stop in Calgary last year and stopped in Mexico City with
the help of Priamo who joins us next week:
This exhibition began just as a small project to do a very small show on my
Univeristy campus to promote digital art; then it mushroomed into a much
larger and more fascinating international show as a result of the
overwhelming response I received to an internet call for work (over 100
entries arrived in only three weeks which was significant when I was
planning in 1998.  The overall curatorial orientation penned in the
separate program texts of the catalogue came as a result of my review of
entries.  Although I had previously decided to frame the show with the
"Contact Zones" theme, the detailed curatorial "visions" of this theme
derived from the theoretical frameworks provided by the artists and their
work.  This resulted in the kind of fluid fusion between art, practice, and
theory I mentioned in my opening statement as being most attractive to me
as a curator.

Of course, I sense from your message a frustration with the uncertainty of
the details of staging large exhibitions.  I wouldn't hesitate to use my
instincts were I you and to turn to your "event management professional" to
take pressure off you in terms of practical details.

The possibility of your being able to develop a grass-roots digital
festival is extremely exciting.



Timothy Murray
Professor of Comparative Literature and English
Director of Graduate Studies in Film and Video
Curator, The Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Cornell Library
Co-Curator, CTHEORY Multimedia:
285 Goldwin Smith Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York  14853

office: 607-255-4012

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