Exhibiting

  • What are the main challenges of exhibiting technology-based art?
  • To what extent exhibitions contribute to the delineation of art history in regard of art and technology?
  • If exhibiting digital art through traditional aesthetic criteria is the failure of this art form and does not respect its nature, how shall museums/curators/institutions deal with its display? By avoiding physical displays and favouring mere online exhibitions? In this way, would digital art become more integrated into art history?

“There is no sense patrolling the boundaries of art to keep certain things out – it is in art’s nature to expand beyond our perception of it. The exhibition, too, can be as pliable and expansive as art is. It can stretch and sway to accommodate the urgent arguments that need to be made at any point in time. To make these arguments, it is often necessary to look outside the context of art into other relevant fields. A work might speak most clearly when paired with historical ephemera or viewed through the lens of a novel. Displaying an artwork alongside a related but distinct counterpart can increase the impact of both – the radical uselessness of the artwork sometimes speaks more clearly when situated next to the most mechanical and pointedly useful of things. As a museum professional I am interested in these questions to understand how aesthetic gestures will continue to express themselves, how curators try to mediate those gestures to an ever-growing public, and what the role and function of an art institution is today and in the future”

Jens Hoffmann, Theater of Exhibitions, Sternberg Press, 2015, p.9


“I was frightened but also tempted. How to organise an exhibition that would acknowledge the changes of the last few decades, that would recognise an absence of structure, and that would work with small stories, with local language games and contexts? …Might it be possible to make an exhibition a playground in which the differences – political, aesthetic, you name it – among the positions of contemporary artists and curators would be brought to the fore?”

Michael Archer, Art Since 1960, Thames and Hudson world of art, 1997, p.214


“It’s funny that there hasn’t been a major survey of Internet art in New York in a while.
I think it’s because the medium is so difficult to sustain financially. There’s a ton of experimental web art out there, but it’s complicated. The art world is driven by the gallery system that helps artists through funding, through exposure, through getting them potential museum shows. When it comes to Web art, for the reasons I was just saying, it’s not so easy. So many of these artists go back to either making physical things or making closed systems that you can buy on a computer but may not be available on a website”

Steven Sacks interviewed by Andrew M. Goldstein, ‘Bitforms Gallery’s Steven Sacks on How to Collect New Media Art’ in Artspace, 2014


“As an artist and curator working in audio-visual installations, I would like to think that I am one of the ‘men carrying all sorts of gear along behind the curtain-wall’, projecting images with a variety of materials and choreographed movements. More often than not, I embody the prisoner: forced to watch the show unfold, head unable to turn. Whether operating within the blacked-out spaces within which this kind of works inevitably confined, or with a particular technical apparatus at hand, the artist or curator can feel shackled to a particular mode of presentation”

Sam Belinfante and Joseph Kohlmaier, The Listening Reader, CdP, 2016, p.5