[NetBehaviour] A post to CRUMB Re: Hospitality – Hosting Relations in Exhibitions at Academy of Visual

ruth catlow ruth.catlow at furtherfield.org
Sun Nov 18 12:04:04 CET 2012

Hi All,

I enjoyed this recent post from Jon Ippolito to the New Media Curating list.

It connected in my mind with other lived art critiques that are parasitical on artworld surpluses.
Kate Rich's Feral Trade <http://www.http.uk.net/exhibitions/FeralTradeCafe/index.shtml> and Marc's and my We Wont Fly For Art <http://www.furtherfield.org/features/we-wont-fly-art-media-art-ecologies>
We recently wrote about these in the context of the Furtherfield Media Art Ecologies programme for Remediating the Social.
http://www.elmcip.net/story/remediating-social-e-book-released  DIWO: DO IT WITH OTHERS – No Ecology Without Social Ecology pg 68-74

: )


Date:    Sat, 17 Nov 2012 11:48:33 -0500
From:    Jon Ippolito<jippolito at MAINE.EDU>
Subject: Re: Hospitality – Hosting Relations in Exhibitions at Academy of Visual

Not to sideline this month's important discussion of curating online, but this post touched a nerve for me:

> Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig
> Hospitality – Hosting Relations in Exhibitions
> Conference, December 13–14, 2012
> Every curated encounter creates a situation of hospitality. Whoever claims curatorial responsibility can appear in the role of host, while the invited—artists, audiences but also exhibits—can take on that of guest.

I have recently been asking anyone who invites me to a conference to put me up on a couch instead of in a hotel. For the past couple of years, I have been rewarded for overcoming my shyness by hosts across three continents who have opened their homes to me.

I don't know if staying with local families can "scale" to a conference with hundreds of participants. (CouchSurfing.org seems to do pretty well.) But if I'm going to blow a planeful of greenhouse-emitting jet fuel on travel, I want to learn how people live in that part of the world, rather than what distinctive shampoo containers they have in their hotel rooms.

I don't want to interrupt my hosts' routines or get special treatment, and am practiced at washing dishes and other household chores. Yet I always return home with a debt in my heart to the individual or family who took me in. These are often the conference organizers themselves, who have way too much on their plate to accommodate me--and yet somehow manage. Thankfully, anthropologist James Leach says that debt that generates new social bonds can be a good thing.

I've described the connection between hospitality and curation previously on this list in the form of an anecdote reported by Eva and Franco Mattes of 0100101110101101.ORG when they stayed at my place in Maine. In the early days of Soros-funded new media art, the Mattes--like many net artists--would periodically cobble together enough resources to travel to an exhibition or festival in Eastern Europe. The organizers rarely had a big hotel budget, and the installation space often lacked Internet, equipment, and at times even electricity.

So the exhibition would take a back seat to late-night conversations over drinks, and the hotel would frequently turn out to be the curator's living room. These informal gatherings turned out to be more important to the culture of net art than whatever took place in the official venues.

The Mattes are now celebrated enough to be sought after by the mainstream art world. Eva and Franco described their experience of being flown to New York or LA to find their work beautifully installed in an immaculate museum gallery. Unfortunately, all the Mattes get from the curators today is a handshake at the opening, leaving them free to return to their fancy hotel room and its prosthetic hospitality.


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