[NetBehaviour] WONDER CABINET OF THE BIG ELECTRIC CAT
curt at lab404.com
curt at lab404.com
Sat Nov 2 21:00:01 CET 2013
LIke Chiara, I too was invited to curate a pavilion of online art work.
My pavilion is called Wonder Cabinet of the Big Electric Cat.
One of my favorite strategies from Eno/Scmidt's Oblique Strategies cards is: "How would you have done it?" In the midst of the creative process I sometimes forget that it is indeed up to me, so it's useful to remind myself that I can (and should) do it the way I would have done. So I curated this show the way I would have done it, almost for myself. It is more like a private collection than a public exhibition. If I had a chance to ask any group of internet artists to make something new just for me, something that I mself would want to privately experience and be glad to have on my hard drive; and if I was able to give these artists any sort of direction; and if the work didn't have to please anybody but me; who would I ask and what would my instructions be?
The instructions for the artists were loose. First watch a video, and then make whatever you like. The video was the 1982 music video, "Big Electric Cat," which still blows away much of the contemporary retro-glitch campy bad prosumer-FX fetishism that so frequently pats itself on the back as novel in certain tumblr-centric, gif-centric contemporary net art circles.
The artists were simply artists whose work I like. Some of artists' work is pretty close to my own online work and era (Margaret Penney, Katie Bush, Myron Campbell). Some were younger artists whose work is peculiarly and wonderfully idiosyncratic (Laura Brothers, Francoise Gamma). I invited (staged?) three collaborative teams because I wanted to see how their dialogue would play out given these loose constraints (Doxa Phloxa + Glenn Young; Kevin Carey + Shawne Michaelain Holloway; LoVid). And I invited one artist because I was curious to see how her elegant and detailed installation work would translate into an online piece (Sophia Sobers).
I am personally very happy with the pavilion. Even though the source of its inspiration is a roaring psychedelic cat, the work that resulted feels almost introspective, patient, rigorous, and precious.
I invite you to enjoy this work with me.
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