User guide to art

    1. What is our project?
    User Guide to Art; in brief: 12 curators from the whole European space will each offer a user guide to art. Why? In a consumerist and globalized world a common topic is needed: the universal user guide. Diversity is given by the 12 different visions the curators bring about, considering their experiences, identities, cultural back-grounds, specific regional contexts etc.

    2. What are we interested in?
    – the art globalizing process, as a political, economic, social resultant of the whole geopolitical space
    – a new method of curating; not only producing continuously exhibitions for large audiences, but also creating new connections between very different subjects, on multiple levels; aim: producing a diversity of public spheres.
    In brief: – to go beyond the idea of gathering art works on a specific topic
                  – to encourage a post-curatorial practice

    3. How will the exhibition look like?
    Let’s imagine the venue: we enter the exhibition place. All we can see on the four walls of the exhibition are lots of dots (as the statics on the TV screen); we hear many voices, overlapping, which can’t be distinguished. The first impact is of visual and audio discomfort because of the white noise and the superposed images. Thanks to some presence sensors and a software, as we reach each of the four walls, the dots disappear and instead of them we see images clearer and clearer; the accuracy of the image goes along with the accuracy of the sound; the more we approach, the more details of each curator’s portrait we perceive and we hear clearly each discourse; 12 portraits, 12 discourses. When we are in the middle of the hall, the sounds will overlap, and so will the images, with a high degree of entropy. The more we approach the details, the more diminished is the entropy and we are granted access to sound and image in the same time. The white noise disappears. The tension between detail/whole, local/global, will be directly perceived, at a visual and acoustic level.

    4. Who are the curators?
    Either museum curators, free-lance curators or artist curators, they produce and negotiate the meaning.
    The curatorial practices imply a negotiation process, of mediating between arts works, concepts, feelings, contexts, they imply lecturing against a theme, a topic, an exhibition title. The curators are chosen from the diversity of the European space and they will each draw the sketch of a user guide.

    5. What might be the contents of such a guide?
    – Safety notes
    – Preparation before Operation
    – How to Operate
    – Symbols Used
    – Convenience Operation
    – Signal Strength
    – Care and Maintenance
    – Helpful Information
    – Troubleshooting
    – Product Specification and Reference
    – Getting started
    – Activate the service, etc.

    6. Can we have access to all the user guides at the same time? What will we see, hear, understand?
    Being in the middle of the exhibition space, we will perceive the multiple whirlpool, the place of a public non-representational sphere, white noise; the “voice object” now refers to the “disembodied voices”
    Approaching each curator at a time, we will be able to perceive him, we will be able to follow the individual discourse; the connection between the voice and the body is more emphasized. In fact, the curators will each choose the way in which they want to be caught on camera (portrait, hands portrait, some part of the body, a detail, a clothing item etc.)
    By accessing more images we will avoid the prominence of a single personality.
    The exhibiting strategy will be centred on the public, the viewer; he will choose between the different user guides.
    The challenge for the artists and the cultural institutions is that of being active not only in the national cultural sphere but also on a globalized market.
    Here are a few perspectives of our interactive work: creating a democratic field of polyvocality, discourses and specific visual events developed in parallel, accepting, why not, the possibility of conflicts; giving preference to more daring models, with multiple strategies of development.