Elastic Museum


This article was written on 06 Jul 2012, and is filled under art engagement, Conferences, experimental projects, Theory.

Current post is tagged

, , ,

Intersection of the Arts

Our AAM 2012 panel team received some nice feedback from the those that attended (thank you). As I was considering whether or not to take the dive into a panel proposal for next year, I came across a snap shot of a slide I took at Open Engagement. It’s a an art & social practice conference I attended just after AAM.

What was striking to me were the similarities between presenter content to the comments and desires from the AAM audience. Here is a side-by-side view (not all AAM comments here, too long):

Open Engagement vs. AAM Experimental Museum Projects

Open Engagement slide vs. AAM Experimental Museum Projects feedback

You could say follow the money to see why these differences are coming to a head as of late. But I don’t think it’s quite that tidy. After all, most of us working in this realm are primarily motivated by creative and intellectual drivers, even if the structures that we live in are financial.

I’ve been trying to craft a way to illustrate the similarities and differences amongst the groups of curators, artists, and educators/designers. I tried drawing it, diagramming it and now I’m resorting to personas.

These are all stereotypes, I know, but like a good ethnic joke, they help us understand ourselves a bit better. Here is my first stab:


  • I need to do deep research, publishing, and enagement with others like me, and sometimes living artists in a variety of profound contexts.
  • In terms of creation, I work more often in isolation (though the physical manifestation of my work is collaborative). My achievement is based on peer response to the above work.
  • My metrics in terms of time are based on the above.
  • I make money through excelling at the above metrics.


  • I do deeply intellectual and rigorous work in a variety of ways, and I am part of a community that works often in isolation, sometimes
  • together. We are similiar in the sense that we deeply value our ideas, and uniqueness.
  • My metrics in terms of time are my own.
  • I make money through a variety of means: residencies, grants, talks, shows, sales, teaching.


  • I have a broad view and look across a variety of disciplines to understand and connect the public with deep ideas.  Collaboration is
  • a key to the success of our work. It is extremely social. We are more similar to each other than different.
  • My metrics for my time are based on approximately quarterly accomplishements that are reflected in the public sphere.
  • I make money through fairly consistent and pre-established non-profit funding. I have to write grants to get larger projects and monies.

If you have a better way of saying this– a diagram, an ad or something completely unrelated, please let me know. In the meantime when I did a Google image search for the following string, guess what I got as first result?

artist curator educator designer =

A blank white cube.

Leave a Reply