Seminar V - Youngbin Kwak
The fifth seminar of the 2020 DOOSAN Curator Workshop, led by art critic Youngbin Kwak, was held on the theme "Collection, preservation and exhibition in the era of online migration." In particular, the seminar focused on art in the cloud computing and platform era under the premise that “contemporaneity is a thematic consciousness on contemporary characteristics”, and took an overall look on the discourses of theorists such as Yuk-Hui, Walter Benjamin, and Martin Heidegger.
Prior to the official seminar, the participants talked about the reality where digital sex crimes are regarded as being different from sex crimes in real space. Unlike traditional forms of crime, crime in the digital space has a separate status and an element of non-altering sense of eternity. As such, the seminar began with the idea that the distributed, produced and possessed “records” are not just dependent elements and go beyond the problem of the original / copy.
As evident in Seth Price's Dispersion, books, CDs, and digital contents have always been consumed privately everywhere, while art produced for the masses, such as monuments installed in squares, remain in specific public places. In other words, while the actual status of space as a monument can no longer be maintained, external hard drives containing video works are still collected and preserved in the museum's storage in a way that’s similar to traditional media such as painting and sculpture. Recalling such acts of categorical errors and anachronism, workshop participants delved into discussions on the “transferability” of work, “material aspects” of art, and furthermore, on the “datafication of target” and “objectification of data”.
This seminar reaffirmed that the process of expanding the status of existing artists and their works to different levels for them to be newly read is an essential requirement of the time. Participants were then able to think about what such attitude means for a curator in deconstructing the context of the exhibition.