smARTplaces: Alexa Jeanne Kusber | Curation As Collaboration – Artists, Algorithms, Museums and the Public

smARTplaces | INNOVATION in Culture

smARTplaces | INNOVATION in Culture
smARTplaces | INNOVATION in Culture
01.03.2018 to 02.03.2018

From March 1st to 2nd, 2018, the conference »smARTplaces | INNOVATION in Culture« took place at the ZKM | Karlsruhe as part of the EU project »smARTplaces«.

Not only is digitization now in art’s DNA, cultural institutions are beginning to embark on disruptive paths in order to facilitate and support innovative processes. The »smARTplaces | INNOVATION in Culture« conference analyzes possibilities, and also necessities, of digital renewal within culture and spotlights audience development.

The MuDA (Museum of Digital Art) opened its doors in Zurich in February 2016 raising most of its funding from a crowdfunding campaign. Since then, the museum which focuses on code-based art, has developed a diverse following due in large part to its experimental and disruptive methods that question what it is to be a museum today. The MuDA attempts to do more than merely exhibit digital works, it continues to develop and explore alternative modes for museum practices –  namely how it approaches curation, cultural mediation and education in the current era of digitalization. Challenging the role of the human curator is just one of MuDA’s pioneering processes. By having an algorithm (Hal 101) as the main curator, the museum questions traditional methods of the role of the curator in terms of personal taste, politics, authority and place in the museum context. The MuDA prefers to focus on a collaborative ideology, a model that leaves room for taking new risks and expands the types of relationships the museum has with its artists, staff and audiences.

This talk highlights MuDA’s current practices that aim towards existing as a space of collective, democratic decision making, where information is transferred into knowledge, global problems are faced at the local level, and the dehumanized is rehumanized.

Alexa Jeanne Kusber is an American independent curator and creative based in Zurich. Throughout her career she has maintained a focus on questioning and expanding the notion of curating. She currently is the Public Programming Curator at the Museum of Digital Art (MuDA) in Zurich where she attempts to disrupt and strengthen the practice of cultural mediation. Concurrently she curates a residency program at the Verbier 3-D Foundation, creating a space for artists and experimentation to meet in an alternative context in which the artists’ practices are challenged to create cutting-edge contemporary art in relation to place.

Video documentary:

ZKM | Videostudio

Camera: Andy Koch
Live-Editing: Frenz Jordt
Editing: Andy Koch