I’m very pleased to announce that the brilliant and talented Tanya Toft — Ph.D. Fellow at Copenhagen University, current participant in CuratorLab at Konstfack Universitet, Stockholm, and my former research assistant (!!) — has launched an exciting new curatorial/research platform, Urban Media Aesthetics, which examines the curation of digital art forms in urban environments. I had the honor of serving as external advisor for the project’s first phase of development.
“Spectacle” is the first of several themes Tanya will explore through the platform. Through invited writings, interviews, and events, she’ll examine how we might develop alternative discourses and aesthetic possibilities for “spectacle,” which don’t reduce it to illusion, commodification, and fetishization.
The project includes short writings from Mark Amerika, Simone Arcagni, Maurice Benayoun, Ulrik Ekman, Lev Manovich, and Christiane Paul. Tanya will also be posting interviews with Daniela Arriado, Director of Screen City Moving Image Festival; Martin Brynskov, Associate Professor in Interaction Technologies at Aarhus University; Dooeun Choi, Independent Curator and former Creative Director of Art Center Nabi (Seoul, Korea); Nina Colosi, Founder and Creative Director of the Streaming Museum; Trevor Davies, Director of Copenhagen International Theater; Steve Dietz, Curator and Founder of Northern Lights; Sherry Dobbin, Director of Public Art @ Times Square Alliance; Ken Farmer, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Nuit Blanche New York; Usman Haque, Architect and founding partner of Umbrellium; Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, electronic artist; Magdalena Malm, Director at The National Public Art Council, Sweden, and previous Artistic Director at MAP, Mobile Art Production; Marcus Neustetter, Artist, Cultural Activist and Producer; Kollision / Rune Nielsen, Art/Architect Collective; Marília Pasculli, Independent curator, co-creator and artistic director of the Verve Cultural; Susa Pop, Founder of Public Art Lab and Director of Connecting Cities; Mirjam Struppek, Director of Interactionfield – Urban Media Research and Curation; Nato Thompson, Chief Curator at Creative Time; and Sarah Williams, Assistant Professor & Director of the Civic Data Design Lab at MIT.
Tanya’s also hosting a screening of Alice Arnold’s Electric Signs documentary at Harvestworks this coming Tuesday, December 3, at 7pm. And on Wednesday, December 4 at 6:30pm, in collaboration with Leaders in Software and Art, she’s hosting a salon at 475 Kent Avenue in Brooklyn. Artists Eric Corriel, Kacie Kinzer, Rune Madsen, and YesYesNo / Molmol Kuo will discuss the role of spectacle in their own urban art practices. I’ll be writing up a response, which will be posted to the UMA website.