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The Clark, Williamstown – Copy Cat, Clark Remix, Ucurate

by on May 11, 2012

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The spring semester class of Visual Studies and Digital Media I teach for the Academy at Charlemont, visited the Clark in Williamstown, twice, the first time to see Copy Cat and the second time for Clark Remix and uCcurate.  For the first visit we combined forces with Roy Superior‘s  drawing and painting classes and enjoyed an informative tour with Alexis Goodin the co-curator of the exhibit.  Her tour took us through the history of copying, techniques and subject, who followed who and why.  Discussion of attribution issues and how the internet is now bringing these issues into the forefront of art making, scholarship and criticism.  With the digital life of images, we will see a completely new generation of copying, collaging and subsequent issues such as forgery rise to the surface not unlike the categories in the exhibition.

The second visit took us through the uCurate exhibition and provided an immersion into the new technologies being pioneered at the Clark.  We were greeted by a congenial guard who introduced us to the tablets and work stations to create our own exhibitions.  First moving through the exhibit in our usual way, reading text and looking at images, each student chose a them to organize their exhibition and began to use the technology to design an installation.  The good news is that digital technology provided a means by which to organize our thoughts about a subject and provide a glimpse into the process of selecting and arranging artworks as a curator. I approached the project from the perspective of choosing a few objects that relate to my upcoming exhibition COVET that brings contemporary artists and museums together through source material and contact with curators.  The Clark is one of our”local” museums involved in the ongoing project.  Painters and sculptors are drawing inspiration and deepening their own knowledge by choosing paintings by Sargent and others to inform themselves and then, subsequently introducing our viewing audience at the gallery, to the artistic process and thus creating connections to history and collections.  For more information on the project, our upcoming behind the scenes tours and the museums involved see the link below.

Click here for COVET at Ferrin Gallery

Click here for COVET programming through ArtBerkshires

As with the writing up the blogs we do for Visual Studies, the curation process involved more time and detail than the class allowed to fully explore and complete the process of commenting on each artwork or creating a curatorial statement.  Additionally, we thought we might be able to finish the work in the classroom but with uCurate, once you close your exhibition, the program does not allow you to edit or revise, so several of us with detail issues had to start over – but the good news is, after you’ve been to the Clark in person, you can start up the program from home and take as long as you like.  With the museum embracing new technology and a new generation of viewers participating in the museum experience both in person and through virtual experiences – the remote location of the Clark is now that much more accessible or at least as close as a laptop with internet and useful to the world of artists and scholars for research and source material.

The New York Times thought so too.

FYI post posting related story …

For those who may have mistaken Pinterest and decor for “curate” or ponder current word usage – blogger Lauren Northup, Curator of Collections at The Hermitage in Norfolk, Virginia vents about the consistent use of the word “curator” – note its counterpart for process – “curation” not even a bonafide dictionary term, finds new common use spread throughout the comments.


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