Curating the Dots roundup by Kate Martin

Thursday saw the New Art Exchange host ‘Curating the Dots’ a talk centred on ‘augmented reality’ and ‘digital curation’ by Open Curate It’s Boo Chaple…

Thursday saw the New Art Exchange host ‘Curating the Dots’ a talk centred on ‘augmented reality’ and ‘digital curation’ by Open Curate It’s Boo Chaple, famous new media artist Jeremy Bailey and Apposing’s Louis Aims. This energetic presentation left me thinking about the effect the digital world can have when engaged with the real world.

I’m sure that certain theorists such as Walter Benjamin would have been horrified by such developments but in contemporary society most people have at least dabbled in the delights of social media. Nonetheless, for some people (myself included!) the vast realms of computer generation are tricky to understand. If I look back upon various pages of notes from academic lectures, curation has been defined as ‘to act as a keeper of objects by organising and overseeing’. Understood this way it is perfectly feasible to understand how bringing together hyperlinks and online content can be understood as within the boundaries of curatorial practice.

These social platforms reflect a major social shift that allows for alternative audiences and communities to engage. Therefore, augmented reality offers an interesting approach to accessible meaning making and active engagement strategies within the arts and culture sector. The dynamics of sites like allow for a more collaborative and ‘open’ approach to curation than perhaps traditionally understood. Of course as Boo highlighted, ‘openness is a slippery beast’ and one which she continues to struggle to define.

Regardless of the inherent ‘teething troubles’, innovative new approaches are exactly what are needed to ensure the arts and culture sector continues to captivate audiences and flourish in the current economic situation. After listening to the thoughts of Boo and Louis and being immersed into the enthralling and earnest world of the ‘famous’ new media artist Jeremy Bailey I can see just how effective the digital world can be when engaging the real world . The performative nature of the evening definitely had the audience amused and enthused.

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