Fig.1. Head in the clouds
My teenagers curate images on Tumblr, a tumbling riot of choice images grabbed and reblogged into a visual expression of who they aspire to be, or who they are or the people they want to attract.
The museum of the person, for the person rather than a museum by a person for the people.
Perhaps this is the answer – blurring the boundaries between blog, gallery, library and museum we each become the curators of the external expression of the contents of our minds forming in total a waterfall of information and ideas. As a reader, visitor or learner you are the fish swimming in this river, dipping in and out and through it. The space is an interplay between what others contribute and what you elect to tangle with.
Curation is more than aggregating stuff, there is a sense of purpose, a theme, even if it is a current in this river, this torrent, this deluge of information – the content is gathered, and presented in a certain way.
Someone has made choices on the visitor’s behalf. The collection is assembled for a purpose, to change minds, to open heads, to instigate a journey, to act as a catalyst for learning and and the creation of understanding.
Whilst blogging implies creating content or self-publishing, curation is aggregating content by one person for others – going out with a broom to sweep autumn leaves into a pile then picking out the russet red ones. It isn’t publishing either, these leaves are literally individual pages, not entire books, they are, in the parlance ‘bite–sized’ pieces of information.
At what point does it cease to be curation?
The London Underground Lost Property Office is not a curated space – this stuff has been pushed into the space, not pulled. Push or pull are key words when it comes to curation, especially where the curation is prompted by the desire to respond to a problem – such as engaging people to take responsibility for their own learning by providing them with a space with blurred boundaries that will contain, more often than not, objects that satisfy and pique their curiosity in order that they then go on to construct their own understanding.
The curator doesn’t orginating content then?
Tell that to … a History of the World in 100 objects.
Fig.2. An online diary or journal
Over a decade ago, to some a web log and now a blog can embrace curation – 195 posts on blogging and my favourite definition is ‘digital paper‘ – a blog is anything you can do with it.
Curation is perhaps therefore, a digital museum, library or gallery?
By defintion less self–publishing, and more aggregation of the works of others.