[Autonogram] New book: Curating Immateriality

Ben at Autonomedia ben at autonomedia.org
Mon May 8 19:44:24 EDT 2006

greetings, subscribers --

"Curating Immateriality: The Work of the Curator in the Age of 
Network Systems" is the third book in the Data Browser series, 
presenting critical texts at the intersection of culture and 


The site of curatorial production has expanded in recent years to 
include the space of the internet; at the same time, the focus of 
much curatorial attention has extended from object-based work to 
processes and dynamic systems. As a result, curatorial work has 
become more widely distributed between multiple agents, including 
tech networks and software. The resulting art "upgrade" presents new 
possibilities of online curating which are collective and 
distributed, even to the extreme of a self-organizing system that 
curates itself. In this scenario, the curator is part of the system, 
but no longer central to it.

This may seem like a mouthful, but it's fairly difficult to 
encapsulate all this book is doing into a short descriptive 
paragraph. The theoretical backbone of the book is steeped in the 
Italian Autonomist tradition, itself a response to transformations of 
labor in post-Fordist societies emphasizing immaterial forms of 
social relations, in which distributed production and communication 
technologies are increasingly prominent. As such, the book 
understands curating as a thoroughly political practice, and develops 
discussions about the transformation of curatorial process and the 
structures of control expressed through it.

Most of the book articulates these discussions through a plethora of 
new curatorial practices: collaborative and open source software 
projects, sophisticated filtering processes, and the development of 
alternative platforms for presenting and distributing emergent 
cultural practices. The ideas and practices developed in the book aim 
to allow new formations of power and control to be conceptualized and 
to reveal new contradictions that may emerge from these practices.

More on the book, including the full introductory text and a list of 
contributors, can be viewed at http://www.data-browser.net/03/

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Thanks for reading,
Ben / Autonomedia

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