Published on July 22, 2014
Notes on the texts and semantics of SPOKEN virtual gallery project Stephen Black
What is SPOKEN? (1) SPOKEN is a virtual gallery and text project produced and curated by Eugene Soh and Stephen Black. Artists were chosen because they had, at least once, a conversations or linguistic exchange with the curators. This curatorial decision is simple, yet multidimensional. SPOKEN consists of the virtual gallery (gallery.sg), an exhibition catalogue, a sales platform, a collection of fictional/metafictional short stories and essays and a script for a short film.
What is SPOKEN (2) SPOKEN is the title of the virtual gallery and text project. SPOKEN suggests curator/artist communication. SPOKEN is an identity; a “brand name.” ‘Spoken’ is the past participle form of ‘speak’. ‘Spoken’ is a sound made up of two syllables; a word which is easy to spell and likely to be understood by non-native English speakers. ‘Spoken’ resembles spokes; lines radiating from a point.
Curatorial Strategy (the challenge of openness) Gallery.sg is not administered nor influenced by academia and/or business-centric galleries with their attendant politics and agendas.Thus, gallery.sg can act as a shelter for fragile,noncommercial and unconventional ideas. It would be a waste of opportunity to duplicate the goals of an exhibition in a physical gallery.Being virtual eliminates concerns such as borders, shipping, rent and, to a certain extent, even time and space.
Curatorial Strategy (the response to openness) By showing artists with whom the curators have spoken: - an eclectic and unique collection of art results - a humanistic history of art and technology reveals itself - a layer of self-portraiture may become evident - the art world’s “clique dynamics”are exposed and exploded - a “map” of social interactions is produced Curation based on conversations/vocal exchanges unifies and shapes great artistic diversity.
SPOKEN hazards - the risk of being seen as egotistical. “I spoke to these important artists” misinterpreted as boasting. - Having two curators requires an explanation/clarification about which curator spoke to which artist. This requires text and layout considerations that would be unnecessary if there were only one curator. - The concept of identity in virtual reality is fluid and impermanent; having one curatorial voice is one less complication.
He to the rescue! Using Helium as a curator: - eliminates the problems associated w/ having two curators - replaces documentary stylings with creative writing - reduces gender, age and ethnicity issues - allows for experimentation with text as well as avatar - Abbreviation for Helium is He; wordplay possibilities!
Books of the artists SPOKEN emphasises the not just the spoken word, but the written word. Artists books will be given prominence;links to reviews and sales opportunities as well.
SPOKEN texts - Exhibition guide:artists’ bios,history of gallery.sg,artworks - Introduction to SPOKEN by Nguyen Hong Nhung - Speaking of SPOKEN: essays and microfiction by S Black - Helium in SPOKEN: S Black’s script for machinima movie
In VR, people speak by writing... Ong also notes that many Americans view the reality of words as defined by dictionaries rather than by vocal speech. He has stated, "We are so literate in ideology that we think writing comes naturally. We have to remind ourselves from time to time that writing is completely and irremediably artificial." Ong believes that writing is necessary for transmitting knowledge in a technological culture. He maintains that speech should be viewed as primary because it is drawn from the unconscious while writing requires conscious attention: "Speech is structured through the entire fabric of the human person. Writing depends on consciously contrived rules. He also states that writing and speech are each privileged in specific ways, and that they depend upon each other for identification and clarity. -Wikipedia entry for Phonocentrism
For more information on SPOKEN Visit www.blacksteps.tv http://www.blacksteps.tv/?page_id=30488 twitter:bookmerah Google+ SPOKEN virtual art gallery dude.sg (Eugene Soh’s website) gallery.sg (present exhibition; The Web Art Show)
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