Social Media Curating

Social Media Curating

The Photographers’ Gallery, London
12–13 Sept 2019

Session One: Circulation and Spectatorship
2:00 pm – 6:00 pm, Thursday 12th September

Session Two: Curating Network Culture
9:30 am – 1:30 pm, Friday 13th September

Speakers: Annet Dekker, Brian Droitcour, Olga Goriunova, Olia Lialina, Felix Magal, Anika Meier, Matthew Plummer-Fernandez, Wolfgang Wild

Network users, technologists and cultural organisations presently engage with the problem of curating images from very different, yet complementary positions. The computer sciences seek to optimise and automate the flow of visual information, through the production of a new generation of algorithms which exploit deep learning, computer vision and machine learning to analyse, aesthetically evaluate and automate the curation of image content.

Cultural managers, on the other hand, tend to instrumentalise ‘the digital’ predominantly as a tool and continue to adopt the analogue broadcast model of one-to many transmission based on traditional models of institutional cultural authority and disciplinary expertise.

The network user or social media curator occupies another set of positions, variously engaged with the organisation of visual content in terms of creative expression and identity construction (‘curating the self’), the preservation of online image cultures and their communities, or the acquisition of cultural capital through the aggregation and circulation of image content (‘self-branding’).

This two-day workshop seeks to open up the tensions between these different positions in order to develop an expanded account of photography and curating in computational culture. As artworks and bodies now circulate as visual content to be shaped into aggregations to harness new vectors of attention, what challenges arise for thinking about agency, expertise and the cultural value of the image?