Artifakt . 12

Artifacts are products of the human condition, conveyed through a multiplicity of thoughts, images and forms. Artifacts are the substance of discursive processes that bind us together as a species. They represent the museums of memory and knowledge that constellate the experiences of our species through the lens of the present, and are simultaneously reminiscent of the past. Artifacts reflect our experience and unknowing; dialogue and silence; semantics and rhetoric; design and chance; hierarchy and anarchy; symptom and desire.

Sometimes, the artifacts we create are transformed into art. Furthermore, while all human beings are authors of artifacts, few are regarded as artists. Through discursive processes of systemic curation, authors can become artists. In doing so, however, a transposition between the artist and the oeuvre begins to take place. The author becomes removed from the artifact as it transforms into an object of cultural, heritage and/or aesthetic significance. In the most exclusive examples of systemic curation, the artifact transforms into a sacred object.

I propose to present a process that counters contemporary systemic curatorial discourse. My proposition involves the creation of a profane artifact: a) rooted in open discourse b) not explicitly concerned with aesthetic merit c) imprinted with the memory dialogue of the time and space in which it was created (during the event itself ) and d) curated within the community of authors that informed its creation.

By presenting the process of creating an object of utility in a public space, imprinting that object with story, and finally entrusting the ongoing curation of that object within its author community, a post-modern commentary on "the apparatus of contemporary curatorial platforms" emerges. Much like a totem tradition, the story-telling and arts traditions that inform my proposal have been chosen in consideration of their suitability as vehicles of communal knowledge, story, and utility. Outlined in the table below, I present the contrasting key elements of the two curatorial processes:

Project Detail
My project involves the creation (in real-time and on-site) of a handmade piece of furniture, an item that by design has the potential for both aesthetic and common utility. Concurrently, I propose to solicit dialogue from event attendees and passersby (with text messaging, white-boarding, etc.) by posing the question; "What happens next?" The resulting dialogue will be distilled by myself, into a narrative comprised of no more than three paragraphs and engraved directly onto the finished piece of furniture. Once completed, a random contributor will be selected as the recipient of the artifact, thereby completing the process of community curation. Through this process the resulting artifact has common utility is rooted in and imprinted with story and narrative is rooted in open discourse is transposed from a public to a personal, and profane, living space.