Curators of new media art are becoming more common as these art forms
become more widely recognized by museums and art lovers.
New media art is created using the tools of modern mass communications.
This could include digital art, video art, and web art. A new media curator
is in charge of organizing exhibitions and acquiring new works for a museum's
"New media art in its narrower definition is art that uses digital technologies
as a medium. It is created and distributed by means of digital technologies
and can take the form of software, an interactive installation, a mobile app,
Internet art or virtual reality, among others," says new media curator Christiane
"Dealing with this type of art requires a good understanding of the technologies
involved and of the ways in which the artworks can be most successfully translated
into indoor and outdoor exhibition spaces."
Paul has curated many new media exhibitions around the world. She is also
an educator, writer and speaker on the topic of new media arts.
"I tremendously enjoy art and the ways in which it visually or conceptually
engages with culture, ideas and spaces," she says. "Art always tells a history
of its time and, at best, makes you see the world in a new way."
Paul says the role of a curator is a lot like the role of a movie director
when he or she turns a script into a finished film.
"One of the aspects I enjoy most about curating is to see an exhibition
that you conceived in your mind and on paper becoming 'real' in space and
take physical and visual form," says Paul. "I think it's a similar process
to turning a screenplay into a movie."
Paul says curating is a highly collaborative process. Curators have to
negotiate between their respective arts institution and its departments --
such as education, communications and publications -- and the artists and
"Personal qualities that serve you well in that context are having very
good communication and writing skills, as well as being a team player and
able to listen and respond to people's different opinions and needs," says
Maiko Tanaka is a curator of public programs at InterAccess. InterAccess
describes itself as "a public gallery, teaching facility, and production studio
dedicated to the creative use of technology, electronic art and new media
"I love the idea of creating a situation," says Tanaka. "It's kind of like
putting together a really different kind of event... Imagine putting together
someone's birthday party, but in a really different way. But I imagine that
in terms of thinking about engagement with art -- different kinds of encounters
with art that are not just in a gallery space."
Tanaka was drawn to new media curating because of the creativity it allowed.
"Being new media and new technology and [since it was] constantly changing,
there was a bit more possibility and less baggage about how they should be
presented," she says.
Tanya Toft is a curator, writer and researcher. The urban environment played
a big role in inspiring her to become a curator, and continues to influence
"Curating was a way I could work with this material that I saw as a new
thing happening in cities, especially with new media artists transforming
and shaping urban environments in new, interesting ways, and providing spaces
where citizens could reimagine the city or ask critical questions about the
city which those spaces might not have been provided before," says Toft.
"Also, what attracted me was that I'm not so interested in curating for
the 'white cube,' for the gallery or the exhibition space, because what drives
me to this field is how questions can be posed in the context where they are
actually working or relevant, which to me is very often the urban context,"
Toft has curated new media exhibitions in Europe, North America and South
America. She says new media curating is an exciting area in which to work.
"I think, for me, the reason curating is exciting, especially
with new media, is that it is in such a state of infancy right now," says
Toft. "It's taken so many directions and it's a very interdisciplinary field."
The newness of the field means that new media curators are forging fresh
"It's very fluid, and a lot of time people don't know what they're doing,
and also I don't know what I'm doing," says Toft. "We are all experimenting
and trying to set up these parameters for what makes sense and what doesn't,
and that's what really attracts me to it.
"It's not about learning what the curatorial schoolbook already prescribes,
but really trying to write those chapters yourself through experience, through
constantly reconsidering what you're doing," Toft adds.
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