Caught Thoughts

An evolving list of interesting prompts


"If you don't want to change anything you will lose what you want." Karres+Brands

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"Festivals are there to honour something; to welcome anyone who comes; to meditate on loss." Jude Kelly

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"Curation as public sphere

The theatre is the space in which societies have long explored their own means, procedures, ideals, and limits. It is, as Hannah Arendt states in The Human Condition (1958), 'the political art par excellence; only there is the political sphere transposed into art'. Taking this heritage into the field of curating - in a time when presumed political certainties have been pulverized and our democracies put under permanent threat - poses a crucial challenge to our practice. Chantal Mouffe's concept of agonistic pluralism, aiming at bringing out different positions in struggle and disaccord, for example in The Democratic Paradox (2000), enables us to think about democracy as a public sphere that allows for the possibility of conflict. Much in the same way that the concept of the curatorial can be thought of as performative, the concept of agonistic pluralism almost seems like paraphrasing theatre. [...] On a small scale, theatrical and curatorial concepts can create such spheres of open exchange, even in societies in which free speech is scarce or in Western democracies where the space between consensus and antagonism is becoming increasingly narrow. Art not in but as public space - to use a distinction drawn by art theorist Miwon Kwon in One Place After Another (2002) - might be one of the most important contributions of performative curating."

Florian Malzacher, in the wholly excellent Empty Stages, Crowded Flats: Performativity as Curatorial Strategy which I couldn't recommend to you more.

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"Are we finished with the idea of a festival being able to speak to a whole city?" Angharad Wynne-Jones

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"100 years ago, we were subjects and our principal media was radio. Then we became consumers, and with television came choice. Now, in the digital age - we are citizens, and producers of culture." Citizenshift.info (via David Micklem)

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"What does it mean to feel responsible to take a risk?" Alex Kelly

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"Don’t make it for a community. Create a community." Claire Doherty