Curatorial development in Scotland

Notes from Value and Evaluation workshop

Here are some things I can still  remember from the discussion.  I’ll post a more comprehensive summary soon.

The tendency in discussing value is towards an economic value of the cultural, yet economic value is more than just a financial value.   Nonetheless, money becomes the default definition of value.

We lack a definition of actual cultural value – generally when we talk about practices in relation to an organisational context we’re actually using a personal value set – and evaluating how those serve the values of an organisation

Cultural value is based on the representation of something that doesn’t diminish the more its shared, but the process of sharing it grows it further.

Selling art is a process that monetizes the art’s cultural value.  Is there a point at which art can shift from having alienable to inalienable value and it can’t go back?  If that is the case, then the value of that piece of art has become money.

Problematics often begin with the rub between personal values operating within the institutional (political, aesthetic, etc) – attempting to redefine this as something coherent can lead to a sense of being value-less.

What a contradiction that a curator also working as a waitress would automatically refuse to have their waitressing skills and experience devalued below minimum wage, but is compliant with the devaluation of their skills and experience as a curator or curatorial assistant through being employed on a voluntary basis.

Artist run or non-institutional projects can be the enabler of an ideology of values where art comes first, and doesn’t have to be artificially redefined into economic value.

New-ness in contemporary art is a conditional implication of value

It’s not our job to evaluate our own work.  Funders should provide the tools for what they want evaluated and do it themselves – we’re neither economists or analysts.

Eastside Projects Users Manual – focuses on verbs, i.e. the things it does, rather than fixed points of analysis.  It mixes both vernacular and state institutional language. One way that inherent values can be exposed is through exposing layers in the flow of ideas, inherent within the applied language.

Refuse meaningless evaluation!

Would it make a difference if all projects and organisations reported their evaluation on a fictional basis for a year? Would fictional evaluation been more useful to cultural evaluation?

Activity in relation to policy creates conflicting values

Evaluation is a process of learning rather than a measure of accountability

Relational comparatives.  How does evaluation operate outside the value conditions it’s set by?  What’s the difference between peer to peer values and those of the external examiner? What is lost in the process of representing the response of others through evaluation?

An exhibition does its own evaluation innately.