Processing Worlds, Processing Back Words. Thinking Through the Act of Curating

Lecture by Miya Yoshida (Berlin)
October 27th, 2011

In her presentation, Miya Yoshida will discuss the potentials, limitations and possibilities of artistic research by introducing her PhD project at Malmö Art Academy / Lund University she realized in 2006, simultaneously an exhibition that she engaged as a research. Based on this project, she will explore the specificity of curatorial thinking.

Since the Bologna declaration in 1999, a lot of discussions have taken place on the topic of artistic research. Meanwhile, the actual research has kept proceeding and has also been introduced on the level of doctoral candidates, and many essays and books are published on what is discussed as a shift in the cultural politics of art education. However, the majority of the concepts of artistic research remains in a foggy status. And now, after years of actual experience with practices which speak of themselves as of artistic research? What do we actually mean when we speak of research within contemporary art practices?

Obviously, artistic research has a long prehistory, before and within modernity, and to revive the notion of research is a step full of challenges. As artistic reasearch is as differentiated as individual art practices, it is not easy to find any methods and answers, or even a particular fixed framework. However, instead of finding the easy answers, producing a series of questions might be a good way to gradually clarify the term. How do we differentiate “artistic” research? Does the binarism of “thinking-doing” actually happen simultaneously, or what happens when different disciplines coincide and intersect in individual practices and forms of research? What is the specificity of curatorial thinking, its relation to artistic research? More specifically what dös artistic research mean for a topical understanding of curatorial practice and for artistic practice? “The Invisible Cities” and other curatorial projects by Bruno Latour, “Soft Cinema” by Lev Manovich – can they also be considered as artistic research approached from theoretical professionals? Is there any difference when academic researchers start to engage in thinking through practice? How to identify it? What kind of unorganized possibilities can be produced there? How can we cultivate our own thinking? What is “the other ways of knowing”?

Miya Yoshida, an independent curator and a researcher, has worked internationally with different forms of art projects and research. She was engaged in public commission works in Japan (1990-1997), and coordinated “Akihabara TV” project (1998), and “Toride Art Project” (1999). Since 2000, her interests lies in the topics on the notion of subjectivities and new forms of labour. She received a Master of Arts in media and governance at Keio Univeristy in 2000 and a Master of Arts in art history at Goldsmiths College, Univeristy of London in 2001, as well as a PhD in Fine Arts at Malmö Art Academy / Lund University in 2006. She has been developing curatorial projects based on artistic research on the mobile telephony, a notion of amateur and others. She curated a series of exhibitions, “The Invisible Landscapes” (Malmö in 2003, Bangkok in 2005, Lund in 2006), “World in Your Hand” (Dresden in 2010), “Labour of Love, Revisited” (Seoul forthcoming in 2011) and also contributes texts for art/theory magazins, Texte zur Kunst (Germany) and Bijutsu Techo (Japan). She was a guest researcher at Korea Foundation in 2009, and a senior lecturer at Copenhagen University in 2010.

Current publications

  • “Welt in der Hand”, ed. by Miya Yoshida, Christiane Mennicke and Jan Wenzel, Leipzig, Spector Books, 2010.

  • “Machtbeziehungen in der Globalen Kommunikation”, in: Luxemburg-Gesellschaftsanalyse und linke Praxis, vol.#1, Freie Universität, Berlin, 2010, pp. 114-127.

  • “The ‘Hidden Homeless’ in Japan’s Contemporary Mobile Culture”, in: Asian Popular Culture, California State University, 2010.

  • “Mode of Mobile Communication”, in: Aether. The Journal of Media Geography vol.#5: Locative Media and Mediated Localities, California State University, Northridge, 2009.
    This article will be translated in Polish in Kultura Popularn, ed. Anna Nacher, Jagiellonian University, 2011.