Rethinking the Social - Digital Curation
Feb 6, 2021 at 10:00 — 14:00 (GMT)
An introduction to the history of art on the web through the critical lens of Flatness. We will discuss key political questions of embodiment and disembodiment in relation to digital expression along with practical insights into curating and presenting work online.
This workshop will appeal to those with an active interest in achieving in social justice and alternative forms of encountering art online to the main social media channels and institutional platforms.
Using Flatness as a case study we will consider often overlooked histories of the web and the cultural specificities of the online for interacting with networked artworks as well as discussing related questions of audiences, professionalism and solidarity. For example, what kind of experiences can be created online compared to physical galleries? Who might feel addressed and what kind of work might manifest in this context?
As well as discourses around the digital, Shama will share practical advice on developing website projects and building audiences for your work.
Live since 2013, Flatness is a long-running project curated by Shama Khanna offering artists and audiences a space for creativity away from structurally unjust institutions and market-led forces of the web.
This long-term research and commissioning platform for artists’ moving image and network culture decentres hegemonic narratives from the margins of the online. Flatness presents a porous context for artworks to be shared as part of a genuinely networked culture.
Flatness values artistic experimentation and embodied, durational experiences of art on the web. It is curated from the perspective of a queer Brown sick womxn with the aim of uplifting practices which similarly aim to dismantle intersectional oppression.
“… Yet the curation of a durational space for art on the web over the course of several years now begins to feel significant, harnessing this ephemeral and devalued space to fill it with extraordinary forms of being in the world. Supplementing a heritage of diasporic resourcefulness. Curating in the margins as a way of practicing accountability when the news constantly tests our nerves.
The idea of flatness has always felt grounding for me, trusting the intuition in one’s body when mustering strength against divisive forces. To quote Moten and Harney, who write about fugitivity as a mode of living together, which ‘cannot be shared as a model but as an instance’, spaces for desire and dreaming must be made and unmade every day to fortify against hate. My body overrode my efforts to work without love. I now dedicate my work to seizing the means of somatic recovery and encouraging a shamelessness around incapacity. To replacing a value system based on constant incentives to produce with an imperative to hold oneself, and each other, close.”
– Excerpt from ‘State of the Union’ by Shama Khanna commissioned for the exhibition ‘Thirteen Ways of Looking’ curated by Sylvia Theuri, available to read in full on flatness.eu.
E: email@example.com / Tw: @shama_khanna / IG: @flatness.eu
Shama Khanna is an independent curator, writer and educator from London via Kenya where they were born. Working within the UK and internationally for close to a decade, Khanna has curated numerous artists’ projects and commissions both independently and as part of collaborations with a range of organisations including: Keimena TV for documenta 14; Shades of Opacity for Jerwood Visual Arts; Aorist at Raven Row; Non-Linear screenings at Moderna Museet Malmö; LIMA in Amsterdam; LUX in London and Glasgow; Flatness at Chisenhale Gallery; Camden Arts Centre; Kurzfilmtage
Oberhausen; Rietveld Academie; and The Herbert, Coventry. As a writer they have contributed to Afterall, NANG, Art Monthly, Art Agenda, The White Review and Frieze. Khanna is a visiting lecturer at RCA and UAL and a Trustee of not / nowhere.
Khanna curates the long-running platform Flatness and the artists’ moving image series, Non-Linear. Both projects learn from artists’ practices in order to address the artistic, structural and the material conditions, desires and possibilities of working immaterially.
Selected writing and projects:
State of the Union – Autumn 2020
Flatness Interview for Spike Art Magazine
Non-linear screening series
Frida Orupabo exhibition review for Afterall
Contribution to Tongues by Rehana Zaman
Dennis Cooper film review for The White Review