Symposium: Promises and Realities of digital technologies

Friday 29th November, 2019

Symposium: Promises and Realities of digital technologies

A discussion on the 'Promises and Realities of digital technologies'
With Tsila Hassine, Christopher Kulendran Thomas, Carla Rapoport and Samuel Capps

Chaired by Lee Weinberg

See the event padlet here

The best way to summaries this panel, is by outlining the questions that were addressed to members of this panel in the correspondence we had leading to this event.

The questions that were discussed were provocations that relate to the relationship between art and technology, curating and technology and the evaluation and monetization of art through technological systems, that are inevitably embedded within the capitalist mode operandi of current environments that look at the development and use of technologies, and include, web based environments, which at a certain point, seemed to promise the democratization of communication and art.

The guests to this panel were all artists, practitioners, academics and curators that directly and indirectly look at these topics.



Can we think about this image not only in the ridicule dystopian futuristic bizarre light that provokes, but as an actual metaphor of our relationship with technology?

Could this be a realistic, rather grim reflection on the way we find ourselves navigating new conditions of production, whereby the lure of certain technologies, be it social media, or VR, actually provide a space for an increased and huge amount of free labour, that others capitalize on?

Is technology and its entertaining and social rewards the new 'opium for the masses'?

(Alexandra and Simon)


Does the subversion of art's definition, taking advantage of evolving opportunities in current markets, especially in relation to certain technological hypes, also changes the relationship between the artist and her work?

How can we complicate that?

How do we account for and do we account for authenticity at all? - if we inflate the value of certain acts, it could be a cynical response to art market's mechanism, on the one hand, but on the other hand, is there not an act of surrender in this cynical approach? what are we truly benefiting from such acts? and what is the price that we pay in such acts?

What happens to the way larger audiences understand art, when mental and cultural classification of art's definition and operations are blurred in such ways?

In this sense, what is the meaning of art's definition as such?

If we only create 'art' for the sake of participating in our circles, those that can digest these circular logics, then aren't we surrendering to the hierarchical logic upon which the market, art's history and the art world are constructed?

(Tsila and Simon)


with the development of different technologies, curatorial practice also responds to the opportunities that technology offers with hopes to loosen up the hierarchies of the market, the cultivation of new collectors, new forms of art and new ways of disseminating it, however many of these attempts tend to fail in the long run and those who succeed are successful only through traditional evaluation and gate keeping systems, either academia and the slow and problematic progress of art's history or through traditional channels.

What's our responsibility as curators in constructing the value of an artwork? How do we do that?

How could we do that? Given that we, also, want to get paid for our work.

What models exist that defy this logic?

Can technology actually help us?

(Beryl and Offsite Projects)