Special Issue "Curating Ethics"

A special issue of Philosophies (ISSN 2409-9287).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 November 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Jean-Paul Martinon
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Reader in Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths, University of London, London SE14 6NW, UK
Interests: continental philosophy; museology; curating; time; temporality

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Everyone curates images, objects, and sounds through digital or other means and with varying degrees of competence or skill. The ever-increasing popularity of this activity has led some to lament that, today, everybody is a curator, that we ceaselessly grow in superficiality (always working on the next blogged, instagrammed, tumblr’d, or twittered image to be pasted onto the already rich constellation of our curated lives). What was once considered a hallowed expertise has now become a commonplace activity showing that people are both subjugated to market forces and addicted to the endless process of superfluous repetition. Everyone indeed curates and yet this global activity has no code of practice; it is free of any institutional ethical anchoring. If there is no more training or schooling to help aspiring curators navigate the muddy waters of right and wrong, if there is no more expertise or professionalism to set, represent, and protect good standards of practice, and if there are no more guilds or syndications to verify, correct, and/or defend these standards, how can this activity remain in any way ethical? This Special Issue invites contributions from philosophers of information, curators, cultural theorists, art theorists, or new media scholars concerned with how ethics play out in today’s oversaturated world. We particularly seek contributions from those who are interested in crossing the borders between philosophy and other disciplines or research areas. No particular philosophical tradition is privileged, provided the essay has a firm scholarly foundation.

Dr. Jean-Paul Martinon
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Philosophies is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Curating
  • Information ethics
  • Meta-ethics
  • Moral philosophy
  • Art
  • Cultural studies
  • New media
  • Social networking

Published Papers (5 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessArticle
Curators Serving the Public Good
Philosophies 2021, 6(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies6020028 - 01 Apr 2021
Viewed by 226
Abstract
This article investigates a principle inscribed at the top of most codes of ethics for curators: they should always “serve the public good.” No self-respecting curator would ever admit to serve “the private good,” that is, the good of the few, whether that [...] Read more.
This article investigates a principle inscribed at the top of most codes of ethics for curators: they should always “serve the public good.” No self-respecting curator would ever admit to serve “the private good,” that is, the good of the few, whether that of an elite in power or of a circle of friends or allies. The principle of “serving the public good” is inalienable and unquestionable even in situations where it is most open to doubt. However, what exactly is the meaning of this seemingly “true” and on all accounts “universal” principle: “to serve the public good”? To address this question, I look at this principle for the way it is perceived as being both majestic in its impressive widespread acceptance and cloaked in ridicule for being so often disregarded. I will argue—with an example taken from the history of curating—that it is not the meaning attached to the principle that counts, but the respect that it enjoins. I conclude by drawing a few remarks on how the value of the “good” remains, after the principle has been cast aside and the priority of respect is acknowledged, a ghost on the horizon of all curators’ work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Curating Ethics)
Open AccessArticle
Learning to Say No, the Ethics of Artist-Curator Relationships
Philosophies 2021, 6(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies6010016 - 17 Feb 2021
Viewed by 647
Abstract
The article suggests that the perceived ethics of curatorial practice are not often in balance with operative ethics, and analyses the problem by focusing on the curator-artist relationship. Contemporary art curators constantly find themselves in a situation where they have to choose between [...] Read more.
The article suggests that the perceived ethics of curatorial practice are not often in balance with operative ethics, and analyses the problem by focusing on the curator-artist relationship. Contemporary art curators constantly find themselves in a situation where they have to choose between the needs of the few and the many. Counter-hegemony theory is used to examine the curator’s duty toward the many, while the reading of Jacque Derrida’s concept of responsibility toward an individual and Alain Badiou’s ‘singularity of situations’ suggest that the few are to be considered first. In this article, I suggests that curators could learn to say no in order to be able to balance these different demands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Curating Ethics)
Open AccessArticle
To Send a Kite: Simone Weil’s Lessons in Ethical Attention for the Curator
Philosophies 2020, 5(4), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5040032 - 03 Nov 2020
Viewed by 669
Abstract
As socially engaged practices grow within the curatorial field, the use of attention becomes a crucial ethical decision. How and to whom attention is given centers on concerns of visibility, belonging, and the determination of those characteristics within a community’s negotiated communicative space. [...] Read more.
As socially engaged practices grow within the curatorial field, the use of attention becomes a crucial ethical decision. How and to whom attention is given centers on concerns of visibility, belonging, and the determination of those characteristics within a community’s negotiated communicative space. Exploring Simone Weil’s ethics of attention through and alongside incarceration-focused curatorial projects, this article positions her writing as a potential framework for attentive curation. The resulting pathways found in Weil’s writing offer means of transforming the curatorial into a self-silencing act of witnessing that serves underrecognized voices. This research parses how Weilian attention redefines inquiry as the process of listening to and incorporating others’ perspectives as primary sources of knowledge. Looking towards an ethics of Weilian attention with examples of incarceration-focused curation reveals how upholding the insights and articulations of marginalized individuals promotes social wellbeing and works towards the realization of justice. Thousand Kites, a prison-based project connecting inmates and the public through the radio and internet, provides the central case study for a curatorial project aligning with Weilian attention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Curating Ethics)
Open AccessArticle
The Return to Kalokagathia: Curating as Leverage in the Ongoing Dialogues between Aesthetics and Ethics
Philosophies 2020, 5(4), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5040029 - 12 Oct 2020
Viewed by 663
Abstract
This essay argues that curating brought back a kind of leverage that redressed the otherwise imbalanced relationship between aesthetics and ethics. Curating lends out to art its innocent and aspirational belief in such a balance because the ethical concerns in art theory and [...] Read more.
This essay argues that curating brought back a kind of leverage that redressed the otherwise imbalanced relationship between aesthetics and ethics. Curating lends out to art its innocent and aspirational belief in such a balance because the ethical concerns in art theory and art criticism have long been toned down while form was prioritized over content. Ever since the curatorial profession created its own niche in the art world—started, for example, in the West, in the late 1960s with curators such as Siegelaub, Szeemann, or Lippard—curating began to mediate this relationship, thus helping to activate the catalyst potential of art without having to compromise its formal aspects. More specifically, this essay explores the ways in which theories and practices of curating brought back to mind the ancient Greek notion of kalokagathia, the intertwinement of aesthetics and ethics and, with it, other ethical responsibilities, principles, and values that art forgot to address while giving privilege to its formal aspects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Curating Ethics)
Open AccessArticle
Curatorial Ethics and Indeterminacy of Practice
Philosophies 2020, 5(3), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5030023 - 18 Sep 2020
Viewed by 654
Abstract
This article defines “curatorial ethics” as a notion that has to be configured and constantly revisited by an independent curator throughout her practice. By inquiring into the personal motives, biases and drives, she would establish her own ethical position, convert it into a [...] Read more.
This article defines “curatorial ethics” as a notion that has to be configured and constantly revisited by an independent curator throughout her practice. By inquiring into the personal motives, biases and drives, she would establish her own ethical position, convert it into a professional ethic and apply it to judge her own professional performance and her colleagues. Such perspective opposes the traditional understanding a professional ethic as a set of unitary guidelines to be passed to specialists (i.e., via education or early career). The notion of curatorial responsibility is redefined accordingly, and with conceptual inspiration from Gilles Deleuze and Karen Barad’s concepts of “becoming” (Deleuze) and “intra-action” (Barad). A curator is addressed as accountable for configuring her practice in response to agendas and actions of other parties involved in the art project. That is, for facilitating the co-constitution of individual subject positions and practices via opening up herself to the terrors and potentials of unprecedented self-transformation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Curating Ethics)
Back to TopTop