Curation and Collaboration

It's What We Do

In case you aren’t already - you can now 😄

On Curation

Good curators really are a new form of storyteller, in that what they're doing is saying here's a group of cultural objects that I claim are related in some way.

Curation is claiming a relationship between things.

The history of art is full of stories of developing linearly like Braque led to Picasso and Picasso led to this person and that person or that other - as if there was a sort of cause and effect chain. The interesting thing about modern art is that clearly isn't the case. There's a whole field of things going on and that field includes photography, ceramics, performance, painting, sculpture, music, sound art, whatever … and the job of the curator is to try to say I think this story is interesting to weave one pattern through all of that field while another curator weaves a different pattern.

Brian Eno, 2009

The whole interview is well worth a watch, but I pulled that section out because it resonated with me. Hard. Same with this;

On Collaboration

I like collaborations because a number of things happen when you're collaborating that don't happen easily on your own. One of them is that you see your ideas through somebody else's eyes so you're trying something and somebody else is there and of course you're now not hearing it the way you normally hear it you're hearing it through what you imagine is their mind and that's very very interesting sometimes it sounds much worse sometimes it sounds much better.

It's very interesting that sometimes your own ideas feel better filtered through somebody else's mind, so sometimes gives you confidence in your work that you might not have otherwise had. The other thing that happens when you're working with somebody is that you have to actually contribute. So it kicks you to keep coming up with something. Even if you're not sure that you've got anything to offer you try it anyway. And sometimes it flowers into something and of course other people surprise you. That's what's nice.

Brian Eno, 2009


There’s some interesting technology that I have been granted early access to, that I thought you might like to see. (The newer stuff is even cleaner).

Click on this link to see that same interview transcribed and then tagged with interesting words around which I have produced a specific curation of the interview with a focus on ‘curation’ and ‘collaboration’. Clever. Right? Certainly easier for you to navigate to exactly where Eno was talking about those topics - if you haven’t got time to listen to the whole thing. But for now - back to the plot.

Why Those Two Words? Why Now?

As I watched, it occurred to me that through our blog, podcast and newsletter we have been creating the ‘People First’ story. The topics are vast and diversified, which is why sometimes it can be hard to get your head around it all. Curation is weaving the threads of all things ‘People First’ into the story that is ‘People First’. In many ways, what you see or read might be what you have seen somewhere else but the curation, the connecting of that node on the fabric with a different node on the fabric … THAT is the story.

Recently we launched The People First Network - you should come and join. We’re just getting going, but it is where the collaboration is starting to happen. The place where I am already hearing our story through other people and refining how we describe things.

To riff on Eno … “It’s nice.”

I’ve said in the past that I am deliberately not stating mission, vision, objectives, goals … and the reason for that is collaboration. That part is just starting up. That part will be defined by the still assembling caucus.

A Message From Europe

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