In This Hello America, Spring 2011. Photo Credit: Kerry Downey

F**king Up: Learning from Mistakes in Art and Education
Why are you taking so many photographs?

Wednesday April 17th 2013
7pm - 8:30pm
Eyebeam, West 21st street, New York

A candid conversation about documentation and ethics with curators Laurel Ptak and Natasha Marie Llorens organized by Caroline Woolard.

From experimental restaurants to performative lectures, from social networks to public protests, artistic practices that focus on group work are gaining visibility. Whether contemporary enthusiasm for social practices comes from a desire for deep interaction in synchronous time, or from austerity measures and the poverty of the welfare state, these social practice must be addressed. Fucking Up is a lecture series that asks artists, educators, and curators to speak openly about mistakes and possibilities in collaboration, documentation, narration, and commitment at Eyebeam on the third Wednesday of the month from March through June 2013.

NML compared two approached to documenting a work she commissioned as part of her thesis project at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, In This Hello America, which was initiated by Douglas Paulson and Action Club. A standard approach---taking thousands of photographs of everyone involved and then editing them for a specific purpose (grant, talk, etc.)---was compared to a video made by Kerry Downey in which they specifically staged interactions. What are the ethics of either gesture? How does each claim or disperse authorship and what role can (or should) a curator play in framing such authorship?