Curating myspace

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Curating myspace - friends = acqusitions

by Leo Brotz- Online Exhibition

Curating myspace consists of a myspace, and a wordpress blog, the former of which is the active exhibition, and the latter of which is intended to be a more permanent, archival form.

Both display myspace pages as self-portraits, and were conceived as an exploration of curating in a formal manner a very informal medium.


Curating myspace is an online exhibition that applies traditional, museum based curatorial practices to myspace webpages.

Imposing curatorial practices such as the wall label, "white cube" aesthetic, and preservational attitudes on a fluid medium, Curating myspace examines works by six artists, presented as self-portraits, to foster discussion on myspace as a medium and the power of traditional curating.

Clashing imagery, confused colors, and an evident desire to break with conventional (and easier to view) webpage design stand out as hallmarks of the archetypical myspace, and were adopted as selection criteria to illustrate the tensions between digital modes of expression and analog ideas of presentation.

Remarkably, perhaps surprisingly, the simple transition from the frame of a browser and myspace architecture to a white background, together with the screen capture's stasis, imbues each work with a definite aesthetic value not normally assigned to myspace, the less loved, less elegant, redhead step-cousin of facebook.


The central idea behind Curating myspace demanded that paralells be drawn from the white cube and formal practice to an online platform.

The first, and central paralell was that friends = acquisitions. Accordingly, each selected artist was sent a message as follows and entered into each webpage as a "proposed acquisition":

When an artist accepted the friend request, their status was changed to completed acquisition (though due for revision if the artist didn't wish to be featured), and some negotiation began:

Unfortunately, not every artist was quick enough to respond, especially given the curator's time limitations (which were partly of his own construction), and thus some degree of assent was preemptively assumed by the curator, that he might still put together a show, even without full and express permission.

Other paralells were created between a personal page and a self-portrait, and image+commentary blog format and a piece with wall labels. And, of course, every possible space had to be white, to put the focus back on the artwork.

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