(edited by) Annet Dekker – Curating Digital Art, From Presenting and Collecting Digital Art to Networked Co-curation


Valiz, ISBN-13: 978-9493246010, English, 352 pages, 2021, The Netherlands

Annet Dekker is a specialist curator and dedicated author of a series of self-authored (‘Collecting and Conserving Net Art‘) and edited books (‘archive2020‘, ‘Lost and Living (in) Archives‘, ‘Speculative Scenarios‘) that define the practices and explore the history of curating and conserving digital and, in particular, net art. Curating Digital Art is a kind of ethnographic study of digital art curators through a series of twenty-seven interviews. Some general ideas emerge from these interviews: curators do not care about terminology (it should just be ‘art’ or ‘contemporary art’), and they consider the role of museums to be very important, especially for preservation. But there are a number of other important elements documented here, such as the descriptions and definitions of numerous online ecologies (websites, blogs, bookmark collections, etc.) that test how the ephemeral nature of the digital should be creatively integrated into the curatorial process. The book is a remarkable overview of art and culture on the internet, with all the peculiarities and dynamics of the networked era. The Broken Timeline, a unique resource of “historical exhibition projects that were curated online” co-curated with Marialaura Ghidini and Gaia Tedone, is available on the publisher’s dedicated website as free additional digital content.