Editor's letter

BA: Criticism, Communication and Curation is an intertextual and varied course. It has the challenging role of being a humanities-based degree, situated within an art school. Because of it’s unique positioning, the future aspirations of students vary from fashions buyers, art house dealers and art history scholars to event producers, policy makers, journalists and urban planners; this multitude of careers cannot be encapsulated by a one single product.

Previous years have produced a catalogue of the exhibition, to document graduate’s work. However, for the CCC 2012 Degree show, working alongside a group of BA Graphic Design: Print and Digital students, we have produced a new publication; Cura.

Cura takes the form of a fluxus publication, with an accompanying website, both of which look to approach publishing as a three dimensional practice; an arena where the platform is chosen to suit the content, not the other way around. Both components examine the changing cultural landscape of curation, looking beyond the traditional context of a museum or gallery.

We have used the printed platform to unpick the concept of ‘curation’; its conception, manifestation, development and execution, to deduce the common thread that runs throughout the various reappropriations of the term and multitude of discourses, which have permeated our degree.

As a culminating gesture of our undergraduate studies, we feel it is important that Cura is situated within the current cultural environment, where changing concepts of curation have resulted in a variety of new socio-cultural spheres. Thus, it was a conscious action not to focus on the traditional notions of curatorial practice, but instead, highlight the various nuances within the field. In an attempt to bolster the text and introduce it into an equilibrium of both context and practice, not only do we discuss curation, but we employ a curatorial practice in our editorial approach.

Cura, 2012

Definition of curate

The definitions

cu·rate /ˈkyoo͝rit/

(n.) any ecclesiastic entrusted with the cure of souls, as a parish priest.

(v.) used with object, cu·rat·ed, cu·rat·ing.

  1. to take charge of (a museum) or organize (an art exhibit): to curate a photography show.
  2. to pull together, sift through, and select for presentation, as music or website content.

cura /ˈkuː.ra/

(n.) c.1300, from Latin, name of a divine figure whose name means ‘care’ or ‘concern’.

cu·ra·tor /ˈkyoo͝rāter/

(n.) A keeper or custodian of a museum or other collection.

Synonyms: custodian - keeper - trustee - guardian – conservator

Our definitions

cu·rate /ˈkyoo͝rit/

(v.) To use with fetishised objects and non-tangible concepts.

  1. To take creative responsibility for the selection, arrangement and contextual readings of a body of work.
  2. The process and result of reasoning links between otherwise unrelated items.

Often misappropriated to mean organized. Examples include a curated furniture sale, a curated timetable and a curated bedframe.

cura /ˈkuː.ra/

(n.) Derived from Latin, name means to act as cultural gatekeeper and position of safeguard in relation to the infinite steam of trends, objects and cultural capital.

cu·ra·tor /ˈkyoo͝rāter/

(n.) A despondent creative who seeks artistic input but is not classified as a maker or creative practitioner.

Synonyms: editor – creative director – content manger – shopkeeper.

What's in print

Cura Online is an expansion of the CURA publication, available throughout Central Saint Martin’s 2012 Degree Show. In the process of putting together a publication, we wanted to expand on the content by creating a visual set of layers, navigated by the reader, in order to illustrate the diversity of curation.

Content is not transferred from print to online, but specifically edited to accompany the context. As the interpretation of the content is determined by its context, we feel that our online presence should not be a perfect copy of the publication. Tweaking, expanding, conceding and hyperlinking text are all simple details that enhance the reading experience. We understand the constraints of printed matter and how the digital can balance these issues. By adding in a dimension of networked content, the reader is given the option of exploring the discourse surrounding the article, opening up a new realm of content. This process is incorporated into the site’s design, by interactively embedding previews of linked content. The design not only supports the content, but it uses the concept to create an interactive background.

The publication is available for a short duration to coincide with the BA: Graphic Design and BA: Criticism, Communication and Curation degree shows. As the first collaboration between the courses, in the new Central Saint Martin’s Kings Cross site, the notion of a how the publication will endure, outside it’s printed partner, opened up the concept of a 'legacy' phase. In 2012, London will lay host to a series of events, all supported by the idea that once the events finish, their legacy will bolster the communities who played host to them. How can you sustain an idea, once the actual artefact has departed?

curaonline.co.uk has taken the space between the reader and the publication and manipulated the content by altering the framework and exploring design as a curatorial medium.

Download Martha font

Martha is an experimental font borne out of a collaboration between BA Criticism, Communication and Curation and BA Graphic Design. By using 37 points (in reference to the number of students in the BA Criticism, Communication and Curation year of 2012) to produce a word, a family of four weights have been introduced so that it may be mixed and matched to produce a word resulting with an accurate number of points.

Contributors

Andrea Fam is a freelance copywriter and copy editor, she has worked with Couple Design graphic studio, Taxi Design and Monocle. She is learning to fear technology less and enjoys the craziness of production week.

Caroline Christie is a freelance curator and writer. She is a regular reviewer for lecool.com and contributor for The Guardian Travel, The National Student and The Hackney Citizen. She has also co-curated various exhibitions including Bassixs and Local Anaesthesia. She is currently assistant curator at the Fashion Space Gallery.

Duarte Carrilho da Graça is an interaction designer who likes working early hours, and reworking physical interfaces to digital formats.

Ellie Wyant is a freelance writer and curator as well as social media editor having worked for companies such as Aspex Art Gallery and The 198 Gallery, Sketchbook Magazine and Nette Leather Goods.

Franciszek Wardyński is a freelance graphics and communications designer. He loves experimental printing and spends most of his time in screen printing workshops. He is also an avid windsurfer.

JT Yean is a graphic designer that loves working late hours while sipping chai tea latte. Besides freelancing occasionally, he spends most of his time paper cutting and toying with typography.

Leyla Tahir is a member of Tate Collective and curatorial consultant for British Museum, South London Gallery and Louis Vuitton Young Arts Project. She also curates live projects including Iniva in London, Pompidou in Paris and Kiasma in Helsinki.

Megan Wray Schertler is a freelance writer and fashion producer. Her work appears in Marie Claire UK, Dazed Digital, Dossier Journal, Under/ Current, and SIX Magazine.

Shiho Yokoyama is a designer who worked on this project from the remote dunes of Morocco. She likes to high-five but recently pledged to go on a high-five diet.