Venue: Diputación Provincial de Málaga (Sede de la Plaza de la Marina)
Date: July 20th, 2016
How might we break down the Spanish art exhibition ecosystem to rebuild this in a new space algorithmically created through the computational processing of thousands of data about temporary art exhibitions?
Which new learning about the social dynamics related to art exhibitions might we get through the reading of graphs and metrics?
These two questions framed the lecture delivered by Nuria Rodríguez Ortega as part of the seminar Management of exhibition spaces organized by the ISEL (Diputación Provincial of Málaga).
Taking as base the associations theory proposed by French sociologist Bruno Latour (also known as Actor-Network Theory), Nuria Rodríguez approached the idea of exhibitions as socio-cultural mediation agents, which convey a set of dynamic and changing relations among heterogeneous actors. Such relations (or associations) can be traced and analyzed -according to Latour’s thesis- by means of the computational processing of massive data about art exhibitions, as such recorded in the Expofinder system (www.expofinder.es). As Nuria Rodríguez demonstrated, this analysis has the capacity of unveiling the structures and operating logics that underlie the art exhibition ecosystem.
The approach addressed fosters an interesting perspective so that the focus of attention, rather than on the exhibitions per se, is concentrated on the mediation process as part of a structure that reveals the relations that characterize the institutions of cultural production. In turn, this approach also allows to go beyond the traditional methodology of analyzing temporary exhibitions as discrete objects (or events), or according to a bilateral comparative model, usual in Art History discipline, to explore a more connective and constellational one. Moreover, and given that in a network structure the intrinsic attributes of actors, such as the socio-professional relevance conferred by cultural institutions (academy, museums, critique…) are not taking into consideration, but only those that are directly connected with their position and with the role played in the network, this approach also allows to elaborate alternative interpretations about the relevance of the actors involved in the art exhibition dynamics.