Curatorial Systems Observatory

Curatorial Systems Observatory


The Curatorial Systems Observatory is a research platform located in Mason’s School of Art for an open network of participants to examine the forces governing curatorial practices on a global scale. The project defines curation and visual display as an active, generative force with social, political, and cultural impacts. The Observatory seeks to identify how and why curatorial decisions are made within exhibiting institutions to provide an understanding of how art is presented and uncover the effect this has on public perception. The goal of the Observatory is to identify and engage with marginalized art practices and support forms of public display that respond to community desires rather than an institutional policy.

Curatorial Systems Observatory Zine

The Curatorial Systems Observatory will produce a serial publication in collaboration with international curators, artists and exhibiting organizations. The publications will be organized thematically on topics related to exhibition practices, curation and visual display. The content of the publications will range in format from traditional text based articles to data visualizations, flowcharts and illustrations in order to circulate information conducive to as many modes of understanding as possible. Physical copies of the zine will be distributed free of charge and digital versions will be made available for free download.

The zine will produce a critical knowledge of curatorial practices through new research pathways and innovative approaches to scholarship in the visual arts. With the low-budget format of the zine, digital publishing strategies, and accessible content, the publications will democratize information related to curatorial practice.


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