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Journeying Onward

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Though it’s been 2 months, it literally feels like I stepped through the doors of the ICI yesterday. Though my time serving as a curatorial fellow has been short, I can honestly say that I’m happy with what I’m taking away from this experience.

Through the independence fostered by the institute and its often times “out-of-the-box” approach to tasks and problems, I have opened my mind to new methods and gained a renewed sense of capability in the realm of problem solving. Something that will no doubt serve me well along my career path.

As we pass into a new year, I’m excited to see what lays ahead for both myself and the ICI. Just as this journey ends, another is on the horizon waiting to begin.

Still looking forward to working, learning and exploring the depths and limits of visual culture.


Signing off…..

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Lise, JoJo, Sue-Na, Eliana, it was a pleasure.

With best wishes to the ICI and with hopes of future projects and wistful romps through ephemera and tactical media, I say my goodbyes.


Kaylie J. Wilson

Meta Remembrance and Media Control

Thursday, November 17th, 2011


As I continue to do background research and prepare documents of the ICI’s upcoming project in conjunction with World AIDS Day, I have been really struck by the way in which information truly is power, especially when pegged against something like AIDS. While the Internet’s massive blogosphere has certainly done its part to open up new, uncensored forms of information, the vast majority of public information still comes down from the unfortunately biased and often times censored ideas of the mass media moguls.

I can’t help but to be influenced by the ICI’s past ongoing projects, such as the AIDS Chronicles, which visually displays both a lack of media coverage on AIDS and the bias with which epidemic has been reported on. By failing to bring up the global epidemic or only mentioning it from a specific angle (i.e. the transmission between gay men or intravenous drug users), it simultaneously quiets public interest on the matter (out of sight, out of mind) and creates skewed ideas around the facts of the disease process. Thus my mind has begun to focus more intently on social control via the control of information.

With these ideas fresh on my mind, I was further disturbed by the recent way in which all media and news personnel were strictly barred from getting near New York’s Zucotti Park during this week’s raid on the Occupy Wall Street protest. This to me was a blatant attempt at information control in regards to current events. (For what purpose, I can’t quite be sure.)

It’s the old adage about a tree falling in the forest; if no one hears about it, did it really happen? If information gets censored the media stops reporting on AIDS, will people still remember that it’s around and that people have perished from it? Perhaps we will only recall the ways in which we sought to remember these people through our memorials to them. Or worse yet, given enough time, be it weeks or decades, will we as a society simply forget all about those that we have lost and why they are gone?

It’s a scary thing to think about.


Minutia to Meta

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

The last few days have been spent editing and archiving video from our 1991 AID’s Bottle Project. The footage had been broken up for storage purposes, loosely labeled, and (being an older format) most of the footage made it hard to capture a clean still. But, I’ve discovered, the ICI looks kindly on the rough and worn down edges of our cultural record. After deciphering a few new editing tricks I was able to pull together some short, (hopefully) coherent, and neatly labeled videos chronicling the AIDS Bottle Project. I’m glad to have had the opportunity to review and engage this footage, never having seen the event myself. It gave a better sense of the sentiment and interaction sought by these projects. In editing new videos I tried to be cautious about cleaning, organizing, and adding to the record without tainting the existent aesthetic of the original videographer. The videos were constructed with the aesthetic of an insightful pedestrian’s, a filming technique that I wanted to respect and uphold. As I sifted through the clips I continuously returned to passages in Johnnie Graton and Michael Sheringham’s “Tracking the Art of the Project”. One in particular significantly contributed to my self-orientation while editing, “The project is frequently a lure, a device designed not to achieve a particular end, but to allow something unforeseen to happen.” It made me think of the balance needed between control and chaos; the desire to catalogue and create systems of organization in an attempt to better understand and control the untenable and overwhelming. However a true project embraces the inevitable leaks of chaos that serve to check, complicate and humanize our systems.

Thus far working at the ICI I have felt variably like I am wandering through a maze and standing on a bluff; between minutia and meta. A little lost at times but actively trying to develop a more comprehensive outlook.



Beginnings at the ICI…..

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

I began my path towards the ICI as an undergraduate student at Pomona College where I double majored in Art/Art History and Political Philosophy, and constantly worked to unite the two disciplines. My sophomore year I began curating at our student gallery and pulled together about 30 shows, most of which addressed local politics, such as the Coachella workers movement lead by Lideras Campesinas, a female laborer advocacy group. I later worked as a photographer and archivist at the Pomona College Museum of Art, and am currently a curatorial intern at the Santa Monica Museum of Art.

When I told my father that I got a curatorial fellowship at the ICI and that I would be aiding in the curation of a project with personal, political, and aesthetic significance he responded with the usual congratulations followed by a deluge of questions. What is the ICI? What are the group’s goals? How do you fit into their project? How are they not a museum, not a gallery, not quite a collective and not quite a cooperative? Are you lapsing back into your ill-advised romp with the anarchist syndicalists or is it communists this time? My father everyone. I answered the best I could while maneuvering the aura of well-fashioned mystique that permeates and sustains the ICI. I could tell that this was going to be a challenge. I was realizing that the ICI is quite different from the galleries I have run and the museums I have interned at. It has all the best characteristics of a studio practice, while dressing like a complex installation, publishing like a theorist, and carrying itself like a speaker at a protest.

Having now spent a few days in the library, talking with Lise, strategizing for our upcoming project, and constantly being sidetracked by the cultural ablution carefully tucked into every corner of the building, I am finding my bearings. Thus far I have found the ICI is an exercise in pulling together and reconciling the practical and theoretical questions of art, politics, and agency, and I am excited to engage it fully over the next few months.