A paper has been accepted for the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2014, in the 4th session (Curation in the Digital Age) of a program called "Where Culture Meets Economy: Co-Producing Conceptual Understandings of Curation." The overall session abstract follows:
"The concept of curation is attracting increasing levels of interest and engagement from scholars across geography. As the motivations, practices, materialities, spatial dynamics and outcomes of curation encompass the cultural and economic, research is being conducted from a range of perspectives. Cultural and historical geographers have studied exhibitionary geographies, explored the curation of art movements, and have recently taken up curatorial practice as part of their research practice. Economic geographers have started to examine the processes and spatial dynamics of curation in highly competitive cultural industries such as music and fashion where a range of actors, operating in a range of physical and virtual spaces, evaluate and ascribe value to specific products and experiences. As few attempts have been made to share and integrate these complementary approaches, this session brings together scholars from across geography to co-produce a more nuanced understanding of curation. In particular, the papers will explore the range of actors (individuals, algorithms, institutions, neighbourhoods), spatialities (museums, shops, streets, neighbourhoods, blogs) and values (economic, symbolic, cultural, social) associated with curation."
The working title of my paper is "Self-curation and the memetic academic." This paper will present the Place Memes blog as an example of academic knowledge production in a web 2.0 paradigm. Here is the abstract:
"This paper examines intersecting areas of concern between academia as increasingly invested in social media for the propagation of ideas, for peer review, and for promotion; and the artist as self-curating agent of change. I argue that academia and the arts increasingly overlap at a memetic level, in which self-selection and horizontal (i.e. spatial) transmission of information dominate. Empirically, this study uses a blog created and maintained by the author as a source of data for examining the question of the sustainability of the self-curating model of academia. Specifically, I examine the self-created blog Place Memes for evidence of peer-review, rigor and potential addition to the academic portfolio of the academic in question (myself). At the same time I look at how both visual essays and imagistic writing come to inform the 'artistic' side of the blog; and how this might be perceived in more 'traditional' academic circles. I conclude by speculating upon the shape of things to come, in terms of how horizontally transmitted self-curations might, through archiving practices and other forms of selection, transform themselves into vertically transmitted (temporally grounded) sustainable academic practices."