Joasia Krysa is a curator and Professor of Exhibition Research at the School of Art and Design, Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), with an adjunct position at Liverpool Biennial. Previously, she was the Artistic Director of Kunsthal Aarhus, and served as co-curator of Documenta 13 and the 9th edition of the Liverpool Biennial (2016) which focused on the theme of episodes and time travel. Her research interests are located at the intersection of contemporary curating, art and technology. Her first curatorial experiment, software-kurator, was launched at Tate Modern, London (2005), and she later edited Curating Immateriality: The Work of the Curator in the Age of Network Systems (2006). At LJMU, she directs the Exhibition Research Lab (ERL), a public venue and research centre dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of exhibitions and curatorial knowledge. Her publications include Systemics, or Exhibition as a Series (2017) and Writing and Unwriting (Media) Art History (2015) – the latter co-edited with Jussi Parikka. She is series editor of DATA browser books and commissioning editor of Liverpool Biennial’s online journal Stages. She currently serves as curatorial advisor to Helsinki Biennial 2021 and Sapporo Art Triennale (SIAF), Japan. Krysa is working on a new book on curating and technology for Routledge (2021), a chapter for Bloomsbury’s Encyclopedia of New Media Art (2021) and editing a volume in the Data Browser book series on Curating in Times of Pandemic (2021).
The Next Museum Should be Curated by a Machine
The function of the museum has been traditionally to valorize the object, extract it from its context and function, and preserve it from decay. Whilst this traditional understanding of the museum remains, it has also undergone radical changes and embraced a “post-custodian” approach that is more experimental, less determined by architecture, operating across hybrid actual and virtual modes, both online and offline. This presentation takes this line of development one step further: not to explore the inclusion of virtual objects in collections, or the extension of museums online, or even new challenges for preservation, but to re-imagine the museum itself as a technological entity capable of determining its own future—the museum as science fiction. I refer to a collaborative research project in which Liverpool Biennial 2021 operates as a case study to investigate machine curation and visitor interaction. On the one hand there is the conventional biennial exhibition, while running in parallel, is a machine-curated online version composed of large datasets, using computer vision and natural language processing techniques. The project aims to offer a model for the integration of machine learning in museum collections, transforming the museum into a dynamic system capable of generating new perspectives on its operations and infrastructure.