‘Curators’ Defend Their Ownership of the Term and Vilify the Plebeians of Tumblr
Erica Schwiegershausen of The New York Observer got in touch and gave me the heads-up on a panel discussion about the term and profession of the ‘Curator’. It’s an interesting read:
In his introduction to the subject at hand, Mr. Altman noted that the word “curation” has come to be thrown around “more often than a ping pong ball at a fraternity house,” alluding somewhat disdainfully to a dissemination of “curation” to the masses, a phenomenon which he would later attribute to the Internet. He questioned: “Is the new definition of curation, like, ‘I assemble things on my Tumblr and then I put them up for the world?’ Is that why we don’t want to be called curators?”
Ms. Popova—who, over the course of an hour managed to quote Tchaikovsky, Jack White, Jonah Lehrer and Cicero, among others—proceeded to invoke the latter, citing his belief that if a word didn’t exist it was because “it had permeated society so much and was so ubiquitous that the word was unnecessary.”
“I think that’s what’s beginning to happen with the word ‘curation,’” Ms. Popova continued. “We apply it so much that it’s become vacant of meaning.”
I’ll let you read how the panel collectively vilify Tumblr, but it wasn’t without it’s defender:
Mr. Altman became the only panelist to remove himself from the communal vilifying of Tumblr. “The Internet has obviously democratized the ability to be your own curator,” he acknowledged, conceding that though this comes with “a lot of annoying things,” you don’t need a PhD to be a philosopher.
You can read the whole piece here