Artists and Conversation

The use of conversation as both a research approach and medium within artistic practice has a strong lineage, expressing itself within the realms of exhibition, text, performance and critique. Conversation, as a medium in itself, has been explored by many artists and collaborative practices of note. They have scrutinised the ways in which conversation can be moulded, played with or circumvented in an attempt to push conversational convention to its limits and discover the areas in which it can be displayed and recorded, and moments when it should be left hanging in the air and residing in participants’ memories.

The artists Barry Baker and William Furlong’s vast Audio Arts cassette-based magazine and project is an example of how conversation within artistic practice has been valued, documented and archived. Although not wishing to replicate such a format or methodology, Continuous Curatorial Conversations certainly draws from it. Audio Arts has served as a point of focus during my research. Within the curatorial, the role of conversation has filtered into both the backstage preparation and front of house presentation. Artists are less institutionally affiliated, and a such, less politically charged than the curator and on a pragmatic level, the professional implications of curatorship are more constraint.

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