SITUATION #43: Der Greif, (Un)filtered Scenarios. An Experiment in Distributed Selection, 2016



Screenshot from (Un)filtered Scenarios project website, 2016
Screenshot from (Un)filtered Scenarios project website, 2016
Screenshot from (Un)filtered Scenarios project website, 2016

(Un)filtered Scenarios is an experiment investigating an open curatorial process through the dynamics of net-based distribution. The web enables different modes of collective articulation and organisation, including – perhaps – curatorial selection. We wanted to test this possibility by breaking with the idea of lone curatorial authorship in order to engage in an act of collective curation. Through a ‘chain letter’ email, individuals were invited to participate in the selection of photographs for an online exhibition from an open call organised by Der Greif, to which more than 1,500 images were submitted. The email was sent initially to four people, each of whom was asked to make a selection and then forward the email to two further participants. The process was both random and risky – would the would-be curators respond?

The selected images were displayed in an online exhibition on The process was anonymous, but participants were asked to provide basic data, like gender, age or occupation. They were also asked to say why they chose a particular image. The filters were visualised as charts and maps in Fotomuseum’s exhibition space, and presented together with the statements that were transformed into an audio piece. The installation displayed the personal, possibly structural narratives that unfold around distributed image selection, providing a kind of cognitive map of the process. (Un)filtered Scenarios offers a playful challenge to traditional modes of top-down curation, simultaneously unleashing the networked creativity of the web. If the idea of the lone curator is significantly a myth, does a more randomly filtered curatorial chain offer a viable alternative?

(Un)filtered Scenarios project website:

More by Der Greif:

A cooperation between Fotomuseum Winterthur & Der Greif.

Cluster: Filter