• #TheWorkofArt at Azkuna Zentroa

  • #TheWorkofArt at Azkuna Zentroa

A dialogue between the artist, curator and the audience. Looking back on the first edition of #TheWorkofArt

26.03.2018 by Hester Gersonius

Keywords: #TheWorkofArt, Azkuna Zentroa, joint activity, recap

On the 14th of February the first edition of #TheWorkofArt took place at Azkuna Zentroa. In this recap, Barbara Epalza and Maite Arberas look back on the joint smARTplaces activity.

How did you prepare for the first edition of #TheWorkofArt?

For us #TheWorkofArt was a big opportunity to do something for our digital audience while developing a new concept in the context of smARTplaces. We never had a dialogue between the artist, curator and the audience as well using online tools.

We organised the live dialogue in the context of Itziar Barrio’s exhibition By all Means, curated by Johanna Burton from the New Museum in New York. Itziar and Johanna were very excited about #TheWorkofArt right from the start. Johanna had some experience with livestreams on Instagram so she felt very comfortable doing it, but for Itziar it was the first time going live. Julia Morandeira, the moderator of the dialogue, was very involved with the project as well. She met Itziar and Johanna for the first time at a lunch on the 14th of February and we think she did a great job moderating the dialogue.

Last but not least, we invited cultural journalism students from Bilbao to join the project about three months ago. We sent them information about the exhibition and met up with them to discuss how we would like to involve them. They were also invited to the press conference on the 14th of February, so they had time to think about questions to ask during the livestream. Fun fact: we asked them not to tell us the questions beforehand. Not even Julia knew the questions before we went live!

What was your biggest challenge?

We had two big challenges. First, the technical one. We thought it was easier than it actually was. The sound for example was really tough. Second, it was a challenge do have this experience before the opening of the exhibition. Nobody knew about the exhibition, and it was difficult to approach the audience about it. But at them same time, it was an opportunity to get the audience involved.

How did the livestream go?

It worked well technically. There were interesting questions from the audience. The input from journalism students were very really helpful. There were about forty people online and by now we have 2.225 views from all over the world.

What surprised you the most?

The number of views is quite interesting. There are a lot of views and we are very happy about it. For a first event, we think the results are very well. The mediator between curator and artist was very important. The curator is very used to these live connections and she was also impressed with the numbers. We would like to transform it in a format for Azkuna Zentroa.

Is there anything you would do different next time?

We would like to improve the light and the sound. It’s good to have professional setting, but we think the informal setting makes it more close to the audience. It’s also a challenge how to involve our online audience more. We had lots of view afterwards, but we would like to have more engagement on the social networks, people talking about the posts and the conversation.

But overall we are very happy because we did it, it was successful, we had no technical troubles and the students were very enthusiastic. We engaged them and it was a very interesting conversation. We will definitely continue with the livestreams.