Keywords: Curating, Art, Music, Risk, Independence, Individual, Institutions, Entrepreneur, Experimentation, Do-it-Yourself, Autodidactic.
This paper explores the creatively destructive role that the independent curator has in the evolution and sustainability of the contemporary art industry. There can be nothing new if there is no risk, experimentation or challenge of practice to the status quo. The emancipated independent takes risks, pushes the boundaries and produces new models, which has an effect on the industry. Therefore, is an independent practice the unsponsored experimental nursery that attracts the self-interest of the over-professionalized and corporately minded institutions that select and transform experimental ideas into refined statements of quality and impact? Or does the industry in fact respect and support this grassroots practice by collaborating with and encouraging new interpretation, new opportunities and new audiences for contemporary art.
In mapping and critiquing amateur and independent curating intermixed with some equally creative and risk taking independent music scenarios, particularly from a Scottish/European perspective, important examples of entrepreneurship, risk and influence are considered as agents of change. Therefore this paper proposes how and when we need to accept a certain unprofessionalism as a requirement to creativity, craft and influence in curatorial practice and occupation.