Curation is collecting, selecting, and looking after ideas, concepts, and physical documentation of the latter. To a larger extent, curation is a process of “caring for,” a caretaker (for lack of a better word). Care, in this instance, holds the distinction of being intellectually invested and emotionally intrigued. Curation then gains the definition of a process of developing an idea intellectually to the point of viscerally. To some extent, the act of curation is janitorial, up keeping and refining an idea or concept into aestheticization. There is a level of reverence, a reckoning of one’s own non-greatness in dialogue with how one engages with the world and changes the world. To clarify: curation is not about placing a concept on a pedestal and worshipping so much as it is about gathering up resources to best present the concept or idea. Curation then can capture moments of human existence and place them in one spot for greater (or worse) visibility. It is finding, collecting, and using ideas to successfully create something grander than all individualized pieces of art do alone.
Documentation is the act of capturing a moment to process and better interact with the world around you. A cameraperson, for example, may capture someone’s hands during a conversation not only to relive a particular movement but to reach past the thin layer of humanness to something more through the use of the camera. An idea is collected in documentation to better construct the thingness of the moment. In the collection of a moment within documentation, there is a willing decision to choose to capture the world a specific way. Documentation is thus the act of creation from a time in life to give a distinct perspective. With documentation comes the classification and annotations of the person annotating it, which enriches the production of perspective. Documentation is then biased, for the confines of truthfulness to nature is fleeting and avoids the selective properties of documentation. Nevertheless, documentation remains a way for the audience/viewer to obtain information and serves as a record of a moment despite the limitations of the medium.
Political engagement is the act of understanding that living within the constructs of this world, the power structures of the art/ media we choose to indulge in, and the responsibility for one’s own actions is all inherently political. By inherent I mean that the systems and constructions earlier mentioned are unavoidable, inescapable, for we have been born into a system regardless of our own personal opinions of it. Political engagement then becomes the act of understanding the meaning and responsibility behind ones’ actions to enjoy the ever problematic (whatever we physically, emotionally, intellectually, or subconsciously) consumption. Political engagement is thus a) the understanding of systems and structures within daily interactions, and the ideological processes of the surrounding world around us; and b) partaking in society with culpability over one’s actions and choices given the way they have chosen to live. Political engagement is then something that affects every individual, but only motivates and incites change or difference when a person chooses to look into the deeper structures of it.