April 11-14, 2007
San Francisco, California

Demonstrations: Description

The MAEP Wiki - An Artists Community Writes its own History

Mike Dust, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, USA
Jennifer Jurgens, Minneapolis Insitute of Arts, USA

The Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program (MAEP) is an artist-run curatorial department at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. The MAEP is dedicated to showing emerging and established Minnesota artists. Curated by a rotating panel of artists who select five exhibitions each year from submitted proposals, it prides itself on its democratic process. After thirty years and over 150 exhibitions, the time has come to document the history of this artist community.

As a program exhibiting contemporary art, it is essential to continually find new ways to keep the program contemporary itself. In this vein, the MAEP wanted to use technology to highlight past, current and future exhibitions. The project began with an online component, including an exhibition history of the MAEP in the form of archival images, text, audio, and video. The chosen means of delivery was wiki software. A wiki embraced the democratic nature of the program by allowing anyone to edit information or to add comments and remarks. Taking further advantage of the unique opportunity to include the artist's voice, podcasts are now created for each new show and select past exhibitions. Through these means, the artists are creating their own historical record.

The MAEP is fortunate to have an active community of artists with whom to work. Their creativity and input are forging a resource that is entertaining, educational, and a work of art in its own right. The MAEP's goal is to encourage this community to participate in and maintain the wiki. The site will be launched officially at the MAEP annual meeting October 28, 2006. The creation of and activity on the Web site will be the primary focus of this paper.

The goal of the MAEP wiki is to expand the on-going relationship it has with the artist community in Minnesota, and to create discussions and histories beneficial to all. Through this experience, we are documenting the relationships people have with the department, the exhibitions, and each other. In the end, we hope to create a rich historical record that fully captures the artists' works, the scope of the exhibitions, and the anecdotes that make the MAEP such a stimulating program.

Demonstration: Demonstrations - 2 [Close-Up]

Keywords: wiki, collaborative communities, archive, podcasts, Minneapolis Institute of Arts