For makers and sensitives like me learning how to answer the question “what do you do” or even “what kind of do you make” is as much an endeavor as making the work itself. I am inspired by the Italian Renaissance not only because the art moves me heart and soul, but because those makers—in fine arts and applied arts—knew that interdisciplinary approaches strengthened their innovation.
Curator has become the most accurate term to describe what I do, but still in the context of my endeavors it still needs explanation. The Oxford English Dictionary definition of Curate offers some help.
Curate: to collect, select and present information or items such as pictures, video, music, etc. for people to use or enjoy, using your professional or expert knowledge.
I have a passion for making connection whether it be amongst people for the purpose of networking or between music, film, writing, performance, clothing and food for both pleasure and greater understanding.
Places where I have used this instinct-turned-skill have included being an entrepreneur, a gallery director, a community radio programmer, and an activist. My brain automatically draws the lines finding patterns and references in everything I encounter. It served me well in my art history studies finding the influences through generations and between genres so that a viewer might feel the creative energy of artists they may have never otherwise known. As a radio programmer it means finding songs and sounds that connect in tone, tempo, topic and genre and when it works it means a listener can know an artist in a new way, find an appreciation for music they might not have turned into and find influences in the creative realm beyond what corporate marketing will allow. Nothing was more exciting for me than to be able to start my 3 hours of live programming with a Lyle Lovett song and conclude with the Beastie Boys having taken listeners on the journey and ensuring their delight and interest along the way.
In a recent effort to expand my real estate investment business I started by evaluating what we currently have, how it serves us and how it represents the company values as they were defined by the founder of the business, my father. This has helped me to know how to curate a matrix achieve our myriad and diverse goals.
My approach to Maddie Made Productions has been similarly directed by my curatorial instinct. Certainly putting together a documentary film is a study in making connections for story telling and drawing lines through editing. Maddie Made curates projects by looking for ways each story folds into the next in an interdisciplinary sense.
I’ll be writing reviews and suggestions in the blog from time to time to help enhance enjoyment of music, film, literature, cooking and myriad other details that make up culture.