Timothy Barker

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I think it's very important, particularly to engage with artists and curators. Most of my work - when I'm kind of studying artworks - involves going and actually talking to artists; conducting interviews with them, but also establishing a relationship and how we can maybe teach each other different things. I've previously worked collaboratively with a number of artists on projects where the artist would make an artwork, but I'd use that artwork as a way to kind of think about particular concepts of interactivity. So I think that's really crucial, this idea that the theorists can work with an artist; we both deal with ideas, with concepts, but the artist is just using a different medium to what I'm using. I think that idea of a kind of collaboration between artists and theorists is really crucial; something that should really be supported. My first real interaction in an outside organisation in that sense, was when I was given a a writer's residency at the ZKM came in in Germany; which was an opportunity for me to to go there and to have time to look through their collection, but also look at the exhibition that was going on at that time. What I was doing there was kind of writing on their collection on their exhibition; that's what happened on a kind of surface level, but it really impacted on me because I got to spend time with artists and with curators and to see how they work. So that kind of very early stage of my career - before I had a PhD - that was my kind of introduction.


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