Five great curatorial sites

Who curates the curators? I’m not clever enough to translate that into Latin, but never mind, the answer is, in this case, me. Because today we’re looking at my five favourite curatorial sites on the web.

What is a curatorial website? In truth, I think the definition is quite loose, but curators find, keep and order cultural material, so I guess that curatorial sites are, by extension, where this kind of thing goes on. Anyway, enough blah, here are my five favourite curatorial sites.

1. Smashing Telly
This is what BBC Two and Channel Four should be. No washed up comedians learning how to paint, no sneering at proles, just the good shit. Of course it’s all off the back of the YouTube lorry, but so what, the BBC should sack Punt and Dennis (has anyone ever laughed?) and put more of this stuff on. I particularly enjoyed The Red Balloon, a short film made by the inventor of the board game Risk, and the only short to win an Oscar outside its class.

2. Proceedings of the Athanasius Kircher Society
One of the oldest and best known of the curatorial sites on the web, the Proceedings (as we web pros like to call it) is a brilliant site. One word of caution though: some bits of it are a bit like for the art school crowd, so be a bit careful or you might come across a picture of guy with hair growing out of his eyeballs or something. And that sort of thing that stays with you.

3. Oobject
Techno, techno, techno, techno sang 2 Unlimited in their 90s chart-friendly clubland Euro-monster No Limit, and if there weren’t some rather obvious issues with the dates, you could be forgiven for thinking they were singing about oobject – a site dedicated to curating technical oddities, from anechoic chambers to personal submarines. And, when it comes to curating that stuff, as far as the oobject team are concerned, there’s no valley to deep, no mountain too high, they do what they want and they do it with pride.

4.Strange Maps
In ten years time this site will be called Strange Sat-Navs. So enjoy it while you can, it’s a corker.

5. The Whitney Art Port
The Whitney Artport showcases the work of individual digital artists. Some of it’s cracking but a couple of the sites gave me a bit of a headache. Ideal for ad types looking for a good idea to nick. Have at it ye scurvy dogs.

Honourable mention to Cabinet magazine. More of an offline entity, with some reasonable stuff online.

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