While Phil Zimmerman’s lecture had left me very disappointed, Kevin Chen’s lecture really blew my expectations out the water. I had no clue what to expect from a curator’s lecture since I didn’t know much about curators and curating, but the art that he showed at the lecture, both his and those he curated, were completely amazing. It also gave me a much better sense of the profession.
Ever since I was a little girl, I loved maps. I loved the styles and detail maps brought to represent lands, towns, and people in both books and real life. I believe I still have my NYC subway map since that one’s a personal favorite of mine. Therefore, seeing Kevin Chen’s curated galleries, both Here Be Dragons and Magic Story Table, fascinated me. I loved how the maps of certain groups were made with code and phones like the maps that showed where flickr and twitter were being used mainly and Jenny Odell’s All the People on Google map. My personal favorite were the demographics maps that color coded the map based on what ethnicity was where. It looked so neat seeing the colored dots on a page like a painting yet knowing that they are representing different cities. Seeing New York City represented made me really happy as I was born there and have knowledge of what ethnicities reside where in parts of the Bronx and Manhattan.
Seeing Kevin Chen’s actual work also made me happy as I felt he was very talented. I can be a bit of a detail-oriented artist and seeing The View from There just fascinated and inspired me. I could not believe how small he had made the buildings and yet how much detail still remained in the piece when you look with a magnifying glass. Furthermore, the fact that he did a lot of the work with a pencil is awe-inspiring to say the least.
Overall, Kevin Chen’s work had to have been some of the coolest stuff I had seen this semester, and he has my full respect as a curator and artist.