Dr. Barnaby Drabble works as a freelance curator, critic, researcher and teacher based in Zurich. He holds an MA in Curating Contemporary Art from Goldsmiths College in London and has recently been awarded a PhD for his thesis entitled "Stop Making Sense: the ends of curating and the beginnings of the exhibition". In addition to having lectured, tutored and given workshops at numerous educational institutions in Paris, Milan, Bern and London, Drabble has also established the Postgraduate Program in Curating at the ZHdK in Zurich. He has held public lectures, lead workshops and chaired discussions in a range of international institutions, including Tate Britain and the ICA in London, the Power Plant in Toronto, The Migros Museum in Zurich, INSA art space in Seoul, the Alexandria Contemporary Art Forum and the Witte de With in Rotterdam. Together with curator and academic Dorothee Richter, Drabble conceived of and oversaw the travelling archive project Curating Degree Zero Archive (2003-2008) and has compiled two collections of texts on curating; including the recent reader Curating Critique (Revolver, 2008).
The Curating Degree Zero Archive was initiated in 2003 by Barnaby Drabble and Dorothee Richter as a platform for locating, debating and documenting critical and experimental approaches to curating contemporary art. The project sought not only to gather documentation about exhibitions and make it public, but also to provide a space for questions about the role of documentation in the establishment of curating as a cultural practice in its own right. The archive existed as a touring exhibition with a complimentary website, the collection of documentation growing over time in relation to the contexts it was shown in and the people who invested their energy in the tour. The act of making the material public was rethought at each step of the tour by the respective host organisations, resulting in a diverse range of approaches to display and numerous related discussions and events.
In his presentation Barnaby Drabble will briefly describe the project, and reflect on the things to be learned from the project's nomadic, open-source, live, and no-budget strategies.