Curating on Pinterest

I was really interested in exploring the idea of Pinterest and personal curating more, after our class discussion. I found an article, written for the New York Times, which talked about  sites like Pinterest and Tumblr, and what kind of curating happens on those sites (link here). People who are actually curators, and have a degree in the subject, can be kind of offended by the connection between curating and sites like Pinterest. One former curator, Choire Sicha, is quoted in the article and says,  “As a former actual curator, of like, actual art and whatnot, I think I’m fairly well positioned to say that you folks with your blog and your Tumblr and your whatever are not actually engaged in a practice of curation. Call it what you like: aggregating? Blogging? Choosing? Copyright infringing sometimes? But it’s not actually curation, or anything like it. . . .”

I don’t hold a degree in curating, but my first instinct is to disagree with Sicha. I think that reblogging or repinning something is, at some level, a type of curating. It might not be as fancy as curating art for a museum, but I think it is curating, if only on a much more personal level.  When people pin things, they are creating a personal collection of things they wish to preserve on the internet, for their own personal reasons.

When someone pins something on Pinterest, they are doing so for a couple of possible reasons. One reason would be to conventionally save an idea to be used at a future event, at a future date. The internet is a big place, and bookmarking websites can be a pain in the butt, never mind printing them out and filing them.  Pinterest offers an easy way to keep track of websites that you may not need right now, but might need later.

People also pin to present an image of themselves to the world. I personally pin things that I like, such as Doctor Who and Star Wars, as mentioned in class. However, I also have a board titled, “Things I Would Never Wear or Use”. I don’t really know why.  I suppose that’s something I want people to know about me, that I am not a fan of dock hammocks, or camouflage sports bras. In any case, Pinterest is a very personal, yet public way of curating. It allows you to present an image of yourself to the world through miniature collections of things, and ideas.  I think that professional curators shouldn’t look down on sites like Pinterest just because they are easy  and personal.

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1 Comment

  1. I agree with what you have to say here. As we have discussed, the times are changing and the internet, whether some like it or not. The Web is a huge way of sharing and saving information and it is only going to progress. Although it used to be that you would have to go to a museum to check out a collection of art, you can not sign online and get the same feelings and information that would come from such a process. There is no saying whether the traditional way is better or more valid, for it is now just another option we have in curating and organizing collections. People value different things, and someone that is focused about the time that goes into one collection might be unimportant or irrelevant to someone who is just focused on the actual product and the immediate feeling it gives them and others.

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