Barbara London is a New York-based curator and writer, who founded the video-media exhibition and collection programs at The Museum of Modern Art, where she worked between 1973 and 2013. Her recent projects include the podcast series “Barbara London Calling,” the book Video Art/The First Fifty Years (Phaidon: 2020), and the exhibition Seeing Sound (Independent Curators International), 2021–2026.
Tools and Contemporary ArtBy Barbara London
From the get-go, Manhattan was the center of my universe. My curatorial career began at MoMA in the early 1970s, when international phone calls were expensive and audio cassettes cheap. New York City was bankrupt, the art world small, no one had money, yet energy and ideas soared.
Barbara London CallingBy Barbara London
As a curator and writer committed to contemporary art, for decades Ive pursued art that explores and adapts to the nonstop changes in technology and in the people who use it. Upgrade is the name of the game. Praxis means keeping my finger on the pulse by engaging directly with artistsemerging and establishedand keeping an open dialogue with passionate colleagues. Everyone adapts in their own way.
Wu Tsang: AnthemBy Barbara London
Innovation appears every once in a while. When it does, an encounter occasionally brings a full on coup de foudre. Wu Tsangs site-specific sonic sculptural space Anthem (2021) did this in spades for me, and is the not to be missed sensorial experience at the Guggenheim Museum on view through September 6.
Signals: How Video Transformed the WorldBy Barbara London
Today we live at a moment of accelerated technological transformation, as smart phones and social media have become the means of both rapid audiovisual production and global communication. This is a good moment to look back at the video with fresh eyes.
Venice Biennial: At a Glance, 2017By Barbara London
Last week I flew to Europe for the opening of the Venice Biennial. On the way, I stopped by the Kunstmuseum Bern to see “Elemental Gestures,” a survey featuring projects by the anti-disciplinarian Terry Fox (1943-2008).
Venice 2019: A Few ReflectionsBy Barbara London
Last May, I traveled to Italy for the opening of the 2019 Venice Biennial, ready to catch up with colleagues and experience the latest artwork from around the world. Eager to check the pulse of art and technology, I knew to anticipate works in the evolving fields of virtual reality and artificial intelligence.