Adventures 2019: Leonie Bradbury
About Me: I am the Director of Art and Creative Initiatives for an innovation festival in Boston called HUBweek. It is a civic collaboration between The Boston Globe, MIT, Harvard University and Mass General Hospital. This year will be our fifth year presenting the festival. Our focus is on art, science, and technology and their social impact.
I’m trained as a scholar and curator of contemporary art and recently earned my Ph.D. in Philosophy, Aesthetics, and Art Theory. My academic research is situated at the intersection of network theory, art theory, and contemporary artistic practice. My dissertation Artwork as Network: A Reconceptualization of the Work of Art and Its Exhibition presents a series of case studies of artists whose artworks I propose operate as networks.
Although I’m not a practicing artist, I very much think of my curatorial practice as my creative practice. Organizing artists and art installations for a large outdoor festival requires a tremendous amount of logistical skills, but also demands a curatorial and creative vision that presents and contextualizes the works of art in a manner that is cohesive, yet provocative and exciting.
As part of my curatorial vision for HUBweek, I’m primarily interested in artworks that facilitate visitor engagement and are interactive and/or experiential as these types of pieces work well in the public realm and the unique – and at times challenging – environment that a festival setting provides. This can include live, performing arts such as dance, music, Djs or visual art works such as murals, environmental installations, or participatory projects.
At HUBweek, we are not particularly interested in tech for tech sake or even art for art sake, but rather look at how an idea or project, such as a start up company or work of art can speak to the issues that need addressing in our society. Within my area of expertise I aim to feature projects, artists, and organizations that are making a difference in the world. I ask: What is their social impact? What are the stories these works are telling us? The questions they ask? And also, is this work innovative and why?
Artists by definition are entrepreneurs, exploring new concepts, experimenting, designing, and are comfortable taking risks. As such, art making is a courageous practice and its imaginative nature promotes and cultivates innovation, as each artwork is a beginning, an event/object/experience that emerges as something new into the world. As a curator I see the world most clearly through the artistic representation of issues and ideas as they manifest in artists’ writings, the surrounding theoretical discourse, and – of course – works of art and their ability to transform how we see the world.
I’d love to see some local galleries, contemporary art museums and hopefully meet some local artists and curators. A colleague of mine in Boston, mentioned that the global mural network POW! WOW! has a chapter in Seoul. I’d love to meet with some of the organizers or artists that participated in the 2017 festival and also go see their work painted on buildings around the city. I also want to go to a grocery store, a market, and a mall as you can learn lot about a culture and what it values by looking at how people shop.
Written by Leonie Bradbury
Leonie is the Director of Art and Creative Initiatives for an innovation festival in Boston called HUBweek. It is a civic collaboration between The Boston Globe, MIT, Harvard University and Mass General Hospital. This year (2019) will be the fifth year presenting the festival. Their focus is on art, science, and technology and their social impact. We're happy to have Leonie joining us in Seoul for Lighthouse's Adventures 2019!