Following on to Brian's listserv post, I would like to add a few more points on periodisation. Although Kondratieff cycles or long waves do play a role here, the intention is not an in-depth discussion of the long wave theory. The intention is rather to create a foundation for a narrative that describes the second half of the 20th century as an interplay of economic, political, technological and cultural forces, seeking out turning points that allow to identify specific characteristics of techno-economic changes as an explanatory framework for specific cultural or artistic phenomena, such as participatory media and / or media art and technology practices.
Curating can be a form of practice led research and this is perhaps the most interesting approach. Having developed my own practice as a curator through the 1990s using ‘new media’, it has by necessity been a process of learning about technology through my practice and what it can do to enhance the presentation of content; in some cases of course the technology is the content in its own right. Learning on the job during the 1990s was the only way to develop given that artists were also experimenting with new forms and with it new ideas.