NY Times: Steve Johnson on “Curatorial Culture”

From a round-up in the NY Times called Judging 2003’s Ideas: The Most Overrated and Underrated , a short piece by Steve Johnson about what he called Curatorial Culture–the value of personalities and experts acting as editongs and compilers.
” …Apple’s new Celebrity Playlist area in its store features collections of music assembled — with liner notes — by famous musicians: Sting, Ben Folds, Wynton Marsalis and many others.
What’s potentially revolutionary here is the ability to buy a compilation of music handpicked by another individual, as opposed to the official compilations released by record labels. No doubt Apple will soon offer a feature that enables ordinary music fans to create public playlists engineered around every imaginable theme.”
Another way to look at this is that internet distribution and play list culture offer everyone a chance to regain the ability to act as an editor, packager, and/or tastemaker for friends–which is the way the world used to be before MTV, CNN and McLuhan’s Gobal Village narrowed the transmission of ideas and styles down to what feels like minutes.
An unfortunatel by product of our Global Village has been the professionalization of taste–the great play lists and anthologies created by friends fell away in the light of celebrity culture. Playlist sharing, blogging, and mix tapes help us get that cultural community content back.
More comments on this by Steve, here.