Rudolf Frieling – the blind and the small, the voice and the curator

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James Joyce

Der Kurator für Medienkunst am San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, spricht über Taktiken, Strategien und Konflikte im Umgang mit Institutionen.

Vortrag auf deutsch oder englisch, je nach Vorliebe des Publikums.


Rudolf Frieling is a curator, educator, and scholar with an M.A. in Humanities from the Free University of Berlin and a Ph.D. from the University of Hildesheim, Germany. From 1988 to 1994 he curated the International VideoFest Berlin. From 1994–2006 he was curator and researcher at ZKM, Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany. Curatorial projects include the net art section of the Sao Paolo Biennale (2002) and Sound-Image (2003) in Mexico City.  

His writing and commentary are noted world wide including the development of multimedia / print publication: Media Art Action (1997), Media Art Interaction (2000), Media Art Net www.mediaartnet.org  (2004–5), and  40yearsvideoart.de  (2006), an archiving, restoring and exhibition model experiment.


Since January 2006, he has been the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s curator of Media Arts where his aegis includes moving forward to find new positions- "Media art can make the viewer an active participant. It can upend the roles of artist and spectator.”  

Bringing into the scene such events as Bruce Conner: It's All True and organized Film as Place (both 2016), Christian Marclay: The Clock (2013); Lynn Hershman Leeson: The Agent Ruby Files (2013); Stage Presence: Theatricality in Art and Media (2012); Descriptive Acts (2012); Sharon Lockhart: Lunch Break (2011); David Claerbout: Architecture of Narrative (2011); and Long Play: Bruce Conner and the Singles Collection (2010) and William Kentridge: Five Themes (2009).


He has foregrounded new ways of analyzing, organizing, and transposing the images made by artists, filmmakers and writers. In 2008 he curated SFMOMA’s influential survey exhibition The Art of Participation: 1950 to Now, also collaborating on the SFMOMA presentation of the traveling exhibition Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera (2010).  Spearheading the notion of the museum as a producer, Frieling commissioned for SFMOMA’s public spaces Jim Campbell: Exploded Views (2011/2012) and Bill Fontana: Sonic Shadows (2010).  

Rudolf Frieling serves as adjunct faculty member at California College of the Arts and the San Francisco Art Institute and has  recently been the recipient of the 2017 Thoma Art Foundation Grant for writing and scholarship in the field of digital arts.

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