“Lately, the term “to curate” seems to be used in an greater variety of contexts than ever before, in reference to everything from a exhibitions of prints by old masters to the contents of a concept store. The risk, of course, is that the definition may expand beyond functional usability. But I believe “to curate” finds ever-wider application because of a feature of modern life that is impossible to ignore: the incredible proliferation of ideas, information, images, disciplinary knowledge, and material products we all witness today. Such proliferation makes the activities of filtering, enabling, synthesizing, framing, and remembering more and more important as basic navigational tools for twenty-first-century life. These are the tasks of the curator, who is no longer understood as simply the person who fills a space with objects but as the person who brings different cultural spheres into contact, invents new display features, and makes junctions that allow unexpected encounters and results….
To curate, in this sense, is to refuse static arrangements and permanent alignments and instead to enable conversations and relations….that can seed future cross-disciplinary inspirations….
Selection, presentation, and conversation are ways for human beings to create and exchange real value….”
— Hans Ulrich Obrist, in his response to the EDGE question, “What scientific concept would improve everybody's cognitive toolkit?” posed by John Brockman (“This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking ”)