RENEW 2013

The 5th International Conference on the Histories of Media Art, Science and Technology

Riga / October 8 – 11, 2013

"Archiving" Participants

Aurelie HERBET

Immaterial art stock project: conservation challenges and issues of digital art works carried out in online immersive platforms


Panel:panel C



This article will present the Immaterial Art Stock project. This project is initiated by the EN-ER laboratory (Digital Space – Extension of the Reality) of the Ecole nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, dedicated to the preservation, documentation and dissemination of pioneering digital works of art carried out in online immersive platforms (such as Deuxième Monde, Second Life, OpenSim, etc.). Since 2003, these spaces are invested by artists who develop pioneering artistic experiences with this new medium space. This project, in partnership with INA (Institut Nationale de l’Audiovisuel), the National Archives and the Smithonian institut, conserv the works of artist as Fred Forest, Chris Marker, Christine Webster or even Yann Minh. The Immaterial Art Stock project includes a virtual 3D modeled museum, housed in FrancoGrid and a website, listing the artists and works shown in the museum. The virtual art preservation mission consisted initially in referencing and establishing a state of the art practices since the inception of metaverses. This ongoing research, has led us found the abundance and richness of the works produced but also point to a numerous issues to resolve. Firstly, we will present the project process and the various component (museum and website Following project presentation, we will observe issues related to the conservation of these works of art. What is the nature of an work of art moved from its original context? Is it only a “documentation” of the original work, a fragment, a ghost or a reproduction? Indeed, the conservation of these works raises issues including software planned obsolescence, program compatibility, or the transience of certain artistic devices. Through this paper, these subjects will be dealt and we will also think about more sustainable safeguarding actions than currently used.

Aurélie Herbet is PhD in Fine Arts at Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University . Her thesis is entitled “Fiction and digital devices: space, travel and intermedia”. It focuses on fiction and immersive conditions when it is convened in art installations. In her practice, Aurélie Herbet realizes devices hybridizing tangible and digital spaces.

She is a member of two research teams (Art and Flux, directed by Yann Toma and Fictions and interactions, led by Bernard Guelton) within the UMR ACTE / CNRS Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, where she developed her research topics.

She is also a student-researcher in laboratory EN-ER (Digital Space – Extension of Reality) of the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs of Paris. In this lab, she reflects on the issues of conservation and presentation of works of art created in the shared immersive spaces. This project is led with Frederick Thompson.

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