RENEW 2013

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

Riga / October 8 – 11, 2013

"Archiving" Participants

Christina VATSELLA

Conserving the new media installation: the challenges of the monitor


Panel:Panel A (Paper Session)


Venue:Stockholm School of Economics, Soros Auditorium

The monitor is the most versatile element of the new media installation. It is the broadcasting device of the moving image as well as an art object that defines the form of the installation. Its replacement may thus significantly alter the artwork. From a technical point of view, the monitor is an apparatus with a limited life span that becomes obsolete practically every decade. Consequently, its conservation is a very challenging procedure. In order to explore the complexity of this issue, three restoration projects of the Centre Pompidou will be analyzed. Nam June Paik’s Moon is the Oldest TV (1965) consists of monitors manipulated by the artist. Likewise, in Garry Hill’s Disturbance (among the jars), the modified monitors may be considered as unique art objects. The replacement of these specific devices would therefore be highly problematic. On the other hand, in Matthieu Laurette’s Apparitions, the updating procedure of the monitor is part of the original concept of the artist. These case studies demonstrate that every restoration plan is unique because it is based on the specificity of the artistic project. The restoration projects of the Centre Pompidou Collection will be compared with similar ones conducted by other institutions. Questions of obsolescence, sustainability, authenticity and falsification will be raised. This paper will be based on unpublished documentation of the Centre Pompidou archives. Christina Vatsella has a PhD in History of Contemporary Art from Paris Sorbonne University and is currently teaching New Media Art History at the Université Marne-la-Vallée.

Christina Vatsella is an art historian specialized in new media art. She earned her PhD from Paris Sorbonne University working on the question of space in the video installation. She teaches history of new media art at Paris Ouest Marne-la-Vallée University. Her research focuses on the moving image in the visual arts and on the relation between art and mass media.

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