Extending Contemporary Art Conservation
Panel:Panel C: Through the Conservator's Eye: Collecting, Preserving and Displaying Media Art
Venue:Stockholm School of Economics, Soros Auditorium
As contemporary artists’ use of technology is continuously evolving and media artworks enter collections on an increasing scale, it is crucial that graduate program curricula in contemporary art conservation cover not only modern materials, but also include media. The development of adequate methodologies for the conservation of time-based media art is stimulated by existing standards and practices in contemporary art conservation that have been established to address other types of ephemeral, performative or installed artworks. In recent years, several international research projects have explored the conservation of installation art and technology-based art. As a result of these initiatives, useful approaches to documentation and conservation ethics have been developed, a standardized terminology has been established, guidelines for interviewing artists have been created and decision-making processes have been improved. This presentation will demonstrate how these methods and standards are now extended to media art conservation and how the acquired knowledge is integrated into teaching practices. The cooperation with external specialists and the constructive exchange between different conservation programs are central to creating an effective conservation methodology. Aside from teaching theory, most curricula in media art conservation also put an emphasis on practical case study research, which often benefits from unusual and innovative approaches. Two case study research projects will serve as examples for the methodical approach to media art conservation as practiced at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna (Austria).