16 December 2022

VARIANT. Documenting New Media Art

VARIANT. Documenting New Media Art

This conference will be held in English.
Registration🔗is required.


Enacted by digitalSSM, the project entitled “VARIANT. Documenting New Media Art🔗” continues with an online conference with contributions from Annet Dekker (Assistant Professor in Archival and Information Studies and Cultural Analysis at the University of Amsterdam) and Dragan Espenschied (The director of Rhizome’s Digital Preservation program).
 

In the first part of the conference, Annet Dekker will present several documentation projects and show how documentation can shift from a static representation to a dynamic and performative act, thereby encouraging a rethinking of what documentation means. In the second part, a talk will be delivered by Dragan Espenschied, who proposes that specific types of documentation can become a part of an artwork’s manifestation, and over time, artworks can be moved into a mixed form that is part performance and part documentation.”


The Q&A session will aim to investigate these questions: “Can documentation replace the artwork?” and “How can we transform documentation into a living and evolving process?” The conference will be moderated by Osman Serhat Karaman (The Manager of digitalSSM Archive & Research Space).
 
  CONFERENCE PROGRAM (GMT+1)

15.00 
The Tension Between Static Documentation and Dynamic Digital Art
Annet Dekker

15.40
In Between Performance and Documentation
Dragan Espenschied

16.20

Q&A


ABSTRACTS
The Tension Between Static Documentation and Dynamic Digital Art
Annet Dekker (University of Amsterdam)

This presentation will explore how documentation has become a solution to capture digital art. By presenting several documentation projects I will show how documentation can shift from a static representation to a dynamic and performative act, thereby encouraging a rethinking of what documentation means. Such rethinking signals a shift from documentation as a single interpretation (for instance, in historical performance photography and video art practices), or a set of instructions or guidelines (as happened in, among others, several conceptual artworks), to a conceptual method from which new artworks and interpretations can be made, that can provide additional ways to understand the value of documentation. One of the outcomes is how such documentation moves beyond the conventional (often static) documentation methods in preservation practices to prioritise more dynamic and performative methods. In the process, how the valuation and subsequent hierarchy of museum documentation changes by emphasising the ways users are taking control of documentation through various networked processes of image circulation, will be discussed.


In Between Performance and Documentation
Dragan Espenschied (Rhizome)

In the preservation of digital art documentation is filling the gaps in between manifestations of a piece. When an installation is set up in a gallery, net art is migrated from one server to another, or generally, when an artwork finds itself in a technical environment that is different from the one it was made in or made for, documentation plays a vital role in guiding curators, preservation specialists, and exhibition technicians. This talk proposes that specific types of documentation can become part of an artwork’s manifestation, and over time, artworks can be moved into a mixed form that is part performance and part documentation.



BIOGRAPHIES
Annet Dekker is a curator and researcher. Currently she is the Assistant Professor in Archival and Information Studies and Cultural Analysis at the University of Amsterdam and  the Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of the Networked Image at London South Bank University, where she is also a visiting professor. She has published numerous essays and edited several volumes, among others, Documentation as Art (co-edited with Gabriella Giannachi, Routledge, 2022) and Curating Digital Art. From Presenting and Collecting Digital Art to Networked Co-Curating (Valiz, 2021). Her monograph, Collecting and Conserving Net Art (Routledge, 2018) is a seminal work in the field of digital art conservation.

Dragan Espenschied is the Director of Rhizome’s Digital Preservation program, stewarding ArtBase, a collection 2200+ works of digital art and net art. With a background in net activism, net art, and electronic music; Espenschied has mostly focused on infrastructure and field-wide action concerning web archiving, emulation, and linked open data, rather than singular artworks.

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