1 February 2023

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” presents an online conference with contributions from Anna Mladentseva (Researcher at University College London) and Olivier Zeitoun (Curator at Centre Pompidou).


1 February, Wednesday - 15.00 (GMT +1)

15.00 Réseaux-Mondes (Worlds of Networks) - Olivier Zeitoun (Curator, Centre Pompidou)
15.40 On the Conservation of Flash-Based Net Art  - Anna Mladentseva (Researcher, University College of London)
16.20 Q + A

Moderated by Osman Serhat Karaman (digitalSSM Archive & Research Manager)



Réseaux-mondes (Worlds of Networks)
Olivier Zeitoun (Curator, Centre Pompidou)

In 2022, the Worlds of Networks collective exhibition (February 23rd – April 25th 2022) at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, has brought together the works of sixty contemporary and historical artists, architects and designers to question the role of networks in artistic practices in today's society, catalyzed by social networks and the dematerialization of all networks. Through a selection of artworks presented or documented in the exhibition, and the joint analysis of milestones in the history of networks, this presentation retraces the archeology of this concept and aims to explore the history of "networked" art. Since the architectural utopias of the post-war period, the notion of "global network" has developed in parallel with the development of information society. The possibility of a "global network" has influenced artistic practices dealing with cybernetics. In the 1980s, the computer network became the artistic medium for telematic art and then Net.art; ten years later, artistic practices budded within networks in a political and ubiquitous dimension. After the emancipatory utopia brought about by networks, artists are now questioning its critical dimension: social networks or blockchains, surveillance society or the ubiquity dimension of the network. The very etymology of “network” recalls the net and the knot, hence the role of reticulations in art, design, and architecture. The first network is also the one of the living, which links species together, generating new forms of “connectedness” with other species.

On the Conservation of Flash-Based Net Art -
Anna Mladentseva (Researcher, University College of London)

The demise of Adobe Flash has profoundly impacted a wide range of communities that have once used this technology to create interactive content on the web. This presentation concentrates specifically on artistic exploration of the technology by focusing on a case study of the net artwork titled Genesis (2001) by Sinae Kim. In particular, Anna will discuss migration as a strategy for conserving Flash-based net art, which is often perceived as the more laborious and radical solution —when compared to alternative strategies such as virtualisation/emulation— for restoring access to obsolete artworks. Nonetheless, the process of decompiling the artist provided executables and rescripting the retrieved code becomes an invitation for conservators to reimagine concepts that have come to shape the field, allowing for a more expanded understanding of issues such as authenticity.


Anna Mladentseva is a PhD student at University College London’s History of Art and Information Studies departments. Her project focuses on the conservation of software-based works of art and design from the Victoria & Albert Museum and her research is funded by the London Arts & Humanities Partnership and the Overseas Research Scholarship. In 2022, she published her research in the Journal of the Institute of Conservation and won an international speaker grant to present at the electronic media panel of the American Institute for Conservation’s annual meeting. Her interest in network and post-internet cultures goes beyond academia and she has curated two new media exhibitions at Pushkin House and the Ugly Duck, London as part of the fetchish_net collective.

Olivier Zeitoun is deputy curator at the Design Department of the MNAM, Centre Pompidou in Paris. Holder of two masters in social sciences and in philosophy and art history, he works on exhibitions and acquisitions of the museum, contributes with publications, and has participated as curator since 2017 to an annual cycle of exhibitions entitled Mutations/Créations dedicated to the interactions between digital technology and artistic creation, including Designing the Living (La Fabrique du Vivant) (2019) and Worlds of Networks (Réseaux-Mondes) (2022) (curator with M-A Brayer). He continues his teaching, research and publications activities as an independent curator, focusing on issues related to the digital fields and the living in contemporary art and design.

Banner Photo Credit: Bertrand Prevost (2022). Réseaux-Mondes (Worlds of Networks) - Centre Pompidou. 

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