Sabancı University is introducing a new research project titled ‘Technological Arts Preservation’ led by Sakıp Sabancı Museum’s archive and research space, digitalSSM. The project will begin with a panel on ‘Conservation of Software-based art,’ followed by a conference on ‘Preservation of Net Art’ on 15 November 2019. The events will continue with the workshop titled ‘Time-based Media Conservation’ on 16 November 2019.

Artwork collections gradually branch out to include works produced using technologies including video, sound, image, code, virtual or augmented reality, kinetic, digital or physical hybridity. These artworks are also dependent on software and hardware technologies regarding their representation. Considering the rapid changes in technology, the question as to how these arworks will be conserved for the future emerges as a challenging issue for all instutitions shouldering the resposibility of preserving cultural legacy.

The project, which was made possible through the collaboration of scholars, new media and digital art conservators, software engineers, researchers, art world professionals and information managers from institutions including Berlin University of the Arts, Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe (ZKM), Rhizome, Sabancı University, Sakıp Sabancı Museum and Tate at foremost will revolve around questions below:

•    How and why should we preserve technological artworks?
•    How should we define and classify technological artworks?
•    What is the role of software in the preservation of technological artworks?
•    Recently, numerous artworks using technology are faced with the danger of disappearing as the software system, hardware and network infrastructure they employ become outdated. What measures should we take to maintain their endurance?
•    Would updating technological artworks per se rapid developments in their related fields affect their originality and historicity?
•    How could we maintain the preservation of artworks created through web-based technologies?
•    How would web archives operate as a tool for both representing and preserving technological artworks?
•    Which responsibilities should artists, curators and collection managers take to maintain the preservation of technological artworks?
•    Which methods do contemporary museums apply to preserve and include technological artworks in their collections?
•    Which strategies should we develop to maintain the accessibility of technological artworks in the future?
Project team:

Selçuk Artut (Faculty member, Visual Art and Visual Communication Design – Sabancı University)
Cemal Yılmaz (Faculty member, Computer Science & Engineering – Sabancı University)
Osman Serhat Karaman (Digital Preservation Specialist, Sabancı University Sakıp Sabancı Museum)