Friday, June 27, 2014

[Yasmin_discussions] ART, NEW MEDIA, AND SOCIAL MEMORY


I am your moderator this week (from Dallas)

I wanted to bring to your attention this new leonardo book which addresses
the complex issues surrounding curating, conservation, restoration work in new
media- rapidly our own memory is becoming fragmented by not being able to
experience the seminal and key works from the last fifty years of art
and technology.

I am copying this to the discussion list- so that those interested can
raise issues and
ask questions of the authors

roger malina



How will our increasingly digital civilization persist beyond our
lifetimes? Audio and videotapes demagnetize; CDs delaminate; Internet
art links to websites that no longer exist; Amiga software doesn't run
on iMacs. In Re-collection, Richard Rinehart and Jon Ippolito argue
that the vulnerability of new media art illustrates a larger crisis
for social memory. They describe a variable media approach to rescuing
new media, distributed across producers and consumers who can choose
appropriate strategies for each endangered work.

New media art poses novel preservation and conservation dilemmas.
Given the ephemerality of their mediums, software art, installation
art, and interactive games may be heading to obsolescence and
oblivion. Rinehart and Ippolito, both museum professionals, examine
the preservation of new media art from both practical and theoretical
perspectives, offering concrete examples that range from Nam June Paik
to Danger Mouse. They investigate three threats to
twenty-first-century creativity: technology, because much new media
art depends on rapidly changing software or hardware; institutions,
which may rely on preservation methods developed for older mediums;
and law, which complicates access with intellectual property
constraints such as copyright and licensing. Technology, institutions,
and law, however, can be enlisted as allies rather than enemies of
ephemeral artifacts and their preservation. The variable media
approach that Rinehart and Ippolito propose asks to what extent works
to be preserved might be medium-independent, translatable into new
mediums when their original formats are obsolete.

About the Authors
Richard Rinehart is Director of the Samek Art Gallery at Bucknell University.

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