Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 16, No. 1.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
Date: Tue, 07 May 2002 06:37:41 +0100
From: NINCH-ANNOUNCE <email@example.com>
Subject: New Project: "Archiving the Avant Garde: Documenting and
Preserving Variable Media Art"
News on Networking Cultural Heritage Resources
from across the Community
May 6, 2002
Archiving the Avant Garde: Documenting and Preserving Variable Media Art
Below is the outline of a new consortial project aimed at the
problems of collecting, documenting, and preserving digital art,
and other variable media art forms. The project includes mechanisms
for broad input from artists and other professionals and the designers
are curious to hear of other current efforts relating to these same
problems. Comments to <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Date: Mon, 6 May 2002 10:36:54 -0700
>From: Richard Rinehart <email@example.com>
ARCHIVING THE AVANT GARDE: DOCUMENTING AND PRESERVING VARIABLE MEDIA ART
Works of variable media art, such as performance, installation,
conceptual, and digital art, represent some of the most compelling
and significant artistic creation of our time. These works are key to
understanding contemporary art practice and scholarship, but because
of their ephemeral, technical, multimedia, or otherwise variable
natures, they also present significant obstacles to accurate
documentation, access, and preservation.
The works were in many cases created to challenge traditional methods of
art description and preservation, but now, lacking such description, they
often comprise the more obscure aspects of institutional collections, virtually
inaccessible to present day researchers. Without strategies for cataloging
and preservation, many of these vital works will eventually be lost to art
Description of and access to art collections promote new scholarship and
artistic production. By developing ways to catalog and preserve these
collections, we will both provide current and future generations the
opportunity to learn from and be inspired by the works and ensure the
accuracy of art historical records. It is to achieve these goals that
we are initiating the consortium project Archiving the Avant Garde:
Documenting and Preserving Variable Media Art.
The collaboration includes of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
(BAM/PFA), the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Walker Art Center,
Rhizome.org, the Franklin Furnace Archive, and the Cleveland Performance
Art Festival and Archive.
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