Documenting Naked on Pluto on Monoskop wiki: Collaborative Experimental Publishing as Art Preservation Strategy

Blog post

Conservation of online artworks asks for new ways of documenting. In 2019 LIMA invited Aymeric Mansoux (Artist/Researcher), Julie Boschat Thorez (Artist/Researcher) and Dušan Barok (Artist/Researcher) to research the presentation strategy and future mediation of Naked on Pluto. 

Naked on Pluto (2010-2015) by Dave Griffiths, Aymeric Mansoux and Marloes de Valk is an artist-built, open source, multi-player, online video game that had served as an impulse for a wider examination of privacy in the age of social media through exhibitions, workshops, lectures, interviews, books and websites. The change of Facebook policy for its API made the game unplayable, which in turn raises the question of whether the work can be preserved in any meaningful way. 

In recent years, digital art preservation initiatives have started to experiment with online research publications to support their mission. These new efforts are attentive to the context of works, open to multiple perspectives, and are frequently informed by conservation scholarship. In this research, Naked on Pluto is applied as a case study to develop a strategy for the preservation of artistic research. 

“rather than merely a piece of artistic software, the breadth of the work is much broader. In fact, the artists view the work in terms of discourse it set about “

The research has resulted in three distinct yet interdependent pages on Monoskop wiki presenting Naked on Pluto differently. A narrative presentation of the work, components and documentation of the work in a structured way, and an index, an inventory of the work's archive. It represents key aspects of the work identified together with the artists. 

“It draws from documentation approaches developed by LIMA, Guggenheim, SFMOMA and Rhizome, yet rather than aiming for future iterations or activations of the work, it is designed to amplify its various elements. To frame and amplify the content are functions of publishing. In this sense, if we [Dušan Barok, Julie Boschat Thorez, Aymeric Mansoux] consider publishing as an art preservation strategy its aim is to frame and amplify the work, to make a current context, a discourse for discussion that the artists intended to have by doing the work. Here also lies the potential of (resistant) artistic research to challenge the prevalent practices of collecting and museumification”. 

Check it out by clicking here.

This program is made possible by the Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie.