Workshop Preservation and Restoration of New Media Art

Blog post

As of January 6, 2014, the workshop Preservation and Restoration of New Media Art will be held in the Sustainability Lab of LIMA, Arie Biemondstraat 111, Amsterdam. Students and professionals research three case studies led by LIMA (Gaby Wijers, Ivo van Stiphout, Wiel Seuskens) and Ellen Jansen, Lecturer in Conservation and Restoration of Modern and Contemporary Art. During a month, the students will document all the aspects of the artworks, and will research the technological, conceptual and art historical history and consult different specialists, including the artists themselves. Next to this, the work will be installed in the space of the lab for further inspection. Finally, the students report their results in the form of a plan.

Since their origin, new media such as film, video and digital technology are used by artists in an experimental way. One of the biggest challenges is the rapid aging of the technological components of these works, and how to replace them. In a painting these are the medium and the carrier, the paint and the fabric, in the case of new media installations, it is not always clear which elements are crucial for the identity of the work. For example, can the specific TV used by Nam June Paik for TV Buddha (1974) in case of a defect by replaced by a modern flat screen?

During the workshop Preservation and Restoration of New Media Art, which is developed by the study program Conservation and Restoration of the University of Amsterdam in cooperation with LIMA, these questions and challenges are addressed in a practical setting. The workshop is a continuation of the collaboration between the Master programmes Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage and Preservation and Presentation of the Moving Image. Eleven Students examine media artworks from various collections of which they will determine their meaning and state.

The following artworks will be researched:

  • Turning Point (1995), Stansfield/Hooykaas, collection of the artist

  • Atlas of the Interior (1995) Fiona Tan, collection LIMA

  • De Hemel is Vierkant (1985), Bart Vegter, collection EYE Film Institute The Netherlands

The Sustainability Lab is a work-learn laboratorium, a multidisciplinary, open workshop for research on distribution and preservation of media art. It is a meeting place for people who want to work from an artistic, scientific, technical, theoretical or practical perspective and reflect on sustainable accessibility of media art.

The workshop will be closed on Friday, January 31 with the presentation of the research results. You are cordially invited to attend this event.

Presentations of the case study research

Date: January 31, 2014
Time: 1.30 – 5.00 PM
Location: LIMA , Arie Biemondstraat 111, Amsterdam

  • 1.30 - 1.45 PM: Reception and introduction
  • 1.45 - 3.15 PM: Presentations of the case studies (30 minutes per case)
  • 3.15 - 3.30 PM: Closure of the student presentations
  • 3.30 - 5.00 PM: Drinks

Contact & register: Ellen Jansen (Lecturer of Conservation and Restoration of Modern and Contemporary Art).

Image: Square Shape of Heaven (1985), Bart Vegter (EYE)