Case Studies: Naked on Pluto and Mouchette

ArtHost is LIMA's innovative research on dynamic archiving, emulation and documentation in collaboration with Constant Dullaart. Various research projects have worked at the intersection of art, technology, ICT and heritage on instruments with which we can continue to experience existing and future digital heritage for the longer term. The necessity is obvious: without the past there is no future. Artists, collectors, museums, students and producers need the past to be inspired, challenged or learn from. The digital past is not automatically available to future generations. Born digital art requires specific expertise to realize conservation and sustainable accessibility. Preserving online artworks requires new ways of documenting, archiving and preserving. In 2020, the investigations into dynamic archiving of net art were expanded with two cases in collaboration with the artists Martine Neddam and Aymeric Mansoux. Collaborative Experimental Publishing as Art Preservation Strategy.

Naked on Pluto

In 2020, Aymeric Mansoux (artist/researcher), Julie Boschat Thorez (artist/researcher)  and Dušan Barok (artist/researcher) examined the artwork Naked on Pluto as a case study to develop a strategy for preserving artistic research. Naked on Pluto (2010-2015) by Dave Griffiths, Aymeric Mansoux and Marloes de Valk is an artist-built, open source, multiplayer, online video game that sparked a broader exploration of privacy in the age of social media through exhibitions, workshops, lectures, interviews, books and websites. 

The Facebook policy change for its API made the game unplayable, which in turn raised the question of whether the work can be saved in a meaningful way. The work is much broader than just a piece of artistic software. The artists view the work in terms of privacy discourse. The research has resulted in three different but interdependent pages on the Monoskop wiki where Naked on Pluto is presented differently each time. A narrative presentation of the work, components and documentation of the work in a structured manner, and an index or inventory of the archive of the work. It represents the main aspects of the work identified together with the artists. 

Case study and summary Naked on Pluto for Documenting Digital Art workshops 2020
Visit Monoskop for Naked on Pluto/Preservation project

Mouchette


The net art performance Mouchette (1996) by the Amsterdam based artist Martine Neddam was examined by Patricia Black and Wiel Seuskens. Black focused on the ethical and aesthetic aspects and the preservation and documentation of identity and Seuskens on the technical side. This interactive website provides a platform for the online presence and subversive diary of a young character named Mouchette, a 13-year-old girl who expresses herself on themes of death, desire and suicide. This artwork presents many challenges in terms of documentation and preservation, as it combines several elements and is highly participative. During its 20 years of existence, many different related projects such as live performances and installations have become part of the project, as well as several interactive pages, more than 3,000 active links and an ever-expanding text database. The artist sees the work as performative, meaning the character expands through other projects and media. Technically, the work grew in a very free, flexible and organic way. The old programs and aesthetics are conceptually part of that; this does not make technical updates easy. Neddam maintains the site itself and has a very personal approach. Flexibility, re-creation, interaction and collaboration are the most important factors.

Case study and summary for Documenting Digital Art workshops 2020
Case study report Mouchette by Martine Nedam. Report by Patricia Black.
Essay Can “Mouchette” be preserved as an identity? By Patricia Black (research intern LIMA 2020)