Home SEMINARS 2006 Seminar Curriculum du cours / Course description

Curriculum du cours / Course description

The Preservation of New Media (La conservation des nouveaux médias)

Seminar instructor/Titulaire du séminaire: Dr. Will Straw (Université McGill).
Course Assistant/Auxiliare du cours: Jessica Santone

Technology history assistant/Auxiliaire pour l’histoire des technologies: Marilyn Terzic

 

ENGC 639B (#4953) / ARTH 661B (#3986)

 

Tuesdays/mardi: 10:00 am – 13:00 pm

Fondation Daniel Langlois,

Centre de recherche et de documentation,

3530 boulevard Saint-Laurent, bureau 402

 

Course description:

Preservation of New Media is a new course designed in collaboration with members of a major, multi-institution research project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada under its Community-University Research Alliance program. The lead institution on the project is the Fondation Daniel Langlois pour les arts, la science et la technologie. The project is known as DOCAM (Documentation and Preservation of Media Arts Heritage.)
The course will deal with issues and problems confronting those involved in media artworks from curatorial, critical, preservation, documentation and art-historical perspectives. Working with case studies developed within the project, the course will draw on experts in several fields. Questions to be addressed include the integrity of the art work in relation to exhibition technologies, the ethics of “migration” between exhibition media, the technical difficulties of media art preservation, the description and cataloguing of media art works and the place of media art works within the practices of museums. Students will work on case studies involving museums attached to the project, prepare content for a project website and undertake research on media-based artworks. Open to students in all relevant disciplines.

Please note that this course will take place in English and French. Students are encouraged to speak in the language of their choice.

Veuillez noter que le séminaire se déroulera en français et en anglais. Les étudiant(e)s sont encouragé(e)s à parler dans la langue de leur choix.

 

Course website:

The course website will be serve to distribute announcements to students, provide links to readings and make available other important information on a week-by-week basis. The website is available temporarily at http://www.arts.mcgill.ca/programs/ahcs/preservationoutline.htm
(* This website is no longer available)


Readings:

There are two categories of reading for the course. Core readings will be collected in the course pack, and are listed after the title and speakers for each week in the outline below. Recommended readings will be made available on a consultation basis for students wishing to further investigate certain issues. On-line readings of all kind will be made available through links from the course website.
The course reading package is available for purchase at Copie Nova, 1015 Sherbrooke St. W.

Student marks for the class will be based on the following:

1. Participation and preparation of questions: 20%
This mark will reflect your participation in the weekly seminars. You are encouraged and expected to join in discussions, to ask questions of guest speakers and to closely follow the issues. In addition, you are required to prepare one question per week based on the readings assigned for that week. Students will be asked to pose their questions on a random basis, following each week’s guest presentation.


2. Group development of materials on case studies for project website: 40%
The DOCAM project works with case studies of media-based artworks which pose important issues in preservation and documentation. A list of case studies will be presented in the first class, and students will break up into groups to work on a case over the course of the academic term. Students will undertake research on such issues as (a) the history of exhibition of the work; (b) the problems posed in exhibiting the work over time; ( c) challenges in documenting the technological bases of the work; and others as appropriate. The results of this research will be “capsules”, units of documentation which will be placed on the DOCAM website as part of its ongoing development of materials related to these cases. Groups will be marked according to the quality and extensiveness with which they produce documentation on a work. Students will receive credit on the DOCAM website for materials produced. Each group will make a 30 minute presentation on its case studies in the class of April 11th.


3. Final paper on issues in new media preservation and documentation: 40%
Students are required to produce an essay (approximately 20 pages, double-spaced) dealing with an issue raised in the course. The topics of individual weeks offer examples of topics; others may be proposed for approval by the course instructor. The paper should provide an overview of the issue, examine relevant studies which relate to it, and, when appropriate, use a case study to further clarify the issue. These papers are due on April 11th, the last day of class.

 

Outline/Plan ——————————————————————————–

January 10th: " Introduction: The New Media Preservation Problematic" / Introduction: Problématique de la préservation des nouveaux média

Sylvie Lacerte, Alain Depocas, Jean Gagnon ( Fondation Daniel Langlois)

Readings:
• Besser, Howard, The Longevity of Electronic Art,  February 2001.

Web site : http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/~howard/Papers/elect-art-longevity.html
• DOCAM: Documentation and Conservation of the Media Arts Heritage, 2005. http://www.docam.ca/

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January 17th: "« Variable Media »: Case Study from the Guggenheim Museum" / “Médias variables”: Étude de cas du musée Guggenheim

Caitlin Jones, Guggenheim Museum, New York City; Alain Depocas

Readings:
Seeing double: emulation in theory and practice, Variable media network / Réseau des médias variables. New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Montréal: Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science, and Technology, 2004.

Web site : http://www.variablemedia.net/e/seeingdouble/index.html
• Dimitrovsky, Isaac. Final report, Erl-King project, Variable media network / Réseau des médias variables. New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Montréal: Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science, and Technology, 2004.

Web site : http://www.variablemedia.net/e/seeingdouble/report.html

Recommended:

Permanence through change: the variable media approach / L'approche des médias variables : la permanence par le changement. Alain Depocas, Jon Ippolito and Caitlin Jones, eds. Montréal: Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science, and Technology; New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 2003. [ref. May 22, 2003].

Web site : http://www.variablemedia.net/e/preserving/html/var_pub_index.html

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January 24th The History of New Media Arts: Cases and Overview / L’Histoire des arts médiatiques nouveaux: Cas et vue d’ensemble

Sylvie Lacerte, Vincent Bonin, Eric Legendre, Fondation Daniel Langlois

Readings:
Lee, Pamela. “Introduction: Eros and Technics and Civilization,” 4-34 in Chronophobia: on time in the arts of the 1960s. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2004.

Descriptions of EAT and Nine Evenings Fonds

Web Site : http://www.fondation-langlois.org/
Lacerte, Sylvie. “E.A.T, Experiments in Art Technology.” Observatoire Leonardo des arts et des technosciences (OLATS). Boulogne-Billancourt: Observatoire Leonardo des arts et des technosciences, 2002.

Recommended:
Frieling, Rudolf. “Form Follows Format: Tensions, museums, media technology and media art” 369-84, in Medien Kunst Netz : Medienkunst im Überblick [Media Art Net : Survey of Media Art]. Rudolf Frieling and Dieter Daniels, eds. Vienne: Springer, 2004.

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January 31st: Issues in New Media documentation and description / La documentation de description des nouveaux média
James Turner
, Université de Montréal

Readings:
Rinehart, Richard. A system of formal notation for scoring works of digital and variable media art.

See the article in pdf file available at  www.bampfa.berkeley.edu

Choudhury, Sharmin, and Jane Hunter, Implementing preservation strategies for complex multimedia objects, 2003.
Web site : http://metadata.net/panic/publications.htm

Recommended:
Rinehart, Richard. Appendices to a system of formal notation for scoring works of digital and variable media art.
Baca, Martha, ed. Introduction to Metadata: pathways to digital information. Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, 1998. [ref. April 1, 2004].

Web site: http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/standards/intrometadata/

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February 7 Conservation Issues in Video and New Media at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal / La conservation de la vidéo et des nouveaux média au MACM
Anne-Marie Zeppetell
i, MACM

Readings:
Laurenson, Pip. The conservation and documentation of video art, 263-271, in Modern art: who cares?.

IJsbrand Hummelen and Dionne Sillé, eds. Amsterdam: The Foundation for the Conservation of Modern Art: Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage, 1999.
Hummelen, IJsbrand, and Tatja Scholte. Sharing knowledge for the conservation of contemporary art: changing roles in a museum without walls?. 208-212, in Modern art, new museums: contributions to the Bilbao congress.

Ashok Roy and Perry Smith, eds. London: The International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, 2004.
De houdbaarheid van videokunst: Conservering van de Nederlandse videokunst collectie [The sustainability of video art: Preservation of Dutch video art collections].

Gaby Wijers, Ramon Coelho and Evert Rodrigo, eds. Amsterdam: The Foundation for the Conservation of Modern Art, 2003.

See the article in pdf file available at www.montevideo.nl/

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February 14 The Museum Context: Museum Practice / Le contexte et la pratique du musée
Barbara Klempan, Queen’s University; Richard Gagnier, National Gallery of Canada;
Marie-Noel Challan Belval, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.

Readings:
Laurenson, Pip. The management of display equipment in time-based media installations, 49-53 in Modern art, new museums: contributions to the Bilbao congress.

Ashok Roy and Perry Smith, eds. London: The International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, 2004.

Web site : http://www.tate.org.uk/research/tateresearch/tatepapers/05spring/laurenson.htm
Couture, Francine. Réexposer ou produire l’oeuvre originale? /To re-exhibit or to produce the original work?, Espace sculpture. No. 71 (printemps 2005), 6-11.
Laforet, Anne. Net art et institutions artistiques et museales: problematiques et pratiques de la conservation, 2004. [Date of reference : July 13, 2005].

See the article in pdf file

Recommended:
Crumb: curatorial resource for upstart media bliss. Under the direction of Beryl Graham and Sarah Cook. Sunderland: School of Arts, Design, Media and Culture, University of Sunderland. [Date of reference: 3 October 2005]. Web site : http://www.crumbweb.org/

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February 28 History and Aesthetics of Documentation Materials: Objects, Images, Installations / Histoire et esthétique des matériaux documentaires: objets, images, installations
Jessica Santone
, McGill University

Readings:
Buskirk, Martha. Medium and Materiality, 107-158 in The Contingent Object of Contemporary Art. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2003.
Sturken, Marita. The politics of video memory: electronic erasures and inscriptions, 1-12 in Resolutions: contemporary video practices. Michael Renov and Erika Suderburg, eds. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996.
Lambert, Carrie. Documentary Dialectics: Performance Lost and Found. Visual Resources 16: 3 (Summer 2000), 275-285.

Recommended :
Fauconnier, Sandra, and Rens Frommé. Capturing Unstable Media: Summary of research. Rotterdam: V2: Institute for the Unstable Media, 2003.

See the article in pdf format at www.sakasama.net

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March 7 Technological Collaboration with the Artist / Collaboration technologique avec l’artiste
Matthew Biederman, independent consultant, Montreal

Readings:
Depocas, Alain. La mutation comme facteur de conservation : le cas des oeuvres à composantes technologiques / Mutations as a conservation factor : the case of works with technological elements». Espace sculpture. N° 71 (printemps 2005). P. 12-16.
Granger, Stewart. Digital preservation & emulation: from theory to practice. 289-96, in ICHIM01: international cultural heritage informatics meeting: cultural heritage and technologies in the third millenium. Vol. 2 David Bearman and Franca Garzotto, eds. Pittsburgh: Archives & Museum Informatics; Milano: Politecnico di Milano, 2001.

Web site : http://www.leeds.ac.uk/cedars/pubconf/papers/ichim01SG.html
Olson, Michael G. Robert Creeley’s computer files: a collaborative approach to link access with preservation, 127-133, in Preservation of electronic records: new knowledge and decision making: postprints of a conference, symposium 2003 / La préservation des documents électroniques: information récente et prise de décisions: actes du congrès, symposium 2003. Ottawa: Canadian Conservation Institute, 2004.

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March 14 New Media: Ethical and Aesthetic questions /Nouveaux médias: enjeux ethiques et esthétiques
Louise Poissant, UQAM

Readings
Delalande, François. L’invention du son. in Révolution industrielle de la musique. Cahiers de Médiologie No 18. (Paris, Fayard, 2004), 21-31.
Sterling, Bruce. Digital Decay / Décomposition numérique. in Permanence through change: the variable media approach / L'approche des médias variables : la permanence par le changement Alain Depocas, Jon Ippolito and Caitlin Jones, eds. Montréal: Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science, and Technology; New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 2003. [ref. May 22, 2003].

See the article in pdf file at www.variablemedia.net

Recommended:
van Wegen, D.H. Between Fetish and Score: The Position of the Curator of Contemporary Art. 201-209, in Modern art: who cares?. IJsbrand Hummelen and Dionne Sillé, eds. Amsterdam: The Foundation for the Conservation of Modern Art: Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage, 1999.

Web site: http://www.incca.org/theory-and-ethics/263-vanwegenarticle1999

The Decision-making Model for the Conservation of Modern Art (SBMK) during the project ‘Conservation of Modern Art’ (1996-97). (Reference: 3 October 2005)

Web site : http://www.incca.org/theory-and-ethics/303-decision-making-model-sbmk-

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March 21 Theories and Methods in the History of Technology / Théories et méthodes dans l’histoire de la technologie
Jonathan Sterne
, McGill University

Readings:
Mumford, Lewis. Objectives, 3-7, in Technics and Civilization. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1934.
Akrich, Madeleine. The De-Scription of Technical Objects, 205-24, in Shaping Technology, Building Society: Studies in Sociotechnical Change. Wiebe Bijker and J. Law, eds. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1992.
Sobchack, Vivian. Nostalgia for a Digital Object: Regrets on the Quickening of Quicktime, 305-29, in Memory Bytes: History, Technology and Digital Culture. Lauren Rabinovitz and Abraham Geil, eds. Durham: Duke University Press, 2004.

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March 28 The Artist’s Perspective / La perspective de l’artiste
Marie-Christiane Mathieu, artiste, directrice, Studio XX

Readings:
Viola, Bill. Permanent Impermanence, 85-94 in Mortality Immortality? The Legacy of 20th Century Art, M. Corzo, ed. Los Angeles: Getty Conservation Institute, 1999.
Escobedo, Helen. Work as Process or Work as Product: A Conceptual Dilemma, 53-56 in Mortality/Immortality?: the legacy of 20th-century art. Miguel Angel Corzo, ed. Los Angeles: Getty Conservation Institute, 1999.
Sperlinger, Mike. The Many Mona Lisas: An Interview with Malcolm Le Grice. London: Keep Moving Images. [2005]

Web site : http://kmi.lux.org.uk/casestudies/manymona.htm

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April 4 Presentation of Case Studies by Students / Présentation des études de cas par les étudiant(e)s

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April 11 Feedback and conclusions / Feedback et conclusions