Talk

Spotlight on New Talents in Time-based Media Art Conservation

Spotlight on New Talents in Time-based Media Art Conservation  | Events Calendar
Leo Villareal. Volume (Renwick), 2015. Collection of Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Janet and Jim Dicke, Tania and Tom Evans, Paula and Peter Lunder, and Debbie Petersen in honor of Elizabeth Broun. © Leo Villareal.


Upper E Side

The Institute of Fine Arts at NYU | 1 E 78th St.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017
6:00 PM in the Lecture Hall
The Institute of Fine Arts, New York University
1 East 78th Street

The Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts at NYU and the Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Program in NYU's Department of Cinema Studies collaborate to showcase two recent graduates working to conserve and preserve time-based media art:

Dan Finn: Time-based Media Conservation at the Smithsonian American Art Museum
Brian Castriota: Ontological Models and Authenticity in Time-based Media Art Conservation

The two “spotlights” are followed by a book presentation:
Hanna B. Hölling: Paik’s Virtual Archive: Time, Change, and Materiality in Media Art

Dan Finn: Time-based Media Conservation at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Emergent conservators, preservationists, and archivists who concentrate in time-based media often find themselves in internships and post-graduate career opportunities where they are the first of their kind in their institutions. This is an advantageous situation to be in, but is always accompanied with numerous challenges both anticipated and unexpected. Dan will discuss his experience starting out as the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s first full-time conservator specializing in time-based media through the lens of the museum’s first major acquisition of a time-based media work after his arrival. Leo Villareal’s Volume (Renwick) is a large-scale software-based LED installation that poses many of the issues surrounding the examination, documentation, treatment, and exhibition of media art facing media conservation professionals.

About the speaker: Dan Finn is the Media Conservator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, where he built the museum’s Media Conservation Lab and has refined conservation practices for time-based media art collections. He previously helped to establish the Media Archive of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, as well as document and perform migrations of analog media for Democracy Now!, the City University of New York Television Station, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He holds an MA from New York University’s Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Program.

Brian Castriota: Ontological Models and Authenticity in Time-based Media Art Conservation

Novel conservation approaches acknowledge that time-based media artworks can have multiple equally genuine instances despite there being differences or variation between them. Following on this observation, these approaches have sought ways to fix or tether works of art by discerning a work’s score or identifying a fixed set of properties or conditions through historical research and artist interviews. Many works of contemporary art have nevertheless proven resistant to such attempts at notation as material and contextual circumstances change, and statements made by the artist shift over time. As a consequence, what is regarded as essential to the work’s authentic persistence or occurrence may also be in flux.

In this lecture, Brian Castriota will introduce several ontological models from aesthetics and semiotics that he employs in his doctoral research to reframe the notion of authenticity in the case of variable and evolving works of modern and contemporary art. By considering a work of art as an instantiated, abstract object or type, this lecture will examine how questions of authenticity relate to the perception that a spatiotemporal object or event tokens or stands as a particular work. Castriota will explore how such a framework underlies conservation strategies for time-based media artworks, and how it may be used to consider questions of authenticity in the case of other objects of cultural heritage.

About the speaker: Brian Castriota is a time-based media art conservator based in Glasgow, Scotland. He earned an M.A. in History of Art and Archaeology and an Advanced Certificate in Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works from the Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts at NYU where he graduated in 2014. He has since worked as a contract conservator for time-based media artworks at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and was a Samuel H. Kress Fellow in time-based media conservation at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree at the University of Glasgow within the research program "New Approaches in the Conservation of Contemporary Art" (NACCA) – a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network – and he is also a Research Fellow in the Conservation of Contemporary Art at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

Book Presentation
Paik’s Virtual Archive: Time, Change, and Materiality in Media Art contemplates the identity of multimedia artworks by reconsidering the role of conservation in our understanding of what the artwork is and how it functions within and beyond a specific historical moment. In Hölling’s discussion of works by Nam June Paik (1932–2006), she explores the relation between the artworks’ concept and material, theories of musical performance and performativity, and the Bergsonian concept of duration. Ideas from art theory, philosophy, and aesthetics are used to probe questions related to materials and materiality of media art. Ultimately, she proposes that the archive is the foundation for the identity and continuity of every work of art. Link to Book.

About the author: Hanna B. Hölling is Lecturer in the History of Art and Material Studies at the Department of History of Art, University College London. She was Andrew W. Mellon Visiting Professor, Cultures of Conservation, at the Bard Graduate Center in New York and received awards internationally. Among her many publications is Revisions—Zen for Film.

Please note that seating in the Lecture Hall is limited and requires a confirmed RSVP. Latecomers are not guaranteed a seat. There will be a simulcast in an adjacent room to accommodate overflow and these seats are on a first-come, first-served basis.

This event will be live streamed and followed by a reception in the Loeb room. A video of this lecture will be archived and available after the event in the Institute's video archive.