mediastudies
nl / en

Collecting and Conserving Net Art. Moving Beyond Conventional Methods

by Annet Dekker

In Collecting and Conserving Net Art. Moving Beyond Conventional Methods published by Routledge, Annet Dekker analyses and proposes new views on the conservation of net art, and (re)consider traditional concepts such as authenticity, performativity and networks, while questioning what is a document? As the publisher mentions:

Collecting and Conserving Net Art explores the qualities and characteristics of net art and its influence on conservation practices. By addressing and answering some of the challenges facing net art and providing an exploration of its intersection with conservation, the book casts a new light on net art, conservation, curating and museum studies.Viewing net art as a process rather than as a fixed object, the book considers how this is influenced by and executed through other systems and users. Arguing that these processes and networks are imbued with ambiguity, the book suggests that this is strategically used to create suspense, obfuscate existing systems and disrupt power structures. The rapid obsolescence of hard and software, the existence of many net artworks within restricted platforms and the fact that artworks often act as assemblages that change or mutate, make net art a challenging case for conservation. Taking the performative and interpretive roles conservators play into account, the book demonstrates how practitioners can make more informed decisions when responding to, critically analysing or working with net art, particularly software-based processes.

Collecting and Conserving Net Art is intended for researchers, academics and postgraduate students, especially those engaged in the study of museum studies, conservation and heritage studies, curatorial studies, digital art and art history. The book should also be interesting to professionals who are involved in the conservation and curation of digital arts, performance, media and software.

Endorsements

Christiane Paul, Professor, School of Media Studies Schools of Public Engagement, Director / Chief Curator, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center Parsons School of Design/The New School, New York (US):
Collecting and Conserving Net Art makes an invaluable contribution to the fields of digital conservation and new media art history and theory. Rigorous, concise, and original, the book takes the machinic, systemic, social and cultural aspects of net art as a starting point for developing models for the art form’s preservation. Dekker argues against the superficial claims that net art isn’t presentable, collectable, or preservable in order to establish a framework for conserving, documenting, and embracing the variability of the art form. Collecting and Conserving Net Art is a testimony to both the unique philosophical and pragmatic challenges that net art poses to standard preservation practices and the need for a publication that provides an in-depth discussion of these challenges.”

Gabriella Giannachi, Professor of Performance and New Media, Fellow of Royal Society of Arts, Elected Member of Academia Europaea, University of Exeter (UK):
“The book, highly original in its approach, builds on existing literature in this field by offering a novel and ground-breaking way to think of net art and its influence on conservation practices that does not consider net art as fixed but rather a process, an assemblage that can mutate over time and according to context. The implication for museum professionals is that they become part of a ‘network of care’ that is collaborative and most likely interdisciplinary, looking at preserving not just the object of art but also its variability. The book is likely to have a strong impact for academics and professionals working in the field.”

Juan Martín Prada, Professor titular en la Universidad de Cádiz (Spain):
Collecting and Conserving Net Art makes an invaluable contribution to the fields of digital conservation and new media art history and theory. Rigorous, concise, and original, the book takes the machinic, systemic, social and cultural aspects of net art as a starting point for developing models for the art form’s preservation. Dekker argues against the superficial claims that net art isn’t presentable, collectable, or preservable in order to establish a framework for conserving, documenting, and embracing the variability of the art form. Collecting and Conserving Net Art is a testimony to both the unique philosophical and pragmatic challenges that net art poses to standard preservation practices and the need for a publication that provides an in-depth discussion of these challenges.”

17 September 2018, wendy