Center for New Media Art


International Coloquium

Digital Era Art Works in Galleries and Museums

Brno House of Arts
22. – 23. October, 2019

A mere fifteen years ago, it seemed that electronic or new media would barely become accepted by established, institutional collections of modern and contemporary art. Around the year 2000, private collectors and state galleries still seldom, and often with suspicion, paid attention to electronic art works. Artists working in electronic media, and university-level art institutions looked upon electronic media departments with skepticism. But nowadays, new media, electronic, and digital art comprises a seminal part of most respected collections.

Since the closing of the 20th century, the (art) world has changed substantially, and new media are no longer a tactic, a strategy, or a statement, but rather one of the most popular means for commenting on the condition of 21st-century humanity. Artifacts which include an element of the electronic moving image, digital code, the static technical image or sound are no longer limited to projects focusing on new media, but have become an organic component of a large number of exhibitions. Even art works which are presented within the context of the internet or computer games appear in the acquisition-oriented endeavors of galleries and museums all around the world.

Media art is, however, very dependent on technologies which are quickly becoming outdated and are hard to acquire. Many media works are thus losing their potential for being exhibited within a very short span of time, or will eventually become lost forever. We are thus threatened with the prospect that we will lose a large part of our heritage of post-industrial digital culture, since a systematic, widely accepted and satisfactory methodology for their preservation and documentation is, even in this day and age, still non-existent.

In 2018, the New Media Center – Vašulka Kitchen Brno opened under the auspices of the Brno House of Arts. In collaboration with the Vašulkas, as well as with a number of international institutions, it has confronted the need for collecting and archiving electronic artworks.

  • What is the current situation in the field of state-owned and private art collections, both Czech and abroad?
  • What is the situation at universities which have expertise in creating and archiving video art, interactive audiovisual installations, net art, sound art and other art forms which are considered ‘new media’?

The colloquium entitled Digital-Era Art Works in Galleries and Museums intends to introduce, compare and discuss current knowledge, methods and practices of managing collections in galleries and museums, mainly across Central Europe.

The event is intended for curators, archivists, artist, and restorers working with collections, museums and galleries which contain documentation and artifacts which importantly feature analogue, digital, moving and generated images and sounds, as well as other art works whose essential characteristic is their instability.

Apart from presenting  a selection model for media art acquisitions, the colloquium’s program will also focus on the preservation and mediation of new media art, and will also present several institutions with long-term experience of managing and preserving collections.

Deadline for proposals was: 31 July, 2019

The detailed program will be announced until end of September

Organizers: Vašulka Kitchen Brno and the Brno House of Arts
Conception: Miloš Vojtěchovský, Matěj Strnad
Organizational coordinators: Monika Szücsová and Adéla Kudlová

Cooperation: Národní filmový archiv, Prague, Theory of Interactive Media department at Masaryk University, Department of Theory and History of Art, Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague.

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