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Panel Discussions: UNFOLDING—Production and Process in Time-Based Media Art

Special Event

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Various representations of Cevdet Erek’s chiçiçiçichiciçi, 2018: a performance on February 28, 2019, Griffin Court, the Art Institute of Chicago (top); a digital plan; and a sketch. Plan and sketch courtesy of the artist.


Focusing on time-based media art conservation as an ongoing process, this two-day symposium and workshop invites artists, curators, conservators, technicians, scholars, collection managers, and registrars to explore how technical and aesthetic decisions impact the preservation of artworks.

From the selection of formats during production, to the continual reformatting of moving image works, to “reconstructions” of works that are partly lost or obsolete, choices of assessment and care are interwoven with how artworks are seen and remembered. Artists can be critical stakeholders in conservation approaches, including repositioning their past works into new contexts or modes of display. Further, the transfer between formats as technological platforms change provides opportunities to revisit an artwork’s identity or assess the underlying attributes of an analog or digital format. UNFOLDING will draw from art history, conservation, artists’ own procedures, and technical fields of expertise with the aim of expanding our collective attention to the in-between moments in the lives of artworks.

This event is sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and hosted through the Time-Based Media Initiative at the Art Institute. It is co-organized jointly by the museum’s departments of Academic Engagement and Research, Conservation and Science, Modern and Contemporary Art, Photography, and Architecture and Design.

This event is free but registration is required.

UNFOLDING continues with panel discussions and a workshop on November 1, 9:30–6:00.


Schedule | Panel Discussions

2:00 p.m. | Welcome and Introduction from Organizing Committee
Maria Kokkori, Art Institute of Chicago

2:15 p.m. | Panel I: Politics of Preservation
Jacqueline Stewart, University of Chicago
Abina Manning, Video Data Bank, Chicago
Liz Johnson Artur, Artist
Chairs: Michal Raz-Russo and Antawan Byrd, Art Institute of Chicago

3:30 p.m. | Panel II: Imagining Futures: Reformatting and Reconstructions
Beryl Korot, Artist
Ina Blom, University of Chicago and University of Oslo 
Maurice Schechter, Schechter Engineering, New York
Philip Vanderhyden, Artist
Chairs: Solveig Nelson and Robyn Farrell, Art Institute of Chicago

5:00 p.m. | Reception

6:00 p.m. | Encouraged: Chasing a Ghost, performance by Alexandra Bachzetsis
A performance in the Chicago Stock Exchange Room, part of Iterations performance series at the Art Institute. A separate ticket for this event is required. Buy tickets here.

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