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Panel Discussions and Workshop: 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 also occurs on October 31, 2:00–6:00.

Schedule | Panel Discussions and Time-Based Media Art Workshop

9:30 a.m. | Coffee

10:00 a.m. | Welcome and Introductions

10:15 a.m. | Panel III: Commissioning Art and Performance—An Alternative Practice of Stewardship
Johanna Burton, Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio
Larry Smallwood, Clark Art Institute, Massachusetts 
Trajal Harrell, Artist 
Chairs: Hendrik Folkerts and Jordan Carter, Art Institute of Chicago

11:30 a.m. | Panel IV: Born-Digital Art
Mark Hellar, Hellar Studios, LLC, San Francisco 
Jan Tichy, Artist
Andreas Angelidakis, Artist and Architect
Chair: Maite Borjabad, Art Institute of Chicago

12:30 p.m. | Lunch

1:45 p.m. | Introductions to Time-Based Media Art Workshop and Attendees

2:00 p.m. | Presentation by Small Data Industries

2:30 p.m. | Workshop: Assessing Digital Files 
Led by Jeff Martin, Consulting Media Conservator, Kramlich Collection/New Art Trust and Kristin MacDonough, Art Institute of Chicago

4:00 p.m. | Moderated Q&A on Digital Preservation

4:30 p.m. | Group Discussion on the Midwest Media Arts Consortium and Closing Remarks

5:00 p.m. | Reception


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