9-11 juni

Research and practices in contemporary art conservation

Location: Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam


As a participating member of the symposium, the Netherlands Media Art Institute will host attendees at their location on the Keizersgracht, offering a workshop on obsolete equipment and emulation, and a behind-the-scenes tour of their facilities. NIMk will also host another workshop at the symposium.

International symposium for (up-and-coming) professionals, from diverse disciplines, who are connected to the conservation of modern and contemporary art. Organised by the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage (ICN), Foundation for the Conservation of Contemporary Art in the Netherlands (SBMK) and the University of Amsterdam (UvA).

Background - Modern Art: Who Cares? 1997

The 1997 symposium Modern Art: Who Cares? (MA:WC?) was one of the first international symposia to deal specifically with the problems of the conservation and restoration of modern art. The event was the culmination of a Dutch research project The Conservation of Modern Art (1995-97) and was meant to identify problems and to investigate possible solutions to these problems in order to develop methodology. Two years later in 1999, the results of the original research project as well as post-prints of the symposium were published in the book Modern Art: Who Cares? which is still considered a milestone for the profession. In addition, a direct result of discussions during MA: WC? was the formation of the International Network for the Conservation of Contemporary Art (INCCA).

Contemporary Art: Who Cares? 2010

The overall theme of the 2010 symposium Contemporary Art: Who Cares? (CA:WC?) is the current standard in care and conservation of modern and contemporary art. More that ten years after the first proposals for a methodological approach for this new domain of conservation, a new profession has emerged with its own set of specialist areas, its own research projects and its own training programmes. International collaborations, where shared research is the norm, have resulted in the development of good practice (methodological approaches, instruments, conservation techniques) as well as new training programmes and spin-off research projects on a national level.

At CA:WC? participants will share, learn from and discuss the outcomes of recent research projects in contemporary art, with special attention to installation art. Following in the footsteps of Modern Art: Who Cares? much of the programme is based upon a previous research project; this time the European project Inside Installations (2004-2007). Through open discussion, interactive learning and networking sessions, participants will be contributing to the development of this profession.

Participation NIMk:

Parallelsession Day 1
Artistic production and collection development
How to Perform an Artwork?
Wednesday 9th June, 15:00-17:00
Gaby Wijers, Coordinator of collection, preservation and related research Netherlands Media Art Institute / NIMk

Parallelsession Day 2

Care and Conservation
Obselete Equipment and/or Emulation
Thursday 10th June, 14:00-16:00
Gaby Wijers, Netherlands Media Art Institute / NIMk

Parallelsession Day 3
Access, presentation and the public
Behind the Scenes: Visit Netherlands Media Art Institute / NIMk
Friday 11th June, 9:30-12:00 (including travel)
Ramon Coelho, Head of post-production and video editing
Gaby Wijers, Coordinator collection, preservation and related research
Location: Netherlands Media Art Institute / NIMk / Keizersgracht 264, 1016 EV Amsterdam
Building on a long history in production and presentation of video and installation art over the last 15 years, NIMk is carrying out a research programme regarding the preservation and documentation of media art: video art, installations and live events in order to identify and understand what it is that needs to be preserved and to develop new methods, tools, language and services to deal with this. NIMk carries out national projects to preserve and present (and to experience) both today and tomorrow the Dutch media art heritage and holds the main media art collection in Holland, the national repository and infrastructure. NIMk’s preservation team is also well known for initiating and participating in case study based research, international collaborative research projects and transfer of knowledge in the field of media art documentation and preservation. Participants of this session will receive a guided tour of NIMk’s collection in the mediatheque and (video) conservation department with demonstrations of the equipment used for conservation.