Articles

This in-progress section brings together scholarly articles and essays that address the exhibition of media installation. The following texts, accessible as downloadable PDFs or through links, have been made available with the permission of their authors and publishers.

Bishop, Mitchell Hearns, Evolving Exemplary Pluralism: Steve McQueen's Deadpan and Eija-Liisa Ahtila's Anne, Aki and God - Two Case Studies for Conserving Technology-Based Installation Art. In Journal of the American Institute for Conservation Vol. 40, No. 3, pp. 179-191, Fall/Winter 2001. View paper

In a paper presented at "TechArchaeology: A Symposium on Installation Art Preservation," Bishop discusses conservation issues inherent in the works of Steve McQueen and Eija-Liisa Ahtila, two artists included in the exhibition Seeing Time: Selections from the Pamela and Richard Kramlich Collection of Media Art, then on view at SFMOMA. A series of questions about each work and its preservation are put to each artist; their answers are discussed. Broader questions of how museums and collectors exhibit, preserve and document media works are addressed.


Cook, Sarah, An interview with Larry Rinder, 2001. Published by CRUMB (Curatorial Resource for Upstart Media Bliss), University of Sunderland. Available from CRUMB.

Whitney Museum of American Art curator Rinder discusses the origins of the show "BitStreams" (with sound component co-curated with Debra Singer), which was to include work expressed through digital media and reflecting on the conditions of life in the digital age. Curatorial choices are discussed under the conditions imposed by a constrained planning schedule; its concurrent run with Christiane Paul's "Data Dynamics" is addressed, as are the politics of exhibiting work not necessarily created for museum/gallery display. The impact of new media art on the curator's role and on museum practice, as regards corporate sponsorship, are also considered.


Cook, Sarah, Multi-Multi-Media: an interview with Barbara London. 2001. Published by CRUMB (Curatorial Resource for Upstart Media Bliss), University of Sunderland. Available from CRUMB

The video and media curator at the Museum of Modern Art discusses her early video and Internet projects with MoMA-curatorial dispatches from trips to China, Russia, and Japan-and later MoMA web commissions. She describes the challenges of showing Internet projects in gallery settings and of acquiring new media art, and stresses the museum's important role in pushing the field forward.


Graham, Beryl, Curating New Media Art: SFMoMA and 010101. 2003. Report published by CRUMB (Curatorial Resource for Upstart Media Bliss), University of Sunderland. Available for download from CRUMB.

A case study of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's groundbreaking exhibition "010101," which included new and traditional media and involved interdepartmental curatorial input. The paper studies: the distinctive roles of various museum staff in this show; the exhibition timeline, which differed from that of other exhibitions; formal audience feedback; and press coverage, which was quite high. What the author deems most useful for other museums to study was interdepartmental communication among curators; crossover of press attention; increased involvement of technical staff; a meshing of interpretation and curating; the metaphor of curator as producer; and the nature of the exhibition of Internet art.


Hanhardt, John, Nam June Paik, TV Garden. Permanence Through Change: The Variable media Approach. Published by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, in New York, and the Daniel Langlois Foundation, in Montreal, 2003. View discussion

A brief description of Korean artist Nam June Paik's pioneering role in contemporary art is followed by a discussion between Hanhardt and artist and former Paik studio assistant Stephen Vitiello, focusing on the key elements of the 1974 multimedia installation TV Garden. They discuss the balance between fixed and variable-maintaining vital aspects of the piece while dealing with the exigencies of installing it in various settings. They also touch on how to maintain the artwork into the future.

Huber, Hans Dieter. PPP: From Point to Point or from Production to Presentation to Preservation of Media Art. Lecture at the congress 404 Object Not Found, Dortmund, June 2003. View lecture

Huber explores the relationship among production, presentation and preservation of media art installations. Distinguishing between organization and structure, he discusses, respectively, the replaceable and un-replaceable parts of media installation artworks, with attention to the effect on the meaning of the work as parts are replaced. Using the analogy of a musical score and performance, he analyzes the abstract notation and specific installation of media artworks. He concludes by asking, apropos of presentation of media installations, whether, paradoxically, the more the parts of a media installation may be substituted, the more it may be presented, thus better preserving it.

Van Saaze, Vivian, ICN and Gaby Wijers, Netherlands Media Art Institute Research into four media installations. Materiaaltechnische informatie over beeldende kunst (Information on materials used in the visual arts), No. 46, Summer 2003. View study

Sponsored by the Netherlands Media Art Institute, the authors studied four works: 25 Caramboles en variaties. Verjaardagscadeau voor een 25-jarige (25 Caramboles and Variations. Birthday Present for a 25-Year-Old) by Miguel-Ángel Cárdenas; Outside Inside by Elsa Stansfield and Madelon Hooykaas; Are You Afraid of Video? by Servaas; and A Word of Welcome by eddie d. The study looked at the aspects of the works that were important to consider in re-installation; tried to determine which aesthetic and technical aspects were essential for preserving the integrity of the works; considered registration and documentation of the pieces; and described the technical competence necessary to present the works.