Digital Art Works (CEAAC, Straßburg)
Exhibition view Digital Art Conservation
The Challenges of Conservation
Sat, June 16, 2012 – Sun, September 23, 2012
Digital art conservation is an initiative born out of the wish to valorise the expertise that has been accrued in the Upper Rhine Valley in the field of digital art conservation over the past two decades. The three-year project, co-financed by European Union’s INTERREG IV Upper Rhine programme, aims firstly to foster greater cooperation between the regional actors in the curating and conservation of digital art and secondly to contribute to the theoretical discussion around digital art conservation at an international level.

Counting such institutions as the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Haus für Elektronische Künste in Basel and the Espace Multimedia Gantner in Bourogne, Franche-Comté, specialised in the field of digital art, as well as important public and private contemporary art collections, the Upper Rhine Region possesses a unique wealth of digital art. Moreover, generous artist residence programmes at the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe and important festivals such as Ososphère in Strasbourg and Shift in Basel contribute to making the region an unparalleled breeding ground for the production of digital art.

In an attempt to strengthen the links between the various regional actors involved in the production, curating and conservation of digital art, the first phase of the project will consist in an effort to catalogue the region’s digital art collections. In the second phase, drawing on this important body of works, and on the day-to-day engagement of the above-named institutions with the conservation and presentation of digital art, digital art conservation aims to contribute to the theoretical discourse on this issue.

Recent efforts (see the Variable Media Network, IMAP, DOCAM, PACKED and among others) have resulted in the articulation of a new theoretical framework and new methods for digital art conservation. The prevailing thesis that new media art is defined by its conceptual content and physical effects to a greater extent than it is by its original materiality will provide the backdrop of the debate. By way of conservation case studies, two international symposia, an itinerant exhibition and a compendium, and with an emphasis on ethical questions, digital art conservation will aim to take the discussion further.

The participation of the Ecole supérieure des arts décoratifs de Strasbourg and the Hochschule der Künste Bern will provide the teaching arm of the project, with workshops discussing the case studies and with the parallel development of a blueprint for a European master’s programme in digital art conservation.
Organization / Institution
ZKM | Medienmuseum

Conseil Général du Territoire de Belfort – Espace Multimedia Gantner ; Ecole supérieure des arts décoratifs de Strasbourg ; Haus für Elektronische Künste Basel ; Hochschule der Künste Bern ; Vidéo les Beaux Jours, Strasbourg


Europäischer Fonds für regionale Entwicklung ; interreo Oberrhein