Present Continuous Past(s), Media Art. Strategies of Presentation, Mediation and Dissemination

book.(edited by) Ursula Frohne

Springer, ISBN 3211254684
The sense and the historical role of the cultural objects archive is closely related to our obsession for memories, and the clinging to fragments of personal experiences, that stop our own instant time, and move our clock hands somewhere else. This proceedings of the homonymous conference (that was titled after a famous destabilizing installation by Dan Graham, in 1974) concern the protection of a basic cultural heritage, in order to better understand the contemporaneity. The restauration of ‘originals’, in the video case, for example, is often lost in its own meaning because of the number of copies and their manual labeling. In the digital works, then, the ‘original’ concept loose its sense, even if it maintains a high instability, because of the incredibly quick hardware obsolescence. The digitalization, indeed, is a path that transforms something that is fragile into something that is unstable, even if it rewards the user with the materials accessibility (that someone unreasonably still limits online to clips or single preview pictures). But in the bog of the available or untraceable technologies, the formalization of conceptual models of the electronic works of art is amongst the texts included in the book and is one of the most interesting efforts of preservation, developed at the Rotterdam V2. This approach skips the conservative models related to a classic technical analysis of the work, focused as its executing code – software – and its infrastructure – hardware, focusing on the indissoluble joining of its functional structure with the theoretical one.