edited by Annet Dekker – Speculative Scenarios, or what will happen to born-digital art in the (near) future?


Baltan Laboratories, English, 144 pages, 2013, The Netherlands

Establishing an effective formal relationship between digital art and physical art spaces such as museums and galleries – one of the missing links in contemporary art – was the aim of “Collecting and Presenting Born-Digital Art”, an international conference involving many international professionals from both worlds, curated by Annet Dekker. Dekker has edited this book, which brilliantly captures the spirit of the conference and it is rich with enlightening thoughts and problematic debates. Written with an overarching “sampling” attitude and isolated quotes from different participants, the main sections (Aesthetics, Future Scenarios, Archive & Memory, CD-ROM Cabinet) benefit from texts, interviews and online conversations, archiving a number of important ideas that may inspire future initiatives and novel institutional dialogue. The interview with Christiane Paul, one of the few curators who have expertise in new media and who work institutional spaces (the Whitney museum) is very worthwhile. The book is formally connected to the event, but it manages to bring in a number of wider issues. Beautifully designed in the tradition of Baltan (now Natlab again) publications it extensively uses quotes and page folding to structure content that was liquidly generated and can now be liquidly distributed (the book is free offline and online), hopefully advancing the scene towards the (near) future. Alessandro Ludovico