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Title: Ca-Re: Mapping and reactivating variable media artworks in the Latin American context
Authors: Morfin, Jo-Ana
Monreal, Fernando
Issue Date: 5-Jul-2016
Series/Report no.: Practices: Curating Alternate Histories;07.11.2015 Session 5B
Abstract: Inspired by the notion of “networks of care” articulated by Van Saaze (2012), and based on the “reanimation” methodologies (Schneider 2013) posed by some scholars and practitioners in the fields of Performance Studies and Media Art Conservation, this paper will address the role of 'aficionados' in transmitting and reactivating variable media artworks (Ippolito 1999). In Mexico ­as in many other Latin American countries­ the task of collecting, documenting, archiving and preserving ephemeral, technology­related and transient works of art is not a priority for cultural institutions. As a result, it has become almost impossible to create cartographies and to trace the “media archeology” (Zielinski, 2006) of a great part of our recent artistic heritage. Given their mutant behaviors and their inherent unstable nature, as well as their diverse embodiments, contexts and interactions, variable media artworks resist institutionalization. Nevertheless, artworks have endured. Dispersed among recordings, photographs, writings, and other media, artworks remain fugitively in the memories and recollections of artists and participants, as well as in material traces leaving behind act. Most of these corpus of documentation, traces and remains of variable media artworks have not been collected and archived by institutions but instead by artists and curators themselves. In this presentation I will introduce my current project CA­Re (Cartografias de Archivo y Reactivación). This research aims at mapping and rescuing the archives of these 'aficionados'. I will show how works held in these archives may be reactivated and rescued from the digital oblivion through emulation, crowd­conservation, digital forensics tools and re­creation.
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