Commissioning and Collecting Variable Media
5 March 2010
BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art
Speaker: Benjamin Weil (La Boral)
[ada web], digital foundry NY
- SF MOMA
- Artist Space
Image: Christian Marclay, Video Quartet, 2002
Increase of technological software and hardware means there is no standing still. 2001 video was still widely, and the internet was still young and domestic based.
Lynn Hershman Leeson, Agent Ruby
Should commissioned online work be kept in the state it was created or updated to the level of technology of the time?
Collecting vs Archiving
Process vs Object
For example Felix Gonzales Torres or Dan Flavin. The types of bulbs they used in their work (incandescent) will soon not be made anymore, so what do you do? Felix if alive would not be bothered, but we as curators/conservators are. Will it change the meaning/feeling of the work?
Collection/Constellation of date not just an object
When is it time to retire an original object and update it to a newer technology? Does it change the meaning or does keeping it as original date it or distract from the intended meaning (ie old monitor will invoke nostalgia in the viewer)
Image: Pablo Valbeuna, Augmented Sculpture, V1.2
HBox – video commissioner
– yearly commissioning program
– collapsible screening room
– artist retain ownership and may develop the work further
– Hermes Foundation retains screening and archiving rights. (they archive each version as the artist updates it)
The artist can continue to update and develop the work, so as new technology comes in the can update it.
Speaker: Lisa Panting, Picture This
‘Commissioning work for Collection’
Artist led, working and directed from the field
Budget, touring, technical issues
Commissioning to collect – for commissions, collection or someone else?
Problem with commissioning is that it can put to much emphasis on success and not open tp experimentation or failure.
What are the parameters for collection?
Public access issues?
Who own the work in terms of development? (The commissioner, collector or artist?)
Who decides what to commission/collect?
Speaker: Graham Harwood, artist
‘Being commissioned and collected’
Commissioned work that is publicly available already.
Outside influences affect the commission
Historical influences –local, regional, national, international
Speaker: Lois Keidan: Live Art Network
‘Commissioniing Live Art’ – documentation/archiving
– Does documentation become the work?
– Does it destroy the viewers enjoyment of the live event?
– How conspicuous should the documentation be?
– What ois the artwork? The live performance or the documentation of the it?
NB: Tsing Hsieh
Who owns the documentation? The artist or the documenter? Service provider or collaborative relationship?
Image: Manuel Vason, photographer
Is interested in the documentation of live art where the practice investigates the subject around live art.
Example: Ron Athey/Catherine Opie
Collections/ Community/ Process
Socially active aesthetics
New social spaces
Shoula all variable media be collected/conserved? What if the artist does not want to?
Authorship/ agency of the community
Community? Physical, virtual, real, constructed.