| In The Lab

Time-Based Media Art Conservation

(full curriculum implementation, fall 2018)

What is Time-Based Media art?

Technology-based artworks are referred to as Time-Based Media works, and are characterized by having a durational element, such as sound, slide, film, video, software, performance, light, movement, or internet, that unfolds to the viewer over time. Since these artworks are subject to technical and technological obsolescence, it is often left to the conservator to identify, acknowledge, and respect the conceptual nature of these works. Technology-based art is considered to be more sensitive to damage, loss, misinterpretation, and incorrect installation than a traditional artwork, due to its very specific and sensitive relationship of time, space, and concept.

What makes Time-Based Media art conservation challenging?

A very particular knowledge and skill-set is needed to understand and analyze preservation challenges for electronic artworks. Damage or loss cannot be seen by simply examining the physical material and may not be immediately apparent. The emerging and fast-growing area of Time-Based Media conservation requires different approaches than say for panel paintings or works of art on paper.

What would a curriculum in Time-Based Media art conservation look like?

The future Time-Based Media curriculum at NYU, the very first of its kind in the U.S., uses a multi-disciplinary approach to address these objectives. The training program at the Conservation Center offers the ideal infrastructure for instruction in the sciences, art history, and conservation ethics. The new curriculum will be embedded in the conceptual framework of contemporary art conservation, already a strength of our program. During the development phase in 2016-2017 we will explore options for practical and technological training in media art conservation utilizing a coalition of experts and specialists in computer science, engineering, and film and video preservation. Students will benefit from additional classes offered through other NYU graduate departments, such as the Moving Image Archiving and Preservation program, Courant Institute of Computer Science, Interactive Telecommunications Program, and Museum Studies. Area initiatives, like the Digital Library Technology Services at Bobst Library, as well as the media labs within major NYC museums, will also contribute to the resources available to students outside the classroom. Applications for Time-Based Media art conservation will be considered for the fall 2018 entering class, with a submission deadline of December 18, 2017.

Please also note our events page. The program can be found here.

Time-Based Media Project Team

Dr. Hannelore Roemich, Chairman of the Conservation Center and Professor of Conservation Science & Time-Based Media Program Director;
Christine Frohnert, Conservator of Contemporary Art & Time-Based Media Program Coordinator;
Kevin Martin, Academic Advisor

Top image: Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Make Out, Shadow Box 8, 2008