Art Term

Emulation

Emulation is the process of recreating a digital art work to ensure it continues to work as technology changes

Bruce Nauman, ‘MAPPING THE STUDIO II with color shift, flip, flop, & flip/flop (Fat Chance John Cage)’ 2001
Bruce Nauman
MAPPING THE STUDIO II with color shift, flip, flop, & flip/flop (Fat Chance John Cage) 2001
Tate
© Bruce Nauman/ARS, NY and DACS, London 2017

As technology becomes more sophisticated, the early video cameras, software programs and computers of the 1970s and 1980s are virtually obsolete.

Conservators have had to emulate artworks made on outdated technology – such as an old Spectrum computer – in existing technology. This process has caused considerable debate about the nature of conservation in this context and about technological nostalgia in contemporary art.