In the background, a blurry image of a person from the shoulders up, a microphone hangs above them, and part of an artwork is visible on the wall behind them. In the foreground is a camera - through the viewing screen we see the person, in focus.

Artist Julia Scher interviewed at SFMoMA

Media in Transition logo - uppercase text fades black to grey from left to right

Themes explored in the Media in Transition initiative include:

  • ‘Lives’ of time-based works, key moments of transition and engagement
  • Creation of works with future forms of display or realisation in mind
  • Impact of strategies developed within time-based media conservation on other forms of conservation practice
  • Decision making and values
  • Responding to the loss of networks of production and expertise
  • Ideas about documentation within artistic, art historical, curatorial and conservation practice
  • Vanishing histories and fragile ecosystems

Conference

In October 2015, thanks to the support of the New Art Trust, a Media in Transition retreat was held to identify cross-currents and connections between specific case studies. This work directly informed a major international conference hosted by The Getty Conservation Institute, The Getty Research Institute and Tate, which took place at Tate Modern on 18–20 November 2015.

The conference focused on the intersection of media art and technological change over time, and asked: How is this shifting the way museums operate and how conservation works?

Following the format of the highly successful Object in Transition conference in 2008 this event explored – through papers, panel discussions, demonstrations and dialogues – how the field is adapting and responding to these new forms of artistic practice, and how emerging modes of collaboration between artists, conservators, art historians, technical experts and curators can help advance the field.

Download the conference programme here [PDF]


Video recordings of the conference are available to watch via the links below.

Introductions and Keynote

Welcome addresses by Nicholas Serota (Director, Tate) and Jeanne Marie Teutonico (Deputy Director, Getty Conservation Institute) and an introduction by Pip Laurenson (Head of Collection Care Research, Tate)

Artists Runa Islam and Hito Steyerl present keynote talks, followed by a discussion chaired by Andrea Lissoni (Curator of International Art, Tate)

Predictive Engineering by Julia Scher: A Case Study from the Artist Initiative, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

With presentations from Robin Clark (Director, Artist Initiative, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art), Rudolf Frieling (Curator of Media Arts, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art), Martina Haidvogl (Associate Media Conservator, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) and Julia Scher (artist)

Restaging Real‐time: Considering the Reconstruction and Reinterpretation of the Office of Information about the Vietnam War at Three Levels: The Visual Image, Text, Audio 1968 by David Lamelas

With presentations from Stuart Comer (Chief Curator, Department of Media and Performance Art, The Museum of Modern Art, New York), David Lamelas (artist) and Kate Lewis (Media Conservator at The Museum of Modern Art, New York)

Monica Marchesi: Through Another Frame: The Myth of Reproduction in Contemporary Photographic Conservation

Introduction to the afternon session by Jill Sterrett (Director of Collections at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) followed by a presentation by Monica Marchesi (Conservator, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam)

Facture and Facsimile: Bruce Nauman’s Spinning Spheres

With presentations from Francesca Esmay (Conservator, Panza Collection, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum) and Jeffrey Weiss (Senior Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum)

Presentation by Barry Smith

Barry Smith (Director, Centre for the Senses, Institute of Philosophy, University of London)

Reflections on the day’s themes and conversations by Jill Sterrett and Barry Smith

With Jill Sterrett (Director of Collections at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) and Barry Smith (Director, Centre for the Senses, Institute of Philosophy, University of London)

Christine Frohnert: No Medium No Message? A Tale of Techno‐cultural Dependency

A presentation by Christine Frohnert (Conservator of Contemporary Art, bek&frohnert).

Nam June Paik & Fluxus: Object, Archive, and Performance in Paik's Multimedia

With presentations from Hanna Hölling (Andrew W. Mellon Visiting Professor, Bard Graduate Centre, New York and Max Planck Institute for the History of Knowledge, Berlin), Michael Mansfield (Curator of Film and Media Arts, Smithsonian American Art Museum) and Sook‐Kyung Lee (Research Curator, Tate Research Centre: Asia‐Pacific, Tate)

Global Networks, Local Models: Building, Preserving, and Circulating Media Archives

With presentations from Glenn Phillips (Curator and Head of Modern & Contemporary Collections, Getty Research Institute), Solange Farkas (Director, Associação Cultural Videobrasil), Lori Zippay (Executive Director, Electronic Arts Intermix) and Jane DeBevoise (Chair, Board of Directors, Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong & New York)

Kira Perov in conversation with Matthew Gale and Pip Laurenson

With Kira Perov (Executive Director, Bill Viola Studio), Matthew Gale (Head of Displays, Tate Modern) and Pip Laurenson (Head of Collection Care Research, Tate)

Migrating Meaning: Contextual Claims and the Work Itself. Case studies from Tate’s History and Collection: Joseph Beuys, Gustav Metzger

With presentations from Jonah Westerman (Research Associate, Tate) and Andrew Wilson (Curator Modern & Contemporary Art & Archives, Tate)

Matthew Battles: The Capstone Session

The Capstone Session moderated by Matthew Battles, Associate Director of metaLAB (at) Harvard and a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society

New Art Trust and Getty logos

Project Information

Project Type:
Conservation project
Research project

Support Departments:
Curatorial
Collection Care

Project Leader:
Pip Laurenson, Head of Collection Care Research, Tate

Steering Committee:
Marko Daniel, Convenor of Public Programmes at Tate Modern and Tate Britain
Matthew Gale, Head of Displays and Curator (Modern Art) at Tate Modern
Pip Laurenson, Head of Collection Care Research, Tate
Tom Learner, Head of the Getty Conservation Institute’s (GCI) Science Department
Andrea Lissoni, Curator of International Art, Tate
Glenn Phillips, Curator and Head of Modern & Contemporary Collections, Getty Research Institute
Rachel Rivenc, The Getty Conservation Institute
Jill Sterrett, Director of Collections at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Show & Tell Organising Committee:
Tina Weidner, Time-based Media Conservator, Tate
Jack McConchie, Time-based Media Conservator, Tate
Louise Lawson, Conservation Manager (Sculpture & Time-based Media), Tate