International conference: Archiving the unarchivable

Posted on Mon, 10/01/2018 - 15:49
Photo credits :© documenta archiv / Anita Back


documenta Halle, Dy-​Ry-Straße 1, 34117 Kassel, Germany

Date and time

International conference in preparation for the future documenta Institut (will be held in English)
Das Unarchivierbare archivieren - Archiving the unarchivable

Exploring the past, documenting the present, preserving for the future - a conference of the documenta archiv

When and how is an ephemeral work of art or a performance well documented? How do the terms of original, copy and duplicate change? How can original room situations, performances and installations be reconstructed in retrospect?

These questions will be discussed at an international conference in view for the future documenta Institut and in consideration of current developments in restoration and conservation. From November 22 - 24, 2018 the documenta archiv will welcome in Kassel at the documenta Halle international researchers such as Chris Edwards from the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, Joanna Phillips from the Guggenheim Museum, New York, and Anne Gilliland from the University of California, Los Angeles.
With its extensive media collection, which serves as analog and digital documentation of the world's most important art exhibition of contemporary art, the documenta archiv would like to use this conference to discuss the challenges facing media collections and their conservation care in the digital age. The contributors will focus on documentation, digitization, prevention and conservation of photographs and time-based media. Specifically, the question arises of how much effort must be made to provide a long-term functioning infrastructure so that institutions preserving the memory of our cultural heritage can fulfill their respective missions and their obligations to society.

The aim of this international exchange is to give new impulses for the development of strategies for readying and equipping contemporary archives for the future.

Daniel G. Andújar (Artist), Tilman Baumgärtel (Professor of Media Theory, Hochschule Mainz), Dagmar Brunow (Senior Lecturer, Department of Film and Literature, Linnaeus University, Växjö), Chris Edwards (Imaging and Digital Media Architect, J. Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles), Anne J. Gilliland (Professor and Director of the Archival Studies, Department of Information Studies,  Director of the Center for Information as Evidence, Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles), Martin Koerber  (Head of the Film Archive of the Deutsche Kinemathek - Museum für Film und Fernsehen, Berlin), Dorcas Müller (Head of Laboratory for Antiquated Video Systems ZKM I Zentrum für Kunst und Medien, Karlsruhe), Joanna Phillips (Senior Conservator, Time-Based Media, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York), Tina Weidner (Conservator, Time-Based Media, Tate, London), Andreas Weisser (Restaumedia, München), Jonah Westerman (Assistant Professor of Art History, Purchase College, State University of New York).

The lectures and discussions will be accompanied by a supporting program. As kick-off there will be a reception accompanied by a performance at the documenta-Halle the evening before. During the conference, the documenta archiv's media collection will show film and slide recordings that may serve as a basis for the daily discussions. On Saturday afternoon there will be guided tours through the documenta archiv, through the Neue Galerie of the MHK with special attention to their conservation strategy as well as a visit of the outdoor art works from previous documenta exhibitions throughout Kassel.

Registration and detailed program can be found here:
documenta archiv
Berlind Schneider, Public Relations, Tel: +49 (0) 561 - 707 27 31 05

E-mail address