Keep it moving? Conserving kinetic art

Posted on Tue, 12/15/2015 - 11:23
Davide Boriani, Ambiente Stroboscopico, nº 4


Palazzo Reale, Milan, Italy

Date and time

Kinetic: relating to the motion of material bodies and the forces and energy associated therewith (Merriam-Webster dictionary)
Fill in the reigstration form on the right and click on submit. If you are having problems with the online registration please contact Karen te Brake-Baldock. 
Full fee: 165 EUROS
Reduced fee: 115 EUROS (for ICOM members, speakers and students)
Registration fee includes coffee, tea and lunch on Thursday, June 30 and Friday, July 1, the reception on the evening of Friday, July 1 at the Museo del Novocento, and free admission to the Museo.
On Saturday July 2nd, a number of  tours are being organised for conference participants. The tours are free, but you will need to sign-up to them using the registration form. In the afternoon there are two tours to choose from. You cannot do both.
Your registration will be definite once payment has been received. Payment can be made by bank transfer or  PayPal. Click here for instructions on how to pay the registration fee. If you are having problems making the bank transfer or paying via PayPal please contact the event organisers.

The Getty Conservation Institute, the Museo del Novecento and the Modern Materials and Contemporary Art (MMCA) working group of ICOM-CC, in partnership with INCCA are pleased to announce the conference Keep it Moving? Conserving kinetic art. Hosted at the Palazzo Reale by Museo Del Novecento, Milan, Italy.

Kinetic art is art that not only includes movement but often depends on it to produce the desired effect and fully realize its nature as work of art. Kinetic art emerged throughout the 20th century, and had its major developments in the 1950s and 60s. In addition, in the 1960s, a branch of op art or optical art, i.e. abstract art based on optical illusion, also started to incorporate actual movement. Kinetic works of art include a wide range of motion, from motorized and electrically driven movement to motion as the result of wind, light, or other sources of energy. Much thought is currently given in the field of contemporary art conservation to re-thinking the concept of authenticity and to solving the dichotomy often felt between original materials and functionality of the work of art. The dichotomy is especially acute with kinetic art where a compromise between the two seems impossible: when engine parts stop working, when light bulbs go out, the work will stop functioning if replacement is not performed. Issues of technological obsolescence, as well as the strong sociological and historical information or meanings often embedded in a given technology and its use by an artist, further complicate matters.
This two-day conference will look back at the history of kinetic art and its preservation, take into consideration the artists’ point of view, and discuss the ethical dilemma and practical challenges of conserving and documenting kinetic works. It will include invited keynotes and paper submissions. The conference will serve as the interim meeting of MMCA and is also organized in partnership with the Museo del Novecento, the Getty Conservation Institute, and INCCA. It will take place at the Palazzo Reale in conjunction with the general ICOM CC meeting. A visit of the rich collection of kinetic works in the Museo del Novecento will be included; other cultural tours will also be offered.

The Gabo Trust will be providing travel grants for attendees. For more information see their website:

For more information about the event please contact:
Event organisers: Rachel Rivenc and Lydia Beerkens.

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