Date and time-
LECTURE: Jonathan Kemp / Forkology: How conservators change the things they care for / online and in person
Date: 30.11.2023, 5pm–7pm
Location: HKB, Auditorium, Fellerstrasse 11, 3027 Bern and online
We are thrilled to reveal the following event in the Donnerstags-Vortrag (Thursday Lecture) series organized by HKB Institut Materialität in Kunst und Kultur (IMIKUK). In this talk, Jonathan Kemp will address ’conservation as version control’ and argue that all artworks are ’forked-out’ from the creator when conservators (among others) produce the next iteration of a work. Please see Jonathan’s description of the talk below.
Dr Jonathan Kemp has worked in sculpture conservation for over 30 years, primarily with a focus on stone and allied materials in Brazil, Canada, Iran, Japan, Taiwan, the UK and Ukraine. He was a Senior Conservator at the V&A Museum, London, and he is a Lecturer and Discipline Chair at the Grimwade Centre for the Conservation of Cultural Materials at the University of Melbourne. He has published widely in conservation on theory and ethics, along with various technical studies, and is Editor of the Journal of the Institute of Conservation. In parallel to his conservation work for the last 20 years he has both initiated and co-organised art-related projects including DIY material processing laboratories, environmental installations, performances, interdisciplinary symposia, and social software events executed in various international media art festivals and venues throughout Europe, the US, Brazil, Japan, Taiwan and Australia.
Forkology: How conservators change the things they care for
This talk is about conservation being a form of version control. I will argue that all artworks are 'forked-out' of being the creative output of a singular creative origin (viz. 'the sovereign artist') when conservators (& others) produce the next iteration of a work. I will illustrate how conservators engage in a form of what I call ‘ontological constructivism’ in which they use adversarial, anexact, and generative processes that in effect make them ‘art-developers’ when they commit to their version of a work. I will then demonstrate how conservation has parallels with software development, and as a result how conservation should be seen as a form of version control and that conservators create time-stamped ‘versions of record’ that persist until the next cycle of care. In the final part of the talk I will briefly describe a series real or hypothetical ‘endgames’ to illustrate how conservation as version control affords cultural heritage an ontological openness which in turn makes conservators complicit as art-developers whenever they are 'taking care of things'.
The talk will be held in English. Please join us by clicking directly at a the zoom link provided on the event website: https://www.hkb.bfh.ch/de/forschung/forschungsbereiche/institut-materia…
Moderation: Aga Wielocha and Emilie Magnin
Featured photo: Fogarty, Adrian «Manual for Gustav Metzger's Liquid Crystal Environment» Iss. 04 March 2017, unpublished.