Artists have appropriated the Internet as soon as it became public to experiment new artistic, social and technical practices that have been gathered under the term net art. The museums and cultural institutions that are interested by those works have to reconsider the way they commission, exhibit, collect and preserve artworks, as they already did with other forms of ephemeral or process-based art. They have to construct new approaches to preservation that would also make them rethink how to conserve and display their entire collections, not just digital works. Very few museums have actually acquired online artworks, despite the interest that many showed towards these practices, especially in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Paradoxically, museums have never been so ready to do so as many studies and research programs, often collaborations between institutions, have been dedicated to the preservation of new media art (mostly video artworks and rarely digital art pieces).
- Anne Laforet (FR) is a researcher and a writer. Her Ph.D. thesis (from the University of Avignon in France in 2009) on the preservation of net art has just been published in print and online. Anne writes on digital art and culture for Arte.tv and Poptronics.fr and makes some sounds with her computer.
Full text (PDF) p. 475-476