On Preserving Ephemeral Art

[via ArtForum] An interesting article in the Financial Times on the conservation challenges posed by ephemeral art, especially color photography and video. C-Prints, by far the most popular format for contemporary art photography, have a very uncertain future. Video and film, in the mean time, require a transfer plan, making sure the medium and format stays current (and the work stays true to the artist’s intent).
The article doesn’t quite get it sometimes, though. Advocating for collectors to receive certificates? It’s a dopey collector who doesn’t get them already. And the last quote by Tony Oursler feels a bit too off-hand. Of an old video work he recently remastered for exhibition this fall, he says,”It looks better now than then.” That’s great, but that means that how it looked then is now lost.
The Variable Media Initiative, which sponsored a fascinating conference on this subject in 2001. (Fascinating if you’re a conceptual art geek, that is.)
AXA’s Ad Reinhardt Research Project, which focuses on the conservation of contemporary painting (and Reinhardt’s work in particular).