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Chrissie Iles: Obsolescence and Preservation

“The key to all of this is the preservation of the experiential integrity of the work. The work can be perfect technology-wise, but if the other aspects of its presentation are not paid close attention to and strictly adhered to, the work loses its power and integrity. The display of any artwork is always a process of translation—it is being shown at a different time to that of its making, and in a different place and moment in history and art history. The key is how to identify the experiential integrity of the work, which we do when we first bring it into the collection, and then to ensure that it is that experiential integrity is kept intact. How this plays out varies according to the work in question, and has to be approached on a strict case by case basis.” In Artspace Editors, “Obsolescence in New Media: On Conservation and Concept with Whitney Curator Chrissie Iles”, in Artspace, April 11, 2019

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Dragan Espenschied: Where Art Blossoms

“[…] conservation is done by removing artifacts from the cultural tempest they originated in and putting them into a safe place. The problem is that this approach doesn’t scale – sorry for using this technical term. I won’t argue that a privileged, careful handling of certain artifacts deemed of high importance or representative value is the wrong way; actually, this approach is the most narrative. But practiced too rigidly it doesn’t do digital culture any justice. Firstly because there simply are no resources to do this with a large amount of artifacts, and secondly because many artifacts can only blossom in their environment, in concert or contrast with a vernacular web, commercial services and so forth.” Trevor Owens, “Digital Culture is Mass Culture”: An interview with Digital Conservator Dragan Espenschied, in The Signal, March 24, 2014

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Dragan Espenschied: Ephemerality

“Ephemerality is often pictured as a force of nature, like a building destroyed by wind and water. But nothing digital is a law of nature, it is all completely made up. So ephemerality is more or less an excuse for accepting that you don’t have control over anything.” Dragan Espenschied and Heather Corcoran, “Performing Digital Culture,” in Omar Kholeif, Emily Butler, and Seamus McCormack (eds.), Electronic Superhighway: From Experiments in Art and Technology to Art After the Internet, London, Whitechapel Gallery, 2016, p. 218.