International conference in preparation for the future documenta Institut (will be held in English)

Exploring the past, documenting the present, preserving for the future – a conference of the documenta archiv


Thursday, November 22 – Saturday, November 24, 2018

documenta Halle, Du-Ry-Straße 1, 34117 Kassel

Over 120 registrations from 13 countries have already been received for this public conference on archiving in the age of digitalization featuring contributions by renowned experts of the field. Registering is still possible until November 21, 2018.

Here in Kassel international researchers such as Chris Edwards from the J. Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles, Joanna Phillips from the Guggenheim Museum, New York, and Anne Gilliland from the University of California, Los Angeles, are going to discuss current issues of archiving: When and how is an ephemeral work of art or a performance well documented? How do the terms of original, copy and duplicate change? How must the documentation media be preserved for the future? How can original room situations, performances and installations be reconstructed in retrospect?

These and many more questions will be explored in view for the future documenta Institut and in consideration of current developments in restoration and conservation. The aim of this international exchange is to give new impulses for the development of strategies for readying and equipping contemporary archives for the future.

The lectures and discussions will be accompanied by a supporting program. To start with there will be a reception with a performance at the documenta-Halle the evening before. During the conference, the documenta archiv's media collection will show film and slide recordings that may serve as a basis for the daily discussions. On Saturday afternoon there will be guided tours through the documenta archiv, through the Neue Galerie of the Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel with special attention to their conservation strategy as well as a visit of the outdoor art works from previous documenta exhibitions around Kassel.


Daniel G. Andújar (Artist), Tilman Baumgärtel (Professor of Media Theory, Hochschule Mainz), Dagmar Brunow (Senior Lecturer, Department of Film and Literature, Linnaeus University, Växjö), Chris Edwards (Imaging and Digital Media Architect, J. Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles), Johannes Gfeller (Professor and head of the master’s program Conservation of New Media and Digital Information at Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design), Anne J. Gilliland (Professor and Director of the Archival Studies, Department of Information Studies, Director of the Center for Information as Evidence, Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles), Martin Koerber (Head of the Film Archive of the Deutsche Kinemathek - Museum für Film und Fernsehen, Berlin), Dorcas Müller (Head of Laboratory for Antiquated Video Systems ZKM I Zentrum für Kunst und Medien, Karlsruhe), Joanna Phillips (Senior Conservator, Time-Based Media, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York), Andreas Weisser (Restaumedia, München), Jonah Westerman (Assistant Professor of Art History, Purchase College, State University of New York).

Registration and detailed program

About the documenta archiv:

With its extensive media collection, which serves as analog and digital documentation of the world's most important art exhibition of contemporary art, the documenta archiv would like to take this opportunity with this conference to discuss the challenges facing media collections and their conservation care in the digital age. The contributors will focus on documentation, digitization, prevention and conservation of photographs and time-based media. Specifically, the question arises of how much effort must be made to provide a long-term functioning infrastructure so that institutions preserving the memory of our cultural heritage can fulfill their respective missions and their obligations to society.


Johanna Köhler

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