Ellen Jansen is an art historian and an independent conservator of modern and contemporary art. She has a long history in museum practice at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, mainly focusing on analogue and digital imaging. In 2012, she started as a lecturer in conservation practice and coordinator within the contemporary art training program at the University of Amsterdam. Her special interest is born digital art. She does research into the conservation of interactive born-digital art and in collaboration with the Media Studies department at the university, she oversaw and carried out workshops in the conservation of new media art.
Lessons in Obsolescence – new media conservation at the University of Amsterdam
Ever since they came into existence, new media such as film, video, and digital technology have been used experimentally by artists. One of the biggest challenges in the conservation of these works is the rapid obsolescence of their technological components and the question how to replace them. In case of new media installations it is not always clear which parts are crucial for the identity of the work. At the University of Amsterdam, different departments have worked together for several years with LIMA and other professionals in the field to address these questions and challenges in student workshops within a practical setting. Artworks from various collections have been examined and documented—these efforts eventually resulted in treatment proposals. This presentation will touch upon the setup of the workshops and will explain in detail the results of one particularly interesting and complex case