She obtained her MA and a post graduate diploma in Contemporary Art History at the University of Milan, with a thesis regarding theoretical and practical issues in the conservation on complex installations using Moving Image and Sound. Iolanda Ratti attended courses on managing, cataloguing and preserving New Media Collections, in particular in 2009 SOIMA (Sound and Image Collections) at ICCROM, with which she still collaborates. She’s worked as assistant curator at Museo del Novecento, Milan from 2004 to 2010, when she joined the Time Based Media Conservation Department at Tate Gallery, London. She taught “Conservation of Moving Images” in 2009, at Fine Arts Academy Brera, Milan. Since 2011 she is coordinator of the Italian Regional group of INCCA (International Network for the Conservation of Contemporary Art) together with Anna Laganà and Fabiana Cangià. In 2014 she got a position as Contemporary Art Collections Curator for the Municipal Museums, Milan. Since 2013 she is working as a free-lance conservation specialist at HangarBicocca, Milan and since 2009 collaborates with Iccrom to SOIMA project (Safeguarding Sound and Image Collections).
The Role of the Media Art Conservator Between Theory and Practice
The Role of the Media Art Conservator Between Theory and Practice During the last decade, I have worked in different institutions as a collections curator and as a conservator. Despite the fact that in Italy the role of a specialized media conservator simply does not exist, in all the positions covered I have found myself facing “media conservation issues,” be it in terms of digital preservation, documentation, production of new artworks, maintenance, or proper preventive conservation plans. Starting from my own experience, hybrid in terms of training and maybe “uneven” considering the different kinds of institutions in which I have been operating, I will propose considerations about the role and the peculiarities of the media art conservator, especially in a context in which conservators and curators are often in charge of mixed media collections. Despite the real need for technical knowledge and precise procedures, I would like to try and highlight how, in my experience, a holistic approach to media art conservation, which may blur a strict boundaries between the roles of curator and conservator, may be a possible answer.