Dutch Digital Art Canon
Published on September 15th, 2022
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The Digital Canon, compiled by a core research group collaborating with numerous experts in the field, is composed of 20 works of note that were created or improved on Dutch soil. By putting together a Digital Canon LIMA brings attention to important works of digital art while increasing interest in their exhibition and preservation.
organised by: Peter Peters (Maastricht), Hannah Bosma (Amsterdam), Denise Petzold (Maastricht), Floris Schuiling (Utrecht)
Description and aims
In our workshop, we aimed to address the problems, developments, and discussions concerning the performance and preservation of three different musical genres: Western classical orchestral music, improvised and experimental jazz music, and avantgarde electroacoustic music. A leading question of the workshop was how musical works or performances are brought into existence, and how they are preserved and performed over time. For the organizers and participants, this question not only has an academic interest, but also a practical relevance, because it has implications for innovating and archiving musical traditions and heritage. A central insight that informed the workshop comes from the work of our keynote participant, the French music scholar and sociologist Antoine Hennion. His use of the concept of ‘instauration’ allowed us to move beyond the tension between fixity and fluidity, and instead study music and its associated practices of performance and preservation as ‘work to be done’, in other words as work that brings the fundamentally incomplete worlds of music to an enhanced existence.
Presentation “How to Present Violin Power as a Live Artwork” by Olivia Brum and Mauricio van der Maesen de Sombreff (LIMA) with Annet Dekker
The research conducted on Steina Vasulka’s video (1970 - 1978) and performance (1991 - present) work Violin Power was initiated as part of LIMA’s ongoing project concerning the Digital Canon, which began in 2017. The Digital Canon, compiled by a core research group collaborating with numerous experts in the field, is composed of 20 works of note that were created or improved on Dutch soil. By putting together a Digital Canon LIMA brings attention to important works of digital art while increasing interest in their exhibition and preservation.
As part of this LIMA is collaborating with Het Nieuwe Instituut to present all of the works in the Digital Canon at the end of 2023 / beginning of 2024, among which Steina’s Violin Power will be included. Thus in the Summer of 2021, Mauricio van der Maesen de Sombreff, Eléonore Bernard (Freelance Media Conservator) and myself working under the supervision of Gaby Wijers (Director, LIMA) embarked on a 3 month research project to retrace the technical and conceptual timeline of this work while exploring the possibilities for presenting it in the future. This presentation will focus on the findings of this research in response to the questions posed by the Digital Canon project, our methodology as well as the questions that still remain. To do this we will pull from the technical timeline and archival records to demonstrate the defining characteristics of the different iterations of Violin Power, in the process shedding light on future options for exhibition.
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