Preserving the social dynamics of net art

Published on September 4th, 2016

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UNFOLD #2 “Reinterpretation as Creative Act”
14 September 2016, 20:00 – 22:30
LIMA, Amsterdam


After the first fruitful UNFOLD-event on the 6th of June 2016, the second public UNFOLD programme will revolve around discourses on liveness, embodiment and memory in performance, new media and digital art within institutional contexts. We will turn around key concepts such as presence, agency and embodiment to investigate conventional strategies by which society preserves and redisplays cultural artifacts created with media formats. All lecturers will touch upon questions a reinterpretation poses on the original work of art and artist, on the reinterpreting artist, and on the practice of exhibiting.

For the programme of UNFOLD #2, we are more than happy to have lectures by curator/researcher Annet Dekker, curator Sarah Cook and artist Manuel Pelmus. From their own field of expertise, they will share their thoughts on the research question weather reinterpretation can be a strategy for the active conservation of media art. We end the evening with a discussion, moderated by art historian Katja Kwastek.

Sarah Cook “Good artists copy: “something better, or at least something different.”” In this talk, Cook will talk about the idea of reinterpretation from a museological and archival perspective. Reinterpretation – as a museological preservation strategy for art – places different demands on the originator of the work (an artist) as on its future exhibitor (a curator). Is reinterpretation too materially-focused as a strategy for works of art that are inherently conceptual, or remain deliberately unfinished or are ever-changing?

Annet Dekker ‘Preserving the social dynamics of net art’. In this presentation Dekker will touch upon the idea of liveness within digital art and media art. In an attempt to capture ‘living’ artworks, she will explore the use of storytelling as a preservation strategy of these artworks.

Manuel Pelmus “Thoughts on Liveness: Memory, interpretation, repetition and the living body.” In this talk Pelmus will explore remediation and his conceptualization of an embodied history. This will be done by using his own performances as case study, especially the work he did together with Alexandra Pirici titled Public Collection of Modern Art (2014).
Katja Kwastek will round up the evening by leading a panel discussion.

UNFOLD: Mediation by Reinterpretation is a practice-based research project aiming to examine reinterpretation for the preservation and documentation of media art and draws upon the practices of producing a reinterpretation of two works by The Vasulkas by the Dutch artist Joost Rekveld in 2016/2017. The ephemerality and immateriality of many media artworks have demanded the configuration of a new set of techniques to ensure their future transmission. To investigate new conversations on the possibilities of reinterpretation, artists and experts from various disciplines such as music, theatre, media art and dance are invited to compare, investigate, describe, determine, examine, develop and clarify how preservation can be much more than a permanently process of changing operating systems. Reinterpretation is here understood as a strategy able to preserve the immaterial and live qualities of media art or performance. Can media art be mediated and preserved by reinterpretation?

This research project is based on a collaborative, international research network that together will be examining the above questions. Gaby Wijers (Director LIMA) and Lara Garcia Diaz (Art Theorist and UNFOLD – researcher) are the core researchers of the project. Through the praxis of artist Joost Rekveld – his reinterpretation of two works by the The Vasulkas – a case study emerges for the researchers to draw upon, in order to identify parallels in the mediation of a work and related notions of authorship, authenticity, autonomy, documentation, memory, continuity and liveness.
For more info on the project go to our website,

Wednesday, September 14
LIMA, Arie Biemondstraat 111, Amsterdam
Doors open: 7:30 PM (registration and coffee)
Start: 8:00 PM until 10:30 PM
7.5 / 5 euro (cash only)

This project is made possible by the Mondriaan Fund and Creative Industries Fund NL.

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