On the systemic change of cultural memory and digital art conservation
The digital revolution has called into question the very preservation and survival of cultural memory. However, until now there has been almost no reflection on the far-reaching consequences of this systemic change on cultural memory. But we may ask: what fundamental underlying values can a society have which merely disposes of an event-oriented short-term memory? For digital media art this means that the faster technology develops, the shorter the half-life of the artwork becomes. In dealing with digital artworks today, we have to expect major preservation threats to set in already within ten years of their creation. One approach to this problem of digital preservation is to investigate the relation of the material to the conceptual substance of the work. Here it seems that the desperate pragmatism of repairing and stockpiling of obsolete technologies will quickly run dry. A second approach accepts the transience of the artwork as irrevocable, taking for granted the work's short-term nature as linked to a performative practice understood to be inherent to the time-based arts.
Bernhard Serexhe, born in 1950, studies in sociology, psychology, art history, philosophy, educational science, doctorate in art history on the cathedral of Autun (France), archaeological reseach and restauration studies on romanesque architecture in Burgundy, scientific publications on architecture and heritage history, art and media theory. Since 1995 consultant for the Council of Europe, NGOs and other cultural institutions. 1994-1997 curator of the Media Museum of the ZKM | Centre for Art and Media Karlsruhe, 1998-2005 head of the ZKM | Museum Communication, since 2006 Chief Curator ZKM | Media Museum. Lectureships: 1999 Russian Akademie of Fine Arts St Petersburg, 2000-2001 and 2008 University of Berne, 2001 University of Basel, 2001 University of the Arts Karlsruhe, 2002-2006 lectureship for media art at the University of Karlsruhe. Since 2008 Professor for Aesthetics and Media Theory at the Istanbul BILGIUniversity. Since 2010 initiator and leader of the EU-funded research project digital art conservation.