Aesthetics of the Digital Ruins and the Future of Art Conservation


Session Title:

  • Navigating Communities and Data

Presentation Title:

  • Aesthetics of the Digital Ruins and the Future of Art Conservation



  •  (Long paper)

    Keywords: Digital ruins, Glitch, Media Art Museums, Planned Obsolescence, Aesthetics of Memory, Digital archive.

    This paper is a shortened version of “Corrupted Memories. Aesthetics of Digital Ruins and the Museum of the Unfinished” presented in Uncertain Spaces: Virtual Configurations in Contemporary Art and Museums (Lisbon, 2014). It addresses the aesthetics of memory emerging on the horizon of digital culture, aiming to understand their critical potential towards the proposition of new parameters for historic conservation, archive and museum systems in the digital age. Based on art works by myself and other artists, I suggest that glitch, recyclism and other similar movements/genres point to critical views of contemporary culture and memory. Instead of celebrating a progressive stable future, their peculiar “ruinology” allow us to deal with the social and emotional perception of loss, without betting on an imminent process of disappearance and planned obsolescence. I contextualize my approach in the contemporary “documentary overdose” produced in social media environments, and the “forgetting architecture ” that prevails in it, due to permanent updates and discontinuities.

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