Documenting Art, Science and Technology: Documenting Art, Science and Technology: The Daniel Langlois Foundation Approach

Symposium:


Session Title:

  • Histories of the New Sessions

Presentation Title:

  • Documenting Art, Science and Technology: Documenting Art, Science and Technology: The Daniel Langlois Foundation Approach

Presenter(s):



Abstract:

  • The Daniel Langlois Foundation’s Centre for Research and Documentation (CR+D)’s collections and tools constitute a major resource for researchers, students, scholars and of course, the “historians of the new”, who need an access to documentation that is rapidly growing old and that have suffered from a lack of care and concern. Indeed, in the last forty years or so, the development of artistic and cultural activities using or related to science and technology occurred mainly outside the so called mainstream art world. Because of this, a large amount of these activities have not been well documented and even when it has, this documentation has not been well preserved or has not been made accessible to the public. Documenting new media art remains problematic, even in our days. Two factors are responsible for this situation. First, the fact that many new media art practices are extremely ephemeral and unstable.

    The second factor is more subtle: it is linked to the fact that many individuals and organizations are doing self archiving. The activity itself is far from being a bad thing, but too many people believe that the mere fact of keeping everything and putting it on a Web site will be enough to ensure its survival. It is with that situation in mind that we started developing the CR+D five years ago. We conceived the center so that it not only documents the present day new media art scene but also we wanted it to put this field in a historical perspective and contextualization. We believe that the CR+D’s resources are quite unique. While there is some excellent online and/or physical resources dealing with new media documentation and history, they are often limited to a very narrow domain or medium. Other are just not accessible for the public, or poorly organized or indexed. The fact that we have a long term preservation mandate and a high level of sustainability is also quite unique.

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