Authenticity, change and loss in the conservation of time-based media works of art (11 May 2006)
creator(s) Pip Laurenson (senior conservator)

Pip Laurenson completed a BA in Philosophy at Kings College London before training as an objects conservator at the City and Guilds of London Art School. She has worked at Tate since 1992 and is currently the Head of Time-based Media Conservation. In addition to her work at Tate, she is also a part time research student at the Institute of Archaeology, London examining the conservation and management of time-based media works of art and a member of the advisory committee for IMAP (Independent Media Arts Preservation). She is an accredited member of UKIC.

Abstract of lecture based on a paper:
Time-based media works of art are works that include a video, audio, film, slide or computer based component. In exploring the question ‘What is it that we are trying to preserve?’ the author will consider whether traditional conservation’s conceptual framework is dependent on an ontology of art inadequate to guide decision making in the conservation of contemporary art.

In examining our response to the preservation of these works, this paper will reflect on whether effective approaches to the stewardship of time-based media installations can rely on the blending of traditional museum practice with new modes of operating or whether these works demand a more radical break with past practice.

The ideas expressed in this paper will be illustrated with case studies drawn from the conservation of works in Tate’s Collection.
Feb 2005

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