New media artists and conservators: Bridging the gaps between personal and institution-based media art preservation practices
- Dr Konstantinos Arvanitis
- Dr Valentino Catricalà
Overview of PhD
As technological obsolescence happens rapidly to new media art, some have advocated engaging new media artists in the preservation of their artworks at an early stage before institutional care can come into play.
My research project first investigates how new media artists perceive and engage with preservation models, standards, and tools, especially those utilised or recommended by museums and the field of preservation in general. It then combines perspectives from museum practitioners not limited to conservators to discuss the role, authority, and responsibility of new media artists when it comes to preservation, a major function of museums. The project aims to reveal the value, process, benefits and challenges of a new media art preservation policy and practice that is co-produced by institutions and artists.
Expected research approaches include literature review, interviews, and studies on a few new or ongoing cases of new media art acquisition and preservation in museums, such as Manchester Art Gallery and The Whitworth.
I graduated from the Master of Arts Management program at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in 2021 and received my bachelor’s degree in Exhibition Economy and Management from Nankai University in 2018.
I have been interested in the fusion of technology, analytics, art, and cultural practices since my first undergraduate research on the impact of digitalization on museum visitors’ perceived values.
While contributing to CMU’s Arts Management and Technology Lab, I noticed artificial intelligence art, whose complexity causes various managerial controversies and intersects all my areas of interest mentioned earlier. The niche topic of AI art led me to the broader research field of media art preservation, which often discusses the massive data, advanced equipment and software, and performative elements in artworks.
Most of my previous studies at CMU were grounded on literature about digital preservation and time-based media, as well as case studies on museums’ media art conservation initiatives. During these studies, I got inspired by digital artist Raphael Lozano-Hemmer’s paper about his own preservation practices, which resulted in my later interviews with seven artists selected from the Archive of Digital Art and the idea of my PhD research project.
Besides researching media art, I accumulated most research and working experience in the performing art and festival industry. For my master’s capstone project, I collaborated on the strategic plan for the VSA International Network program of the Kennedy Center’s Office of VSA and Accessibility. In 2018, I worked in ATW Culture Media in Beijing, assisting in the 2nd International Theatre Live Festival and the distribution of couples of captured performances licensed by NT Live, Royal Shakespeare Company, etc., in the Greater China region. Besides, my undergraduate thesis project surveyed festival visitors’ perception of crowdedness, their interpersonal interaction, and how these might associate with their overall evaluation of a festival.
Liu, Q. Connections and Gaps between Artists’ and Institutions’ New Media Preservation Efforts. Arts Management and Technology Lab, February 2, 2021. Link to the article.
Liu, Q. An Investigation into New Media Artists' Personal Preservation Practices. Arts Management and Technology Lab, December 17, 2020. Link to the article.
Liu, Q. Preserving AI-Powered Art as Time-Based Media and Computer-Based Art. Arts Management and Technology Lab, October 6, 2020. Link to the article.
Liu, Q. AI-Assisted And AI-Powered Art: Different Challenges for Digital Preservation. Arts Management and Technology Lab, May 14, 2020. Link to the article.
Cheng, H, Q Liu, and H Feng. The Impacts of Perceived Crowding on Visitors’ Experience at Festivals and Special Events: The Moderating Effect of Visitor-To-Visitor Interaction. International Conference on Tourism and Retail Management, Macau, December 3-4, 2018.