Preserving the Future's Past



About the Film

In today’s digital age, artists rely more than ever on technology to create new visual experiences. But what happens when the hardware and technology used to create and display this art becomes obsolete? What will remain of today’s digital artistic culture?

Preserving the Future’s Past surveys new art conservation strategies, emerging in response to that very question. From technological obsolescence to data storage, it explores the conceptual and technical challenges faced in creating and preserving time-based media art, from the perspective of both the artist and the conservator.

Directed, produced and edited by Gabriela Tama, the documentary addresses the following questions: What is time-based media art? What special conservation measures do time-based media works require? Why is care of time-based media work particularly challenging? What new knowledge and skills should future media conservators possess? How will new scholarship in time-based media art conservation help the field grow and expand?

Meet the Characters

Gabriel Barcia-Colombo is a New York City-based interactive mixed media artist and member of the faculty of the  TISCH School of the Arts, New York University. His work includes video sculptures, 3D scans, immersive performances and large-scale video projections. 

Costanza Perrone Da Zara is an in-house textile conservator at New York University’s Villa La Pietra in Florence, Italy. 

Joanna Phillips is the Senior Conservator of Time-Based Media at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. At the Guggenheim, she founded the lab for time-based media conservation. 

Glenn Wharton is Associate Professor in Museum Studies at New York University. Previously, he served as Media Conservator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where he established the time-based media conservation lab for video, performance, and software-based collections.

Ben Fino-Radin is a media archaeologist, archivist and conservator of born-digital and computer based works of contemporary art. He is the founder of Small Data Industries. 

Dr. Hannelore Roemich is the Chairman of the Conservation Centerand Professor of Conservation Science at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. She is the Director of the Time-Based Media Curriculum Development Program at the Institute.

Read more about the film here.

Preserving the Future's Past: The Conservation of Time-Based Media Art
Copyright © 2017 by Gabriela Tama