CONF: Archiving the Unarchivable (Kassel, Nov 22-24, 2018)

Archiving the Unarchivable – Das Unarchivierbare archivieren

International conference of the documenta archiv in preparation for the future documenta Institute, in English

Thursday, 22 November – Saturday, 24 November 2018
documenta Halle
Du-Ry-Straße 1

34117 Kassel

Entry free, registration required

Program Archiving the Unarchivable_online

With its extensive media collection, which serves as analog and digital documentation of the world’s most important art exhibition of contemporary art, the documenta archiv would like to use this conference to discuss the challenges facing media collections and their conservation care in the digital age.

The contributions will focus on documentation, digitization, prevention and conservation; and specifically the question of how much effort must be made to provide a long-​term functioning infrastructure so that institutions preserving the memory of something can fulfil their respective missions and their obligations to society.


Questions such as the following will be discussed:

When and how is a performance or an ephemeral work of art well documented? How does the terminology of original, copy and duplicate change? How do we deal with the photographs and audiovisual media created? How can original concepts of spaces, performances and installations be reconstructed in retrospect? What measures should be taken for the use of images by researchers? How does the professional image of media archivists and conservator change?

Chris Edwards from the J. Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles; Joanna Phillips from the Guggenheim Museum, New York and Anne Gilliland from the University of California, Los Angeles among many others will speak about their work and enlarge on the topic at the conference.