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Subject: AIC Annual Meeting

AIC Annual Meeting

From: Paul Messier <pm>
Date: Thursday, March 23, 2000
The schedule and abstracts for the General Session of the American
Institute for Conservation's (AIC) upcoming annual meeting have been
posted on the AIC web site at
<URL:>. The general session,
scheduled for June 9th and 10th as part of the AIC annual meeting in
Philadelphia, June 8-13, 2000, will focus on the impact of
electronic media on collecting institutions and the conservation

There is no doubt that technology is continually changing the
culture and influencing the way business is conducted in academic
and professional disciplines at all levels, including the
professional practice of conservation.  Bearing this in mind, the
Program Committee for the General Session carefully crafted a
program dealing with these changes.  The program will address the
inherent challenges the profession will face as collecting
institutions redefine themselves in light of new technologies, as
well as the opportunities for professional growth and leadership
offered by the changing cultural landscape.

Highlights of the program include the keynote address, "Cupped Hands
in the Stream: Digital Media's Challenge to Collecting Institutions"
by Maxwell Anderson, Director of the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Anderson will explore all sides of this equation, posing the
question--heretical to some--whether the culture really benefits
from the impulse to save everything, especially in light of the fact
that the new, wired world will produce an unprecedented volume of
creative and informational output.  Anderson will emphasize the
critical issue that as a culture and, more particularly, as
conservators, we will have to decide what is worth
preserving--especially since it may well mean diverting limited
resources away from the preservation of more traditional media. Even
if we had the desire, the cultural imperative, and the resources to
preserve as much electronic-based cultural material as possible,
complete success may well be impossible in a landscape of continuous
change, rapidly deteriorating storage media, and market cycles that
drive playback devices into obsolescence soon after their

Talks planned for the morning of June 9th will examine how
collecting in the 21st century will reflect this new landscape. Abby
Smith, Director of Programs, Council on Library and Information,
Washington, DC will examine the advent and impact of "immaterial
culture"--cultural assets worth preserving that have only the most
tenuous, and ephemeral physical presence. Picking up this thread,
Steve Dietz, Director, New Media Initiatives, Walker Art Center,
Minneapolis, MN will present a real world example of the new
collecting paradigm by presenting a talk on his ongoing project, the
"Memory Archive Database: Pragmatics and Poetics of Archiving New
Media. " As the significance in of documentary and artistic video
has increased in the past 50 years, Jim Lindner, President of
VidiPax, will examine the "Technological Evolution of Video" and how
the practical challenges he faces preserving video are, in many
ways, emblematic of the challenges conservators will face when
addressing the task of preserving electronic media.

These and other broadly thematic talks dealing with collecting in
the 21st century will be complemented by talks grounded in
practical implementation and research.  Talks on the topics "The
Preservation Imperative," "The Conservator's Role", "New
Technologies Applied to Fundamental Tasks" including "Applied
Digital Imaging" and "New Tools for Documentation" will address not
only the challenges of preserving electronic artifacts, but how
collecting institutions and conservators stand to benefit through
the implementation of new technologies. For example, the potential
of digital imaging as a tool for preservation will be presented in
"Imaging Zapruder's JFK Assassination Film: A Hybrid Approach to
Preservation and Presentation." Other talks will address the use of
hand held computers and computerized information systems in
conservation practice, the use of image analysis for the study of
thin sections and the performance of coatings for outdoor sculpture,
new tools such as lasers for analysis, documentation, assessment,
and treatment of historic structures and sites, and the role of new
technologies in conservation training. In addition, the program
committee has included two talks outside the electronic media theme
that were considered to be projects of high general interest and
broad application.

The general session of the Annual Meeting promises to be both
informative and thought provoking.  These are issues which
cross-traditional boundaries and that all conservators face,
regardless of their specialty.  The deadline for early, discounted,
registration is April 14.  Following the 14th, registration at the
normal rate is possible up until May 19th and then on site
registration is available in Philadelphia.  Registration materials
are available on the web site or by contacting the AIC office at
info [at] aic-faic__org. We look forward to seeing you there,

Paul Messier, Program Committee Chair

                  Conservation DistList Instance 13:48
                  Distributed: Friday, March 24, 2000
                       Message Id: cdl-13-48-006
Received on Thursday, 23 March, 2000

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