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Subject: Symposium on emulation

Symposium on emulation

From: Carol Stringari <cstringari>
Date: Tuesday, April 27, 2004
Echoes of Art: Emulation As a Preservation Strategy
Peter B. Lewis
Theater Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Avenue (at 89th Street)
New York City
Saturday, May 8, 2004
9:45 am - 4 pm

The Sistine ceiling waited patiently for centuries before being
restored, but the digital soot that afflicts artworks trapped in
more recent technologies can obliterate them in a matter of years or
months. "Echoes of Art," a symposium offered at New York's
Guggenheim Museum on May 8, examines the successes and failures of
emulation, a promising and powerful technique for resurrecting art
made with obsolete software, hardware, or materials.

Symposium Description: Someday all works in ephemeral media, from
film and video to computer- and Internet-based art, may only be
visible in re-creations. "Echoes of Art" probes what is gained or
lost when artists dare to translate past technologies into present
or future ones.

The symposium is offered on the occasion of the Guggenheim
exhibition Seeing Double, a project of the Variable Media Network
that pairs artworks in endangered mediums side by side with their
re-created doubles--and sometimes triples--in newer mediums.
Attendees of the symposium and exhibition will enjoy a unique
opportunity to judge whether the emulated works capture the spirit
of the originals. The show includes new media artists young and old,
including Cory Arcangel, Mary Flanagan, jodi, Nam June Paik, and
John F. Simon, Jr.

Of the works revived by emulation in Seeing Double, one of the most
venerable--and hence most vulnerable--is The Erl King by Grahame
Weinbren and Roberta Friedman, one of the first interactive video
installations. On view in the gallery is the original version, ca.
1982, running on a rackful of analog equipment plugged into an
antique computer with no hard drive. Next to it is a version made
expressly for this exhibition, running on a single PC with all the
video loaded on a half-terabyte hard drive.

The debate sparked by the comparisons in Seeing Double will be
played out in the "Echoes of Art" symposium, where artists,
programmers, conservators, and curators reflect on emulation's value
for the case studies in the exhibition, its possible application to
preserving other aspects of endangered culture, and the role of
emulation and technological nostalgia in contemporary gaming and


Welcome 9:45 - 10:00 am

    John G. Hanhardt
    Senior Curator of Film and Media Arts, Guggenheim

    Jean Gagnon
    Director of Programs

    Daniel Langlois
    Foundation for Art, Science, and Technology, Montreal

Morning Session 10 am - noon

"Magic Bullet or Shot in the Dark? Emulation As Preservation Strategy"

    The artists, programmers, and conservators in this session begin
    by reviewing the elaborate process required to emulate The Erl
    King (1982-85) by Grahame Weinbren and Roberta Friedman. This
    case study serves as a point of departure for examining such
    questions as how the technique of emulation can be applied to
    software, hardware, or ephemeral materials. Panelists also
    attempt to draw lessons about which artworks lend themselves to
    emulation, and which to storage, migration, or


    Isaac Dimitrovsky
    programmer, New York

    Roberta Friedman
    artist, New York

    Jeff Rothenberg
    computer scientist, RAND Grahame Weinbren, artist, New York


    Caitlin Jones
    Variable Media Specialist, Guggenheim

    Pip Laurenson
    Sculpture Conservator for Electronic Media and Kinetic Arts,
    Tate Gallery, London

    Jill Sterrett
    Head of Conservation, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art


    Carol Stringari
    Senior Conservator, Contemporary Art, Guggenheim

Lunch and Exhibition Viewing noon:  1:30 pm

Emulation Performance: 1:30 - 2:00 pm

    jodi (Joan Heemskerk and Dirk Paesmans), artists, The Netherlands

Afternoon Session 2:00 - 4:00 pm

"Generation Emulation: Games, Art, and Technological Nostalgia"

    This session takes a broader look at the impact of emulation
    culture. Participants compare the strategies available to
    artists for resurrecting obsolete technologies and analyze the
    SEEING DOUBLE survey for signs of consensus from the experts and
    the lay public on the success of emulation. Participants also
    examine the retro aesthetic motivating emulation among players
    of computer games and creators of game "mods," speculating to
    what extent emulation will become part of everyday life in an
    increasingly technological future.


    Cory Arcangel
    artist, New York

    Mary Flanagan
    artist, New York

    John F. Simon, Jr.
    artist, New York


    Tilman Baumgaertal
    writer and critic, Berlin

    Francis Hwang
    artist and Director of Technology,, New York

    Christiane Paul
    Adjunct Curator of New Media Arts, Whitney Museum of American


    Jon Ippolito
    Associate Curator of Media Arts, Guggenheim and
    artist, Still Water for networked art and culture, University of

The symposium is free with the purchase of admission to the museum.

Credit: The Seeing Double exhibition is organized by the Solomon R.
Guggenheim Museum in partnership with the Daniel Langlois Foundation
for Art, Science, and Technology.

This exhibition is generously supported by the Daniel Langlois

Support for the "Echoes of Art" symposium is provided by the support
of the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more information

please contact cjones [at] guggenheim__org or visit:



    **** Moderator's comments: The above URL has been wrapped for
    email. There should be no newline.

Carol Stringari
Senior Conservator, Contemporary Art
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
cstringari [at] guggenheim__org

                  Conservation DistList Instance 17:67
                 Distributed: Wednesday, April 28, 2004
                       Message Id: cdl-17-67-012
Received on Tuesday, 27 April, 2004

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