Contributions to the 7th AICCM Book, Paper and Photographic Materials Symposium 29g31 August 2012 Brisbane, Australia
Performance art is an artform separate from that of the materials-based practice of traditional art such as painting and drawing and artefacts.The sensory explorations observed in performance art require an independent digitisation approach. Conservators should not only be regarded as guardians of art and artefacts but the preservers of memory and experience.The rising number in acquisitions of conceptual artworks by art institutions has given rise to the difficult task of digitising the emotional response of experiential encounters from a necessity to conserve the ephemeral and impermanent nature often inherent in these works.Without a more sympathetic approach to digitising performance art, significant works are at great risk of misinterpretation in the future. It is fundamental to the conservation practice to transcend the parameters of materials-based conservation and to embark on the preservation of the ethereality of experience and sensory interpretation. Although this philosophical perspective may seem idealistic considering the practicalities of digitisation in art institutions today, there is, however, a means in which to utilise existing databases and to lay the foundations for more radical approaches in avenues such as social network websites and online forums.This philosophy also raises awareness of this issue and addresses the need to create a unique database designed for the preservation of performance-based art sensibilities.