Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2012


Art that falls under the “new media” paradigm is problematic, or rather, it renders many traditional assumptions about art as problematic. In a practical sense, new media art raises fundamental questions about the nature of curation and preservation and the role of cultural heritage institutions as stewards of digital assets. Curation and preservation challenges, while significant, are fundamentally a symptom of a more catastrophic failure of concepts and language to adequately address changing relationships between art, materiality, and audiences. This article explores how burgeoning concepts in information and media theory may help shape curation contexts and redefine approaches to preservation. Some of the ongoing challenges that practitioners face and current practices for preserving and curating born-digital artworks are examined through the lens of “postmedia” theory. The concept of the “new repository” is introduced and discussed in relation to concerns about digital curation, commodification, authenticity, and intentionality.



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