2018 – Panel 1

Chair – Sarah Cook (University of Dundee)

  1. REWINDItalia and EWVA: methods, platforms and strategies to research early video art histories (Laura Leuzzi, Dundee)
  2. Becoming A Thing, Again (Sarah Cook, Dundee)
  3. Collecting Internet Art (Karin de Wild, Dundee)
  4. Museum as a Living Organism (Sandra Kazlauskaitė, Goldsmiths)

REWINDItalia and EWVA: methods, platforms and strategies to research early video art histories

Laura Leuzzi

This paper will focus on two recent research projects – both based at DJCAD, University of Dundee – that have investigated early video art histories: ‘REWINDItalia’ concerning early video art in Italy in the 70s and 80s; and ‘EWVA European Women’s Video Art in the 70s and 80s’. These two projects (funded by the AHRC, and running from 2011-2017) have built online archives with ephemera, photographs, materials and interviews aiming to stimulate future research and provide fruitful materials and tools for artists, researchers, curators and art historians.

This paper will discuss the issues, methodologies and approaches that emerged from our research and how it engaged with several issues including the identity and status of the artworks, preservation methods, and the legacy of early video artworks today. The interviews captured oral histories, memories and recollections, that in some cases would otherwise have been lost to future knowledge, as well as uncovering lost or marginalized artworks and their respective documentation.

The paper will focus particularly on different practice-based research methods, platforms and strategies adopted during both REWINDItalia and EWVA. Discussed case studies will include curated screenings (Rome Media Art Festival, Rome, MAXXI, 2016) and curated events combining performance, screenings and readings including two curated by Leuzzi, with Giulia Casalini and Diana Georgiou (‘Autoritratti’, The Showroom in London, 2015, part of the feminist program ‘Now You can Go’ and ‘Self/Portraits’ at VRC, DCA, Dundee, 2016). It will also address re-enactment as research tool for early video artworks including Claudio Ambrosini’s Videosonata at VideoEx Festival (Zurich, 2014) and CCA (Glasgow, 2015) and ‘Doppelganger Redux’ by Elaine Shemilt at ‘Visions in the Nunnery’ (Nunnery Gallery, Bow Arts, London, 2016), curated by Leuzzi and Adam Lockhart.

Dr Laura Leuzzi is an art historian and curator. She is Research Fellow and Co-Investigator on the Arts and Humanities Research Council funded research project Richard Demarco, the Italian Connection (DJCAD, University of Dundee). She was Post Doc Research Assistant on the AHRC funded research project ‘EWVA – European Women’s Video Art in the 70s and 80s’ (DJCAD, University of Dundee). From 2011 to 2014 she was Post Doc Research Assistant on the AHRC funded research project ‘REWINDItalia Artists’ Video in Italy in 70s and 80s’ (DJCAD, University of Dundee). She completed her PhD at Sapienza Unicersity of Rome in 2011. She sits on the curatorial board of the Rome Media Art Festival. Author of articles and essays in books and exhibition catalogues, her research particularly focuses on the relationship between word and image in visual art, video art and new media. She is co-editor with Stephen Partridge of REWINDItalia. Early Video Art in Italy (New Barnet: John Libbey Publishing, 2015).

Sarah Cook

Karin de Wild

Karin de Wild is an art historian and curator interested in the influence of digital technology on art, museums and cultural memory. She obtained a Master in Heritage Studies at the VU University and the University of Amsterdam. After working as a curator for a Dutch private collection, she is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Dundee under supervision of Dr Sarah Cook and Prof Wendy Moncur. In 2016, she co-curated (with Liza Swaving and Prof Wayne Modest) the international conference “Digital Horizons, Virtual Selves: Rethinking Cultural Heritage in the Museum” at the National Museum of World Cultures (Leiden, The Netherlands).

Museum as a Living Organism

Sandra Kazlauskaitė

This paper addresses the social politics of archiving and preserving time-based media artworks in contemporary museum and gallery institution settings. Whilst drawing on a particular case study – The Living Art Museum in Iceland, the paper confronts Adorno’s consideration of museums as dead sites, Rosalind Krauss’ ideas of the late capitalist museum as well as Brian O’Doherty’s proposition of galleries as autonomous and decontextualized spaces. The paper proposes that with audiovisual media and performance art entering museum archives and inhabiting exhibition spaces, the museums have become live organisms – expanded spatiotemporal grounds, operating in social and political conjunction with the external world. The Living Art Museum – a radical space initiated and run by artists has been collecting time-based media artworks on a donation basis since the 1970s. It has built an expansive, or what the artists call, “the living collection”, which contains over ten thousands works, shared with the local and global communities on an ongoing basis. As a form of resistance against the capitalist regime, the museum reconsiders the art institution’s obligation to the past and the future beyond the stale capitalist logic. Arriving from media theorists Kittler, Ernst, as well as cultural theorist Walter Benjamin, the paper explores the different temporalities and spatialities, including the one of media (from its sourcing to its maintaining), the institutionalism of the art institution as well as the ones of broader socio-political cultural infrastructures, and discusses how time-based media archive can help to reshape the broader social and political configurations of the museum apparatus.

Sandra Kazlauskaitė is a researcher, artist and curator working across the disciplines of sound performance and audiovisual installation. Sandra is an Associate Lecturer at Goldsmiths, where she teaches Film and Audiovisual Theory and Media Arts. She is currently undertaking a research by practice Ph.D (CHASE, AHRC funded) at Goldsmiths, Media and Communications Department. Using video installation art practice, Sandra is investigates how sound is experienced when witnessing screen-based installation art in gallery spaces. Sandra’s latest papers and presentations were held at Sound Thought (CCA, Glasgow), FilmForum (Gorizia), Sound | Image (Greenwich University, London), Music & Sound Design in Film/New Media (LAMT), GLEAM (Glasgow University, Glasgow). Her latest exhibition projects include Call & Response (London, 2016), CCA (Glasgow, 2016), and Kaunas Biennial (Lithuania, 2015). She was published by Leonardo Music Journal in 2015 Sandra is a part of two research networks: Space, Place and Time Research Collective (CHASE) and Screen and Audiovisual Research Unit (Goldsmiths).