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Contemporary Chinese Art- another kind of view

DSL Collection

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online since  2012-11-04
Thinking Electronic Art Via Cornell's Goldsen Archive of New Media Art

Cornell University's Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art is an archival repository and study center with a broad array of international new media art and its documentation. In 2002, I founded the Archive, which I continue to develop and curate in the Cornell Library's Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections. The Goldsen Archive profits from this Division's commitment to the public access of its materials and growing interest in digital preservation. The archive is the repository of significant holdings of Internet art, anchored by the Ljubljana Infos 2000 collection, which I curated with Teo Spiller; the collection of CTheory Multimedia, which was produced in the Cornell Library under the curatorial direction of me and Arthur and Marilouise Kroker; the annual competition in new media art administered by National Video Resources with assistance from the Rockefeller Foundation (some fifty sets of dossiers and work samples annually)[1]; as well as the holder of perhaps the world's most extensive collection of art on CD-Rom, a collection anchored by the CD-Roms from 23 countries in the exhibition Contact Zones: The Art of CD-Rom[2], which I toured internationally from 1999-2004. To the end of enhancing preservation, for example, we have applied for major grants from the Langlois Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, but have been unsuccessful thus far in making a convincing enough case for the merits of preserving this Archive.

The Archive also houses extensive holdings of new media art and documentation from the Pacific Rim. In addition to individual artworks and collections on CD-Rom, DVD-Rom, and the Internet, as well as digital video from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Australia, and the broader Pacific Rim, it features two specialized collections of immense value for the understanding of contemporary Chinese art. The Wen Pulin Archive of Chinese Avant-Garde Art includes 360 hours of digitized video documenting contemporary Chinese art events and installations since 1984. The Yao Jui-Chung Archive of Taiwan Contemporary Art consists of some 8,000 digitized images of paper and postcard invitations to contemporary art events in Taiwan over a twenty-year period, as well as archival footage, stills, and video of new media events and installations. I have been struck by how these collections and the socio-cultural conditions of their production have expanded my sense of the mission of the Goldsen Archive as "archive," as well as the cultural conditions and promises of digitality itself.[3]

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