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Beyond Contemporary Art #2 | Episode 3 | ​Delegating the Memory Function: The Archive of the Future

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The 21st century is, to a far greater degree than any previous century, a time of expanded memory. The more fragmented our attention gets, given the number of cybernetic and digital interfaces that claim us, the greater our need for retrieval systems to which we can delegate our memory function. From museum collections to personal estates to ephemera, everything is being archived, or at least collected. But do collection and documentation, by themselves, make an archive? What is the role of annotation in the production of an archive? And what forms will the archive of the future take, given the accelerated changes in retrieval systems technology, and the sequence of image-driven services such as Instagram and Tumblr, and other forms that might succeed them?

Ventures like the Art Genome Project by Art.sy and the Google Art project are making all the world’s art free to anyone with an internet connection, by connecting galleries, museums and other partners, digitizing and offering new viewing experiences through mobile apps, street views and story-telling tools. As objects are continuously translated into information that can be accessed remotely, what will the ‘museum experience’ mean to future audiences? Can online platforms become the first sources of discovery, pleasure and education for art lovers, in addition to being repositories of knowledge? And how might this affect the making, collecting and viewing of art in the decades to come?​

Join Anupam Sah, Head of Art Conservation, Research and Training at CSMVS Museum Art Conservation Centre and Vrunda Pathare, Chief Archivist at Godrej & Boyce in conversation with, Ranjit Hoskote Curator, Cultural Theorist and Jury Member of the 56th Venice Biennale who will attempt to dissemble and examine the art archive: its elements, the impulses behind it and its future.
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