Thinking with the work: art practice and digital cultural heritage

Boyd, Jean ORCID: 0000-0002-9343-6692 (2017) Thinking with the work: art practice and digital cultural heritage. In: Researching Digital Cultural Heritage - International Conference, 30/11/17 - 1/12/17, University of Manchester. (Unpublished)

Text (Conference paper)
Boyd 2017 Thinking with the work RDCH2017 J.Boyd conference paper.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License All Rights Reserved.

Download (195kB) | Preview


As a laboratory for articulating new imaginaries, art practice has been engaging with the digital for some decades. It has explored the technically mediated relationship between time, data, memory, perception and representation. Asking what is possible to learn, feel and experience in the encounter with the artwork, the viewer is placed in a visual, haptic and affective relation to the digital image. I will propose that a digital artwork, David Claerbout’s ‘Olympia: The real time disintegration into ruins of the Berlin Olympic stadium over the course of a thousand years’ (2016) might help us reflect on the simulation of heritage objects as forms of knowledge production and critical research practice. More than this, we might see the work as a complex of many information registers; as scientific, cultural and historical data, brought to visibility in the guise of an image. I will consider the complex temporalities that coexist in the work, the materiality of the digital object itself and the materialities to which the work refers. Precariousness and duration are integral not only to the work’s themes, but also to its own preservation as a digital cultural object. Its trans disciplinary nature means it may not be possible to categorise the work in terms of media: it is game software, architectural simulation, real time climate data visualisation, speculative model. Meanwhile the work appears to us to be a film projection; one haunted by other films, other architectural models, other speculations. Accessible only in the immediate presence / present of its viewing, the viewer confronts their own apprehension of how histories and futures are understood. It is in this hybridity that potential opens for an epistemology of digital objects, where we might ‘think-with’ the artwork itself as a source of insight.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Digital art; temporalities; materialities; Claerbout; ruin; digital cultural heritage
Related URLs:
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Research Priority Areas: Culture, Continuity, and Transformation
Creative Practice and Theory
Depositing User: Jean Boyd
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2017 17:16
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:22

University Staff: Request a correction | Repository Editors: Update this record

University Of Gloucestershire

Bookmark and Share

Find Us On Social Media:

Social Media Icons Facebook Twitter Google+ YouTube Pinterest Linkedin

Other University Web Sites

University of Gloucestershire, The Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 2RH. Telephone +44 (0)844 8010001.