From Collective Memory Towards Cultural Amnesia: The Challenges of Preserving Internet Art
Connectivity and variability are only two examples of the characteristics of Internet art that challenge conventional notions of artistry, audiences and the work of art itself. The clash between traditional discourses and the new paradigm of Internet art becomes extremely pressing in museological practices. The conservation and presentation of virtual, interactive and variable processes, as opposed to objects that are re/presented as closed systems, require a reconsideration of the ways in which art works are traditionally displayed and experienced. Being ephemeral and in constant flux, Internet art cannot and indeed should not be captured in traditional models that are based on fixed notions of art, artists and audiences. Instead of these ‘technologies of memory’, I propose collective cultural amnesia as a way of dealing with the challenges that Internet art brings upon heritage institutions, approaching ephemerality
and variability not as problems, but as possible solutions.
Keywords: Internet Art, Collective Memory, Heritage Institutions
Ph D fellow, Department of Comparative Arts and Cultural Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen