Contemporary art confronted with the phenomenon of technological obsolescence.
Developing a dedicated research program for the Research department of the Center for Research and Restoration of Museums in France (C2RMF, Paris)
Over the past decade, numerous symposia and publications devoted to the conservation and restoration of contemporary artistic creation have highlighted the problem of technological obsolescence. This socio-economic process, whose short and long-term effects are far from limited to the field of heritage, requires developing a new paradigm for conservation and restoration, defining an adhoc methodology for documentation, as well as reconsidering the articulations between art and technique. Both modern and contemporary art are based on an original paradox: on one hand, a powerfully emancipating movement founded on the rejection of canons, rules, and by extension, any form of knowledge or technique perceived as being restrictive; on the other hand, a radical absence of limitations, in terms of materials, procedures and techniques—and in particular by integrating the most contemporary technical innovations in both the fabrication process and the «body» of the works themselves. In this regard, 20th century artists' increased use of light, movement and more generally all techniques involving image and sound, is significant.
Cécile Dazord is an associate professor of classics (1994) and a graduate of France's National School of Heritage (2000). After substituting at the Vallauris Museum (2000), she became the head of contemporary art at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Strasbourg (2001-2005). In 2006, she integrated the Research department of the Center for Research and Restoration of Museums in France (C2RMF), where she is responsible for developing a study and research program on conservation issues that are specific to contemporary art. Within this context, she focuses on the question of technological obsolescence. The activities of the Research department's contemporary art group are summarized in a blog: http://obsolescence.hypotheses.org. Since 2010, the francophone branch of INCCA (International Network for the Conservation of Contemporary Art) aims to give these issues wider exposure: http://www.incca.org