(Generated by Dall-e)
Discoursor is a series of six meetings organized in 2023 and dedicated to the issues of preserving, restoring, and presenting digital artworks, in particular works in which the (often DIY) software or hardware component of the computer technology used represents an important part of the artwork.
The meetings consist of two parts: a lecture or discussion and a presentation or short-term mini-exhibition consisting of one work or perhaps two. The presented works form a constituent part of the whole of the subject under discussion at the respective Discoursor.
Artworks in which digital (especially computer) technology has an important or even central role in terms of subject or form or as a means of expression first noticeably appeared in Slovenia in the 1980s. Due to rapid technological development, such works quickly become technically obsolete and, consequently, inaccessible or only partly accessible. We can only learn about them via rather scarce and not readily available documentation – direct contact with such works is no longer possible.
The restoration and subsequent presentation of technically obsolete works in Moderna galerija’s New Media Laboratory adds another dimension to the institution’s operations. Due to the lack of established examples of good practice – with the exception of a few Slovenian and international institutions and initiatives – the decisions concerning the best approach to restoration will be shaped by the requirements of the work under scrutiny.
In addition to involving the participation of restoration and IT experts, Discoursor includes and documents the views of artists who have encountered the problem of technical obsoleteness of their works and the absence of support infrastructure for their preservation and restoration.
Restoring digital artworks differs widely from restoring works on traditional, pre-digital material supports and requires a host of new procedures and activities, i.e. a whole new branch of specialized restoration knowledge.
Currently, most of the obsolete digital works that are restored are by artists that are still alive and active. Such collaborations between restorers and artists often show that the goal of the restoration is not necessarily bringing the work back to its original state, but rather the (re)execution of the original idea with upgraded or current digital technology. Whether such an approach is suitable or not is one of the questions broached by the Discoursor series.
With the discussions and presented works, Discoursor focuses primarily on the Slovenian cultural spaces and, to a lesser extent, on the broader region and international space.