ePhemera

Project Overview

ARC Project Investigators: Dennis Del Favero, Ursula Frohne, Susanne Thurow, Andrew Yip, Maria Engelskirchen, Justus Lehmann
DAAD/UA title: Exploring the capabilities of digital aesthetics for archiving installation, media, performance and sculpture artworks in dynamically accessible form
Project Funding: 57511643
Project Partners: University of Münster and LWL Museum of Art and Culture, Münster (Germany)
2022

The Project aims to conceive an augmented aesthetic framework for archiving ephemeral artworks that can encapsulate and convey their dynamic nature. Conventional documentary methods tend to capture only static aspects of temporary installations, media, performance and sculpture artworks, struggling to communicate the multi-dimensional experience they offer to their audiences. To address this shortcoming, researchers based at iCinema and University of Münster (Germany), as well as industry representatives at the LWL Museum of Art and Culture (Germany), are exploring artificially intelligent digital methodologies and networking solutions as means to animate archival holdings of public artworks on location in their original urban sites.

The research team is developing its theoretical concepts in relation to LWL’s archive of world-acclaimed Skulptur Projekte public art festival, which spans over 1,600 photographs, videos, scale models and sketches. These document the creation as well as the temporary exhibition of artworks by more than 200 artists, including Bruce Nauman, Hito Steyerl, Richard Serra, Jenny Holzer, Sol LeWitt, Josef Beuys, Pierre Hughye, and Alexandra Pirici.

The team will augment LWL’s digitisation efforts, exploring ways to vivify archival holdings through 3D modelling and dynamically collating assets to enable users to experience the ephemeral work. Networked 3D screens and cinematic theatres as well as AR smart phones will be explored as possible platforms for imbuing archival records with visceral and kinetic qualities that resonate with the original artistic encounter.

Temporary artforms are increasingly being incorporated into contemporary art and have become the norm especially in festival contexts. This has amplified the demand for engaging archival solutions that preserve the compelling nature of these forms as close to their original articulation as possible.

The research is funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and Universities Australia through their Australia–Germany Joint Research Co-Operation Scheme. The project has been delayed due to Covid19 travel restrictions.

ePhemera 1
B. Nauman’s ‘Square Depression’ 3D modelled by Scott Cotterell for iCinema Centre