The Electronic Media Group (EMG) was founded in 1996 and was formalized as a specialty group by the AIC Board in 1998. EMG supports the work of conservators, artists, archivists, curators, registrars, collection managers, and other technical specialists in the conservation of artworks and other works of cultural heritage that employ historic or emerging audiovisual media, digital media, and electric or electronic technologies. This encompasses time-based media artworks (which may involve video, audio, slide and film, electronics, electric light, motors, interactivity, performance, software and internet elements), digital or digitally-generated objects, and electric/electronic technologies of historical significance. Through its annual meetings, publications, and workshops, EMG provides a forum for its members and individuals from allied fields to exchange knowledge related to the acquisition, display, and long-term care of artworks and other collection objects with electric, electronic, time-based, and digital components or dimensions.

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Annual Meeting Program

The Electronic Media Group meets and presents research at the American Institute for Conservation (AIC)’s Annual Meeting. Topics covered at the annual meeting may include collaborations with living artists and estates, new advances in digital preservation, how to get started with a time-based media conservation program at an institution, case studies of individual works or collections, and original research. Talks may address a range of subjects such as maintenance and repair of historic technologies or legacy equipment associated with an artwork; new methods of digitization, migration, emulation, or duplication of audiovisual components; in-depth technical analysis; and innovative documentation strategies. Abstracts and papers presented at the EMG sessions are available in the online publication the Electronic Media Review.

Glenn Wharton and Peter Oleksik at MoMA

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TechFocus Workshop Series

TechFocus IV: Caring for 3D Printed Art will be held virtually on October 25, 27, and 29, 2021 from 12-3 PM EST. Speakers and additional program information, as well as registration, will be available in late spring 2021.

The TechFocus workshop series is organized by the American Institute for Conservation's Electronic Media Group to provide detailed technical education in the preservation of media art. Launched on the 10th anniversary of the groundbreaking TechArchaeology symposium that was held at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 2000, TechFocus offers in-depth instruction in a broad range of media. Each workshop, hosted by a different institution, is dedicated to one specific media-art technology. A systematic lecture program, delivered by international experts, introduces workshop participants to the technology behind these artworks, and offers real-world guidelines for their preservation. 

To visit standalone sites for the individual TechFocus conferences, please use the links below:

TechFocus I: Caring for Video Art took place September 1-2, 2010 at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

TechFocus II: Caring for Film and Slide Art took place April 27-28, 2012 at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC.

TechFocus III: Caring for Software-based Art took place September 25-26, 2015 at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

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Publications and Resources 

EMG maintains a variety of online resources about the conservation of electronic media and time-based media. 

The Electronic Media Review is a biennial publication that includes talks presented at the Electronic Media Group (EMG) sessions of the AIC Annual Meeting.

The EMG section of the AIC Wiki is updated and maintained by EMG members, but welcomes edits and new content from anyone regardless of specialty group membership. The Wiki provides information regarding the preservation and conservation of all types of electronic media: audio, moving images, born-digital media, and time-based media.


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