Annual Meeting

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.

The AIC website has more information about this year's annual meeting.

The talks presented at the EMG session of the Annual Meeting are printed in the biennial publication, The Electronic Media Review, which is available online. Print copies of the Electronic Media Review are available from AIC.

Call for Papers 2020

We are now accepting abstracts and workshop proposals for AIC's 49th Annual Meeting, tentatively scheduled May 11-15, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida! At this time, AIC is planning to hold this conference in person, though there is a possibility it may be delayed or held fully-virtually like this year. AIC is planning on having at least a portion of the conference presented in a virtual format already, though the specifics of this is still being discussed. Abstracts may be submitted using the AIC submission tool:

Proposals are due by 11:59PM EDT on Wednesday, September 30, 2020.  Proposals should not be more than 500 words with a separate 300-word author biography.

The American Institute for Conservation (AIC)’s Electronic Media Group is seeking proposals for a joint session with the Contemporary Art Network! on the topic of Transforming Ownership Into a Network of Care as well as for its specialty session at the 2021 AIC Annual Meeting:

Transforming Ownership Into a Network of Care (EMG/CAN! Joint Session)

The Contemporary Art Network and Electronic Media Group would like to re-examine norms for custodianship of artworks and explore how outreach and inclusivity can be implemented in conservation practice and beyond. Submissions relating to historical, contemporary, and/or time-based/electronic art and from nontraditional projects and organizations are encouraged. Traditionally, acquisition of an artwork has transferred a great deal of control to the owner of the work. After transfer of ownership, artists, communities, and other stakeholders have few legal rights beyond copyright and limited moral rights. However, pioneering institutions have begun to understand that long-term access and meaning for many artworks is only possible through ongoing collaboration with individuals, professionals, and groups who sit outside the institutional sphere. Working with living artists, fabricators, technical experts, communities, and other networks of care and knowledge decentralizes authority, questioning the traditional models of acquisition and ownership. Through this process artworks may change and evolve after the point of acquisition. However, a more nuanced experience of a living work may be gained - as well as an environment more inclusive to all connected with the work, from artist to audience.  How is collective custodianship and decision-making fostered in practice? Can it be extended beyond pioneering public collections into the realm of private ownership? How do we better incorporate the voices, viewpoints, and interests of diverse audiences and stakeholders into our current approaches and how can we as conservators advocate for the rights and voices of artists, communities, and less powerful stakeholders? 

Electronic Media Group Specialty Session

The Electronic Media Group is requesting submissions for papers examining issues related to the conservation of time-based media artworks. Past topics included the preservation of time-based media art (including video, film, audio, slide, and software-based artworks), issues surrounding the acquisition and exhibition of time-based media artworks, the creation and maintenance of digital archives, digital imaging for preservation and access (including applicable hardware and software), the preservation of digital media, obsolescence issues for hardware and software utilized in artworks, and the documentation and conservation of electronic playback hardware. While proposals may relate to the overall meeting theme of TRANSFORM 2021, this is not required. Authors who present at the annual meeting will have the option to publish a paper in EMG’s Electronic Media Review.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to the 2020-2021 EMG Program Chair at

EMG Scholarship Recipients

EMG supported three members' attendance at the 2018 annual meeting. These scholarship recipients wrote about their experience on the AIC blog:

  • 2019, Uncasville, CT

  • 2018, Houston, TX

  • 2017, Chicago, IL

  • 2016, Montreal, Canada

  • 2015, Miami, FL

  • 2014, San Francisco, CA

  • 2013, Indianapolis, IN

  • 2012, Albuquerque, NM

  • 2011, Philadelphia, PA

  • 2010, Milwaukee, WI

  • 2009, Los Angeles, CA

  • 2008, Denver, CO

  • 2007, Richmond, VA

  • 2006, Providence, RI

  • 2005, Minneapolis, MN

  • 2004, Portland, OR

  • 2003, Arlington, VA

  • 2002, Miami, FL

  • 2001, Dallas, TX

  • 2000, Philadelphia, PA

  • 1999, St. Louis, MO

  • 1998, Arlington, VA

  • 1997, San Diego, CA

AIC Annual Meeting in Montreal
The 2016 AIC Annual Meeting in Montreal included 3 days of EMG sessions.

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