115. Documentation

We’re delighted to have published a chapter about Carolan in the book Documentation as Art: Expanded Digital Practices edited by Annet Dekker and Gabriella Giannachi and published by Routledge.

The book tackles the complex relationship between artworks and their documentation. The importance of documenting artworks has been recognised for many decades, both for establishing their provenance and more generally for supporting art history scholarship and curation. It is also increasingly bound up with the works themselves, being used to recontextualise, reactivate and refresh them when they are periodically removed from storage to be re-exhibited in galleries and museums. The boundary between what was traditionally seen as live versus prerecorded is also increasingly blurring as documentation of past performances is brought into current ones, not least in music where backing tracks, live looping, and now computer generated avatars are interwoven with live performance. In short, documentation is increasingly part of the artwork itself, and even where it is not, is often creatively and artistically presented.

The book explores this tangled relationship between art and documentation through fifteen contributed chapters covering the three broad topics of the production, circulation and preservation of digital documentation across a variety of art forms from photography to games. Carolan appears in the fifteenth and final chapter, How a Guitar Started to self-document its ”identity‘, as an example of a possible future practice in which documentation (including this blog) becomes tightly enmeshed with performances, through which everyday objects acquire digital identities (building on discussions from back in Post 105).

So huge thanks to Anne and Gabriella for inviting us to contribute to their book, and especially to our longstanding friend and collaborator Gabriella for co-authoring our chapter. Time to head off for some light bedtime reading!

One thought on “115. Documentation

  1. Pingback: 117. LI-MA – Carolan Guitar

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