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Photographic Materials Group (PMG) Business MeetingContains 1 Component(s) Includes a Live Web Event on 06/18/2021 at 3:00 PM (EDT)
Photographic Materials Group (PMG) Business Meeting
Silver Image Chemistry and DeteriorationContains 2 Component(s) Includes Multiple Live Events. The next is on 06/14/2021 at 3:00 PM (EDT)
Monday, June 14 and Friday, June 18 at 3-5pm Eastern Time, instructed by Scott Williams and Douglas Nishimura
Monday, June 14 and Friday, June 18 at 3-5pm Eastern Time
Instructors: Scott Williams, Douglas Nishimura
This workshop is designed to provide an in-depth discussion on the unique chemical properties and vulnerabilities of silver image material. This information will be of great interest and use to anyone involved in the appreciation and preservation of silver-based photographic materials. The workshop will include two complimentary sessions on the chemistry of silver image formation and silver image deterioration. Participants with a general understanding of chemistry will be anticipated, but not required.
Since its inception, photographic images were created using a variety of different materials, substrates and processes. Most of these photographic evolutionary steps were founded on image capture using silver chemistry. This first session will be presented by Scott Williams, professor at the School of Chemistry and Materials Science at Rochester Institute of Technology. It follows the photographer’s workflow from image capture to preservation through the lens of a chemist. Connections will be made between the chemistry of each process step as the photographer would practice and observe them; thereby, closing an important loop that bridges photographer with chemist, and chemist with photographer. Emphasis will be on the main image making process steps: substrate sensitization to light using silver halide, the light capture process at the silver halide grain level, exposure effects, image development, and ending with the processes that maintain a silver photographic image over time. This two-hour session is intended as a companion to the online series of self-study modules presented by the FAIC Collaborative Workshops in Photograph Conservation on Photographic Chemistry for Preservation, offering a broad overview of this fascinating topic and providing invaluable face-to-face time with instructor, Scott Williams. It is suggested that participants complete the series of online lectures prior to the workshop.
The second session will be presented by Douglas Nishimura, Research Scientist at Rochester Institute of Technology, who will discuss mechanisms involved in silver image deterioration and likely causes in collections. Typically, silver image deterioration is divided into two general causes: poor processing and oxidation from environmental sources. The idea that all silver image deterioration is caused by poor processing has its roots in the severe fading of photographs in the 19th century that led to the formation of the Fading Committee of 1855. By the 1970s and 80s it was commonly believed that if a silver photograph was deteriorating then it must have been improperly processed. However, James Reilly, former Director of the Image Permanence Institute, noted that examples of poor processing in collections weren’t very common. Certainly, potential external causes of silver deterioration are numerous. The problem of silver image deterioration is very complex. As noted by former Kodak silver stability expert, Art Hertz, image silver must be surrounded by silver ions in equilibrium so that oxidation of image silver can be caused by reduction of the surrounding silver ions.
Professor of Physical and Inorganic Chemistry
Scott Williams is Professor of Physical and Inorganic Chemistry at Rochester Institute of Technology. Professor Williams is one of an ever-smaller group of individuals with expertise in photographic chemistry. This profound knowledge, combined with his thoughtful and lively teaching style, make for an easy-to-follow presentation of this potentially complex topic. This course is a fount of information essential to understanding the silver-based analog photographic processes represented in so many private and public collections around the globe.
Conservation Through Transformation: Keeping performance art alive in the museumContains 2 Component(s) Includes Multiple Live Events. The next is on 06/07/2021 at 12:00 PM (EDT)
Monday, June 7 and Friday, June 11 at 12-2pm Eastern Time, instructed by Louise Lawson and Helia Marcal
Monday, June 7 and Friday, June 11 at 12-2pm Eastern Time
Instructors: Louise Lawson, Helia Marcal
This workshop will draw on the practice of conservation developed at Tate to explore the material possibilities afforded by the care of performance art. Instructors will focus on their documentation processes to reflect on how the situatedness of the museum frames the documentation that is produced and the purposes of said documents. Participants will participate in exercises of re-situating practices, where forms of data collection and analysis will be framed through case-studies and discussion, using key tools developed, as well as how to adapt these tools and develop bespoke strategies for their own institutions.
Documenting performance art seems to be a conundrum that is particularly hard to resolve. Tate started to collect this form of artistic practice in 2005 and has since acquired over 25 performance artworks that range from simple instruction-based works to performances that depend on bodily and material engagements that are hard to understand and even harder to capture. With the aim of safeguarding a whole collection to generations to come, the museum’s structure is keen to create categories and other processes of standardization. However, performance art often challenges those standards and categories. What are the affordances of the museum to the documentation of performance art? And how can we re-situate museum practices to accommodate non-conforming bodies of practice? This workshop will provide participants with an understanding of the challenges that performance art poses to conservation professionals and recognize how performance art plays with notions of care, authenticity, sameness, and transformation.
Louise Lawson is Conservation Manager for Time Based Media Conservation at Tate. She is responsible for the strategic direction, development and delivery of all aspects relating to time-based media conservation at Tate. This requires working across a wide range of projects and programs: exhibitions, displays, acquisition, loan-outs and collection care initiatives. Her current work and research is focused on the documentation and conservation of performance-based artworks within Tate Collection. This has involved developing documentation tools and a conservation strategy to support how works enter, live and evolve in the collection. Louise has spoken at a range of conferences, with recent papers on the documentation and conservation of performance considering themes such as conservation as living process, unfolding interactions and transmission of knowledge.
Hélia Marçal is Lecturer in History of Art, Materials and Technology. Prior to this appointment, she was the Fellow in Contemporary Art Conservation and Research of the research project Reshaping the Collectible: When Artworks Live in the Museum, at Tate, London (2018-2020). She is the Coordinator of the Working Group on Theory, History and Ethics of Conservation of the Committee for Conservation of the International Council of Museums (ICOM-CC) since 2016.
Her current research interests are positioned within feminist new materialisms, material histories of activist artworks, ethics and performativity of cultural heritage, the conservation of time-based media and performance art, and both the materiality of contemporary art and the ways it is positioned and negotiated by museum, heritage, and conservation practices. Drawing on feminist epistemological lenses, she often explores issues of performativity, participation, partiality, and positionality in both her research and teaching.
She has published about conservation theory and ethics, embodied memories and the body-archive, and public policies of participation and stewardship of cultural heritage, having been awarded the Taylor & Francis and ICON Outstanding Contribution Award in 2017. Her recent book project looks at current forms of activist performance to interrogate the wider politics of conservation of cultural heritage in the public sphere.
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