Hello! Thank you, Juliette, for all the interesting contributions and questions posed in this thread. This past month I've enjoyed reading the responses, while keeping pace with the schedule of art fairs, events and exhibitions presented in New York at bitforms gallery. If it's not too late, I'd like to address the Beryl's question of how art historical trajectories are engaged by new media collection practices at major museums.
Every institution approaches and defines contemporary art differently, and has a unique way of supporting art that relies on software or machines. Some organizations have huge budgets for collections and research, while others possess wonderful exhibition spaces, or technical knowledge. But still overall, there are huge gaps in education at museums when it comes presenting and conserving new media art - and that's because the language and story of technology evolves independently from the narrative of art history.
The artists and galleries who are commercially successful at museums (and with donors to museums) play an active role in educating their clients. This entails a practical acknowledgement of the strengths and weaknesses of their dynamic mediums. More importantly, there is an attempt to fill the knowledge gap between the two trades/histories, but in a way that is meaningful for the specific craft/artwork under consideration. I think solo exhibitions pose the greatest long-term opportunity for critical study of this genre, as they can best facilitate collections and focused preservation of the art objects. The conversations with museums are most productive when considering one object or artist at a time.
Working with museum collections is the most efficient way that an artist can seriously impact how we push forward the greater conversation of a technological avant-garde, and where that sits relative to histories of painting, film/video, performance, sculpture, etc. It impacts what the public later will see and study, but only if the project is well-documented when acquired. When sold, it is the responsibility of the artist and gallery to provide strong records of past exhibition, interpretation, and behavior, as well as recommendations for future care/presentation (be the artwork defined as a process or otherwise). With that said, the Museum of Modern Art in NY recently acquired by “Pulse Room” (2006) by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, and I think you'll agree that documentation for this project (and how it addresses "process") speaks for itself:
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May 13 - Jul 1: Daniel Rozin "Descent with Modification"