IIC 2016 Los Angeles Congress

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Saving the Now: Crossing Boundaries to Conserve Contemporary Works

Simultaneous call for papers and posters

The diversity of materials, processes and modes of creative expression that make up our contemporary cultures present ever more complex challenges for the conservation profession. Whether considering works of art, architecture, products of contemporary design, or other media, the profession is having to adapt to an expanding set of values and demands, while attempting to maintain existing ethics, philosophies and best practices. Nowhere is this seen more clearly than in navigating the delicate balance between the artist’s or creator’s intent and the preservation of original materials and procedures when these appear to be in direct conflict.

Conservators working in this area do so without the benefit or comfort of well-established hierarchies of values often afforded to colleagues preserving more traditional heritage objects. Faced with the uncertainty of judging which aspects of contemporary culture will be valued by future generations, the conservation profession has responded to date by encouraging stronger dialogue with artists, carrying out unprecedented levels of documentation and adopting an increasingly interdisciplinary approach to conservation with, for example art historians, architects, curators, engineers, scientists and fabricators.

While such approaches have undoubtedly resulted in an improved interpretation of contemporary cultural heritage, and vastly increased volumes of information for future generations of conservators and curators, relatively little progress has been made in assessing the likely impact of making certain decisions, or undertaking specific treatments on contemporary works today. What will be lost if the major guiding principle for conservators remains the artist’s intent? What is the consequence of avoiding treatments due to the unavailability of established procedures? Has the debate on replicas already become too polarised?

One potential avenue for advancing the field is to explore and compare different philosophies and approaches to conserving contemporary culture utilised in different disciplines, markets, countries and cultures. Can ethics and values adopted by the built heritage sector assist in conserving moveable heritage, and vice versa? Can approaches used for ethnographic collections be integrated more broadly into contemporary art practice? Can the different issues posed by public art, or the art market, help influence Institutional thinking? Can non-materialistic philosophies help to move the field forward in broader terms?

IIC and INCCA, international organisations with members worldwide, are coming together to offer opportunities for conservators of contemporary culture to cross such boundaries and engage with diverse approaches to ethics, values and conservation approaches from a variety of cultures, disciplines and geographical regions.

Call for Papers and Posters

We now invite the submission of proposals for papers and posters to be presented at the 2016 Congress. Please note that on this occasion we are issuing a simultaneous call for paper and poster proposals: there will be no later separate call for posters. We are looking for new and original, unpublished work, relevant to the Congress theme and to conservation. We are also looking for an awareness of the need for ethical treatments. Multidisciplinary proposals are encouraged. A requirement of submission is that one of the authors of each selected paper or poster must attend the Congress to present the work to the audience.

Papers and posters presented at and published as a result of an IIC Congress all undergo a rigorous peer review process. To this end, IIC Council appoints a Technical Committee of international experts who will make selections from the proposals received and selected authors will be invited to develop the proposal into a synopsis, as well as to include not more than 2 illustrations for consideration by the Technical Committee; further details will be made available later. Authors may then be requested to refine the synopses as necessary, and the final paper and poster synopses will be edited for publication as the Congress Preprints by the Congress Editorial Committee. Please remember that submissions should not have been presented and/or published elsewhere before the date of the Congress.

IIC invites you to submit your proposal for a paper or poster in English in about 500 words (3500 characters) via the website by filling in the submission form (if you have an IIC account, please log in first, if not, please register for an IIC account before submitting a proposal). Please do not include any illustrations with your proposal submission and please indicate if your proposal is for a paper or for a poster. The deadline for the receipt of proposals is 15 June 2015.

You will receive a response from the Technical Committee by 15 August 2015. Draft manuscripts will be required by 15 October 2015 and the final selection will be made by 15 December 2015. Final manuscripts will be due by 15 January 2016.

We look forward to seeing you in Los Angeles!