Viral Images: Exploring the historic and conservation challenges of objects created for social protest and solidarity



Historic events of the past years have highlighted art as a creative means of social expression as well as a powerful tool used during social protests. A few images and words scribbled on a collection of post-it-notes or a graphically designed phrase captured in a Tweet heard around the world have had an unexpectedly lasting influence. But what happens to the art works when the protesters leave? Were they ever intended to be collected or preserved? Is there precedence for archiving these ephemeral materials? Who is collecting them? How do we preserve the intent and impact of these creative works for posterity? Archiving this form of cultural heritage presents many challenges. The IIC brought together six exceptional individuals to explore these issues at the latest roundtable discussion in IIC’s dialogues initiative. A curator, a sociologist, a conservator, an activist and academic, a librarian/archivist and a historian explored with you these complex and relevant issues.


Bryant, Aaron

Gould - Wartofsky, Michael

Scheidemann, Christian

Sholette, Gregory

Uziel, Lidia

Young, Ralph


Tuesday, 14 February, 2017 - 14:30


Metropolitan Museum of Art

New York City

Bonnie Sacerdote Lecture Hall, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 5th Avenue & 82nd Street, New York City