Dear colleagues,

We would love to invite you to attend our upcoming event. Please consider
joining us.

Please reserve your spots online for the symposium (
and evening keynote lecture (

On behalf of the organizing committee,

Jill Bugajski, Executive Director of Academic Engagement and Research
Francesca Casadio, Grainger Executive Director of Conservation and Science
Hendrik Folkerts, Dittmer Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art
Ann Goldstein, Deputy Director, Chair and Curator of Modern and
Contemporary Art
Sarah Guernsey, Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs
Maria Kokkori, Stockman Family Foundation Fellow in Conservation and Science

*UNFIXED: Material Challenges in Contemporary Art*
*June 28, 2018, 9:30 a.m.–7:00 p.m. | Scholars’ day (open to the public)*
*June 29, 2018, 9:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m. | Time-based media workshop (by

*The Art Institute of Chicago*
*Nichols Trustees Suite, Modern Wing*
*159 East Monroe Street*

The Art Institute of Chicago is delighted to present the upcoming symposium
UNFIXED: Material Challenges in Contemporary Art. Bringing together
renowned art historians, museum professionals, and artists, this symposium
stages an interdisciplinary exchange on the challenges and questions of
materiality in 20th- and 21st-century art and museum practices.

Discussions on the complex materialities of recent art practices have been
prevalent since the 1960s, and increasingly relevant to museums since the
1990s, as ephemeral works, including time-based media, have entered
collections. Our current moment is drawing forth a generation of new
perspectives, tools, and priorities that re-engage established questions
and elicit new ones. Twenty-first-century advances in art conservation and
science have energized a renewed focus on object-driven inquiry in the
disciplines of art history and curating, expanding traditional canons and
breaking conventions with an increasingly global vision. Alongside these
evolutions, experimental artworks of the 20th century continue to age and
create new urgencies that test the protocols and philosophies of
conservation practices. As our fields take significant steps in new
directions, this is an opportune moment to nurture a conversation about
ontology and conceptualism, preservation, and ethics.

On June 28th, leading art historians, artists, and museum practitioners
will engage with questions of material complexity and contingency of recent
art practices, and the evolving, ongoing care of such works in
institutions. Topics will include time and action, the electronically or
digitally ephemeral, body materializations, inherent vice, and other modes
of dematerialization that continue to challenge scholars inside the
confines of the museum and beyond.

On June 29th, attendees from the time-based media regional network are
invited to a workshop to expand upon the discussion around issues in
acquiring, exhibiting, and preserving electronic and time-based media

This event is sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and hosted
through the Chicago Objects Study Initiative (COSI) and the new Time-Based
Media Initiative at the Art Institute. It is co-organized jointly by the
museum’s departments of Academic Engagement and Research, Conservation and
Science, and Modern and Contemporary Art.


*June 28, 2018 | Scholars’ day (open to the public)*
*Nichols Trustees Suite*

9:30 a.m. *Welcome and introduction*

*Session I*
10:00 a.m.
*Opening keynote*
Miwon Kwon, University of California, Los Angeles

11:00 a.m.
*Approaches to Materiality*
Carol Mancusi-Ungaro, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Maria Hassabi, artist, Athens and New York

Moderated discussion led by Christine Mehring, University of Chicago

12:30 p.m. Lunch

*Session II*
2:00 p.m.
*Collecting and Preserving the (Im)material*
Kate Lewis, Museum of Modern Art, New York
Annie Fletcher, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven
Francesca Esmay, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

Moderated discussion led by Christine Frohnert, Bek and Frohnert, LLC, and
New York University

3:30 p.m.
*Coffee break*
*Session III*
4:00 p.m.
T*he Collection as Living Archive       *
Rebecca Schneider, Brown University, Providence
Emilie Keldie, Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation, New York
Adrienne Edwards, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

Moderated discussion led by  Sampada Aranke, School of the Art Institute of

5:30 p.m.
*Session IV*
6:00 p.m.
*Keynote lecture*
Naeem Mohaiemen, artist, New York
*this presentation will be in Fullerton Hall
*June 29, 2018 | Time-based media workshop (by invitation)*
*Nichols Trustees Suite*

9:30 a.m.
*Welcome and introductions*
Francesca Casadio, Art Institute of Chicago
10:30 a.m.
*Opening address*
Christine Frohnert, Bek and Frohnert, LLC, and New York University

11:30 a.m.
*Working session*
Discussion of case studies
12:30 p.m.

1:30 p.m.
*Small group roundtable discussions*
Special topics determined by survey responses

3:30 p.m.
*Reflections and next steps*
4:00 p.m.
Please reserve your spots online for the symposium (
and evening keynote lecture (


Frankenthaler Prints: The Romance of a New Medium 

Through September 3, 2018
The Art Institute of Chicago
Top Ranked in the 
World by TripAdvisor—Five Years in a Row
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