Memory and the Digital Archive of Contemporary Art
The Case of the Spanish Archive of Media Art
This article outlines some reflections about digital reality, contemporary art production, and possible ways of archiving and constructing memory through and for a historiography of contemporary art in light of the project Archivo Español de Media Art / Spanish Archive of Media Art (AEMA/SAOMA). In the first part I propose a definition and an account of media art and its artifacts. In the second part I present and describe the SAOMA project, and its antecedent, the MIDECIANT museum project, and discuss the conceptual and technical requirements of an archive devoted to the media arts. In the third part I sketch some interconnections between the concepts of memory and archive with reference to new media art and outline the difficulties that are inherent to any effort to define and archive these art forms. The final section includes some concluding thoughts and a brief explanation of what I regard as the most urgent needs for any archival project in the realm of digital art (digital restoration, documentation, and narrative).