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Friday, June 1 • 9:00am - 9:30am
(Electronic Media) Collaboration in the Aesthetic Zone: Trisha Brown and Robert Rauschenberg

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Set and Reset is a masterpiece of American postmodern dance, establishing Trisha Brown's role as a seminal choreographer working within abstraction. The performance, a collaborative project between Trisha Brown (choreography), Laurie Anderson (music), and Robert Rauschenberg (set and costumes), made its U.S. debut in 1983 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York. To assure the longevity of Set and Reset, preserving the set’s film elements has become a collaborative effort between two of the artists’ estates, demonstrating a new preservation strategy for the exchange of information, histories, funding, storage, and clarification of rights. Since it's inception, the Trisha Brown Dance Company has frequently toured Set and Reset domestically and internationally, including a major performance this past spring 2017 as part of the Rauschenberg’s exhibition at Tate Modern, London. Prior to London, the performance continually used Rauschenberg’s original set, which Rauschenberg entitled Elastic Carrier (Shiner) despite the entire performance being named Set and Reset. The set consisted of a freestanding multi-pyramid structure on which montaged archival footage from 6 reels of films is projected, and the film elements were deteriorating from years of continued use. Recognizing this, TBDC applied without success for several grants to preserve the films. The project was "set and reset" a few times until fall 2016 when TBDC joined with the Rauschenberg Foundation and work proceeded with BB Optics and independent media conservator, Shu-Wen Lin. The result of this project debuted at the performance in London. Throughout the preservation project, we endeavored to track and document the reasoning behind the unavoidable changes between the 1983 and 2017 presentations. Given the collaborative nature, we carefully address the following issues - who is responsible to preserve a moving image work that is part of a performance? Is Elastic Carrier (Shiner) an independent work, or may it only exist as an element of the dance? What is the implications of migrating a moving image work in performance from film to digital projection? This panel aims to share the continuing conversation among estates and foundations, and to shed light on issues and principles surrounding the preservation of moving images in performative artworks.

Co-Authors
avatar for Shu-Wen Lin

Shu-Wen Lin

Research Fellow for Digital Preservation, National Library of Medicine
Shu-Wen Lin serves as Associate Conservator, Time-Based Media at M+ Museum for Visual Culture, and as Research Fellow for Digital Preservation at National Library of Medicine in 2017. She received her MA from the Moving Image Archiving and Preservation program at New York University... Read More →
avatar for Cori Olinghouse

Cori Olinghouse

Archive Director, Trisha Brown Dance Company
Cori Olinghouse is an interdisciplinary artist, archivist, and curator. Since 2009, she has served as Archive Director for the Trisha Brown Dance Company, a company she danced for from 2002-2006. Olinghouse is currently developing a series of artist archivist projects that explore... Read More →
avatar for Francine Snyder

Francine Snyder

Director of Archives and Scholarship, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
Francine Snyder is the Director of Archives and Scholarship at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. Prior to the Rauschenberg Foundation, Ms. Snyder spent nearly a decade as Director of the Library and Archives at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and, before that, she was a Project... Read More →


Friday June 1, 2018 9:00am - 9:30am
Briargrove Meeting Room Marriott Marquis Houston

Attendees (60)