Ownership, Information, Control, and Access: A Study in Practice and Ethics

Research Project Description
As a consequence of developments in the theory and practice of contemporary art conservation, the networks of those involved in conservation research have been significantly extended, and their roles changed. Conservation research, then, involves not only conservators, but also curators, registrars, academics, the artist and/or their assistants, studio and estate, private research institutions, public research bodies, and galleries. The increasing interdisciplinary and consultative aspects of conservation practice-as-research are reflected also in the interdisciplinary, collaborative approach of research focused on conservation of contemporary art.
The project is an examination of the dynamics of contemporary art conservation research that considers this research within legal, policy, ethical, and professional frameworks. Taking as its starting point the idea that the ontology of contemporary art requires new approaches to conservation, the study aims to investigate how conservation research practice responds to the needs of new and emerging categories of artworks through consultation and collaboration. The project addresses the question of what research is in the context of the conservation of contemporary art, describes the legal, policy, ethical, professional, and theoretical environment in which this research takes place, investigates the practices that comprise research in relation to contemporary art conservation, and considers questions of authorship, ownership, and access. A comparative perspective is adopted, considering the approaches taken in several jurisdictions.

Researcher
Zoë Miller
zoe.miller@tate.org.uk

Bio
Zoë Miller holds an LLB, and a BA in Political Science and Spanish from the University of Queensland, Australia. In 2015 she was awarded a Master’s degree in Museum Studies, with a dissertation focusing on the political functionality of national art museums in the nineteenth century.

Home Institution
Tate, London, United Kingdom
Faculty of Law, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands

Supervisors
Dr. Pip Laurenson, Tate
Prof. Hildegard Schneider, Maastricht University
Dr. Anke Moerland, Maastricht University

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